Ms. Mogul

Nely's Blog Nely Galán - Motivational Speaker, Entrepreneur, and Celebrity Apprentice
The New You TV Blog The New You TV - A Forum for Women's Issues Targeting Health, Wellness, and Beauty

Monday, March 30, 2009

CELEBRITY APPRENTICE 2- Nely Galan's Episode 5 Blog

This was the best Celebrity Apprentice episode yet – a great task that was extremely difficult and challenging, and a show full of surprises.

The biggest surprise of all was my feelings for Dennis Rodman. When the episode ended I found myself tearing up, as I was truly saddened to see the downward spiral of a great talent who is in denial.

In the beginning, we saw the power that is Dennis - people are drawn to him like a magnet. He has it within himself to win at everything, but he can't sustain it for very long, and his false grandiosity becomes his enemy. It’s evident that his Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde personality is fueled by his addiction. Dennis is a lovable guy until he has had too much to drink and goes to a very dark place. At 6’-8”, it takes a lot of alcohol to get him to that state, but when he does it's ugly, uncomfortable and scary.

It was pretty difficult watching that very public intervention in the boardroom. I was very impressed that Trump didn't pussyfoot around the subject, and "tough loved" Dennis by firing him. In fact, all the celeb apprentices proved to be remarkably healthy displaying true concern and compassion. The most amazing of all was Jesse James, a self described, recovering alcoholic, who proved to be vulnerable, honest, loving and profound.

I can only hope that this confrontation helped Dennis bottom out, and pray that he went straight to rehab after the show. He would be a truly remarkable man if he can get sober.

As for the task at hand…

Tionne (T-Boz) - I was impressed with her quiet and powerful leadership. I had written her off in the past and I was wrong. She’s not a Type A personality (like myself) but in fact, an extremely organized Type B. I have to admit that I think that this type of personality works better in harnessing this crowd of high-strung Type A women. She's non-threatening, yet direct and organized.

The women’s team was extraordinary, with Joan Rivers stealing the show in the role of the “can do” concierge. She did an outstanding job, but I thought it funny that her only potential undoing in the task was the fact that she kept forgetting to tell the hotel guests how much everything cost. (That’s the only time where she gave away her star status. When do you think was the last time that Joan worried about paying for anything?) Joan has remarkable energy and an incredible work ethic, attitude, and insight. She’s a talented artist and a savvy business woman. I aspire to be her. She is both right brain and left brain smart – with a good dash of NYC street smarts thrown in for good measure. Joan has to win Celebrity Apprentice - she deserves it and no one else on the show is in her league.

Once again, Annie Duke was a standout. While Natalie Gulbis barely contained her disdain of the “keep the wait staff hopping” shenanigans of the revelers, Annie played her cards right and accommodated every ridiculous whim of the guests with a smile on her face, despite how humbling some of the requests must have been.

Natalie has proven that she's good at getting free planes and free gift baskets, but it appears that she’s not used to getting her hands dirty. Can she lead? That remains to be seen.

Thankfully Melissa remained in the background for most of the show – choosing to be a true team player and following T-Boz’s instructions, without all the histrionics of last week’s ugly feud with Claudia.

Khloe Kardasian was lazy and put little-to-no effort into the task... no surprise there. Please, put us all out of our misery and just leave the show.

As for the men, the core foursome of Jesse, Herschel, Clint and Brian did a spectacular job. They formed a cohesive unit that was strong, hard working and focused. Unfortunately we all know what happened and why the men lost. Dennis, please get help, and please get better!!! We are all rooting for you.

I love Celebrity Apprentice. I truly love it. I loved being on it and learned a lot about myself and others, and I’m learning even more this season.

Hasta next week,


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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

CELEBRITY APPRENTICE 2- Nely Galan's Episode 4 Blog

This is the first episode this season where I thought the firing was unfair.

Claudia Jordan was fired; however, there were far worse people on her team that should have gone first. It’s a shame, as she really grew on me and I think she is talented.

