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The Apprentice – Carmen Parnos V Gavin McInnes, And The Winner Is…

Morello yells out “I love the Cross” – why am I not surprised.

After the now obligatory shot of Gavin topless  the contestants meet up with Mark Bouris in Kings Cross.

Where he tells them the challenge is for the teams is to make up a TV commercial for the new Microsofts Window 7. They must write, produce and direct the commercial and the best one will win. My slogan would have been “It has to be better than Vista.”

Bouris did his usual team swapping, which I really like as it changes the team dynamics from week to week and no one can get too comfortable. Mary Ann was swapped into Eventus team, and Heather into Pinnacle. Carmen was project manager for Eventus, and Heather for Team Pinnacle.

Then they episode turned into the Gavin and Carmen show, and unfortunately the episode was edited to fit into an hour, but I reckon they would have had a ton of quality footage for at least a 90 minute episode. But the bottom line seemed to be that Gavin was being a passive-aggressive mixed a bit of manipulation, and Carmen was being too aggressive mixed with some illogical behaviour.

It all started when Gavin took the lead in the boardroom, and Carmen was not happy, but thought it would look bad to try and cut across him, but her she was unable to hide her irritation so the Microsoft executives picked up on it. 

Heather was not fairing well in her presentation as it appeared she had not realised she had been using the product, on the laptops they had been provided with, so was caught out when they asked her what she thought was their best feature. In fact Heather’s management style is a direct opposite to Carmen’s she does not appear to take responsibility for anything. She just always appears to be writing stuff down in her notebook.

Morello came up with a “Tell a mate” tagline for the ad, and then produced and directed it.

Anyway back to Team Eventus. Carmen when they got home attempted to “clear the air” but she started it aggressively and told him she did not like him dominating in the challenge. Gavin called Carmen paranoid, which I actually thought was a tad immature. But then he was probably trying to wind her up which worked. She then fired him from the challenge. Isn’t that Mark Bouris’s job? Big call and possibly a fatal one.

He then bitched about her to the household and said “She cannot control her emotions,”. Gavin McInnes and Carmen Parnos are polar opposites. Everyone of her emotions shows in her face, which is what make her such great reality TV viewing, whereas it appear Gavin only has one facial expression.

I did have to laugh when she said she wants to be a great role model to her kids – her management skill are appalling. Did she actually manage workers in the “real” world? Maybe she is just a super control freak.

Team Pinnacle filmed at Oceanworld, and Heather handed the reins over to Morello. In fact I thought she did not take much responsibility at all. Whereas Carmen was all over it. Neither of them showed very good project manager skills at all.

Back to team Pinnacle what did Sabrina do? And what did Heather do? She put her hand up for Project Manager and then abdicated responsibility. And why did Heather, Morello and Sabrina put themselves in the ad? It was a tad narcissistic.

They then had to pitch to Microsoft. 

Morello turned their pitch into an Anthony Robbins seminar by getting the executives to chant after him. Something they were probably used to from team building sessions away. The executives were surprised there was no product ie a computer in the ad.

Eventus in their pitch was criticised for playing the ad first. Apparently not the correct etiquette. I actually thought their ad was pretty good.

Then it was time to the boardroom.

Now next season I would like to be the receptionist, I would be playing solitaire and saying guys “you are so in trouble get into the boardroom”. By the way speaking of changing personnel.  Where was Diane, Mark Bouris’s PA, did the producers flick her half way through the shoot?  She has not been around for two episodes?

Anyway it was gloves off once they were in the boardroom Carmen said Gavin was undermining her.

Pinnacle got caned for not having a product in the ad, and Eventus for the conflict between Gavin and Carmen.

Pinnacle won because they liked the tag line “Tell your mates” and Microsoft thought they would be able to work with that team.

I actually thought the result was a bit rigged, and it was decided Eventus was going to lose because of the obvious conflict. Really if companies were not going to hire or operate because of conflict corporate Australia would come to a standstill.

It was then down to Gavin against Carmen. And Mark Bouris got it in one when he said “two egos clashing against each other”.

Gavin said he did Jedi mind tricks as to why he spoke to the executives before Carmen. He said “they looked into my eyes” his behaviour in that first meeting was out of line.

But Gavin is arrogant and  is also condescending in the boardroom. If we are seeing the real Gavin it is a bit bland, and I loved it when Mark Bouris basically told him to stop being so obsequious.

