I was unable to write my blog last week for various reasons, but I am glad for the opportunity to combine Tasks 7 and 8 because they are a study in contrasts.
Task 7 Objective: To produce a 60-second silent film promoting Australian Gold Products
Task 8 Objective: To create an interactive travel expo for South African Tourism "What's your BIG 5?" featuring either Adventure or Romance
Going into Task #7, the five remaining Team Plan B members all knew that one of us would be sent to Team Power, and I had a feeling it would be me. As much as I had enjoyed being part of the winning team for five of the six tasks, I was really looking forward to changing things up a bit. I always love working with Trace, of course, but I was also really excited to work with Brande and Lil Jon who were the two people I most enjoyed hanging out with during the three press days before the teams were picked and the tasks began.I knew, however, that I DID NOT want to be the Project Manager for my first task with a new team. I had made that mistake my first day with Team Hydra during the eighth task of the first season of Celebrity Apprentice. I didn't really know the team dynamics or the work ethic of some of the players, and I ended up being fired. For my first task with Team Power, it was only right that either Trace or Brande stepped up as PM, since neither had been since the first task.
I can honestly say that the Australian Gold task was my favorite Celebrity Apprentice task EVER! As complicated as it was because of its many moving parts, the fates were on Team Power's side to make sure everything ran smoothly. There was a synergistic energy to the four of us, and once we all fell in love with Trace's idea of a caveman wandering through time until he discovered the colorful world of Australian Gold, there was no stopping us! Each of us played to our skill set and prioritized our time. In fact, Brande and I didn't even waste a precious minute buying swimwear at the recommended stores; we found a party store for props and costumes and put them together ourselves. And despite the fact that most of the city was still closed due to Hurricane Sandy, we were able to get the job done in record time. I was especially excited to be on a new team and have them win for the first time in five tasks. Lucky for me it involved skills with which I am familiar.
SOUTH AFRICAN TOURISM
Task 8 was the exact opposite of Task 7. From the beginning, Team Power was split as to which of the packages we wanted. Brande and I wanted Romance, but Lil Jon - the only one of us who had been to South Africa at that point - wanted Adventure, so we flipped the other team for it. Our resources were once again very limited, and most of the props we ordered over the phone sight unseen (what was listed on the website was in a flooded area) didn't even show up the day of the presentation. (In the case of the shark tank, only half of it did.) We were constantly in "Plan B" mode, even though we were Team Power. It was crazy. The task involved creating five different adventure experiences (golfing, surfing, zip-lining, shark cage diving and glamping aka glamour camping), which would have been hard enough to do outdoors. But I really knew we were doomed when we walked into that gorgeous monastic looking room and found out we couldn't move a table, a piano and an enormous pink rug! Filling the entire room, that rug made it impossible to do anything creative with zip-lining beyond a 15-foot narrow area. (Hard to create the Serengeti on something pink!) We had huge flat screen TVs set up at each station illustrating the experience, but it wasn't enough.
No doubt, besides hiring my son Nick to help set up the TVs (he's the one in the grey plaid shirt), the best part of the task for me was creating the brochure. The South African Tourism board really loved it, and they are, in fact, planning to use the design. They said they couldn't believe no one had thought of utilizing the logo that way before. As a result of this task, I was inspired to go to South Africa during Nick's spring break. I found the country to be safe, clean and extremely friendly. You can see my answer to "What's Your BIG 5?" here: http://fb.me/HLpnofSC
Brande Roderick is a very strong player and a wonderful project manager; she just had a very difficult task this time around. Not to take anything away from the other team, because what Penn created in that room was outstanding AND he had to deal with Gary Busey's lack of a taste filter. But I would be curious to know what he would have done for zip-lining, surfing and shark cage diving on an unworkable pink rug. I'm sure he would have had to call on real magic.
I'm just sorry we didn't use his trick coin for the toss.
Until next week!
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