Chris Shelton becomes the twelfth 'Apprentice 3' contestant to be fired
By Tim Andrews, 04/15/2005
The Apprentice 3's Team Networth lost its seventh straight task during Thursday night's NBC broadcast of the show's twelfth episode, making Chris Shelton, a 22-year-old real estate investor from Las Vegas, Nevada, the latest Apprentice candidate to be fired.
Chris, a highly emotional contestant who made headlines over the weekend when he ran into trouble with the law, also ran into trouble in the boardroom of this week's episode. The timing of course was purely coincidental as The Apprentice was filmed last fall, but given the instability that Chris has shown on the show, perhaps knowing what was to happen had some effect on those actions. Regardless of the connection, Chris became the thirteenth contestant eliminated after failing as the project manager and ending up in the show's final boardroom for an unprecedented seventh time straight.
At the beginning of the episode, Networth, the team that was originally comprised of only high school educated contestants, was down to two members: Chris and college educated Alex Thomason. Since the teams were unbalanced, Donald Trump's first order of business was to tell Chris and Alex to select one of Magna's four remaining members to join them. After some brief discussion, the duo selected Bren Olswanger, an original Team Magna member.
Once the latest "corporate reshuffling" was out of the way, Trump revealed the details of the episode's task -- to design an advertising brochure for the Pontiac Solstice, a slick new two-seat sports car. Given her experience with print advertisements, Kendra volunteered to be Magna's project manager. Over on the all-male Networth, Chris (the final original member of Networth still on Team Networth) decided he wanted to prove himself worthy of still being in the competition, so he volunteered to be the project manager.
At Magna, things initially went smoothly as Kendra and Tana once again employed a winning strategy of running an informal focus group to get a feel for what the customers might be wanting. However, making use of that information and applying it to the brochure eventually proved difficult, as once again Craig and Kendra butted heads when Kendra was unable to explain her vision to Craig’s satisfaction. Things came to a somewhat heated conclusion when after working past midnight, both Tana and Craig left Kendra to finish the project alone so they could get some much-needed rest. With her teammates having abandoned her, Kendra worked through the night and, together with the Pontiac agency's design team, put together a simple but slick presentation with optional sections for adding multimedia later on.
Meanwhile, while working as more of a team, Team Networth encountered some issues of its own. Due to poor planning on Alex's part, Networth's indoor photo shoot failed to include many pictures of the car's interior. Not to be outdone, after assigning the responsibility for the car's exterior photo shoot to himself, Chris wound up taking too many unconventional photos -- a decision that when combined with Alex's poor indoor photo shoot management, would later leave Networth with limited brochure options. Not to be left out, Bren -- tasked with preparing the brochure's text -- opted for a very conservative approach, including numerous technical specification data that left the text very conventional and boring. In the end, Networth's brochure was technically sound but woefully uncreative -- leaving viewers with little doubt as to which design would ultimately win.
After the Pontiac executives confirmed that Magna had easily delivered the superior brochure and won the task, Trump told the team that they would receive the opportunity to spend some time with Isiah Thomas and some current New York Knicks basketball players at Madison Square Garden as their reward. With the court to themselves, they were able to shoot baskets and run through some drills with the Knicks GM and his players. How that relates to business isn't clear but it did look like fun.
In the boardroom, there was plenty of blame for all three of Networth's men, but ultimately The Donald was unable to get past the fact that Chris had lost yet again. After consulting with his associates he decided enough really was enough and this time while the others had not done well, none had really messed up worse than Chris, so he was fired. After the firing, the always emotional Chris broke down and could not help but cry -- a development that touched The Donald and prompted him to call Chris back in the boardroom and console him.