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HOME > The Apprentice > The Apprentice 7

'The Apprentice' fires Steuart Martens and determines final threesome


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/26/2010 

Donald Trump fired Steuart Martens from NBC's non-celebrity revival of The Apprentice and determined its final three seventh-season finalists during Thursday night's broadcast of the reality competition's eleventh episode.

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The Apprentice star fired Steuart, a 27-year-old from Washington, D.C., after his team Octane lost the season's eleventh task, which required Octane and Fortitude to each take a helicopter to QVC headquarters in West Chester, PA and pick to a product to sell on the home shopping network. The winner was determined based on which team generated the highest profit margin after marking up the product's minimal price. 

Clint Robertson, a 40-year-old from Austin, TX, opted to be Octane's project manager and worked alongside Steuart, while Liza Mucheru-Wisner, a 30-year-old from Corpus Christi, TX, volunteered to lead Fortitude -- which also included Brandy Kuentzel, a 30-year-old from San Francisco, CA.

Octane attempted to sell a purse with Steuart presenting the item on television after tricking the women into believing they had also wanted to sell a watch which Fortitude chose thinking it was the best option. The men thought also they had another advantage on Fortitude when they snagged the second timeslot, allowing more time for them to practice.

But despite their presentations and organization, the winner of the task would come down to simply who sold more of their product and made the most money. Clint and Steuart decided to double the price and sell the purse for $194.97 -- an amount just under $200, allowing buyers to purchase the item through three payments.

Fortitude chose to sell the watch as a modern timeless piece and nearly doubled its original price as well. They attempted to sell the watches at $69.50 a piece, and Liza chose Brandy to present the item on television after she researched the product's demographics and found that the majority of QVC buyers are Caucasian women -- an idea Trump later found to be controversial when including race as a factor.

Both teams' television presentations turned out well as Clint said Steuart was in his element selling the trendy purse because he knew how to be cultural and sophisticated, while explaining the purse's detail and functional qualities. However, Trump later told Steuart that he seemed nervous.

Meanwhile, Fortitude knew how to relate to women when selling the watch, and Brandy felt comfortable explaining how the watch was a statement and a great addition to any woman's wardrobe. However, they ran out of time at the end and Liza admitted to poorly managing their on-air time.

Once the task ended, both teams met Trump in the boardroom. Liza and Clint both believed their team's television presentations to be successful, but Trump declared Fortitude the winner of the task after deeming that they sold more watches and raised a higher profit margin that Octane by a substantial amount. Fortitude sold 77 watches and made $2,998.36, while Octane sold 25 handbags and made $2,174.25.

Afterward, Trump questioned Octane about who decided to mark up the purse's price that high -- which he deemed the main reason why their product did not sell as well as they had hoped. Clint admitted it was his idea, but proclaimed that it was a actually lower than the $250 price Steuart had initially suggested. Trump then came to the conclusion that both men were equally to blame for the mistake.

With both Clint and Steuart neck and neck in the competition and neither being more to blame for the failure of their task than the other, the men had to explain to Trump the reasons why they were more business savvy and a better fit to work for Trump.

The two men discussed their education, job credentials and prior experience in leadership roles to convince Trump why they should avoid elimination and were more deserving to win. However, although talking themselves up, Clint and Steuart had few bad things to say about their competitor and instead expressed how they had become good friends and respected each other as businessmen.

The difference in their ages was deemed a big factor in who had more experience, as Clint is 40 years old and Steuart is 27 years old. Trump then stated that Clint must be more entrepreneurial than Steuart, and although Clint agreed, he did not want to put Steuart down.

"I love Steuart. I would hire Steuart in a minute," Clint told Trump.

"I think you do. I think you really have a good relationship," Trump said.

"We do. We definitely do," Steuart added.

After considering what each man could bring to the table in the future, Trump deemed both men to be winners but determined Clint had more potential to succeed and be a leader within his corporation.

"I think you're both outstanding and you both in every way and in every category -- you're really tremendous people. And there is no loser tonight. There is no loser," Trump explained.

"But Steuart, you're fired."

"Two good guys," Trump said following the boardroom deliberations.

Steuart did not believe that Trump was justified in firing him and that he made the wrong decision.

"It's never fun to lose, but I defended myself the most I could in the boardroom while keeping my integrity in tact. I don't think Mr. Trump made the right decision, but that's ultimately his decision at the end of the day," Steuart said following his elimination.

(Photo credit NBC)


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