The Apprentice 2010: Task 4 Performance Review

Each week as contestants compete for a $250,000 job contract, get the leadership lessons you can use to succeed

That said, the person I would have axed never even had to face Trump’s firing line: Brandy. It’s true that Tyana should have thrown out some alternative ideas when she realized that Brandy’s was fatally flawed, but her failure to do so is not why her team lost the task. Besides, the entire team was arrayed against Tyana and Mahsa effectively blocked her input by sending her (along with Poppy and Liza) out for supplies on Day 1 of the task. By Day 2, when Mahsa decided to directly involve Tyana on the task, it was too late for her to make a difference, even if she wasn’t so obviously convinced of Fortitude’s impending defeat. Bottom line: Fortitude lost the task because of a bad concept, and that concept was Brandy’s idea–as she would have been quick to claim had Fortitude won.

Interim Evaluations of the Black Candidates: Gene was impressive on this task. He came up with the popcorn food-fight idea that was the basis for the public spectacle that won this task. See what Gene had to say as a surprise guest at last night’s live chat at

I don't get why, as a public relations pro, Kelly didn't see that Tyana was right about Fortitude's concept.

We got to see and hear much more from Kelly on this task; she comes off as professional, polished, hard-working and cool under fire. However, I was surprised (and somewhat disappointed) that she, as a public relations pro, did not recognize that Tyana was right–Fortitude’s concept was not a guerilla marketing video stunt, but a standard commercial. Had Kelly agreed with Tyana and come up with an idea that truly fit the client’s request, I believe she’d have stood out as a star in this talent pool, no matter how her team fared on this task.

Liza is a mystery to me at this point. She worked hard on the task, which is good. She defended a weak, losing concept–not so good. She correctly pointed out that Mahsa excluded her, Tyana and Poppy during the creative development of their concept on Day 1 of the task, but threw Tyana under the bus anyway. Mahsa rewarded Liza by bring her along to Trump’s firing line anyway. In the end, once Tyana got the axe, she walked hand-in-hand with Mahsa away from the boardroom–just as Tyana had done with Mahsa when Nicole Chiu was fired after Task 1. Part of me believes Liza is smart and tough enough to become Trump’s next apprentice. Part of me says I should add her to my “Dead Men Walking” list.

Dead Men Walking: David stays on this list of job candidates who have no chance of becoming Trump’s next apprentice; only his broken tooth prevented him from playing his usual role of disruptive basket case this week. Project Manager Clint was so thrilled he practically offered to drive David to the dentist. (Remember when Omarosa got hit in the head by falling plaster during the first season of The Apprentice?) I’m also keeping Mahsa on the list, despite her doing a fair job of managing her team in the execution of a flawed concept. (Mahsa, via Twitter, has assured me that I’ll be eating my words).

So, you know what I think: Tyana got a raw deal. Liza has me totally confused. And Brandy should have been fired. Do you agree? Why or why not? And what business lessons did you take away from this task? Leave a comment and let’s talk about it!

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  • I, too believe that Tyana got a raw deal and in my opinion probably shouldn’t have been fired-at least not based on her performance (or lack thereof) on the task. But I have to disagree about Brandy. I would have definitely fired Mahsa. She planned all along to pin a possible loss on Tyana. First by sending her out shopping (hoping that she could implicate her for lack of involvement), then after second thought, involving her at the very end so that she could blame her for any creative failure. Yes Brandy suggested the concept (something the entire team is charged with doing)but the lack of effective execution falls directly on Mahsa. Coming up with the concept alone isn’t grounds for dismissal. In fact, the customer actually liked the concept. It was the lack of creativity and “bigness” that ultimately did them in. I like the fact that you decide who will be fired prior to the boardroom scene & it adds a very interesting element to your posts. I usually decide during the boardroom session because I think its important to see how a person defends their position, decisions, etc. in the face of all the pressure.

    Liza left me puzzled also. She didn’t just throw Tyana under the bus, she got on the bus, put the key in the ignition and drove it over her! That was a strategic error that I believe will ultimately lead to her professional (at least in the Trump organization) demise. She had the opportunity to get Mahsa fired. Throwing Tyana under the bus was NOT going to keep Liza out of the boardroom but it WOULD have given her & Tyana the opportunity to double team Mahsa. If done effectively, the team bully & self-proclaimed “tough” girl would be gone and maybe, just maybe the reality of it all would have helped crumble some of the stupid alliances on that team. Instead, Tyana cowered under the attack from “pitbull” Mahsa & “all over the place” Liza and did something that we all know will get you a swift cab ride to the airport-she failed to effectively defend herself.