After winning three weeks in a row it appeared that the women were unstoppable, but all it took was this one task where chaos ruled (as witnessed by their ill-conceived and ill-executed cheesy vignettes) for the team to quickly unravel and the fingerpointing to start. All those women turned on Claudia in the boardroom, in my opinion, to make nice with Joan Rivers – who is clearly the strongest member of the team. No one wanted to risk the wrath of Joan and therefore, by association, no one dared to mess with Joan's daughter, Melissa. Joan is a force to be reckoned with and deserving of all the respect in the world; however she is not doing Melissa any favors by keeping her under her wing. Melissa would be more likable (and respected) if she stood on her own two feet and didn’t turn to her mommy to defend her in the boardroom. She strikes me as entitled and spoiled.

If Claudia had been more Machiavellian she would have focused her energy on eliminating the weakest links on the team, so she could have lived to do battle with Melissa another day. (How could Claudia go when lazy Khloe, mousy T Boz, and inconspicuous Nancy Gulbis (although she did come through with a private plane in this episode) are still on the team?) But it’s difficult to think that way - Claudia spoke the truth and didn't play the game right. She didn't take into consideration the possibility of failure, and within that scenario, who the best candidates were to take into the boardroom so that she could have kept her spot. Her bad decision (more so than anything she did on the task) was her undoing - as a result, she’s gone.

This episode I loved watching my wild card player, Annie Duke. You can tell that she can't stand Joan and Melissa; and they certainly have no lovefest going with her. She knows that they are her biggest rivals and so she aligned with her enemy. Annie is playing good poker. She was able to play them - for now.

I’ll be curious to see what the women do in the weeks to come. How will they get around "the Melissa factor"?

The men's team (minus Dennis Rodman) was tight. Brian McKnight finally emerged from his shell and proved that he is a superstar both onstage and off. He took firm control of the team, knew exactly what he wanted, and was ready to take the bullet if his team failed. Brian was also the only project manager to date able to reign in Clint Black, and that's no small feat. Jesse James and Herschel Walker hit the perfect note with the West Point video - giving a slick presentation with just the right amount of heart. The entire product launch was like a well-orchestrated symphony. And I finally got the concert I wanted - Brian was amazing!

I’m surprised Trump hasn’t mentioned this season how he wants the teams to use their star power. As he told us last year, clients love star power, and star power wins every time. This task was the perfect example - the guys placed less emphasis on the product, and more on putting on a big show. The audience was star struck and that's all they remember, and rightfully so. Brian is a star!

Looking forward to the weeks ahead when all the dead weight is gone and the remaining competitors aren’t afraid to show their fierce and brutal nature. I predict that this is going to be a very exciting and cutthroat season.

Hasta next week,


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Monday, March 16, 2009

CELEBRITY APPRENTICE 2- Nely Galan's Episode 3 Blog

The men really blew it!

This week, Tom Green volunteered to step up as project manager to try to break the men’s losing streak. Initially it appeared that he could pull it off – he was calm, cool and collected. He had the team calling their contacts to collect money almost the second the task was announced. They looked like they were on track to turn things around.

But oh, how quickly everything unraveled! Within a few minutes of the show, I found myself yelling at the TV (or more precisely, at Tom).
Last week he was so on target with “ZZZZ” for the Zappos campaign, which unfortunately fell on deaf ears. This week all eyes were on him, but it was so obvious he missed the mark. He could have won this one easily. If the task was to sell wedding gowns, and it’s not your area of expertise, then hire an expert (like the women did when they brought onboard a professional wedding planner). Or, better yet, how about making use of the amazing resources at hand and in-house! Tom had two of the country’s top balladeers (in two different music genres) working for him, and a man married to one of the top-box-office romantic-comedy stars in the world.

What better way to sell wedding gowns than to throw a “love songs” concert with Brian McKnight and Clint Black? Brian McKnight has a greatest hits album with love songs like Wedding, Love of My Life, Still In Love, Every Beat Of My Heart, Must Be Love and Crazy Love.
Then there's Clint Black's greatest love song album including, Our Kind of Love, When I Say I Do and I Have To Say I Love You In A Song.
What a missed opportunity. A concert at the bridal store would have broken all records - more than what the women’s team could have pulled off.

