Apprentice
One Hit Blunder

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Jacob Clifton: B | Grade It Now!
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Lesson Nine: Your Life Is Not The Truman Show

Trump: "Well...I've learned you're difficult." Clay fucking giggles like Trump's Hattie McDaniel chiding him about going after Ashley Wilkes when he should know better. "On so many teams you haven't gotten along, and you've taken these two people who have been stars, and all of a sudden they're, like, reduced to nothing." Clay sad.

Carolyn asks, "How long did you take to actually come up with your presentation?" and Randal smiles ruefully. Rebecca says she pitched framing the presentation as a story, and that Clay said they didn't want to hear a story, and played a fake violin, and said it was a sob story. Clay says the bio was important, but didn't overshadow other stuff, a snap which Carolyn catches beautifully: "So why didn't Jidé speak?" Rebecca's on that like a balalaika on the Putumayo Hour, all, "I wanted him to speak, Clay didn't want him to!" Trump upfronts whether that wasn't "a little stupid," and Clay says he wanted Jidé's voice to "come out of the music," and Carolyn nails him: "That's not the presentation! Who better to talk about the man's story than the man himself?" Having dug himself a little hole, Clay bravely, if lamely, defends it: "If that was a mistake on my part, I think it was one of very few small mistakes…" which, for future reference, works better when your team numbers more than three.

Carolyn brings up the poster, and Randal (Mark my words: what makes you rule is always what makes you suck!) immediately takes full and aggressive responsibility for that one. Trump asks whether that is not, in fact, a "firing-type mistake," and Randal has a full-on myocardial infarction, from which he quickly recovers: "It's not small, Mr. Trump." There is no pleading in his eyes, just acknowledgement and hope. Rebecca kind of ickily chimes in, "From my perspective, it 's a huge mistake. I have always considered Randal a star…" Which is, if you're reading the situation, not necessary. Trump's like, "Have you lost respect for The Randal?" and instead of equivocating, she gets all Rebecca: "On this task, I think Randal started to miss some of the main points." I'm not 100% about this task, although he did miss a biggie, but I think it's something that should have been said on the Star Wars task for sure. Randal makes a well-earned ouch face, and tells Trump he finds that "ridiculous."

Carolyn wonders exactly what Randal did on this task, correctly speaking, and he gives the lame-duck, too-late answer that it was his idea to have any kind of promotional materials at all. He and Trump agree that this hardly matters now, since they were pretty largely bad, but George reminds everyone that none of this is actually why Excel lost: "You didn't listen to the customer, didn't present what XM Café sells to the people. The audience didn't know what they were listening to." Randal again duffs it by offering that they "took a risk by challenging that sound," which makes him sound responsible for a decision that we've seen as being mostly Rebecca's fault. George: "You didn't take a risk, you committed suicide. Once you decide to change the format, you lose the audience." True, but only partially Randal's fault, if at all.

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Apprentice

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