- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 7, 2004

January through April, an average of 20.7 million people watched Season 1 of The Apprentice on NBC. 40.1 million saw the April 15 finale, where Bill Rancic beat 15 others, becoming Donald Trump’s Apprentice. Instantly, The Apprentice became the best-ever how-to-succeed guide for Americans who work. And here in the Trump-O-Nomics column, legions of Trumpologists got expert work-style analysis of each week’s episode. Season 2 of Trump-O-Nomics promises fhe same: weekly world-class water-cooler talking points.

In Season 2, which starts Thursday September 9, The Apprentice makes Four Big Promises. More contestants (18, versus 16). More firings (2 more bodies means 2 more Trump-A-Dumps). Bigger stakes (no more lemonade stands—you get real Fortune 500 contests this time). And best of all—more lessons (after all, Professor Trump’s classes are the most popular on campus). Every week, in this column, you will earn you credits toward your degree in Trump-O-Nomics. This week, you get your Trumpologist’s Season 2 Forecast.

Trump’s trusted team of food-tasters stay the same: the chainsaw-wielding grandfather George Ross and the Ice Queen Carolyn Kepcher remain the tattletales who advise Trump when to bark “you’re fired!” Like last season, the first of the 17 shows starts with Trump cutting the 18 contestants into two teams of 9 for the initial battle royale. The Apprentices still will live in that killer NYC loft apartment. Manhattan remains their business battlefield. And, of course, Trump himself will be calling the shots, laying out the lessons-you-can-use at work, and firing at will.

But not all is the same. Season 2 offers 3 big new Trump Tutorial features. First, last season’s winner, Bill Rancic will return to replace George for a couple episodes and haze the new class. Second, we get more celebrity-studded mentoring from, among others, song meister Billy Joel, tennis fashionette Anna Kournikova, and New York Mets slugger Mike Piazza. And third, the contests involve real work for Fortune 500 companies such as Mattel, the makers of Crest toothpaste (Procter & Gamble), Levi’s, M&M;/Mars, Pepsi and others. Some on-air work done by these Apprentices will likely end up on grocery, toy and clothing store shelves next season.

And of course, there will be new players, 18 of them. Here is your Trump-O-Nomics Thumbnail of each, starting with the 9 women.

The Women

Elizabeth, a 31-year-old Californian, is owner of Pulse 40, a brand consulting firm. Elizabeth is my Trump-O-Nomics pre-show pick to be the final female competitor. (Note: Trump-O-Nomics knows as much about the eventual winner as you—which is, well, nothing.) Elizabeth is off-the-chart smart (4.0 from the U of Michigan Business School), a proven competitive winner (state high school basketball champ) and most telling of all, she counts a show sponsor, Procter & Gamble, among her employers.

You also have Maria, 31, a marketing executive from Virginia, our pick to be one of the first two people to hear “you’re fired!” (She’s too brainy…prone to “analysis paralysis,” which killed many potential Apprentices in Season 1. Of all the types of “smart,” Donald Trump likes “street smarts” best.) There is also Ivana, 28, from Boston, a venture capitalist, (having the same name as Trump’s famous ex-wife will probably work against her). Then you have Jennifer C., (“the dark-haired Jennifer”) 31, a New York real estate agent. Jennifer M., (“blonde Jennifer”) 29, a San Francisco attorney. Pamela, a 32-year-old investment manager from San Francisco. Sandy, 28, a Maryland bridal store owner, Stacie, 29, New York City Subway sandwich store owner, and Stacy (that’s Stacy with a “y”), a 28-year-old New York lawyer.

The Men

Kelly, a 37-year-old California software executive, is my Trump-O-Nomics pre-show pick to be the final male contestant. An MBA/lawyer from UCLA and an Army intelligence officer, I think Kelly has battlefield skills the others lack. The male field includes 8 others: Andy, 23, recent Harvard grad. Bradford, 32-year-old Florida attorney. 30-year-old stockbroker Chris from Long Island, New York. John, 24, a San Francisco marketing and real estate executive. Kevin, a 29-year-old Wharton MBA and law student from Chicago. Raj, 28, a Colorado real estate developer. Rob, 32, Texas corporate branding salesperson. And finally, our Trump-O-Nomics pre-show pick as one of the first-fired men, Wes, 27, Atlanta wealth manager. Wes says his strategy is “staying under the radar,” a plan that backfired often in Season 1.

Please join us each week in TrumpOnomics as we review the weekly firings and the lessons learned. Although TV reality shows are not usuallyhelpful for finding a job or navigating in the workforce, the weekly trials experienced by the Trump Apprentice candidates will serve as a learning ground as we continue on our own paths to career and professional success. Stay tuned.

Jay Whitehead is America’s most-read, most-watched and most-listened-to expert on workstyles and careers. You can listen to Jay Whitehead on web-radio every Tuesday 5pm to 6pm EST when he hosts Won on Won with Whitehead on www.businessamericaradio.com. This week the guest will be former Apprentice candidate, Kwame Jackson. Email your questions and comments to [email protected]

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