Just when you thought things couldn't get more explosive and emotional...
And, who would have thought puppets and imaginary characters would bring so much out of people!?
I'll spare you the recap from this episode and just try to highlight some important points that I think may not be made clear in a two-hour episode.
Truth is, Lisa doesn't really yell that much! Ha ha! But when you have only 30 minutes to show all that happened in a full task, sometimes all you end up seeing is the dramatic parts. In fact, if a task takes 50 hours to complete, in that 50 hours, one might lose their temper for only 5-10 minutes.
However, when the show gets pared down and the task only takes 25 minutes, 10 minutes can sound like a lot. So, as emotional as she may seem, Lisa is a bit more stable than you might think. That said, she certainly went in on Dayana this week!
Here's the rub: As you have no doubt noticed over the course of this show, a lot of the tasks really require only a certain number of hands. Often times, the number of team members is far greater than the number of people needed to get things done. In situations like that, the project manager and a few team members end up coming up with the creative and making a lot of the decisions while other members must decide how they might best be utilized.
As a project manager, it can be difficult to come up with certain things for people to do. It can be even more difficult to deal with folks whose skills and hands aren't needed when they insist on being used somehow.
Let me give some examples:
During the O-Cedar mop task, we had to shoot a viral video. On Unanimous, since our video was only going to include Lou on camera, we had a lot of extra hands. Penn wrote the script; Dee directed and edited, and Arsenio and I found ways that we could be useful (but not get in the way). We shopped for props and wardrobe and we helped Lou with some of the direction. Paul Sr. came up with the "I'm Gonna Mop the Floor With You" tagline, but then found himself in the position of needing to decide whether to stay out of the way and be available if anything was needed or to try to insert himself into directing and shooting a video when he admitted that he knew very little about doing so. Paul made the choice to stand aside and be available to help, but not try to insert himself and be in the way. It's a risky choice. If we had lost, the argument could have been made that Paul did nothing. But had he tried to be one of "too many cooks in the kitchen," the argument could have been made that he was in the way and hindered our progress. We won that task, so it didn't matter. But had we lost, it probably would have been a good strategy on Paul's part that he was not a hindrance.
Other people don't make that choice. As we saw last week, Dayana and Lisa really had the commercial for Entertainment.com under control. But, Lou tried to insert himself a lot in to areas where he might not have been needed. That does little more than to remind a project manager that you have nothing to offer, and often makes you look worse.
In this week's task (and in previous ones), that has been Dayana's predicament. In a task where there could only be two puppeteers and one host (and Lisa had already assigned those roles) Dayana struggled to "look like" she was doing something instead of actually doing something. If I had been in her position, I'd like to think she would have jumped at the opportunity to be the "point person" on designing the puppets. (Something that I suggested a few times and she never latched on to). Taking a vocal role in doing something that Lisa had not really assigned to anyone would have given her a strong argument that she was instrumental in the task.
Of course, the reaction to her trying to "insert" herself was probably a case of the punishment not fitting the crime, but as the competition wears on, emotions get high and nerves get frazzled. Gotta hand it to Dayana. She really handles herself with grace and class. I can totally see why she won Miss Universe! (And, she is even hotter when she cries!) Also, props to Penn. I'm not sure that I would have said the best way to listen to someone's problems is to "just look at them," but he certainly seemed to be what Dayana needed, and my respect for him grew watching how he helped her out.
On to the task...
It certainly was an interesting one, and one that gave us a brief respite from the corporate or marketing type tasks that we had been subject to for the past weeks. As most of us were performers, it was nice to be able to do something a little bit closer to our wheelhouse.
We were told that we would be doing four different set-ups for our improv performance. In case the set-ups were unclear last night (they were to me, and I was there), they were as follows:
- Gibberish Translation set-up - The audience provided a foreign language and an obscure skill that someone might have extensive knowledge of. One performer was to speak in gibberish in the style of the given language. The other performer was to "translate" that gibberish into a speech about the given topic. The gibberish part was easy. All one had to do was make up sounds. The translation part was a beast, and I drew the short straw on that one. Fortunately, Lisa was very over the top with her gibberish, and Penn combined two topics from the audience to give me something very specific to work with.
- TV biography set-up - The audience provided a historical figure. One performer created the narration and guided what would be a biography of that person. The other performer had to act out whatever was made up by the narrator.
- Infomercial set-up - The audience provided a type of product line that might be sold on TV. Two performers together grabbed items we had never seen before out of a box and had to come up with what their purpose was within that given line of products. Penn helped us out by accepting the very broad suggestion of medicinal products. Unanimous' audience gave them a more specific product line: panty hose.
- Newscast set-up - The audience provided an obscure location and a strange breaking news story. Much like the biography set up, one performer played the newscaster and directed the questioning and the direction of the story while the other performer played the on-scene reporter and had to answer the questions asked by the anchor.
We had professional improv helpers in our group who were able to support us and play puppets, too. However, the rules stated that in every sketch at least one "celebrity" had to play a leading role. Lisa and I decided that it might be more difficult, but probably also better competitively, for us to use the professionals as little as possible. So, in every sketch, Lisa and I played both leading roles. Unanimous chose to rely pretty heavily on their professionals, which likely resulted in the judges believing that they played it too safe.
In the end, however, Paul's strategy of stepping back and letting others with the expertise do the heavy lifting didn't cut it this time. (Probably doesn't work as well when you're the project manager!) He went home when Unanimous lost and handed Forte their first win in SIX TASKS!!
For the record, I am now the person who has been on the winning team more than anyone else! #HOLLA ;-)
Lets see next week if Forte can keep the "success" alive.
It will be "The Battle of the Gingers - Part Two"
Don't miss it!