Gavin to save himself understandably threw Carmen under the bus, and she really could not give any good reasons to save herself so she was fired.

Bouris told Gavin to stop playing the game.

Back at the house Sam was guessing /hoping for a double elimiination, Mary Ann wanted Gavin to go. I was not sure if this was because she seems him as a threat or if she trully does not like him. Or maybe a bit of both. 

Carmen did need to go, but The Apprentice may just be a little bit more boring without her, and her and Gav won’t be Facebook friends anytime soon.

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1 CG { 11.03.09 at 1:55 am }

I’m liking The Apprentice more each week. I hope they decide to bring it back next year. Bouris and the editing is 100% improved from the first few shows.

Some random observations from tonight’s show:

– I really hated that blonde cow from MS: to say ‘you never present your creative first, its just not done that way’ …. grrr. so much for any out of the box thinking at Microsoft…sell the stock now!!

– another reason to sell Microsoft: how can they afford for so many “executives” to attend the taping of a reality TV show? hmm.

– things did seem a little contrived…but if they were gonna hype the drama that is Ms. Carmen wouldn’t they string her along for a few more episodes…?

– what did Sabrina do for the task? and I hate myself for thinking/saying this but Sabrina doesn’t exactly have a Miss World body…she is rather plump and bottom heavy…sorry, but this stuck out for me tonight for some reason?

– Gavin is a really good looking guy and knows it..he could be Mark Bouris’ younger brother…surprised he didn’t go tonight; wonder how Mark really feels about him…maybe he sees himself in Gavin?

– Morello is getting on my nerves…reminds me of Joe Hockey..I hope they don’t make this a battler victory..too many of these guys around as it is…no education, talk a good game, think it is all about schmoozing and being Mr. Nice Guy….bugs me…then again who in the group is really qualified and has any real business skill or potential…Sam is the only one I can see any potential in.

– I know a lot of people like Maryanne but I don’t like her at all. She is quite manipulative and seems to have decided who the stronger contestants are and manipulates her own behaviour to try and make them look bad in the task and is quite “strategic” in the boardroom. Good strategy but not fun to watch. She wanted Gavin to go because he is a greater threat in the end compared to Carmen. All the while she tries to be goody-too-shoes in front of Mark. I’ve seen her type in the office sooooo many times over my career.

– Hee, I thought Carmen was going to cry or throw a huge dummy spit at the end when she was shown leaving… wonder if they will bring her back to help during the final show…working for Gavin!

– Again, I’d wish they would show more of downtime in the house and/or when the winning team gets their “prize”…and let us see more of the “real” personalities and in-house conflicts (and romances??)

– speaking of house romances, Heather gave Gavin a pretty close-up hug and rub when he came back into the house after the elimination?

Looking forward to next week’s show. I’m planning to open an art gallery next year so I can’t wait to see what gallery they are at (it looks like it may be Ray Hughes gallery in Surry Hills…?) and how they go with the task.

2 Laura { 11.03.09 at 2:00 am }

I think Bouris made the right decision. Carmen was the team leader, and she had lost as team leader once before, so she deserved to go. I think that Gavin uses his eloquence to manipulate but I cannot blame him for not trusting Carmen to run the meeting smoothly, although he should have done so because she was team leader and ultimately responsible for the result. Also I thought that their presentation was awful! I was cringing when they each stood up and talked all that personal stuff. It was so inappropriate and amateur.

I still think that Sam and Mary Anne are the strongest competitors and most deserving winners.

3 Laura { 11.03.09 at 2:19 am }

Gosh CJ I think you should check your tv resolution – Sabrina is not “plump” in the slightest!

4 Suzie { 11.03.09 at 8:47 am }

I think that last night was a complete set up, When does a company chose the poorer quality ad cos they like the presenting team better..NEVER! I think that this show is produced so they can work out who they dont want on the show as they go (producers/Bouris) Carmena nd Gavin both deserved to go, both bullies and were a disgrace to their team. Sam and Mary-Anne I think were left to deal with the pieces of a bomb blast, but the other team.. What the Heather was PM but Morello does the directing, editing and bascially wins over the pitch? My pick is Morello for the winner, and top 3 will include Mary-Anne and Gavin – Bouris obviously likes Gavin or he would be gone for his behaviour… Maybe what he said about not caring what their background is not true, maybe he thinks a lawyer would be a good addition and a cheap one at 20k a year!

