Everyone’s a winner: Judges combine two teams in ‘Apprentice’

With the first of six challenges completed, “The Lion’s Apprentice” is off to a roaring start. Team P.B.L., which stands for Phi Beta Lambda, better known as the Future Business Leaders of America, wowed the judges on Feb. 14 with their “Wild Wild West”-themed dinner for Eickhoff Dining Hall.

Each of the six teams was given 20 minutes to showcase its dinner theme ideas before the panel of judges.

While one team presented, the remaining five waited in a side room where they could not see or hear their opponents’ ideas or the judges’ final questions and comments.

After three hours of presentations, the judges deliberated in the boardroom for 10 minutes. They finally named the winner as Team P.B.L. and eliminated . no one. Instead, the judges decided upon an interesting twist.

Team Aseores and Team Jigsaw, both of which had two members, were to combine forces and form a new team.

“All the teams did a very good job,” Emmanuel Osagie, dean of the School of Business, said. “The two teams with only two members, in spite of their constraints, presented competitively. The judges decided to give them another chance. But there are no excuses next week.”

Most audience members thought this was good news, but reactions from the contestants themselves differed.

“I was a little disappointed with the judges’ decision,” Lisette Vilanova, sophomore business major of Team Aseores, said. “There was no definite answer. But it’s like any business situation. You need to find positive things about the new members and see what they bring to what you already have.”

“It was definitely not expected,” Joe Moore, Vilanova’s partner and junior economics major, added. “I can’t say I honestly preferred this outcome, but both (Matt Cheetham and Steve Viola) seem to be good workers. This could be a blessing in disguise.”

Team Jigsaw member Cheetham, sophomore engineering major, appeared just as shocked.

“It was a complete surprise to see my team combined with the first team,” he said. “That awful part of me really wanted to see someone get knocked off. Even though no one was eliminated, it only delays the inevitable. But I absolutely welcome the other team’s company.”

While teams Jigsaw and Aseores marveled at the turn of events, winning team P.B.L. sat quietly enjoying the first big win.

“Teamwork was key,” member Lauren Gonzalez, sophomore accounting major, said.

Her fellow teammates nodded in agreement.

“The most difficult part was picking the theme,” Stephanie Ratushny, junior finance major, said.

Team P.B.L. won a meal for all team members and their parents in the 1855 Room.

Most importantly, Sodexho will prepare the team’s “Wild Wild West” dinner theme for the College’s students at Eickhoff Dining Hall.

With the first challenge behind them, the five teams were then assigned their second challenge by judge Valerie Hartzell, who works in the marketing division for theMegaGroup.

Each team will have one week to develop a promotional plan for the small company Kids’ MusicRound. The company has several locations, including one in Pennington. It offers music classes for infants and young children up to age four.

The teams will meet again on Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. in the Business Building’s main lounge, when one team ultimately faces elimination.

When each team was asked what their plan of attack was going to be for the second challenge, one word said it all: WIN!