Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Orthodox Apprentice: Episode 7 - LL Squad

Orthodox Apprentice candidate Lee Bienstock was front and center in both episodes of The Apprentice tonight. Although Gold Rush lost both tasks, not only did Lee survive but he thrived.

In Episode 7, Gold Rush chose a music theme for their Boys & Girls Club renovation. Project manager Lenny Veltman (otherwise known as Lenny Val) was thinking music or dance. (His teenage son is a championship ballroom dancer.) Unfortunately for Gold Rush, Lenny did not prepare for the meeting with the executives. He had no questions to ask them and no one else stepped up to the plate. Charmaine Hunt asked a question, but then she and the others went silent.

Throughout the task, it was clear that Lenny and Lee were working as one unit, with Tarek Saab, Leslie Bourgeois and Charmaine working as a separate group. Lenny and Lee went together to buy music equipment while their teammates installed a floor. On the return trip, Lee tried to direct the driver through Queens, not too far from his own neighborhood. When the executives entered the finished room, Lenny was the presenter, but Lee was filling in the blanks for him.

Synergy, led by (Arinash) Michael Laungani, spent an inordinate amount of time planning and strategizing but got a late start on their execution. In an awkward moment, Bill Rancic questioned the team about Michael's performance - during the task! As expected, Synergy won.

Prior to the boardroom, Lee drafted a "cheat sheet" and helped Lenny prepare his strategy and talking points. Lee advised Lenny what to say and what to avoid. "I'd do anything for Lenny... Lenny is my friend... I'd do anything for a friend," Lee said.

In the boardroom, Leslie, Tarek and Charmaine placed the blame on Lenny. Only Lee stuck up for Lenny and defended him to the bitter end. Lee even answered questions that were directed to Lenny, prompting Bill to ask, "Lee, are you his attorney?" Shortly thereafter, Carolyn asked Lee why he was defending Lenny. Lee answered, "I truly, honestly believe in Lenny."

It was a little strange when the resident of Lawrence, NY (median family income = $129,779) told Mr. Trump that he could relate to the Boys Club kids because he's from the inner city. But that was a minor point. [Lee grew up in Brooklyn, but Flatbush isn't quite the "inner city".]

Trump fired Lenny and told Lee that he admired his loyalty.

Lee showed us the value of true friendship. He and Lenny certainly came a long way from the Rosh HaShana incident. Clearly, Lee does not hold a grudge. Apparently, they remain good friends today - or at least business partners - as they designed these LL Squad t-shirts. We prefer these Orthodox Apprentice shirts.

From a business angle, Ace Hardware can't be too happy with the editing of this episode. They were relying on heavy exposure to their merchandise, but it didn't come through. There aren't many products they could now sell as "seen on The Apprentice," but that was the goal of their marketing plan.

Next up... Epsiode 8.


At 4/11/2006 12:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lee grew up in Brooklyn - he actually only moved to Lawrence (and transfered to HAFTR) while in high school

At 4/11/2006 3:52 PM, Blogger Hershel Goldberg said...

Some people are not good with teamwork, Lenny was one of them. Doesn't mean they can't be succesful, all the contestants were succesful before joining The Apprentice.

The reason Lenny and Lee are friends is because Lenny is a straight-up guy, what you see is what you get. Lee knows that and that's why he defended him.

Still, it was time for him to go. I expected Lenny to do really well on this task, instead, he was a complete disaster. A good dictator knows what to do all the time, or he'll assign people to cover for him. Lenny had no clue, that meeting with the ACE executive prooves my point.

At 4/11/2006 6:07 PM, Blogger PJ said...

I like Lee a lot, I really do but I fear that one of these boardrooms he is going to talk himself right out of a job.

At 4/17/2006 6:55 PM, Anonymous lillie milton said...

i also feel nervous for lee.
my friend met lee in a store after the first episode.
i personaly didn't like lenny and thought he should have been fired a long time ago.
why did lee hang out with lenny he was a loser and no one liked him?

At 4/23/2006 9:53 AM, Anonymous leah said...

lillie milton said...
my friend met lee in a store after the first episode.

that was me!


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