So in all the excitement that was Survivor‘s finale weekend, I sort of forgot about lil’ ole Apprentice, but that’s okay. It’s not like anyone was fired (or hired, as it were). Yes, in grand NBC tradition, this so-called “Finale” has been stretched over two episodes, which means the really good stuff won’t be on the air until tonight. That’s not to say last week’s show was without merit. There were plenty of enjoyable moments as the two finalists struggled to keep their event running smoothly, particularly a dejected Governor Pataki strolling around awkwardly without a flag. But who will win this whole shebang? My money’s on Kendra for now. Let’s take a look back, shall we?The episode began with Kendra facing a dire dilemma. If she couldn’t spruce up the gaming area in Webster Hall’s basement, Playstation would pull out as a sponsor. Yes, I’m sure Playstation would gladly turn down the nationwide marketing platform The Apprentice offered them. Whatever, I’ll humor this silly notion for the sake of entertainment.
Needless to say, Kendra quickly put Michael Tarshi in charge of the Beautification Club, ordering him to “Make it look nice.” A little vague, yes? And with Tarshi at the helm, I feared Kendra would return to the basement three hours later to find it covered in black leather with dildos hanging from the ceiling.
Meanwhile, over at Chelsea Piers, Tana was doing some delegating of her own. She assigned Kristen, resident rocket scientist, the task of creating a brochure to be handed out to the athletes and attendees. This was a very integral element to the event, as the brochure featured the all-important itinerary and schedule for the sporting exhibitions. Surely Kristen, the genius behind the semen-themed Dove commercial, would have the creative facilities to take on such an important task. Oh, who am I kidding? The only thing this woman should be put in charge of is scaring away bums and ne’erdowells with her Halloween-caliber face.
Anyway, after all this brochure business was well established for a later disaster, we then cut to Chris maniacally running down the track with as evil a cackle as one can have. “I FIND RUNNING TO BE VERY AMUSING! MY LAUGHTER INDICATES MY STATE OF JOY!”
Well, Chris finally calmed down and got to work hanging some banners up with our old friend Brian, the former magician turned idiot. The two guys faced an immediate setback when they discovered the piping used to hang the banners was simply not long enough for the endeavor. That’s okay, said Brian. Just let the corner of the banner flap over. “Good enough for government work,” Brian rationalized. Yes, I’m sure that will really help Tana. “Mr. Trump, I should be your apprentice because my event felt was as efficient, friendly, and stimulating as the DMV.”
Soon, this banner fiasco turned into an all out brawl as nosy Kristen arrived on the scene. “Here comes Kristen. She’s such a spaz, dude,” said Chris, adding, “SHE’S QUITE ERRATIC AND UNRESTRAINED WITH HER EMOTIONS! I DO NOT ENJOY HER HOSTILE VERBAGE!”
It just so happened that Chris was right about this, and sure enough, Kristen became a spaz about the banners — a point that she too happened to be right about as well. Finally, Tana had to come in and regulate, which she didn’t seem to do very well. Was she going to lose this over the banners?
The next morning, we were oddly shown footage of wild boars rooting around the suite bedrooms. Oh wait, those two hirsute creatures were just Brian and Chris lying in bed (not together… gross) with their shirts off. That’s right: WITH THEIR SHIRTS OFF! Talk about unsettling images. The only thing worse would have been if Trump stumbled in wearing a banana hammock. Ew. Now I’m thinking about Trump without a shirt on. How does Melania deal? Oh that’s right, the billions of dollars.
Two ways to lose your appetite.
Anyway, Tana woke up her workers at 6 AM, but like grumpy children, they simply curled up in their beds and moaned. Finally, Chris leveled with her: “Everyone’s tired. Don’t get pissed off.” He then added, “DO NOT GET PISSED OFF! I WILL BEAT YOU, WOMAN! I WILL TAKE YOU DOWN! AND THAT IS A FFFFACT!”
After this morning madness, we then moved back to Kendra’s team which seemed to be working nicely together. Playstation’s rep, Aimee, returned to see if the basement gaming area had improved. Well, according to NBC it had (chimes twinkled on the soundtrack as if to say “Ah! The fairest basement in all the kingdom!”) Aimee, however, didn’t seem totally won over. “I think it’s great presence for us down here, don’t you think?” said one happy exec. Aimee replied with a terse, “We’re getting there.” What’s the dealio, Aimee? Why you got to hate? This was a Michael Tarshi special!
Random story: I went to the E3 Conference at the Los Angeles Convention Center today, and while I certainly took my time playing video games, I must admit that a part of me really wanted to run into Aimee at the Playstation booth. Sadly, the only recognizable faces I saw were Blair from Road Rules, Michael Chiklis, and Gary Coleman — a dynamic trio, if I do say so myself.
Anyway, back to Apprentice. As Tana’s event approached (it started at 11 AM), things began to spiral out of control. Anytime anyone asked her about something, she’d respond with “I’m taking care of Governor Pataki and Bruce Jenner.” In fact, she mentioned Bruce Jenner so many times I was surprised she didn’t have a little shrine to the Olympian in her bedroom. Hey Tana, if you love Bruce Jenner so much, why don’t you marry him? Or sell him some mascara?? Meanwhile, Tana’s obsession with Bruce Jenner was most likely the only thing keeping her going. “I had to depend on these three idiots to help me,” she told us in an interview. Wow. That was remarkably bitter. I thought Tana was supposed to be sweet and perky. She then said “I am perky. I’m a perky BITCH. Now get out of my way! I need to bedazzle something before I draw blood!”
