Ivanka Trump blogs 'The Apprentice': Episode 3

Ivanka-TrumpImage Credit: Virginia Sherwood/NBCIt’s Week 3 of The Apprentice – and I am happy to be back in the boardroom, watching the contestants duke it out on this week’s task! As each week progresses, the stakes are getting higher, and we’re seeing more passion from everyone – which means we are definitely going to see some great television. My father’s key piece of advice has always been to be passionate about what you do and I think that the contestants are beginning to realize that they have to put their hearts and souls into every task. Speaking of which, one of the most successful people in America – Jack Welch – met with Poppy, the winner of last week’s task Let’s see how it went….

An Outstanding Reward
Poppy was extremely enthusiastic about meeting Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric. She knew that meeting one of the most influential businessmen in the United States was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, calling it an “outstanding reward.” After their meeting, Jack was obviously impressed with her leadership and enthusiasm, offering her an additional reward – complimentary classes at his online business school. I’m sure that they will help Poppy in building a promising career.

It’s a Dog’s World
The assignment this week was a little out of the ordinary for The Apprentice. It’s enough for our contestants to deal with each other, but add some animals in the mix and it’s a recipe for high stress and conflict!

This week’s task was to run a hotel & spa for dogs. In New York City, pet spas and hotels are a lucrative business – New Yorkers are so busy that they are willing to pay for many services that people would normally do themselves, so these spas are quite in demand.

Don delivered the parameters that the task would be judged on – execution of responsibilities, creativity in devising a “value add,” sustainability of that value add, and overall experience. To add more pressure, the country’s top canine expert, Cesar Millan, the famed “dog whisperer,” would visit the two teams’ spa/hotels and provide his expert opinion.

James was chosen as Octane’s project manager and Tyana headed up the Fortitude team. Both had been controversial during the past two tasks, so the proverbial fur was sure to fly!

Like Nails on a Chalkboard
It was clear from the very beginning of the task that David’s agenda was to get James fired. After last week’s boardroom, we knew two things – David had it in for James and David’s temper was going to boil over. They started off the task without any sense of civility or respect for one another; the dynamic was terrible from the beginning. David rolled his eyes at everything James said, and James wouldn’t allow David to ask questions. I found it unprofessional on both sides. Things came to a head when David tried to make nails out of binder clips and James benched him for the rest of the task, which in my opinion was David’s ultimate goal. That was James’ first fatal error. David said he was looking forward to the boardroom, and I am sure that he was eager to throw James under the bus.

Fatal Error #2 was James’ inability to reprioritize. It was shocking to me that he asked the owner of the spa to wait for him to finish the meeting he was in prior to conferring with them. Not to mention disrespectful, it was a waste of the spa owner’s time, as well as a waste of a terrific resource.

Not a Banner Day
After seeing Mahsa and Tyana unify against Nicole in the first episode – I was surprised to see them argue as vehemently as they did regarding who would take the receptionist position. After singing each other’s praises in the past two episodes, their claws really came out! Perhaps Mahsa was trying to throw the attention off of herself and her fear of dogs by calling Tyana a weak leader. Interesting tactic.

Liza was another target on the women’s team. After last week’s outbursts after the boardroom, when she repeatedly attacked Poppy, it was evident that she had a temper. This week, the team thought that her overly emotional reactions and slow work pace made her weak, inefficient and ineffective. I have to say, it shouldn’t have taken her all day to create the spa banners. If she was on my team, I too would have been annoyed.

The Dog Whisperer
The “value adds” were a big part of the task. I thought that Fortitude was very smart to come up with Tail Wag Tuesdays when they discovered Tuesdays are typically the slowest day for dog spas. Their value add program included the usual services plus a photo of the dog with a report card on back. In my opinion, this was a good way to remind an owner of the personal care that they received at the spa. Cesar Millan was impressed, and truly liked the photo/report card idea. He also liked the team’s overall energy and team effort. Well done, Fortitude.

Cesar also liked Octane’s video camera concept. He felt the men’s team made the entire dog spa experience feel very personal, and thought that it would make an owner “feel part of the event.” He thought that this would be a great way to bring in many pet owners. When it came down to his critique of the team, however, he noticed that there were too many leaders in one pack. Is it me or is being an alpha dog (pun intended) a typical male problem?

