Apprentice
Season 6 Decision Time

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Jacob Clifton: B- | Grade It Now!
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Lessons Learned

He goes after Angela instead, his "champion," and notes that she's worked with all four of the Arrow folks at this point. Which is funny, because that totally applies to over half of them, but you know what he means: she jumped from Kinetic and dealt with The Things About Arrow in the final task. Her makeup's, as I said, totally weird-looking, her hair is kind of weird too, but that smile, you can't paint over that gorgeous smile. So she tells Trump that working with the Final Four at different points has been "interesting," but that beyond James and Stefani, i.e., "the actual contenders here," she won't bother to choose. Just as long as there's no Nicole or Frank left standing. And she smiles that gorgeous smile again. And actually, her hair's totally working for me now.

You know, many theories have been advanced as to why I constantly talk about how good or bad everybody looks on this show, as I've always done. There are several reasons. The first is that the importance of image in business, Martin, cannot be overstated. Pretending this is a job interview means looking at them as potential employees, and first impressions are all you have, so calling attention to what works and doesn't in this context is more important for this show than even on American Idol. The second is that the only thing I've ever found interesting in this show is personal dynamic and body language, and that's something that comes up throughout the process. Your initial social position in the group -- and sometimes, like this year, your perceived leadership ability -- is determined by the image we project, and that's a sum total of whatever God gave you, and however you compensate for it. Throughout the competition, you judge your fellows by how well they weather the process, how closely they adhere to the possibility of perfection, and not only that, but remember that what took three or four months for us to see took them six weeks to film, so it's not like they had time to notice Nicole's pretty doll-eyes, or Kristine's witty mouth, or Derek's lovely ears and brow, like you do after months of knowing somebody. I'm sure even Brent and Markus had things, though we never ever saw them, that made them less awful to look at.

So in that cramped timeline, I'm saying those impressions stick around for them too, and it affects the process itself, because it relies on trust. Also, that "put together" as an attribute trumps absolutely everything else, because of the strength, intelligence and confidence it implies. Nicole's hotness is totally variable depending on what she's wearing, because a well-crafted appearance can do anything; the reason Kristine's skin issue gets little to no comment from me or anybody else is because the girl knows how to work it. (While the reason she's posing for Playboy is because she's awesome.) The last reason is that, as much as we joke about these recaps being didactic or instructional, I do think that you can base a lot of intuition about people based on reading their appearance and body language, and it's my belief that you can train yourself in this ability, and I feel like I've got a pretty good track record with my assumptions about most of the contestants, so it interests me on that level, because somebody's objective physicality doesn't really factor in once you get keyed into what they're all about, and often the contents of books, as you read them, changes what the cover looks like. Sometimes dramatically. Also interesting to me. But mostly and finally, the reason I talk about everybody's hotness quotient all the time like it's some kind of Sexy Wall Street journalism is because this show is for shit, and it's not like they hand out prizes for watching it, so lots of times eye candy is all you get.

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Apprentice

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