Why Was James Sun Fired?

Just to remind you, on Sunday, it was the finale of the reality TV show The Apprentice.

Although its ratings have gone down since it started in 2004, this season not being an exception, NBC has ordered another season. That’s funny, especially when they canceled The Black Donnellys.

A quick recap.

James and Steffani partnered up against Nicole and Frank. It was obvious from the start that Nicole and Frank would get fired; their video was stupid (a mom cleaning up the bad smells in her son’s hospital room?) and James and Steffani’s was a lot more appropriate.

When it came down to the line, James and Steffani made their case. Steffani had never been project manager, ergo she had never been a leader. Trump hires leader. Why the heck would he hire someone who went “under the radar”, a term that Trump actually used himself?

All that Steffani did was not step on too many toes, do her best and never mess up.

James was the one who went on the line and stepped up as PM. Not once did Steffani do this. For Trump to actually hire Steffani instead of James, is just plain crazy.


If there were other reasons involved, reasons that would invalidate James’ candidacy, well then Trump would have no choice but to hire Steffani.

After researching the season finale of The Apprentice for a few minutes today, I came up with a possible solution.

It’s either that or no one is talking, neither Trump or Sun are revealing what went on.

It’s possible that Sun just said something that Trump didn’t like on of the tapes and that was reported back to the man in charge.

(My guess is that this is what happened, although no one will say anything and all parties are really keeping this one off the media. Ideally, this will leak to some form of media in the coming days, while the story is still worthwhile to pursue.)
It’s also possible that with his mentioning his Zoodango networking site may have alienated Trump from the get-go during the season finale. Maybe Trump was annoyed that James mentioned his fledging web 2.0 company on TV, a place where companies pay millions of dollars to be mentioned or associated with Trump.

In Trump’s own words:

James, you’re terrific in every respect. You’re totally creative, I love creative people, but there were certain things and certain dialogue that you gave during the course and you know what I’m talking about, that bothered me very much. You’re an outstanding guy. I really think you’re going to be a big success, but for now, James, you’re fired!

However, it is my opinion that James already knew that he wasn’t getting hired. Either that or he didn’t want to get hired. He didn’t really argue. He wasn’t 100%. Maybe he was told that he wasn’t going to get hired for some comments that he had made during the season.

Who would, if you are already a multi-millionaire, why would you put your money making company on hold to spend time as a corporate lackey in Trump’s organization?

Still, some people have done exactly that, but their rich careers on hold to learn from the Donald.

From James Sun’s blog, his suspicions on why he was fired:

However, I can speculate one thing. During the finale, I did mention in my personal tape that I quit a six-figure job to start my own company and focused on my conviction of why I wanted to be my own boss. I also mentioned how much I enjoy my time with family. Next, I committed the big “slap on the hand” by answering Don Jr.’s question that I am the current founder and CEO of Zoodango.com. In the real world, this statement would be 100% okay. But on television, especially on Donald Trump’s show where companies pay millions of dollars for product endorsements…..any reference to a company is treated as an endorsement for promoting the company. To be 100% honest with you, I did not intentionally bring up the name Zoodango.com…..it just happened. Zoodango.com is literally a part of who I am now. I eat, sleep, drink, and wake up to Zoodango.com. It’s just part of my every day speech. In retrospect, many people would probably have advised me to use the live audience of 8 million viewers to promote my company, but I wasn’t thinking this way. If this were indeed my pure intention, I would have given the whole CEO elevator pitch. When Don Jr. asked me the strategic thinking or big picture question, I gave him an example by pointing to Zoodango.com. After seeing that I love being an entrepreneur, and I love hanging with my wife and kids, and I love Zoodango……maybe Trump didn’t see how I had any more room to love him. After all, he did tell Nicole that he wanted to be loved more than Tim. Well, I can only speculate, but I have no choice but to speculate since I wasn’t given a clear and compelling answer from Mr. Trump.

As shrewd as these Apprentice candidates are supposed to be, do you really think that he mentioned Zoodango without having it planned in advance?

I don’t.

More news stories on this developing story.

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