The Apprentice: Gene Folkes and Wade Hanson After the Boardroom

the apprentice gene folkes wade hansonIn a shocking end to the show, Donald Trump fired two people this week on 'The Apprentice.' Contestants really had to step on it in planning a fashion show, as they had just hours to stage a runway for Rockport shoes Spring 2011 collection. The men were charged with staging the women's line and the women had to display the men's collection. In the end, Gene Folkes and Wade Hanson got the boot.

According to the Census, the shoe industry brings in almost $30 billion dollars annually. Rockport's niche in the industry is "walkability," bringing fashion and comfort together.

Fortitude, the women's team, created a catwalk theme: "A day in the life" of a fictitious guy named Tristan. The crowd loved their show -- until the very end. The finale featured male models in the Rockport shoes, clothed only in underwear. Some eyebrows raised, including those of Rockport CEO Michael Rupp. It was a huge risk for project manager Stephanie Castagnier -- one that ultimately paid off.

The men's team, Octane, launched a theme of "look good longer." The team's presentation was rough as Folkes stumbled and fumbled through descriptions of the shoes. Donald Trump, in the audience, shook his head. The room's energy fizzled..

In a board room first for 'The Apprentice,' Donald Trump declared the women winners straight away, without further discussion. "I think you've done an amazing job," he said. "Your team blew away the men."

Lessons learned

Trump stressed a very basic tenet of public speaking: keep props to a minimum. Folkes lugged an unwieldy laptop during the fashion show. Incredulous, Trump held up a piece of paper and said that he keep all his notes on it.

"It's the worst job I've ever seen as an emcee," Trump said. "People knew you lost as soon as you started talking."

Hanson, as project manager, took Folkes at his word that he was a strong public speaker. Trump criticized the project manager for neither testing Folkes' ability nor having a proper rehearsal before the fashion show. He channeled the old adage: Failing to rehearse is rehearsing to fail.

Hanson learned another lesson, after spending weeks on the show hovering below the radar. "I thought I could put my head down and execute while others self-destructed and made enemies and stupid decisions, he told AOL Jobs. "I should have left nothing on the table – lesson learned. I will never do that again."

Behind the scenes

It takes a huge effort to get an hour of television on air each week. Hanson says viewers would be amazed to see the amount of people it takes to put 'The Apprentice,' together.

In addition, Trump shows a different side off camera. "Trump was all business all the time, but it was nice for me to see how he interacts with his children," says Hanson. "I was amazed at what a great father he is."

AOL Jobs Asks
The Apprentice Wade Hanson
4 Quick Questions

1. What was your first job? Dock boy – age 13

2. What inspires you? My kids

3. What is the most important trait needed to succeed? Discipline and commitment to your vision – never give up!

4. What is your biggest challenge? Being a good father, husband and business owner at the same time. I need to keep my life balanced.

Where are Gene and Wade today?

Folkes, 46, of Wylie, TXexas has started his own company, developing a high-tech assisted living facility. He's bringing past experience from the Air Force and time spent as a financial advisor.

Hanson, 33, of Woodbury, Minn., hopes to become the "best known real estate agent in Minnesota" as a result of his experience on the show. "'The Apprentice' has re-energized my career in many ways. I no longer lead with fear like many Americans are doing in this recession," he says. "It's given me focus and has shown me that anything is possible if you are willing to work for it."

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I am SO SICK of people of color screaming "It's because of my color!!!" I, as a middle class, Caucasian woman, get discriminated against all of the time . . . Because my SKIN IS WHITE AND I DON'T HAVE A FOREIGN ACCENT! I love people of all colors, races, creeds, etc. Two of my best friends are Latina women and one is a black woman . . . HOWEVER, they ACT like AMERICANS!!!! They don't go around blaming others for their difficulties, they don't go around acting like someone owes them something and they ALL SPEAK FLUENT ENGLISH!!! They are AMAZING AMERICAN WOMEN, WHO LOVE THEIR COUNTRY AND TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR FAMILIES AND THEMSELVES!!! I thank God for these wonderful ladies everyday! GROW UP!!!! No one should be PENALIZED, NOR REWARDED FOR THE COLOR OF THEIR SKIN . . . IT SHOULD BE COMPLETELY BASED ON THEIR TALENTS, MORALS AND VALUES!!!

October 27 2010 at 11:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I used to LOVE the apprentice and had watched it every time . . . UNTIL this time . . . We watched the first couple of shows and were so completely disappointed with the contestants, we said forget it! WHERE did they find these people?!!! Sarcastic, unprofessional, lazy, rude, untalented . . . Very, very sad! I would try out next time, however, I don't have enough of the above attributes to make it! ;) Good luck!

October 27 2010 at 11:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Apprentice is a great leaning tool for people whom have a job and want to learn from others mistakes. For the ones whom want it off the air, its because they don't have a job and can't understand the concept of good leadership and thats the reason they voted for obama.

October 15 2010 at 9:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ever since Obama became president, almost every one goes out of his/her way to give an advantage to black people. We should treat them according to the content of their charachter and not their skin. Le's go back and treat all Americans the same way. Mr. Folkes was a victim of overzealous white people to p[ush him ahead.

October 15 2010 at 6:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jerry Evarts

The show is really being to smell. The Donald is a baffoon, who keeps people who make the show contraversal. The week before he allow one lady to see which way the wind was blowing before she cast another under the bus. Cowardly and the Donald bought it.

October 15 2010 at 6:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Donald Trump calls it as he sees it, no time for games, straight and to the point. When the project manager ducked out of sight because his deal was going down the tubes is the lamest thing a leader could have done. All three should have been fired. Hopefully, next week David will get the axe!!!

October 15 2010 at 5:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If you don't watch the program isn't it cancelled, at least in your home??? Don't watch, don't care,,, cancelled!!

October 15 2010 at 4:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is the first season in which I've watched more than one episode of The Apprentice. Last evening's episode showed the women's team in complete mastery of the assigned task. Their emcee was perfect in the role, and it will be interesting to see how far she goes in this competition. As for the men, the comment by one of them that their presentation was "like a watching a horse die" was hilarious. One of the remaining contestants, David, is such a horse's patute that the promo for next week has a teammate begging Trump to fire David, and thereby "relieve us of this plague." Again, hilarious.

October 15 2010 at 4:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dumb who went shopping for the women's clothers are secrectly having an affair. Where was DT's sexy daughter? DT should run for NY Senate.

October 15 2010 at 4:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This show is still on the air? It was fun at first but it's way past its time.

There is a lesson in the boardroom summary for all business owners. I do appreciate the points made, I'm planning a 3000 person event right now and I'll try to remember not to make these mistakes!!

October 15 2010 at 4:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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