If that wasn't enough, there's Jesse James’ “Trump” card - what kind of draw would Sandra Bullock (Miss Congeniality and Two Weeks Notice) have pulled in a gown? How could you not make use of Miss Romantic Comedy?

Tom had all of the ingredients for a victory. Surprisingly, none of the team members brought any creative thinking to the table either! Did these guys forget why they are on the show - to promote themselves for their day jobs?!! I’m annoyed - they not only could have won by doing what they do best - it would have made for a much better episode. I would have killed to see that concert.

As for the women, they rocked without even having to break much of a sweat. They took a lesson from the Gene Simmon’s school of working smarter, not harder. Melissa Rivers redeemed herself from last week's faux pas by bringing in Preston Bailey - Mr. Wedding Planner. That was a great use of resources. (Last year I brought in the amazing home designer Vicente Wolfe to design our window in a similar Celebrity Apprentice task, but unfortunately he was edited out of the episode.)

Question? Where were Nancy Gulbis, T Boz and Claudia Jordan in the episode? Was it the way the show was edited, or did they just not participate in the task to the extent that their teammates did?

Now as for Tom, who I have been supportive of, all I have to say is “Dude, I’m really disappointed at your lack of creativity and worse yet, your failure to show up (and step up) for your team. Why would you EVER want to behave like Dennis Rodman - who is just a complete waste. You deserved to be fired. How could you go out partying the night before your big day and blow your shot?” Another case of self sabotage.

As for Dennis, if he's on the show for publicity he's getting plenty of it - bad publicity that is. Unfortunately it appears that a leopard does not change its spots. Dennis should have been sent packing as well. (In rare cases, Trump does double-firings, and I thought this would be one of those instances.) Dennis will be fired soon - he can't help but bring it upon himself.

This show is unbelievably entertaining- and so far Donald and his team have been right on the money in their firings!

Here's my prediction for the winner of Celebrity Apprentice 2 as of this week - Joan Rivers, Brande Roderick (with Annie Duke very close behind) from the women’s team; and Jesse James from the men’s team.

Hasta next week! Can't wait!


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Monday, March 9, 2009

CELEBRITY APPRENTICE 2- Nely Galan's Episode 2 Blog

This was a difficult show for me to watch, as I saw a lot of my own blind sightedness from last year. On the show, you are asked to perform a task where everything you need to know to win it is revealed upfront. However, it was often easy to lose sight of the mission when thrown into a room, and onto a team, with a lot of head-strong personalities. You are under all sorts of time constraints and have the added pressure of trying to manage a lot of crazy characters; and often clues on how to perform the task are missed purely due to the stress factor.

Episode 2 was also the same episode that I was Project Manager on during my season. The tasks were both very similar – to create a marketing piece for a big corporation. Last year our project was to produce a campaign for Pedigree Dog Food. In this instance, it was for ZAPPOS - the fabulous on-line apparel, shoe and accessories store.

In the briefing it was apparent that what the client wanted was simple: a brand extension utilizing a comic book character emphasizing Zappos’ dedication to customer service, while staying true to their corporate culture. The task required clear focus – nothing too difficult. Again, the projects assigned in both seasons were keep-it-simple tasks. However, it all comes down to handling your team and handling the pressure. My stomach hurt watching both Khloe’s and Scott’s teams over think the whole process and miss the boat. You could also see the signs of sleep depravation, no food, psycho behavior and illness creeping in.

And, like last year, I believe that the team with the better overall campaign lost. The men had a much better concept, but lost due to one small, but very crucial, component – naming their superhero EEE instead of coming up with a character whose name started with a “Z”! Come on, how obvious Zappos - Z! Hello! Branding 101. They would have won if they had just named their character EZZZZZEEE!

I think that Tom Green was poised to be the MVP of the men’s team, but his teammates pretty much threw him under the bus. He kept yelling “ZZZZZ” trying to steer the team in that direction – but no one listened. The infighting and poor time management only added fuel to the fire. Tom was clearly so exhausted in the boardroom that he did not defend himself properly. The truth is that Scott Hamilton is no Gene Simmons when it comes to branding. He’s not a “creative” and refused to listen to his team about alternate names, and therefore the greatest decision in the task ultimately fell on him, and he failed. (I, like Scott “over thunk” my task last season. The difference is that on our task we over delivered - overwhelming the client with much more than what they had requested. Luckily Trump did not fire me over my mistake which he could have, and probably should have. However, he axed me in a later episode where I did nothing wrong, but had to take the bullet for past transgressions anyway.

