Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Scotty Wants That Last Jump Back: So Long, "Celebrity Apprentice"

Well, that was quick.

No sooner did I start to settle in to that shuffle of a dance that has become The Apprentice’s trademark over the past 5 years—the posturing, the backstabbing, the footage cleverly edited to make you think things will roll hither when it ends up rolling yon—did the unthinkable happen:

Scott Hamilton made one crushingly boneheaded decision (yep, I said it), and it was enough to get him “fired” from The Celebrity Apprentice in only its second week of the season.

Did you see it coming?

If you read
this exit interview Hamilton did with TVGuide.com, maybe you’ll get the feeling—as I did—that he felt a little “done in” from the moment all those other Kings of the Universe (aka Team KOTU) apparently looked to him when pressured to choose a new project manager.

And then, if you saw the show, it would appear that Tom Green might’ve taken care of the rest… except that it arguably wasn’t Green that did Hamilton in as much as it was Hamilton himself. I think I physically winced when he came up with “EEE” as the name of the Zappos cartoon character. And as he himself says in the TV Guide interview, it would have been so simple for someone to just suggest a Z in front; to make it “ZEEE”…

But it was not to be. And if you’ve ever watched any of the Apprentice incarnations, you know that if one fatal project flaw is found, it’s almost guaranteed that flaw’s originator is out the door, no matter how many can attest to the belief that Green acted like a jackass… or that Dennis Rodman didn’t contribute much of anything (which by the way was very untrue, according to Hamilton).

So our Olympic Gold Medalist comes away from this experience too early, but relatively unscathed and widely seen as one of the nicer, calmer presences in the show’s history. What I find ironic about that, though, is that Hamilton used to be the crazy attention-getter of any scenario back in his younger days—isn’t that what I’ve heard from the friend of mine who watched Hamilton grow up on the ice in Bowling Green? Isn’t that what I read, to some degree, with his autobiography Landing It?

Interesting what time, agonizing medical turmoils, and a lot of perspective will do for a fellow.

More thoughts to come on the Hamilton foray into prime-time. For now, in lieu of a Clip of the Day I’m offering
this link to Telvision Without Pity, one of my favorite TV recap sites. To read about the episode in harrowing, hilarious detail, you have to check out TWoP!


tiffie said...

What annoyed me was the disrespect that Scotty (and his "deputy" Herschel Walker) showed toward Green. Then again, maybe Scotty completely misread him.

Scotty stated he believed that Green was trying to undermine his authority and destroy the creative process. But Green is a professional who works with creative teams all the time. That's how he makes his living. Working in a creative environment team members are encouraged to bring energy and ideas to the room. Was Green jacked-up and wired? Of course he was! That's his professional state of mind.

I suspect the athletes, like Herschel Walker especially, prefer following drill instructions and being told what to do. I thought Scotty's mentality would be closer to that of a collaborative creative performer than just merely an individual athlete, but after watching this show I'm not so sure, because he just couldn't get Green. He underestimated Green's strengths and abilities, indeed, ignored the very reason Green is even a "Celebrity" in the first place. It wasn't because Green won gold medals at sporting events. It was because he wrote, produced and perfomed in his own TV shows.

Whatever else one thinks about the quality of Green's sense of humour, the guy has actually sold movie scripts and is experienced in the process of pitching and selling his ideas to studios and convincing them to invest millions of their dollars into his projects. If Tom Green can make successful pitches to Twentieth-Century Fox and ViaCom, then what besides stubborn hubris made Scotty Hamilton think Green was incapable of accomplishing the same results pitching edgy creative ideas to a young edgy shoe company???

I am sure if the assignment had've been something related to athletics, Green would have stepped back and listened to those professionals and followed their advice. But he was not extended any courtesy or respect when the task was a creative writing assignment.

Sadly, the athletes believed they were the smartest guys in the room.

Kelli Lawrence said...

The more I think about it, the more I'm wondering if Scotty really did see some of-- or a LOT of-- a younger version of himself in Tom, and maybe started tuning him out as a defensive reflex.

(Getting off my pop psychology soapbox now...)

Tom Green isn't my personal cup of tea, but I agree he's as much a professional as the rest of them and deserves respect. I imagine it's a harder sell, though, given his reputation and approach.