This fall’s “The Apprentice” has been a major ratings dud, drawing fewer than four million viewers a week on Thursday nights on NBC. The concept of watching unemployed people battle for a job with Donald Trump clearly has not resonated in this recession.
Based on what the few viewers have seen, Fayetteville-based unemployed publicist Kelly Smith Beaty didn’t get much airtime until the fourth episode. And she was axed during last week’s episode by Trump after leading her female team to defeat selling pedicab rides in Manhattan.
Her big snafu: letting Stephanie Castagnier and Mahsa Saeidi-Azcuy decide to do pedicab rides on Wall Street instead of a more heavily tourist area such as Times Square or Rockefeller Center. “I had reservations but I should have been more aggressive saying it wasn’t a good idea,” she said. The “babes on bikes” concept also lacked originality though Beaty said it was “cute. It was thematic. It worked.”
In comparison, the guys, wearing Roman gear, killed the ladies by picking a better concept and locale.
Overall, Beaty said she found the experience “amazing,” but was disappointed much of her strategic vision was left on the cutting floor. “This season didn’t show as much of the strategy of how we got to the task,” she said. “You see a few seconds, then the execution of the task. It takes a long time to pull it together. Where I was most instrumental was how we got there. I’m a strategist by trade. That’s where I was most instrumental to my team.”
She also wasn’t cutthroat or nasty, so she didn’t get the airtime Mahsa or often unhinged Dave got.
During episode five, she decided to be project manager, which she knew brought great risk and great reward. The project manager is frequently eliminated if they lose. She lost the gamble.
From a drama standpoint, we did see her argue at the start of episode five last week with Liza for not telling her about a model who had scabs on his legs during the previous week’s fashion show challenge. The guys, though, did so poorly, it didn’t matter. Overall, Kelly did a fine job organizing that event.
Right now, she is still looking for a job but is close to getting one, she said. “I’m really excited,” she said. “Keeping my fingers crossed.”
“The Apprentice,” 10 p.m. on NBC