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By Apprentice contestant
updated 12/20/2004 5:29:41 PM ET 2004-12-20T22:29:41

I can tell the kind reader from first-hard experience that it was apparent to us on the show, certainly to me, that, say by the fourth or fifth task, Kelly was the one to beat. He did not make very good television, but his somber determination, his apparent discipline, and his ability to perform under pressure, marked him as among the very most formidable players.

Captain Kelly was on a mission. His objective was to be “The Apprentice.” On this path (much as it would please me to call his victory a sham), Kelly did not often waver.

That he compiled the most impressive record of victory is beyond dispute. That, in his final task, he defeated Jennifer is clear.

However, leadership is a very complex equation. Among the contestants, if I had a specific pre-conceived mission, which required accomplishment, I would likely charge Kelly with the task. He is skilled in the art of execution, which is no small thing.

In this regard, he is perfect for Donald Trump who is the creative force of his organization. At the same time, were I to place a premium on creative insight and a grasp of broader trends, Kelly may not be my choice.

New cast of The Apprentice television reality series announced
Raj sits between contestants Wes (left) and Stacie J. (right)
At final analysis, I will go with an automotive analogy. Kelly was a Lexus: solid, dependable, competent in many areas, and, overall, an excellent machine.  Some other contestants with a chance, myself perhaps included, were a bit more like an Italian sports car, capable of spurts of dazzling performance, but somewhat more cantankerous and more prone to break downs.

In a long interview process, consistency is prized and Kelly indisputably displayed this virtue above all others. Kudos to Kelly. One must not always be particularly fond of someone to recognize achievement.


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