The Boardroom
Fortitude may have had some personal problems to deal with at the beginning of the episode, but they really kept it together for this task. Liza was the weak link, but in terms of the overall task, Fortitude was a clear winner and it was nice to see them win as a team. As a reward for bringing everyone together and executing well, lucky Tyana gets to meet with Russell Simmons, the most well respected hip-hop mogul in the country and the creator of the world famous Def Jam and Phat Farm companies. Russell is a fantastic person and a great mentor – he illustrated this when he wrote a great segment titled “On Giving” in my book, The Trump Card. His viewpoint, as he wrote in my book, is that every young person should start their career from a place of strength – a good motto in these tough times. His advice is priceless and I am sure that Tyana will learn a lot from him.

Fire #3
Octane’s loss was not predictable – but who was brought to the boardroom was. Although David has a propensity toward immaturity as he constantly rolls his eyes and smirks, James as Project Manager was in the hot seat. As I mentioned before, James made two fatal errors – he shut David down (not giving him the opportunity to mess up for himself) and he was disrespectful to the owner of the spa. Wasting someone’s time, especially when that someone is the client, is not acceptable in any situation. In addition to David, James received negative feedback from all of his team members, making Don question whether his “air of elitism” was not to blame. In the end, David’s temper was unnecessary, but James was truly alienating to everyone, including the spa owner. James was fired but I am sure that he’ll do well under different circumstances. I wish him the best.

Enjoy your weekend, and I look forward to seeing you in the Boardroom next week!

For More of Your Apprentice Fix
If you need more of your Apprentice fix, and want additional behind the scenes info, LIKE my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/IvankaTrump

If you want advice from visionaries such as Russell Simmons, find out more about my book, The Trump Card at http://www.thetrumpcardbook.com

Comments (55 total) Add your comment
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  • simboopix

    Interesting how the teams tear at each other bfore they even know whether they won or lost the task!
    Love the ending of the show when you bring us up-to-date on what the “fired” contestant is doing now. James “air of elitism” seems a perfect fit for his new position. Thanks for the blog!

    • Gino

      The only reason David is still around is because he adds interest to the show. Donald would never hire him. DAVID IS A DOUCHE! He will get hit eventually.

      • Mark

        100% agree. I’d say he will stick around as an entertainment factor, which Donald Trump surely needs to keep.

      • maggie h

        totally agree he is there for entertainment to get people ticked off so they keep watching till he gets the boot, I think James is better off out of there, I think David was intimidated by the education,

  • Blake

    David should have gone. He’s psycho.

  • Harry

    I was disappointed in the firing of James. He may have had a few minor issues, but the whole dynamic of the team was run by David. David intentionally tried to get his team to lose, because of his juvenile chip-on-the-shoulder over an ivy leaguer. Won’t see much of them in Trump organization, will he (sarcasm)? Would the Don have kept him employed (presuming he is a future employee) acting like that? Doubt it. Does the rest of the team understand that he sabotaged all of them? Is David so unprofessional and immature that he can’t set aside his childish emotions for the good of the team? Clearly this is about ratings for the Don.
    I would say James was within his rights to put the shop ownwer on hold at the meeting. Its totally disrespectful for anyone to walk into a meeting a expect everything to stop like that. The owner could and should have approached the meeting and let them know they should do the “thing” as soon as they could break. Also its one thing to lead mature teammates, and another to babysit a tantrum driven child (David). Don could have fired James if he didn’t like his style, but he could have and definately should have admonished David for his tantrum and fired him too for intentionally undermining the whole team


      That is true He is a problem to work with/

    • Queen Mamalou

      You are correct and all of these things are exactly why this “reality” show is so unreal that it is losing me. It’s becoming a joke that Trump will always fall for the setup, instead of having insight and good judgement.



    • marie antoinette truoccolo

      As the Dr of Xtreme transformational journeys it sounds like the Storming process is in full motion all the alpha’s havin a baby tantrum – by the way Moron CEO Ergen dish network screwed with my programming so I can’t even watch the show

  • Jethro

    David clearly has Tourette’s Syndrome. If he had worked for me and would role his eyes, talk over me, disrespect a co-worker and continue to ignore others in the room would have been fired long before the 3rd. episode.

    He needs to go!

    • Dolly

      Who in the business world would they get to mentor David? The head guy at a leading psychiatric hospital? “Oh David, we have just the person for you! Luckily Dr. So-n-So has agreed to take you under his wing.”

  • Time_after_Time

    Thanks for your inside perspectiveness on why James was fired. However, I beg to differ with your statement … “David rolled his eyes at everything James said, and James wouldn’t allow David to ask questions. I found it unprofessional on both sides.” True, David did roll his eyes at everything David said (and at how many other people), but on the contrary James was not unprofessional by cutting David short of asking his insignificant question at that particular moment. I thought James showed excellent leadership and control over David, but unfortunately not of the task as a whole. Once again, thanks for the insightful blog.

