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John Gafford negotiates self into firing on eighth episode of 'The Appentice 3'


By Wade Paulsen, 03/11/2005 

The teams might have been shaken up ahead of time, but the "street-smart" NetWorth team still couldn't stop its three-challenge losing streak, leading to the dismissal of Florida entrepreneur John Gafford in the eighth episode of NBC's The Apprentice 3. Nine candidates have now been eliminated (including one that "quit"), leaving nine still striving for future employment by Donald Trump.

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The task for the show was a so-called live "Rock & Roll Auction" to be held on the obscure cable network FUSE TV, with all proceeds going to the Elizabeth Glazer Pediatric AIDS Foundation. The team that raised the most money from auctioning off five "celebrity experiences" would win. Each team -- NetWorth and the "book smart" Magna -- first had to pick a project leader that had not previously been a project leader -- which left only three possible candidates, Kendra Todd on Magna and either the tobacco-chewing Chris Shelton or Craig Williams for NetWorth. In a random drawing, Chris was chosen.

The new leaders were then asked to swap two people to the other team. Real estate broker Kendra chose to swap the other two women on Magna, purchasing consultant Stephanie Myers and attorney Erin Elmore, while real estate investor Chris swapped firefighter Craig and Mary Kay saleswoman Tana Goertz.

The teams then had to divide in two parts, with one group negotiating with five pre-chosen artists and the other group preparing to produce the 11-minute live auction segment. Both teams sent the two new people on negotiations along with a third person -- team project manager Kendra for Magna, John for NetWorth. The other two people -- attorneys Alex Thomason and Bren Olswanger for Magna, Chris and gym owner Angie Harper for NetWorth -- planned the live broadcast.

Although the auction was billed as a "rock & roll" auction, the celebrity lists were heavy with hip-hop stars. For Magna: Lil' Kim, Lil Jon, Eve, Jadakiss and (token rocker) Moby. For NetWorth: Barenaked Ladies, Gene Simmons, New Found Glory, Simple Plan, and Fat Joe. After Magna's first negotiation (with Lil Jon), Kendra decided that she wasn't needed and left the rest of the negotiations to the two "new kids," while she returned to FUSE to work on the TV broadcast. Meanwhile, John virtually ignored the women's input during the NetWorth presentations, focusing instead on their looks. At one point, he offered to "sell them" to the band New Found Glory in return for a great personal experience to auction; later, he told them before the meeting with Gene Simmons that he was going to "pimp" them.

Ultimately, the on-air auction presentations for each team were handled by Craig and Tana (Magna) and Chris and Erin (NetWorth). Erin won significant praise for her on-air presentation, but her team's five auction items drew total bids of only $11,325. Meanwhile, two of the items negotiated by Magna -- a one-week experience with Moby and with Lil' Kim, as opposed to the short-term experiences from each of the other eight -- sold for over $19,000 total, giving Magna an easy victory.

Since Stephanie was still exempt because of her role as last week's Magna PM, Chris took John and Erin into the boardroom with him. It quickly became a question as to whether Chris should be fired for his failure to supervise the negotiations, or whether John should be fired for his conduct in leading them, with Erin only asked about whether she thought Chris could have handled both the negotiation and the on-air roles. She said no ... and John was fired quickly thereafter.

The next episode of The Apprentice 3, on March 17 at 9 PM ET/PT, will be a recap of the show to date. The next "new" episode, entitled "Pandora's Box," will air on March 24, when the teams compete in a "home-improvement" challenge that reveals one of them to be both overconfident and a slacker. Since no one on NetWorth should have reason to feel overconfident right now, this episode may spell the end of Magna's winning streak.

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