Thankfully the Trump family and Erin Burnett (the even-keeled voice of reason in the episode) were able to ascertain the truth, get to the core of the matter, and once again, justice was served... Scott Hamilton had to go. I’ll be curious to see what happens next week if Tom Green takes on the role of Project Manager. Hopefully Tom will get his proper due and his efforts and creativity will be rewarded, as I strongly believe that if his team had listened to him, they would have won this week’s challenge.

Now, on to the other players:

ATHENA (The Women’s Team)--
The most dislikable person in this episode was Melissa Rivers. I was surprised to see that she tried to take credit for something she had not done, and I know Joan raised her baby girl better than that. Maybe the pressure affected her judgment? I know it’s just a show and I know that it may sound weird; but when you are there and sequestered from all that you know and love, you tend to do things that you wouldn’t normally do for fear of getting fired and looking like a loser. Regardless, it was a bad move that could create bad blood!!

Joan Rivers is holding up like a trooper. She is solid as a rock - still my #1 pick.

Claudia Jordan is getting more air time (good for her) but she's pushing herself too hard. She's already getting sick, which tells you that she's taking it way too seriously. (I can relate - been there!) Slow it down, Claudia, otherwise you will burn out quickly.

Annie Duke clearly isn't liked by her team, but I love her no-nonsense approach, and think that she's smart. Initially I thought she was going to make it to the end; however, now that I’ve seen the dynamics of the team at work, I’m betting that her teammates will bring her down and that she's not high profile enough to warrant Donald saving her. I personally think that she's one of the top three players, but I also think that she's not long for this show.

Khloe Kardasian – performed okay as this week’s Project Manager for the women. I just don't see her taking it to the next level. However, I do believe that she'll hang in there for awhile as there is so much dead weight that will be kicked off the team before her.

T Boz – speaking of dead weight, I really wouldn't miss her if she's gone, as she’s not contributing at all.

Natalie Gulbis – has got to go, and I am sure she will soon. She's playing her cards all wrong - acting aloof and undermining her team’s work in front of the client. Giant no-no! Luckily for her, her team keeps winning.

Brande Roderick I like her - she's very intelligent. I think she also bought herself a hall pass when Trump admitted to having a past crush on her. A Playmate with a brain could be Donald Trump's cup of tea. What I’m really looking forward to is seeing Brande and Joan go toe-to-toe. Joan is the only one I think who can bring her down.

KOTU (The Men’s Team)--
Clint Black - was unexpectedly mean and nasty. Wow! He's got some issues. Good thing he doesn't work in a real corporation – Human Resources would probably have him on speed dial. He very easily could have gone this week.

Dennis Rodman and Brian McKnight - waste of space and waste of talent. Why are you there? What are you contributing? I don't like people who stay out of the fire in order to not get burned!

Herschel Walker I like him. He’s “alpha-strong” with no BS. However, I think he was unfair to Tom Green in this episode. He too, like Scott, is not a "creative" and didn't get “it”. (This happens to creatives in corporations all the time - their contribution is dismissed, when in fact they hold the key to the puzzle.) At least Herschel threw Tom a bone in the boardroom and took some of the heat off of him, when Herschel mentioned Clint’s bad behavior.

Jesse James - saved the day. He was the one who initially brought to Trump’s attention Clint Black’s culpability in the task; thereby taking the emphasis off of Tom Green and forcing Trump to take a second look at Scott Hamilton's issues. Bravo!! I can relate the most to Jesse on the show, and am really rooting for him. His strategic thinking and quiet brilliance could win it.

Hasta next week. I can't wait!


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Monday, March 2, 2009


What an amazing show! The new season of “The Celebrity Apprentice” had a great kick-off, and as a viewer I loved watching the dynamics between the two teams and between the individual team members – wondering who would rise to the occasion, and who would have a meltdown. As a former contestant, I also felt more than a few pangs of anxiety knowing what was in store for this new crop of apprentices.