5 dmc { 11.03.09 at 10:57 am }

Those ads were atrocious. In the UK version you see the ads twice but here they could only be played once. I like Morello, but with his auctioneers voice and his less than stellar ideas he’s a bit annoying. The only credible winners at the moment are Mary Ann and Sam as they are both prepared to get stuck in and are level headed. Sam also has youth on his side. This episode was much better and the boardroom scene had some spice.
Also, each episode is about 57 minutes of air time. I don’t know why Channel 9 doesn’t just schedule it to run 1 hr 15 mins.

6 sourkraut { 11.03.09 at 1:18 pm }

rubbish! as much as i disliked the portrayed personality of Carmen i thought she was very hard done by and the action of Mary-anne, the one with apparenent integrity, when she walked out when mr pecs showed up summed it up for me.
i have managed a small group for many years and the only thing that ever really got under my skin was when someone deliberately tried to white-ant me and press my wrong buttons. at that stage aparting of the ways was called for and he was boned.
i felt I could not trust someone like that in a position of authority, as i would be looking behind my back.
I’m surprised bouris did not sack them both, as he was obviously aware of what had happened, still if that’s what he wants……..
the ads were crap. one without the product was a joke. caught in mixed emotions. wanted to see pin nackers in the bored room to possibly get rid of one of the candidates that dont inspire me, otoh the managerial stoush of eventual cried out for a dual boning.
at the end mr pecs farewell to carmen was shall we say “thoughtful”
sincerely hope Mary-anne wins, but I predict she will be the next target. Hope she is strong. the only way to beat that sort of bullshit is to stamp on it at the start. carmen should have at the start immediately and firmly said thank you G, as pm i’ll take over now. once its started you cant stop it



7 Wurstsemmel { 11.03.09 at 1:58 pm }

Both Carmen and Gavin should have gone. She handled the situation badly and was aggressive in her confrontation with Gavin but anyone could see he was manipulating her too. A clash of the egos is about right. Given that Mark Bouris said that himself, why is Gavin still there (unless it’s to keep the female viewing audience with the gratuitious half naked shots up front – which frankly do nothing for me!)

My money is on either Sam (who has surprising maturity for his age although he needs to watch out Gavin doesn’t make him his puppet) and Mary-Ann. It’s hard to know what Heather actually adds – very much the Seinfeld approach to management, all about nothing – and Morello, to me, ticks all the cliches of a real estate agent (which he happens to be). Sabrina? Another person who seems to add nothing and, on a very subjective basis, is just plain irritating.

The ads. were awful. I can’t see how Morello’s ad could possibly win – no product – doesn’t make sense and the other team’s resembles something I’ve seen before. So nothing innovative here.

Enjoying the show, would like to see another series but maybe they should review their casting procedures.

8 Rach { 11.03.09 at 2:29 pm }

I think the right choice was made to send Carmen home, she was over emotional and it is a business show. Gavin was not in Sam’s ear about Carmen, she was on a war path with all of them and someone else pushed Sam to say something (someone who you might not expect).

9 Dolph Ziggler { 11.03.09 at 2:37 pm }

Dolph’s pecs are better than Gav’s.
And Gav, hey, your mullet’s nowhere near as gnarly as mine.

10 Reality Raver { 11.03.09 at 2:54 pm }

Oh Rach you cannot dangle a carrot like that and at least not give us a hint.

11 Kaylen { 11.03.09 at 5:11 pm }

Kinda wanted them both gone, but then where would my weekly viewing of Mr. Pecs go? Hard decision!

It was very much between someone with a lack of control, and someone with a lack of personality. As it is based on the task at hand, it was the right choice – Carmen… didn’t step up to what was needed. The only two, I think that did, were Mary Ann and Sam.

Sabrina and Heather were nothing but a joke this episode, and Morello was too cheesy and reminded me too much of one of those really bad car salesperson – which he is in a way. 😉

You can tell Gavin is one of those types where they strike silently, and make their opponents fall on their own sword. Anyone can tell which buttons to push for Carmen, and that’s exactly what he did. Sabotage the group, to get rid of one person? Bad, bad form. He’s not someone that I would want to work with – never mind even know.

