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Jennifer Wallen becomes the third 'Apprentice 4' contestant fired


By Tim Andrews, 10/07/2005 

Jennifer Wallen, a 31-year-old realty company owner from Anthem, Arizona, became the third contestant fired on The Apprentice after being put in charge of the planning the décor and catering of the this week's task and failing miserably.

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Last night's NBC broadcast of The Apprentice 4's third episode began with the uncomfortable return of Markus Garrison from last week's final boardroom session. In a show of support, Markus' all-male Excel team held an impromptu meeting intended to clear the air and give Markus a fresh start before their next task began.

The next day, the teams met Donald Trump at his massive new Trump Place development, where they learned that this week's task would require them to "give back to the community" by teaching the residents of a retirement home how to make use of modern technology that they might otherwise be reluctant to use. Once the task ended, the residents would complete a survey rating how the teams performed in a number of key areas -- and the team that received the higher survey results would win the task.

When it came time to decide who would be each team's project manager, the show's previous events heavily impacted each team's decision. Over on the all-female Capitol Edge team, Rebecca Jarvis, who had injured her ankle as the women’s team celebrated its Episode 2 task victory, learned that she had in fact broken her ankle. Seeking to assure her teammates that she could still be an effective member of the team, Rebecca volunteered to be Capitol Edge's third task project manager, On Excel, Randal Pinkett, whose grandmother's death had effected his participation in the show's first two tasks, also took the opportunity to take a leadership role with his team.

As the planning started, it became clear that Rebecca had a very blunt and somewhat abrasive management style that several of her teammates appeared to resent. Adding additional conflict to the situation was her support of Toral Metha, who Rebecca had formed a friendship with but who the other members of the team considered to be a weak player. Despite these issues, the women's team appeared to have the advantage over the men's team. Not only had they previously demonstrated an ability to communicate better than the men, but they also had a team member who claimed to have an event planning background: Jennifer W.

Over at Excel, the men got off to a rocky start when Clay Lee, The Apprentice's first openly gay contestant, clashed with his team on several key points. Things became especially tense when Clay tried to make his point concerning elderly people by using The Donald's right hand man George as an example, to both his team and George's annoyance. However, despite their early problems, the team was able to come together and focus on the task at hand, delivering a surprisingly festive exhibition that featured a wide selection of food.

Things didn't go as smoothly for the women. Not only was the exhibition's décor bland, but the event also suffered from a lack of attention to details. As Carolyn pointed out, not only was there no signage promoting the event or its various stations, but a cake -- one of the few refreshments available at the women's expo -- misspelled "Techno Expo." The women's other big issue appeared to be Toral's inability to demonstrate her station's HDTV technology -- an issue that played heavily later in the episode.

After the expos ended, the results were predictable. Excel won the task handily, sending the women back to the boardroom and the men on a reward in which the handed out electronic toys at a children’s hospital. Excel's victory also resulted in Randal, the winning project manager, being given immunity from next week's boardroom as his team unanimously voted to give him that privilege.

When the women arrived in the boardroom, things quickly became heated as Rebecca singled out Jennifer W.'s poor event planning as the reason for the team's loss. However the rest of the team disagreed with Rebecca, citing Toral's technical faults instead. Although Toral had already made a rather angry retort to her team's criticism, Rebecca also staged her own defense of her "friend," even going as far as to suggest that Toral might be the only female candidate qualified to serve as Trump's apprentice. In the end, Rebecca surprised even The Donald himself by refusing to bring Toral back into the final boardroom session and instead selecting Jennifer W. and Jennifer Murphy.

As the final boardroom started, it appeared that Rebecca had made a costly error, with The Donald making it clear that he thought Toral should have been selected. But Rebecca continued to put up a feisty defense of her actions -- and while she was not able to fully justify them to Trump, she did appear to earn some respect for her stubbornness. In the end, although he chastised Rebecca for refusing to bring Toral to the final boardroom, The Donald decided to fire Jennifer W. and give Rebecca a second chance. "This girl will either be great or a disaster," Trump remarked to George and Carolyn after Rebecca departed the boardroom.

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