Hope you all enjoyed this week's Apprentice. The competition is getting tougher and we saw this week that some contestants have now resorted to playing dirty. One thing they should have known is that my father will not put up with cheaters. We have seen some real character flaws come out in the boardroom on occasion but this week, Anand surprised us all by lying right to my father's face. It was only when his text messages were read outloud that he owned up to what he had done. Anand texted people to bring money to his tasks and told his "friends" to pretend they didn't know him - a clear violation of the rules. Anand's actions were not only very disappointing to my father, Ivanka and I, but also to his teammates. It was tough to see a smart guy decide to make up his own rules - and it ultimately cost him not only his spot on the show but also the respect of many. I hope that he learned a valuable lesson.
The teams had to recover quickly as they had a task ahead. They were now getting involved in the fragrance business. This industry is a $5 billion dollar industry and the teams were tasked with designing and constructing in store displays for a new fragrance by Kim Kardashian. The displays would be put to work in the largest specialty retailer of the celebrity fragrance world, Perfumania.
Clint decided to show his feminine side and step up to lead the team. Fortitude, which due to Anands sudden departure, now consisted of Poppy, Liza and Stephanie. Poppy volunteered to lead the team and was very excited about the task. Stephanie was less than thrilled to work with "Dumb and Dumber" as she so nicely referred to her teamates. I must say that's a classic and hilarious movie. Would I want Harry and Lloyd on my team during a competition? Probably not!
The teams broke off and began at drawing board. It seemed like some of the concepts that Fortitude were coming up with, they may need to borrow crayons and dress up clothes from my 4-year old daughter. The ladies decided to make their display sparkle and shine with sequins and boas decorating their giant image of Kim Kardashian. While their creativity was certainly evident, I wasn't sure this was the look Kim or Perfumania would be going for. Liza expressed that they wanted the display to look expensive and glamorous. Poppy, the PM, had the highly over used word "bling" stuck in her head. I was looking forward to seeing how this would turn out.
Meanwhile, Octane was moving full force, Clint was right at home taking on the construction side of the task. With his previous experience and skill set, this was the perfect job for him. The dynamics between the team seemed very strong, especially between Clint and Steuart. There was, however, added pressure on Brandy as the resident female in the group and this being a perfume task. I could sense Brandy's intimation and hesitation in speaking up. She guarded her opinions as she knew if things went wrong, she would be the one left accountable. This is an important business trait that young professionals often struggle with - the conflict of being nervous, therefore loosing confidence in their abilities. I think this comes with time and experience in knowing that some mistakes or gambles, while tough to handle, can often lead to the best outcomes or learning experiences.
It was now the moment of truth - presentation time. The ladies display was up and there wasn't an ounce of space for another sparkle, ribbon or piece of glitter. Poppy prided herself on attention to detail which I believe is an important attribute, however she may have taken their theme a little to far and essentially "over done" it. I was looking forward to how it would be received. The judges arrived and, little did they know, in addition to Steven from Perfumania, Kim Kardashian herself would be judging. The pressure was on! Kim arrived and you could tell that Poppy was very excited. Their overall presentation was enthusiastic but lacked an explanation as to their concept and why would work be a great addition to Perfumania. Stephanie jumped in and tried to focus the attention on why having a life-size photo of Kim would be a great attraction for the store. Kim and Steven enjoyed their display very much but were off to check out the competition.
Octane's display looked great and it was clear that their initial vision was executed very well. The light boxes highlighted the perfume and the colors they used were very complementary. The team overall was very proud of their work and were looking forward to the judges reaction. Clint, in his usual fashion, greeted Kim and Steven very warmly. Although maybe not the best analogy, it was very funny when he said that Kim's image would "lure them in like a bug light." The team delivered their presentation very well to Kim and Steven, explaining all of the elements of their display. It was job well done to both teams and now it was time for the boardroom so we could find out the results.
When I delivered the news to Fortitude, our judges had the same reaction as Clint, which is they thought that ladies display looked cheap. They felt it was very juvenile and did not exude the level of luxury Kim was looking for. The judges felt very strongly about Octane's display. They loved the color choice and the clean look. It was definitely a hands-down win for Clint, Brandy and Steuart. The ladies were left battling it out, claws out of course.
Poppy was the Project Manager and her lack of speaking up and taking ownership of the task was disappointing. She didn't fight to keep her place in the boardroom. She never really explained why she should stay in the game but rather tried to point to who should be fired. I understand that while in the boardroom the question as to who should be fired is often asked, however I think it's so important to prove to my father, Ivanka and I why you should continue to stay. The elements of the task which were tacky and not liked by the judges were Poppy's ideas and she was ultimately left accountable and fired. We wish her the best of luck going forward though.
Hope you enjoyed the episode, looking forward to next week already! Please continue to share your comments via twitter (www.twitter.com/donaldjtrumpjr) and here on the blog. Have a great weekend!