12 Miss Apprentice { 11.03.09 at 5:52 pm }

It was a big mistake for Carmen to be Team leader again in order to “redeem herself ” as she so eloquently put it, since she should have known there was nothing to redeem if there is no leadership potential, however she works quite well and is quite resourceful as part of a team, so why can’t she learn from that !

Having said that, having Gavin recognize someone as a Team Leader other than himself is a big ask as he seems to play by his own rules regardless who is at the helm and seems to have quite a narcissistic streak in him which doesn’t bode well in accepting directions from others and in this instance Carmen.

Heather and Sabrina were once again boasting how well they did, but what did either of them actually do ??

The ad was basically Morello’s brainchild and it showed.

The slogan “Tell Your Mates” and shots of a multicultural group of people seemed more like an ad for boosting immigration to Australia or an ad for Tourism, but what did it have to do with computers ?

I don’t know how that ad was considered a winner, but it probably had more to do with not being able to let the other team win because of their in house bickering (!!)

Nevertheless in this instance it was a mistake to fire Carmen as Gavin was the cause and instigator of the unpleasantness and it wasn’t in Carmen’s nature to let that rest, which she really should be credited for rather than fired !!

13 CG { 11.03.09 at 6:38 pm }

Ms. Apprentice: “The slogan “Tell Your Mates”- and shots of a multicultural group of people seemed more like an ad for boosting immigration to Australia”. You are not Senator Sarah Hanson-Young are you?

14 Neil { 11.03.09 at 10:12 pm }


Heather is the next to go.

15 tv fan { 11.04.09 at 5:50 pm }

Feel Gavin is the only decent one to work for Bouris. The show appears to be rigged as a couple of the women are very rough and the other two real dills though he seems to fall all over the women. He definitely appears rude and arrogant to me and I would not trust him

16 CG { 11.04.09 at 11:52 pm }

tv fan: As someone who has worked as an executive around the world including several years in New York, London, and Hong Kong, amongst other places, and come to Australia late in my career, my observation is that Mark Bouris is a very typical Australian executive. He is direct, a little rough around the edges, more than a little sexist and a “man’s man”. Amongst male Australian executives the concept of “mateship” is the dominant feature IMO and influences many aspects of Australia’s unique corporate culture. I’m sure some will disagree, but in my experience corporate Australia is one of the most sexist environments I’ve ever worked in (I work in banking and financial services). Based on my firsthand experience, the Australian corporate environment is more sexist (from the perspective of a Western female) than in Japan, China, Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. Although the greatest sexism and strongest “old boys club” network I’ve experienced – consistently – is in the US Midwest!

17 Reality Raver { 11.05.09 at 7:10 am }

CG: I found your synopsis on executive culture in Australia quite interesting. Maybe this mateship culture is the reason that women are such a small percentage on boards of companies.

It seems you have been savvy enough to work in all of these environments and to have been successful, which I think is quite an achievement.

TV Fan: I am not sure if you mean rude and arrogant for Gavin or Mark. I actually think Gavin would have a hard time managing a team in real life. However I would hope his management skills are different in real life.

Miss Apprentice – I agree I think Morello’s ad was quite a good one for Tourism.

Also I have left Neil’s spoiler on the comments, as I know some people like them, I don’t particularly like them.

18 CG { 11.05.09 at 1:32 pm }

RR: Yes, given Australia’s other areas of “progressiveness”, I am shocked to see the relativey low number of women on Australian boards and the ones that are there appear (i) a small group of woman who are on several boards (professional directors); and (ii) tokenism. Of course, tokensim with female board and executive appointments can be found anywhere in the world and I have to say that I totally disagree with those countries that have set quotas, forcing female (or minority) representation on boards as a precondition of stock exchange listings, etc. This approach in any area (jobs, education, etc.) builds resentment and is not healthy IMO.

There should be enough qualified females that representation on boards and in CEO roles should be approaching 50%. But it is a vicious circle. You need senior executive experience and contacts to get on Boards, etc. Look at university registration in the last decade – females on average represent at least 50% of those obtaining degrees – although some disciplines – like engineering – are going backwards. But while degrees translate into entry-level jobs, the glass ceiling seems to be made of very thick glass in Australia.

I used to hope it was a generational thing. But the older I get I fear the mateship culture in Australia is so strong that it may take several generations to break it down, at least as reflected in board and corporate appointments..