First of all, let me just say that the show has assembled a great cast. From what I saw, this season is set to be way crazier than ours! We had Piers and Omarosa, but Celeb Apprentice 2 has them in spades. Having seen this first episode, and armed with a little more information, I’ve had to revise my opinion on how I rank some of the players. But before getting to that, I have to mention that I’m puzzled by the fact that so many of the contestants made some of the same mistakes that we did on last season’s Celebrity Apprentice. Didn’t they watch the show? Didn’t they see what drives Trump crazy? Perhaps it’s what happens in a lot of corporations – a failure to do their due diligence and research, and not learning from (and/or caring about) the lessons of their predecessors.

So let’s cut to the chase:

Andrew Dice Clay - I am so happy that Trump fired the right celebrity. So often the show, as in life, is not fair; but this time, justice was served. Andrew was so busy trying to entertain his teammates, and so busy trying to avoid doing any work that he quickly became the team liability. He was grandiose, a quitter and just plain lazy. And while I will miss his antics, you can't get away with being lazy on the Apprentice without paying the price. Say what you will about him, but "The Donald" respects a good work ethic, a never-give-up attitude, fighting for your life, and knowing how to be resourceful. I don’t understand – Dice, why would you mention quitting? Don't you know Trump hates quitters?

You also missed a great opportunity to get some publicity for your charity. Once you got canned and packed off to the limo, you should have made mention of them in your final exit interview - instead you came across as a defeated, bitter whiner. I wouldn’t be surprised if you made the limo driver stop off for some of bagels on the way home and stiffed “Donnie” with the bill.

ATHENA (The Women’s Team)--
Joan Rivers - As I predicted, Joan is a force to be reckoned with. She volunteered to be the team leader for this first challenge – a risky move that could have been disastrous if her team had lost. I’m still concerned about her stamina though. If Andrew thought it was bad not having bagels waiting for him on Day 1, just wait a few more challenges when everyone is starved and sleep deprived. Although she's still my number one pick, I do worry that she might snap under these circumstances. However, if Joan is smart, and she is one smart cookie, she’ll delegate more to her Mini-Me, Melissa Rivers.

Annie Duke - is a proving herself to be a major player. I’m impressed! She is smart, tough, and hard working – she’s the Mary Lou Henner of this season. The difference - Mary Lou is lovable, while Annie is perceived to be bossy and abrasive. She’s not liked by all her teammates, but who cares – Annie came to win. (I’ll have to say that the women’s team last year fell into the trap of being too nice - minus Omarosa of course.) Also, like the good poker player that she is, it appears that Annie has done her homework - watching past episodes of the show and studying up on her opponents. I’m thinking she and Joan are both right up there.

Brande Roderick - I called it – this Playmate rules! This is one smart lady. She proved to be quite the savvy businesswoman making the most of her assets, in every sense of the word. She picked the perfect location for the cupcake sales (in front of the Playboy building), knew the power of providing some eye candy (having one of her fellow Playmates dress up in the traditional Bunny outfit) and did not hesitate to crack open her Rolodex. She brought in some big spenders, and unlike Tiffany Fallon last year, she did not hesitate in calling on Hef and hitting him up for some major coin. I like that she is a scrappy fighter and doesn't take crap from anyone. She’s also a top contender.

Okay, what's up Natalie Gulbis, Khloe Kardasian and T-Boz? They were so under the radar they didn’t even generate a blip. All three were too low key. Natalie, you’re a great golfer but on this show it appears that you’ve fallen into a sand trap and you can’t get up. Grab your best sand wedge and get out of that bunker! You guys need to step it up or you won’t be long for life! If the women’s team hadn’t won, one of you certainly would have been sent home.

Claudia Jordan – remains the big question mark. She’s a tough one to read. In her newfound feistiness is she trying to be controversial, or is she really clever and playing a good game? I can't tell yet, but at least she is making her presence known. Could she be inching into Omarosa territory? Don't do it Claudia – I don't think that you can pull it off.

