Marisa DeMato becomes the fourth 'The Apprentice 6' candidate fired
By Steve Rogers, 01/29/2007
Done in by her teammates' insistence that she was a weak link who became disruptive when things didn't go her way, Marisa DeMato, a 28-year-old attorney from Wellington, Florida, was fired during last night's broadcast of the fourth episode of NBC's The Apprentice: Los Angeles.
The Apprentice: Los Angeles' fourth episode began with Donald Trump calling Heidi Androl's undefeated Kinetic Corporation team and informing them that he wanted to Kinetic member to volunteer to "step up" and join the winless Arrow Corporation team. Although no one initially jumped at the chance to switch teams, Marisa, Aimee Trottier and Surya Yalamanchili all reluctantly volunteered after Heidi said she'd join Arrow if no one else offered. Given his choice of any of the three, Aaron Altscher -- the winning project manager from Arrow's Week 3 intra-team task competition -- picked Surya to join Arrow.
The next day, the teams traveled to Mulholland Drive's Hollywood Overlook, where Trump informed the teams that their next task would require them to create, promote and sell a new chicken bowl product for El Pollo Loco, a Mexican grilled chicken fast-food restaurant chain. Whichever team made the most money from selling their new "pollo bowl" would win the task and be exempt from the next boardroom session. Since Aaron had been the winning project manager from Arrow's previous intra-team task competition, he'd remain the re-joined team's project manager, with Heidi, who lead her team to victories in their first two tasks, once again leading Kinetic.
Once the teams arrived at their restaurant locations, both teams decided on their new product offerings. Arrow created the "Chicken Tortilla Bowl," a bowl containing grilled chicken, rice, corn, and tortilla chip chunks. Kinetic decided to go with a mango/pineapple salsa-flavored bowl created by Kristine Lefebvre.
Although Kinetic appeared to have little problem deciding what they wanted to sell, things did not go as smooth when it came time to name their new creation. Although the rest of her teammates wanted to call their creation the "Paradise Pollo Bowl," Marisa felt the name was unoriginal and instead campaigned for "Bravado Bowl." Heidi, citing her "executive decision," quickly rejected the idea, however that wasn't enough to prevent Marisa -- working offsite at the graphic designer's office along with Derek Arteta, the sole remaining male Kinetic member -- from calling Heidi at least three more times about her name suggestion. Later, Heidi also rejected Marisa's suggestion that the team put a couple of chicken costume-clad people on the nearby streets to draw attention to the restaurant.
On the day of the promotion, the teams appeared to take significantly different sales approaches. While Arrow decorated their restaurant with big interior and exterior signs and balloons that promoted their new offering and had Tim Urban and Frank Lombardi solicit nearby businesses for large bulk sales, Kinetic focused on learning how to run the restaurant and provided "Paradise Bowl" samples to customers who were getting ready to place their lunch orders.
Kinetic's decision to focus on learning how to run the restaurant appeared to pay off when Arrow -- still shorthanded due to Tim and Frank's absence -- began struggling to fulfill its lunchtime rush orders, however Arrow's riskier bulk order strategy ended up paying off big when a local car dealership agreed to buy 22 of the $4.99 "Chicken Tortilla Bowls."
When the teams returned to the boardroom, The Apprentice 5 winner Sean Yazbeck (this week's guest advisor) informed Trump that Arrow had won the task by managing to sell $418 worth of bowls to Kinetic's $313 -- a $105 victory margin that, if not for their $110 bulk sales order, would have actually been a $5 loss.
As their reward for winning, Arrow got to enjoy a private beachside concert by classical vocalist Andrea Bocelli. During the outing, viewers also got to hear Nicole D'Ambrosio mention that she had formed a "connection" with Tim -- an extremely brief confessional clip that was presumably intended to represent the "be there for the beginning of an Apprentice romance" teaser that NBC had spent the last week promoting repeatedly.
After three weeks of backyard living caused by their failure to win any of their previous tasks, the team also received an even better prize -- the right to kick Kinetic out of their luxurious mansion housing and claim the home's interior as their own.
Prior to their boardroom session, Heidi told the rest of her now backyard-dwelling teammates that she felt Marisa was the only person on the team that she felt she had to manage, setting the stage for most of the rest of the of the team -- motivated by their self-preservation instincts if nothing else -- to tell Heidi that they agreed that Marisa was the team's weakest link.
During Kinetic's boardroom session, Heidi and the rest of the team, citing Sean's comments that he thought that Kinetic's marketing had been weak and the fact that Marisa had wanted to be in charge of the task's advertising, didn't hesitate to begin blaming Marisa for their loss. Marisa responded by telling Aaron (sitting as the boardroom guest advisor due to his team's victory), Sean, and The Donald that Heidi and the rest of the team had immediately shot down her initial chicken suit idea and -- through their other reaction to other things like her "bravado bowl" suggestion -- made it clear that she "no longer had a forum to suggest things."
Although Aaron felt that Marisa's concerns "had a leg to stand on," Heidi disagreed. "I don't think that we lost because we didn't have a chicken in front of our restaurant," Heidi responded sarcastically after Aaron voiced his support for Marisa. Aimee also supported Heidi's claims, telling Trump that Marisa was disruptive and couldn't let things go when she didn't get her way.
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When Trump asked her who she felt should be fired, Marisa -- citing the fact that Aimee had been the person in charge of taking the drive-up window's orders -- told him Aimee. Derek and Kristine also told Trump that Marisa should be fired, and when Heidi was told to select two people to accompany her to the final boardroom, she selected Marisa and Aimee.
During the final boardroom, Marisa continued to insist that her rejected chicken suit idea had been a great idea and lamented that "I shouldn't be back here." Trump seemed to pounce the comment and, after pointing out that every one of her teammates had suggested he fire her, did just that.
"I can not reconcile the fact that you only came up with one [marketing] idea... everybody on this team said 'Mr. Trump, I would fire Marisa' and I have to listen to that -- Marisa, you're fired!," Trump told Marisa as she continued to try and insist that she'd come up with numerous other rejected marketing ideas and Heidi had "tied her hands."
Similar to the "Apprentice romance" teaser that NBC had broadcast, the boardroom also appeared to feature little mention of the "huge mistake" that the network's promos had repeatedly claimed would "set... Trump... off." Apparently NBC's promotional department is now taking it's lead from The Apprentice's hubris-filled and prone-to-exaggeration star. That can't be good.