Of course there are exceptions. Gail Kelly as the CEO at Westpac is one that comes to mind. But Gail is an expat (from South Africa) and, at least based on my experience, in many countries promoting an expat female is often done and somehow “easier” than promoting a qualified “native” female. And even still, last night Kelly was interviewed on ABC Lateline and the piece started with a description of what she is wearing and every article about her makes reference to the facts she has twins. Do we ever hear this (consistent) type of commentary about male CEOs? Do we know how many kids Bouris has – or not?

It is funny that people go on about how women in Asia and in particular Asian Muslim countries are so oppressed. Did you know that the head of the central bank of Malaysia is a woman and has been for almost a decade? I know of many female CEOs of banks, telecom companies and even industrial companies like steel, oil & gas, etc. in Malaysia and Indonesia and who have not been appointed due to family or political connections (as is the case with many female CEOs in Singapore and China, for example).

And don’t get me started about women in politics in Australia.

Sorry, I digress… as you can see I am quite passionate about this topic!


19 par3182 { 11.05.09 at 3:00 pm }

jeebus neil, why don’t you tell us who wins

please, no more spoilers!!!!!!!!!!!!

20 Neil { 11.06.09 at 6:04 pm }

Reality Raver, just a clarification. I have no idea if Heather is going next week or not. It was meant as my prediction. I think she is the weakest of the remaining contestants. Sorry for any confusion to your readers.

21 Maryann { 11.06.09 at 7:48 pm }

Neil, how on earth is “SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER Heather is the next to go” to be taken other than the fact that you know she is the next to go? You did not say “I think” and you quite blatantly called it a “spoiler” so unless your understanding of the English language is different to ours, I have no idea how you can then say “I have no idea if Heather is going next week or not. It was meant as my prediction.”

There is a major lapse in logic!!

22 Neil { 11.06.09 at 8:35 pm }

Maryann, I did not place SPOILER, SPOILER, SPOILER, on the post. That was reality raver.

23 Maryann { 11.06.09 at 10:00 pm }

Ok, sorry, misconception. But still, perhaps clarifying that this is merely your opinion by the use of a lower modality would be handy!

24 Nic { 11.06.09 at 10:41 pm }

Carmen was not unreasonable when she first approached Gavin, but his response was – try to imagine him saying the same sorts of things to a male. He either consciously or subconsciously knows the stereotypes used to put women down in business and he used them. His response to her was out of line and unconstructive. I can’t even begin to imagine what he said in private to get his team mates onside, since he was clearly in the wrong from the outset, IMO. I think that Carmen was right to say she couldn’t work with him, and should have kept her head and let Mark Bouris know what Gavin said and why it was so offensive and unacceptable. But I’m not unhappy to see Carmen go, I don’t think she was thriving in the apprentice environment.

25 sourkraut { 11.06.09 at 11:25 pm }

In the US Apprentice I seem to remember someone in the same situation as carpersons and they sacked a teammate from a challenge, and unless alzheimers has set in, the Trumpet commended the PM for doing so.
After all if someone is deliberately trying to white ant you, and you dont have anyway of stopping it during the course of the project, (as a PM), then how can boris criticise you for being a poor PM?

26 reality raver { 11.07.09 at 6:40 am }

Sorry Neil, the way you wrote it seemed like you knew and it has been pre-taped. I am happy for people to give their opinions of who is next to go.

In fact I think it is interesting that you think Heather is weaker than Sabrina.

27 Sheila Black { 11.10.09 at 12:57 am }

Yes Neil, bad form. Your actions had serious ramifications – I pranced around like an idiot claiming to know who was leaving this week.

28 tv fan { 11.11.09 at 11:09 am }

I think Mark Bouris is rude and arrogant. I think he is a little frightened of Gavin. The girls are hopeless and I do not think that silly one that keeps of laughing has any brains and they would not be fit to work in his office. Sam carried out about his age. Morello is not fit for an executive job not conservative enough. Gavin should be the winner but I doubt Mark will pick him.

29 Maryann { 11.11.09 at 4:17 pm }

Gavin is two-faced and sly, he will just manipulate anyone with no ethics or morals about him. I think he deserves to win the least.

30 Sheila Black { 11.17.09 at 12:59 am }

Maryann is that you? Like the real Maryann?

31 Me { 11.17.09 at 3:09 am }

Gavin loved it when Sam went after Carmen- he looked like the cat who got the mouse. Not a team player at all.