All in all, the women deserve kudos for winning their first task (I only wish that my team would have done as well at their first time at bat.) My hat is off to Joan! It’s still early in the competition, but it appears that Athena has figured out how best to play the game.

K.O.T.U. (The Men’s Team)--
Herschel Walker – is a true gentleman and I love him. Like a good leader, he was willing to take responsibility for both the good and the bad decisions. For a minute though I thought that he was going to be the one getting the ax, but thankfully he stood up for himself and fought. I think he has the potential to go pretty far in this race. He's a winner.

Jesse James – I’m rooting for him. But enough with the “I’m just a blue collar guy” routine. Clearly Jesse is very talented and creative, and has to be a good businessman to have gotten to where he is in his life. I’m surprised that no one mentioned the fact that the men’s cupcake van looked amazing – a task that he pretty much did singlehandedly. I can definitely see what Sandra Bullock sees in him.

Tom Green – I’m eating my words – big time. Tom is smart, impressive and strategic. On the men's team he definitely did the most homework - I think I have a crush. I also think he is poised to be the men's secret weapon.

Scott Hamilton and Clint Black need to make their presence better known. In a team with such big personalities it’s too easy to get lost in the shuffle.

And in the Big Disappointment Category -
Brian McKnight- has an odd strategy of “when you stay out of the mix, the bull’s-eye can’t be on you and no way to be in harm’s way.” What? This logic is seriously flawed - surely he must realize that taking “no action” in business can be as deadly as the worst misstep. I hated the way he played the game this week!!! Brian, you are one of my favorite love song balladeers - please try and stay true to your “brand” and to who your fans think you are – it’s a far more valuable commodity. Don’t blow it.

Dennis Rodman - what is wrong with this guy? Did he think that this first task was just a scrimmage game that he couldn’t be bothered to warm up for? How could someone with such natural ability and talent have such a huge chip on his shoulders? And why was he avoiding the public by hiding out in the van during the challenge? It was agreed by all that he was potentially the biggest draw on the team. And yet, there he sat in the van doing nothing, hiding behind those sunglasses undoubtedly contemplating the location of his next piercing or tattoo.

It’s a shame that Dennis was the one most responsible for the loss of his team. If he followed in the footsteps of Lennox Lewis or Tito Ortiz or Gene Simmons from last season, he would have left the women in the dust with his sales potential. He's the biggest star on the show and one big missed opportunity. He's going down -- he can't help himself. Yes, Dennis may have won five professional NBA titles, but he also a professional victim. Can you believe his antics in the boardroom? I love how Trump wasn’t having any of it and shut him down. He's lucky Dice's laziness and quitter mentality are Trump's pet peeves. I do hope that Dennis stays around longer though, just because he is such a train wreck load of fun to watch. Perhaps he’s trying to be Omarosa on steroids? All I know is that Dennis could be throwing away a wonderful chance to prove his teammates, Trump, and his critics (including me) wrong.

MVP of Episode One --
Annie Duke and Brande Roderick. Congrats ladies! Even if you don't like each other, it doesn’t matter - go win it!!!!

Behind The Scenes --
Here's what you didn't see on the show. These people had to learn how to bake, fashion their cupcake truck from scratch, create a marketing plan, call friends and solicit funds, and go out on the street and sell - all within the course of about 12 hours time with little to no sleep and very little food. It’s a lot harder than it looks. It’s hard... really hard. (Side Note: one interesting difference is that last season we weren’t allowed to mention Celebrity Apprentice when we were trying to raise money - making it that much more difficult.)

And of course, then there's the boardroom - 2-3 hours of continually throwing people under the bus and those who choose to throw themselves in front of it of their own volition. I suffer post traumatic stress just thinking about these sessions! The celebs need to realize that it just gets worse with every passing week; although I’ll have to say that this bunch doesn't seem to mind that much ... yet.

Now that I can watch objectively from afar, I realize that the task and the lesson at hand are easy - make a decent product and sell the smallest amount of product for the greatest sum of money. It’s about keeping it simple and staying focused. But when you are there in the thick of it, it is often difficult to see clearly.

Can’t wait till next week - I’m already hooked.


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