John Willenborg lacks model behavior and becomes sixth victim on 'Apprentice 2'
By Wade Paulsen, 10/15/2004
In the sixth episode of NBC's The Apprentice 2, the all-women Apex team finally broke its four-challenge losing streak, leading to the firing of John Willenborg, the project manager for the men's Mosaic team. Three men and three women have now been fired by Donald Trump from the original eighteen contestants.
The challenge for both teams was to coordinate design of a new women's clothing line for the Avon Fall Fashion Show, using models provided by Trump Model Management. Although the challenge would seem to favor the women (especially since the Apex project manager, Maria Boren, minored in home economics), most of the work was done by a designer selected by each team, similar to the Apprentice 1 art sales challenge. The teams were really only responsible for four main tasks: picking the designer, helping to pick material, setting the pricing for the garments, and coordinating the schedule. However, the men of Mosaic found a fifth task that interested them more: meeting the models up-close and personal.
Although the men were inept at material selection (Trump executive Carolyn Kepcher was laughing so hard at them that she actually had tears in her eyes), their real problem was the pricing strategy selected by Mosaic's Kevin Allen and Wes Moss. Kevin and Wes decided to take the prices recommended by the designer and double them, apparently apparently disregarding that this was the "Avon" show, not the "Chanel" show. This strategy backfired, as Mosaic's overpriced clothing line racked up only $7,735 worth of sales, while Apex's lower-priced clothing line recorded $22,060.
For reasons best known only to himself, John elected not to take Wes to the final boardroom, despite the obvious pricing failure. He also opted not to take Raj Bhakta, whom Trump had already criticized for being too busy chasing the models to do any work. Instead, he selected Kevin and Andy Litinsky, who did not have a significant role in the task, but whom John apparently saw as weaker competition.
Because of John's poor judgment as a project manager, illustrated by his choices (i) to take no role in pricing and then (ii) only bring one of the pricing specialists into the boardroom despite the fact that Trump allowed him to bring up to three people with him, John was fired.