  • jan shumaker

    David should have been fired. He was out to ruin the task from the start – and then point the finger at James. James was not as bad a leader as they made him out to be. He was just the scapegoat for everyone. DAVID NEEDS TO GO. He is IMMATURE, DISRESPECTFUL, and his EGO needs to be put in check.

  • Diamond Girl

    I agree with those posters that say David should have been fired. I would never put up with David’s insubordinate actions. He clearly intended from the very start to sabotage James and the project, putting his whole team in jeopardy. David is a real jerk. I don’t understand the hate for James. He seems like a quiet, truly educated guy. He kept his temper mostly, which was very hard dealing with that immature David.

  • Ron

    Sorry Ivanka, I don’t agree with your analysis of James. James had several strikes against him from the git go: Alex, Anand, David, Gene, Stuart, Wade … you catch my drift. The ‘team’ had already decided that James was going to be the scapegoat long before this task, and the Trumps bought into their ‘Lord of the Flies’ mentality, hook line and sinker. I don’t see how James was disrespectful at all. How could you expect James to manage while he was babysitting an unruly 5 year old. Place every future project manager in a similar situation to level the playing field, and see how well they fare. Try managing a task yourself with a ‘David’ in tow as liability and see successful you are. It’s always easier to manage when you hold a position of power, and are able to control all the variables of the situation. James never got a chance to establish his own integrity with this team, because from the very beginning he was castigated by the bully David with marked disdain. James was the only one to stand up to David. He has cajones, and did not resort to tit for tat tactics as David did/does. James is better off no longer having to endure the type of spiritual abuse that he encountered as part of this ‘show’.

  • Jon

    This is annoying. I am seeing something different than you, Ivanka. David and James are not on equal footing. Clearly James was trying to ruin James from the start. If you had an employee at your organization acting like he did, saying the things that he did, would you really want him around? It is all there on the tape. Rewatch it. Who would you rather work with? James did fair, but I give him credit, because most people had it out for him, with David’s big mouth being the thing that made it worse. Obviously David is never going to be hired, so the smart thing would’ve been to have fired both of them. David is a bully, a blowhard, and worse–a guy who actually thinks he has a shot with your compnay. Put him out of his misery. What was funny was your brother calling him an Elitist. Irony.

  • Brandon

    We must not have seen something. Or, more likely, David was spared because his antics are more likely to make for interesting television.

    But, James did what I’ve been waiting through every installment of The Apprentice for someone to do – bench someone from the task. I’ve always wondered why PMs that have people “working for them” who cause nothing but trouble never just tell that person to go away. Not every employee can be managed and, given the whole “You’re fired” premise of the show, apparently Trump has to subscribe to that theory. James benching David was one of the smartest things a PM has done on that show.

    I guess, ultimately, the failure of the task overall lied with James, but I was surprised that almost everyone else seemed to support David. James certainly made a critical mistake by ignoring the owner of the dog spa. That was really the only mistake that was aired. Everything else was his team basically sabotaging him.

  • sissy

    David has some serious emotional problems. He is scary with his outbursts. He needs to go before he confronts the wrong person.

  • Debster

    Just once, I’d like to see you and/or Don Jr. disagree with your Dad…the only one who had the guts to was Trace Adkins and I loved it.

  • Robby

    I Thought David should be fired.. Until James brought Wade into the boardroom! What an idiotic move! (although I lost respect for Wade when hetold james not to let the door hit his ass on the way out.. Who says that?) anyways james should have brought gene into the boardroom for this reason: he could have pitched how David has been a problem on every task. He was the main source of conflict on tad one when gene was PM, he lost as PM on the second task, and he was completely insubbordinate and unprofessional the second task.

    • April

      Gene (with a capital “G”) is not the reason they lost the task. Pay attention! That would be an even more stupid reason to bring someone into the boardroom. You’re supposed to bring the two people who lack of performance contributed to the loss. Not to vouch why someone should be fired.

      • Robby

        Ummmmm Wades webcam idea was there only highlight on this task… I’m just saying he would have stood a better chance bringing someone into the boardroom who could vouch for how disruptive David is… There was Noone on that team who was on james’s side, so he might as well haw brought someone in to help him prove his point.

  • Judy

    David is scary. Really scary. With his temper and lack of reasonable thought it is surprising he is not in prison instead of on the Apprentice. I hope that at some point it is pointed out how completely horrible and inappropriate his reactions are. I hate my kids thinking this is an appropriate way to act at work with a “boss”. He was so disrespectful. I would think he is just as disrespectful and angry within his family life. I would be scared to be in the same room with his temper.

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