Brent Buckman becomes the fifth 'The Apprentice 5' contestant fired
By Tim Andrews, 03/21/2006
Done in by his decision to pick a boardroom fight with his teammates despite the fact they did not appear to be targeting him as the reason for their loss, Brent Buckman, a 30-year-old attorney from Fort Lauderdale, FL, became the fifth contestant fired from the fifth edition of Donald Trump's The Apprentice.
The Apprentice 5's fourth episode began with Lenny Veltman and Tarek Saab returning from the boardroom session in which Theresa Boutross had been fired. Once back in the suite, Lenny and Tarek rocked their team by revealing that The Donald had cited Theresa's failure to bring Charmaine Hunt into the final boardroom as the main reason for her firing. Not only did the revelation appear to personally devastate Charmaine, but it also caused major unrest amongst the confidence shaken team.
The next morning, the teams met Trump at Trump Tower's Buffet & Grill, where he informed them that their fourth task would require them to make a billboard for Post Cerealís latest product, Grape Nuts Trail Mix Crunch. In order to prove herself to both her teammates and Trump, Charmaine volunteered to become the project manager for Gold Rush Corporation, while Tammy Trenta, a 33-year-old wealth manager from Edison, NJ, became the project manager for Synergy Corporation.
During their brainstorming session, Synergy decided that rather than go with the diet theme that Brent was pushing, it would instead implement the more interesting but somewhat complex theme of the passing the cereal from generation to generation. As the team worked, it became clear that Tammy was intent upon following the lead of Andrea Lake, last weekís successful project manager, and minimizing Brent's disruptive involvement in the task.
Ivanka Trump (filling in this week for Carolyn Kepcher) picked up on Tammy's decision to minimize Brent, as did several other Synergy members who lamented the fact that while the strategy might help the team succeed, it would also give them little ammunition to use against him should they loose the task and go to the boardroom. Undeterred, Brent continued to both press his ideas in front of the team and berate and complain about his fate in private confessionals.
Things appeared to be going a bit smoother at Gold Rush, with Charmaine rising to the occasion and using her previous week's near-fatal performance as motivation to minimize disruptions and keep the team focused on the task at hand. After some brainstorming, the team rallied around Bryce Gahagan's simple but eye catching suggestion of someone "chugging" a box of cereal because it was "that good." Charmaine's performance didn't go unnoticed by George Ross, who noted her ability to get and keep the high-strung team focused.
Once the teams had decided upon their ideas, they both went out into New York City to find people to act as models and put together the necessary graphical designs. With Tarek taking the lead, Gold Rush found a young woman who fit the "girl next door" image that the team was seeking within minutes. Synergy's casting took a bit longer, with the team unable to agree how old the "father" of the "daughter" that they'd already found should be. In the end, the team picked a 44-year-old man who looked younger than new father Donald Trump himself.
After selecting their models, the teams moved on to their creative designs, where Synergy's Andrea-led graphic design appeared to be a poor fit for the model photos that another portion of the team shot. Meanwhile Bryce began to have cold feet about the quality of his own "chugging it" concept that Synergy had adopted, attempting to distance himself from the project after it was clearly too late to do so. Rising to the challenge again, Charmaine refocused the team back on the task, making it clear that despite the concerns, the team now had to commit to executing the concept and not let any eleventh hour disappointment about the quality of their photos impact their confidence in the idea.
Despite their issues, both teams' billboards looked fairly good when they were presented. However Gold Rush's simpler design, along with their more concise presentation, pushed them to a clear victory as the Post executives noted that while Synergy's billboard was cluttered, Gold Rush's simple design was "brilliant."
As a reward for their victory, Gold Rush was sent to the kitchen of Jean-Georges a master chef who works in one of The Donald's restaurants. While there, Lenny's aggressive nature once again frustrated some of his teammates who thought it inappropriate that he had the audacity to think that he could add some more flair to the presentation of the chef's plate.
In the boardroom, Synergy appeared reluctant to blame their loss on little used Brent, focusing instead on Andreaís cluttered graphics and Seanís poor presentation. However Brent still choose to go on the offensive, insisting on bad-mouthing Tammy and the rest of his teammates even going so far as accusing Tammy of saying he was "too fat" to present the team's concept to Post's executives. Once the focus shifted away from the event itself, it was downhill for Brent. Although his team had delivered an overall weak performance, Brent's inability to work with his team overshadowed it all, causing Trump to fire him without even calling for a final boardroom session.
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