    It’s unfortunate that Tyana & Liza couldn’t see how they could have collaborated to strengthen their respective positions on the team. They had everything going for them: a weak defense from Mahsa, proof that she dismissed them initially, her failure as a PM & a mutual lack of respect for her. And they blew it. Tyana is gone & its only a matter of time for Liza as she helped one of her only potential allies get fired. And about Liza, I hate to say it, but she’s looking more & more like the professional version of Vinny Barbarino to me,(“What?” “Where?” “Why?”) I don’t think she has a clue! No strategy or plan…just all over the place. It’ll be interesting to see her as PM. I’ll be watching! BTW: Will we see more of Kelly? What gives?

  • Alfred Edmond Jr.

    Via Twitter today, Tyana shared that, contrary to the impression given during the Task 4 episode of The Apprentice, she did offer an alternative to the losing concept embrace by her Fortitude teammates, and that even Trump praised the idea when he found out about it. She says that her suggestion was edited out of the show. (Kelly says most of her contributions on the tasks to date have also failed to make it into the final cut.) Tyana says she talks about her idea during her exit interview. Here’s the link to her exit interview video:

  • Calvin J. Adolph

    I wholeheartedly agree with Nichole’s last paragraph. It was apparent that the women are afraid of Mahsa, so much that they would rather turn upon each other than face her. In a fair game it is always decided that the losing PM would receive the axe, but Mahsa fully recognizes that this is a game and is not fair. She talks over every body so that her words are the only ones heard. Her “big” comment about Tyanna would have easily justified her falling under my axe. David is the court jester for this season and will be around for a long time as a result. Even if her best comments were laying on the cutting room floor, I don’t believe there is such a thing as an unemployed public relations “pro”. Especially after reading about several in BE, I believe that all you have to do is hang out your shingle and you’re in business again. What’s most disappointing to me is it seems there will never be a “black” alliance. All three contestants seem to run away from that and, therefore, it becomes glaringly obvious that they will never make it to the final two on their own. The apprentice will be a woman; I’m just not sure which one will it be.

  • Sharon Jackson

    I must open with my raging disappointment with Liza’s choice to kneel down and kiss Mahsa’s ring. Liza clearly sees that she is outnumbered and that the majority of the ladies want to see her go. I wanted Liza to stand her ground and express her dissatisfaction with Mahsa’s leadership without bowing out of the fight – showing that she is clearly afraid of her. Now, Liza looks like a wobbler which no executive should ever look like, in my opinion.

    That said, I think Tyana got a raw deal. The task was not lost because of Tyana, but because of Mahsa’s execution as PM. I do not think Brandy should have been fired for coming up with the concept. The concept was a good one that did not go far enough thanks to the direction of Mahsa. Mahsa repeatedly toned down the “commercial” and was glad to direct the entire fiasco herself. Mahsa should have been fired.

    I was disappointed in Kelly. It appears to me that the goal for most of the ladies is not to anger the stronger personalities of Fortitude. No one is willing (Kelly and now Liza included) to go up against the stronger ladies (with the exception of Tyana) for fear of retribution. I hope Kelly shows us soon that she is not a follower, but is willing to possibly do battle with the stronger personalities of her team who have a chokehold of fear on the ladies.

    Mahsa is a pitbull and I can tell that Ivanka is growing steadily tired of that persona. Mahsa’s strategy lies in how she feels about you personally. If she likes you, you are then worthy of her vote of approval. If she dislikes you, watch out! I cannot wait to see how Mahsa and Stephanie get along with Stephanie, another strong personality, as PM. Clash is not the word!

    I was amazed how Octane sailed along. I too thought the idea of hitting people with popcorn bags could be viewed as “violent.” Octane’s video was at least funny and most importantly, was a true viral video.

    David cannot help himself. His constant insubordination brings drama to the show and that will keep him around longer than I’m sure any of us would like.

  • Porcupyn

    I agree with your dislike of Mahsa and your assessment of her, but somehow I disagree that she is part of the Dead Men Walking. Something (the tweets that you are referring to, maybe?) tells me that she might hang around with Clint and Anand to the very end.

    If it was up to me, I would have fired Mahsa already (in this episode). It is obvious that she was smarting from having to take care of those dogs in the previous episode that she decided to move Tyana very conveniently out of the way during the design phase, then bring her into the firing line after the loss.

    Also, I believe that your opinion of her (Mahsa) might have gone a sea change by now, seeing how she has supported Gene. Am I right?

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