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HOME > The Apprentice > The Apprentice 5

Theresa Boutross becomes the fourth 'Apprentice 5' contestant fired


By Reality TV World staff, 03/14/2006 

Another week, another bad leadership casualty on NBC's fifth season of The Apprentice.

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Showing little ability to differentiate between "leading" and "delegating," Gold Rush Corporation project manager Theresa Boutross guided her team to a poorly executed loss in The Apprentice 5's third task, resulting in Donald Trump firing her during the show's subsequent boardroom session.

The Apprentice 5's third episode began with Brent Buckman, Synergy Corporation's self-absorbed troublemaker, surprisingly returning (along with Michael Laungani) from the Episode 2 boardroom session in which Trump fired Jose "Pepi" Diaz, last week's losing project manager, and Stacy Schneider. Brent's return sent Andrea Lake off to cry in the bathroom, after which she vowed to serve as Synergy's next project manager and prove that despite being hamstrung by Brent, she was a good manager.

Meanwhile, despite being the show's reigning task winners, Gold Rush was experiencing some tension of its own, with Lee Bienstock and Dan Brody informing their teammates that they would be spending the following day observing the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, a development that would leave them unavailable to participate in the team's third task assignment.

Their decision upset Lenny Veltman, Gold Rush's third Jewish member. "This is f**king stupid... [you] are using this as an excuse not to work," the outspoken Russian immigrant told the pair. Nonetheless, the rest of the team was supportive of Lee and Dan's decision, and although the decision would leave their team shorthanded in the task, the two followed through with their plan to observe the holiday.

After assembling at The Trump World Tower the following morning, Trump informed the teams that their third task would require them to organize a corporate retreat intended to introduce and promote the new 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe to some of General Motors' top dealership owners.

With Theresa offering to serve as Gold Rush's project manager and Andrea having already vowed to serve as Synergy's leader, both teams quickly began planning their retreats.

Although Theresa tasked Tarek Saab with being responsible for the retreat's "creative," she repeatedly dismissed his concerns that the retreat -- comprised of several disjointed events that appeared to largely be Theresa's own suggestions -- lacked a unifying theme. Instead, Theresa opted to go with an "experience of class" based around a horse and carriage, trade show models, a homemade putting green, a performance by stand-up comedian, and an open bar (because nothing says "class" like an open bar.)

Meanwhile things appeared to go much smoother over at Synergy, where Andrea, already a self-made multi-millionaire, systematically walked her team through the event's planning. Brainstorming in an environment that despite Brent's disruptive presense, seemed much more organized than Gold Rush's helter-skelter approach, Synergy decided upon a "Nature Refined" concept that involved skeet shooting, fly fishing and rock climbing.

Both teams encountered their share of issues while setting up for their events, however the two groups dealt with them quite differently. Although they had little time to plan an alternative event, Synergy quickly designed a golf cart racing event when the park's management informed them that their skeet shooting activity would not be permitted. Meanwhile, although the park's patchy grass fields certainly weren't fitting for an event envisioned as an "experience of class," Gold Rush still executed the golf activity as originally planned, with Theresa choosing to instead spend her time deriding Lenny for the fact that an electrical generator had not been ordered (since he was in charge of setting up the stage, she also deemed him to have been responsible for ensuring the site had electricity available.)

Once the events actually occurred, there seemed to be little doubt that Synergy's would go better. While Synergy's attendees participated some admittedly less refined activities, they appeared to enjoy the retreat, partaking in the day's events while other members of the Gold Rush took them, a couple of dealers at a time, out for test drives of the new vehicle.

Although Gold Rush's dealers had a good time golfing on the makeshift, mostly dirt greens, the rest of the event's activities did not appear to go nearly as well. Not only did the horse and carriage prove to be a poor tie-in, but the trade show models (having been provided very limited training) did a poor job of answering the dealer's questions about the product and the event's comedian -- Last Comic Standing alumni Cory Kahaney -- offended many of the attendees with her off-color jokes.

After the events ended and Trump advisors Carolyn Kepcher and original Apprentice winner Bill Rancic (filling in for George Ross, who was also observing the Jewish holiday) revealed that Synergy had easily performed better on the attendees' surveys, Synergy was rewarded with a trip to Long Island's Atlantis Marine World, where they spent some time swimming with real-life sharks.

Before Gold Rush's boardroom, Theresa made it clear that although Lee and Dan had not participated in the task and Lenny's quickly resolved generator issue had little to do with the team's subsequent loss, she still planned on taking him into the final boardroom. However once the boardroom session began, she also added Tarek to her list, blaming him for the retreat's poor creative design.

Although both Lenny and Tarek made it clear that they disagreed, Theresa insisted that she had been a good leader and her team had lost merely due to the members' inability to execute the tasks she had delegated to them. Meanwhile, while Charmaine Hunt had been responsible for hiring both the ineffective models and the offensive comedian, Theresa opted not to take her into the final boardroom, choosing Lenny and Tarek instead.

After Theresa made her picks, Bill, Carolyn, and The Donald discussed Synergy's failure, during which both Bill and Carolyn agreed that Theresa had fumbled the event's planning, Tarek's execution of the gold activity had been "terrible," and Lenny had been a "workhorse" who had little to do with the team's loss. Once the threesome were called back in, Trump made it clear that he felt Theresa should have brought Charmaine into the final boardroom. However Theresa rejected the idea and continued to insist that not only were Tarek's weak creative idea and Lenny's brief electrical generator issue "liabilities," but she had exhibited strong leadership and failed only due to the rest of the team's inability to execute the tasks that she had delegated to them.

Trump disagreed, and although he once again made it clear to Tarek that he was also unhappy with his performance, he opted to fire Theresa.

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