Brian Mandelbaum and Marshawn Evans get fired from 'Apprentice 4'
By Tim Andrews, 11/11/2005
For the second time this season, Donald Trump fired multiple candidates after a The Apprentice 4 team lost a task. This time, it was Brian Mandelbaum, a 23-year-old New York City print company executive who lead his team to defeat due to poor time management, and Marshawn Evans a 26-year-old Atlanta law school graduate who backed out of her assigned task at the last minute.
The already tense return was further compounded when Adam Israelov, Alla Wartenberg, and Felisha Mason excluded Clay from the team's post-boardroom debriefing session and neither side appeared to make any attempt to clear the air and reduce tensions. Miraculously, the team would still manage to win the upcoming task, but moreso due to the other team's miserable showing than Capital Edge's own ability to resolve its team issues.
The assignment for this week's task was to make an in-store Best Buy display to promote the releases of Star Wars Episode III on DVD and the new Star Wars Battlefront 2 video game. At Capital Edge, Clay appointed himself project manager of the task despite some concern by his teammates. Meanwhile, Excel determined that no one other than Randal Pinkett, last week's winning project manager, had any knowledge of Star Wars (who would have guessed that Brian, Marshawn, and Rebecca Jarvis had all grown up living in caves in a galaxy far, far, away -- even Randal, a guy with five college degrees -- found time to get out once in a while!), leading to Brian reluctantly offering to lead the team.
After receiving their assignment, the teams' first point of business was to meet with the executives who would judge the presentation for direction on what they were hoping to accomplish. At Capital Edge, the team made good use of this time and had a productive meeting in which they covered the basic concepts about what the executives wanted. At Excel, things did not go as smoothly as Brian -- despite being from New York City -- made a critical error in time management and failed to allocate enough time for the cab ride over to the meeting location, a decision that cost his team the opportunity to spend any time with the executives who would judge the project and reduced his team's ability to be competitive on the task.
Back at Capital Edge, things weren't going very smoothly either, as Clay and Alla continually fought over the task's direction. But despite the conflict, the team was eventually able to put together a nice display that conveyed many of the themes emphasized during their meeting with the executives. Meanwhile Excel, having missed out on the meeting in which the themes were discussed, struggled to overcome their lack of direction and vision. To make matters worse, Marshawn backed out of presenting their display only thirty minutes before the presentation was to begin, forcing Rebecca (who was tired of listening to Marshawn and Brian's bickering) to instead step up and volunteer to give the presentation.
During Capital Edge's presentation, Clay continued his fight with Alla by not including her in the presentation and dismissing her comments when she made them. Given that the display had been largely designed and managed by Alla, not Clay, Clay's behavior understandably upset Alla and the other team members.
At Excel, Rebecca did as well as could be expected given her short amount of preparation, but it was clear that the team had missed the mark when they couldn't explain why a Star Wars Episode III display did not prominently feature Darth Vader, the movie franchise's main character. When the results were announced it was obvious to everyone that Capital Edge, despite their infighting, had designed the superior display and won the task. Afterward, in what has to be considered one of the worst rewards of this (or any) Apprentice season, the Capital Edge team was "treated" to a day with Bill Rancic, The Apprentice's first season winner.
In the boardroom, Brian was chastised for not allowing enough time to get the team to the meeting with the executives, and consequently failing to understand the objective of the task. Randal took some heat for the display as it was his primary contribution, but since he had earned an exemption from his team after last week's task win, his involvement was not a focus. Rebecca earned points with The Donald for stepping up at the last minute to present, so she also was given a pass for the team failure. That put the heat on Marshawn, who could not adequately explain why she backed out of her presenter role, and Brian, who continued to be unable to explain how he thought his team could possibly travel across town for their executive meeting in only fifteen minutes. Dissatisfied with both of their explanations, Trump cut short the boardroom session, firing Brian for incompetence and Marshawn for disloyalty.