CELEBRITY APPRENTICE 2- Nely Galan's Episode 2 Blog

This was a difficult show for me to watch, as I saw a lot of my own blind sightedness from last year. On the show, you are asked to perform a task where everything you need to know to win it is revealed upfront. However, it was often easy to lose sight of the mission when thrown into a room, and onto a team, with a lot of head-strong personalities. You are under all sorts of time constraints and have the added pressure of trying to manage a lot of crazy characters; and often clues on how to perform the task are missed purely due to the stress factor.

Episode 2 was also the same episode that I was Project Manager on during my season. The tasks were both very similar – to create a marketing piece for a big corporation. Last year our project was to produce a campaign for Pedigree Dog Food. In this instance, it was for ZAPPOS – the fabulous on-line apparel, shoe and accessories store.

In the briefing it was apparent that what the client wanted was simple: a brand extension utilizing a comic book character emphasizing Zappos’ dedication to customer service, while staying true to their corporate culture. The task required clear focus – nothing too difficult. Again, the projects assigned in both seasons were keep-it-simple tasks. However, it all comes down to handling your team and handling the pressure. My stomach hurt watching both Khloe’s and Scott’s teams over think the whole process and miss the boat. You could also see the signs of sleep depravation, no food, psycho behavior and illness creeping in.

And, like last year, I believe that the team with the better overall campaign lost. The men had a much better concept, but lost due to one small, but very crucial, component – naming their superhero EEE instead of coming up with a character whose name started with a “Z”! Come on, how obvious Zappos – Z! Hello! Branding 101. They would have won if they had just named their character EZZZZZEEE!

I think that Tom Green was poised to be the MVP of the men’s team, but his teammates pretty much threw him under the bus. He kept yelling “ZZZZZ” trying to steer the team in that direction – but no one listened. The infighting and poor time management only added fuel to the fire. Tom was clearly so exhausted in the boardroom that he did not defend himself properly. The truth is that Scott Hamilton is no Gene Simmons when it comes to branding. He’s not a “creative” and refused to listen to his team about alternate names, and therefore the greatest decision in the task ultimately fell on him, and he failed. (I, like Scott “over thunk” my task last season. The difference is that on our task we over delivered – overwhelming the client with much more than what they had requested. Luckily Trump did not fire me over my mistake which he could have, and probably should have. However, he axed me in a later episode where I did nothing wrong, but had to take the bullet for past transgressions anyway.

Thankfully the Trump family and Erin Burnett (the even-keeled voice of reason in the episode) were able to ascertain the truth, get to the core of the matter, and once again, justice was served… Scott Hamilton had to go. I’ll be curious to see what happens next week if Tom Green takes on the role of Project Manager. Hopefully Tom will get his proper due and his efforts and creativity will be rewarded, as I strongly believe that if his team had listened to him, they would have won this week’s challenge.

Now, on to the other players:

ATHENA (The Women’s Team)–
The most dislikable person in this episode was Melissa Rivers. I was surprised to see that she tried to take credit for something she had not done, and I know Joan raised her baby girl better than that. Maybe the pressure affected her judgment? I know it’s just a show and I know that it may sound weird; but when you are there and sequestered from all that you know and love, you tend to do things that you wouldn’t normally do for fear of getting fired and looking like a loser. Regardless, it was a bad move that could create bad blood!!

Joan Rivers is holding up like a trooper. She is solid as a rock – still my #1 pick.

Claudia Jordan is getting more air time (good for her) but she’s pushing herself too hard. She’s already getting sick, which tells you that she’s taking it way too seriously. (I can relate – been there!) Slow it down, Claudia, otherwise you will burn out quickly.

Annie Duke clearly isn’t liked by her team, but I love her no-nonsense approach, and think that she’s smart. Initially I thought she was going to make it to the end; however, now that I’ve seen the dynamics of the team at work, I’m betting that her teammates will bring her down and that she’s not high profile enough to warrant Donald saving her. I personally think that she’s one of the top three players, but I also think that she’s not long for this show.

Khloe Kardasian – performed okay as this week’s Project Manager for the women. I just don’t see her taking it to the next level. However, I do believe that she’ll hang in there for awhile as there is so much dead weight that will be kicked off the team before her.

T Boz – speaking of dead weight, I really wouldn’t miss her if she’s gone, as she’s not contributing at all.

Natalie Gulbis – has got to go, and I am sure she will soon. She’s playing her cards all wrong – acting aloof and undermining her team’s work in front of the client. Giant no-no! Luckily for her, her team keeps winning.

Brande Roderick I like her – she’s very intelligent. I think she also bought herself a hall pass when Trump admitted to having a past crush on her. A Playmate with a brain could be Donald Trump’s cup of tea. What I’m really looking forward to is seeing Brande and Joan go toe-to-toe. Joan is the only one I think who can bring her down.

KOTU (The Men’s Team)–
Clint Black – was unexpectedly mean and nasty. Wow! He’s got some issues. Good thing he doesn’t work in a real corporation – Human Resources would probably have him on speed dial. He very easily could have gone this week.

Dennis Rodman and Brian McKnight – waste of space and waste of talent. Why are you there? What are you contributing? I don’t like people who stay out of the fire in order to not get burned!

Herschel Walker I like him. He’s “alpha-strong” with no BS. However, I think he was unfair to Tom Green in this episode. He too, like Scott, is not a “creative” and didn’t get “it”. (This happens to creatives in corporations all the time – their contribution is dismissed, when in fact they hold the key to the puzzle.) At least Herschel threw Tom a bone in the boardroom and took some of the heat off of him, when Herschel mentioned Clint’s bad behavior.

Jesse James – saved the day. He was the one who initially brought to Trump’s attention Clint Black’s culpability in the task; thereby taking the emphasis off of Tom Green and forcing Trump to take a second look at Scott Hamilton’s issues. Bravo!! I can relate the most to Jesse on the show, and am really rooting for him. His strategic thinking and quiet brilliance could win it.

Hasta next week. I can’t wait!