Well hello folks...
Let's try something different today. Let's see if I can recap some of this week's episode without the need for you to take an intermission during the reading of this blog! I just seem to write soooo much!
This week's task was back in the men's team's wheelhouse again after a week of high fashion had us at a disadvantage. This week we were charged with creating a launch presentation for the all-new 2012 Buick Verano. Present the car to an audience, and answer questions about it from both the live audience and folks following the presentation online and on Twitter.
With Michael Andretti on Unanimous AND Adam Carolla (the host of a car talk show on the Speed Network) we should be perfectly positioned to take the women down this week. Debbie Gibson steps up for the women. Though Mr. Trump all but directs Michael Andretti to step up as project manager on Unanimous, Michael suggests that Adam take the helm. Personally, I felt Adam was a great choice. He is knowledgeable about cars and he had been a real leader already amongst the group. It seemed time for him to step up.
Split in to separate vans, Forte struggles to keep communication lines open between Debbie as the project manager and the Forte teams members who were not with her at all times. On Unanimous, the lines of communication are open, but the communication coming from PM Carolla is not jiving with the instructions that were given by the Buick executives. Adam, one of the funniest comedians in the business, wants to put on a funny presentation. Most everyone else does not.
Lou, much like last week and the week before (and the week before) feels that a concept showing him as The Hulk would be a good idea to demonstrate his strengths (forgive the pun). What you didn't see in this week's episode is that the idea of having Lou rip away a covering to reveal the Verano was actually Adam's idea initially. Granted, Lou jumped on that suggestion and rode it all the way through the task, but someone else in fact suggested it.
The ladies' concept is not really that different from the men's. Both teams use team members volunteering from the audience with interruptions that show different aspects of the car. Forte's "interruptions" are a bit more in line with the mood and tone of the product though, whereas Unanimous takes more of a humorous slant. That said, what Unanimous lacked in appropriate tone we more than made up for in factual content. The ladies struggled to answer questions about the Buick Verano; Adam had a command of the information about the car that I would say may have even rivaled the makers! You don't see it as much in the episode, but Adam answered questions from the audience that I was sure he would be stumped by. But he answered without hesitation every time!! It was a sight to behold!
In the Boardroom, the tensions between Debbie and Teresa (who had felt left out of the task) started to surface. Some expert prodding by Mr. Trump (and especially by Don Jr.) successfully got Teresa to vent some of her frustrations with Debbie.
On Unanimous' side of the table, The Trumps are very upset that Michael had not stepped up to the plate as project manager. Several team members chime in to defend Michael's choice. I find that it's smarter to keep your mouth shut until called on. Yet, in situations like that when I wanted to say something, letting my "feelings" show on my face would usually entice one of the Trumps into asking me to speak up. Then I got to say what I wanted without having to jump in to a conversation without being asked! ;-)
When the men's team loses the task, the women head back to their war room and Debbie immediately tries to clear the air with Teresa. Teresa informs us in confessional that she is NOT buying it! I have a STRONG feeling that we haven't seen the last of this!!! ;-)
Meanwhile, the men all do their best to stand by Michael's decision not to be project manager, but only Mr. Trump knows how truly upset the executives were not to have Andretti leading the task. As a businessman, Mr. Trump knows the value of a brand. The fact that the Andretti name was not associated with the task as much as it could have been really has him hot under the collar. So, when Adam falls on his sword and says he will not be bringing anyone back to the Boardroom to be fired, Mr. Trump can stand it no more. Like a judge vacating a verdict from a jury, Mr. Trump tells the men that he will be firing two people that evening and that everyone is on the line.
It's clear to me, at that point, that Mr. Trump is none too pleased with Michael's decision not to step up and that he is likely on the line to go. However, the general consensus amongst the men is that Lou was the weakest member of the team. In the lobby, we all tell him as much. He MUST stop offering only one trick if he wants to remain successful. (I secretly have a feeling that he will be with us next week, so I tell him that he better step up next week.)
Back in the Boardroom, Mr. Trump fires Adam right away. It seems to be a signal to all of us, that taking the bullet for the team's loss without bringing anyone back will not be tolerated.
Then, the pressure is on for Michael. Mr. Trump is clearly upset still that Michael had not been project manager. (What many of us know is that Michael had a HUGE amount of $$ ready to be donated during an upcoming fundraising task and was holding out to be project manager then, but I guess the lesson is... you gotta step up when the task is so perfectly suited to you.) Several of the men attempt to protect Michael (knowing he has the mother lode ready for a fundraiser), but Arsenio seems to be the only person smart enough to know that when the blood is in the water you might as well just get out of the shark's way. Arsenio co-signs Mr. Trump's opinion that Andretti is too big a name to not be attached to the project. Michael says goodbye.
It was a shock for Unanimous to lose two members in one sitting, and two smart ones at that. And maybe a lesson for future project managers not to fall on their swords... But maybe not!! ;-)
Tia, who Mr. Trump felt might be flying under the radar, will get a chance next week to exercise some control, but will Lou finally step up too?
Next week could "go viral" when someone finally loses their cool!! Wonder who it could be!! ;-)