Chaos continued to descend on Tana’s event, especially once Pataki arrived. His wiseguy handler, appropriately named Vinnie, popped up and told Tana that His Majesty, Sir George Pataki had arrived and now was waiting around with nothing to do. Vinnie then grabbed Tana by the collar and seethed “Don’t make me ruin that pretty little face of yours. The Pataki waits for NO ONE! Oh, and while I’m being a stereotypical Italian-American, I might as well say: fuggedaboutit!”
(My Cousin) Vinnie’s GIGANTIC cowlick.
With all this mounting stress, Tana seemed disoriented, to say the least. “They weren’t saying ‘You’ve got beautiful blue eyes,’ or ‘Where can I get a tube of lipstick.’ Has anybody got a compliment?” NO. Your shoddy comparison to the world of Mary Kay deserves nothing but scorn. Thing unlikely to happen: Donald Trump stopping contract negotiations and asking, “Tana, what’s a good, long-lasting lipstick for Melania? Might I buy some from you?”
Well, as Pataki waited and waited and as Vinnie became surlier and surlier, Tana found herself in an even deeper pool of shit. Turns out the much-hyped brochure had come out, and brilliant copyeditor Kristen had printed verbatim gossip about the athletes. You see, the organizers of NYC 2012 had passed along insider info to Tana to help anticipate certain issues with the sports stars, but Kristen had literally taken that information and printed it up for the world to see. IDIOT. You STUPID IDIOT!
Anyway, Trump finally arrived (and so did that dreamy Bruce Jenner, grrrrowl!); so we were finally ready to get this shindig on its way. Ah, but first, the parade of nations! Yes, children holding flags from all the Olympic nations would walk down the track in a glorious procession of goodwill and unity. And leading this flock of juvenile nationalism would be The Pied Piper himself, Governor Pataki. Hey, everyone else gets a flag, why not Georgie? Pak-Man wants a flag, mommy! Okay, okay, we’ll give you a flag, G-Pat. How about the American flag? Oh yeah, that’s right. THERE IS NONE!
Yes, in a masterful flub worthy of multiple smacks on the head, Tana had no American flag for the Governor of New York. Kind of hurts that whole U – S – A chant Vinnie was gearing up to start. If it were me, I’d come up with some pseudo-modest jingoist bullshit like “Well, we didn’t want the flag because we knew our presence would overwhelm the smaller, less significant countries. Like Canada!” Instead, Tana just shrugged her shoulders, slapped Pataki on his ass and yelled “Go get ‘em, tiger!” Okay, maybe she didn’t say that, but Pataki did march out with the children and used his unencumbered hands to wave to the crowd like the beauty queen he always dreamt he could be. Unsurprisingly, Trump was not very happy with the flag situation. “Big mistake,” he declared. Dunh dunh DUNH!
There was more petty drama (mostly Tana dissing her underlings in front of Carolyn), but in the end, the event seemed to run smoothly enough, leading our fearless leader to declare, “You’re looking at the next apprentice!” Really? Where? I don’t see her. Oh you’re talking about you?? Uh, yeah, um, next apprentice. For sure… “I got this job,” Tana said proudly, thus paving the way for inevitable firing.
Over at Webster Hall, Kendra put on her Pun Cap and greeted the evening’s emcee, Fabolous. “Well, aren’t you Fabolous!” she said. NICE. Bet he hasn’t heard that one before. If only Kendra could be as smooth as Tana around the rappers…
Anyway, there really wasn’t much to talk about at Kendra’s event. As far as I could tell, she seemed to be running a tight ship. Everything was working well and looked nice. Truthfully, Kendra was really on top of her shit (as far as we could tell from the editing). At the same time, she also had three distinct advantages over Tana. First, her event started later, giving her the extra prep time she may have needed (think if Tana had four extra hours. The flag and brochure incidents may have been corrected). Second, Kendra had a generally easier task in the sense that she didn’t have tons of athletes and children and sporting events and antsy politicians to coordinate. Basically, she just had to set up the gaming kiosks, erect a boxing ring, and then make sure everything else was running smoothly (although I’m not saying that’s a walk in the park). But lastly, Kendra’s team was by and large way more capable than Tana’s. Michael, Erin, and Danny are a bit chaotic, but they seem like erudite professors next to Brian, Chris, and Kristen.
Well, Trump eventually showed up at Kendra’s event, and as usual, he was showered with attention and handshakes. I did notice two guys, however, who seemed completely unaware that The Donald was walking directly behind them. A brush with greatness! How could you not notice?? Anyway, Trump eventually got in the boxing ring where he introduced Fabolous by saying “My daughter likes you.” Kendra then piped up by saying: “Well, that’s FABOLOUS! Get it? Fabolous?”
Anyway, Fabolous eventually took over the mic from Trump, and good god, this guy has no energy. He was practically asleep in the ring. Yes, nothing excites a crowd like a droopy eyed man mumbling into a microphone. Either way, the event was a resounding success, and the producers could hardly find anything to create drama in it.
At the end of the day, it was time for each finalist to bid adieu to her worker bees. Tana let her “Three Stooges” leave first, lest the line between boss and peon be crossed. Yes, she was holding back “like an executive.” Yeah, an executive in Elizabethan England maybe. Since when was there so much pomp and circumstance involved with getting into a car? It was clear that being a finalist had gone directly to Tana’s head. Who else is already bedazzling a shirt for her that says “You’re Fired!” Anyway, after the other three had finally left, Tana skipped out to her limo and escaped into the night with her executive status intact. “This event could not have gone any better,” she said. Uh, actually it could have. You know, like with a proper brochure or an American flag.
Having a completely different experience was Kendra whose night ended not with a carefully executed dash to her limo, but with a group hug. Yes, homegirl was crying at the support she received from her crew, and you know what, she had every right to be emotionally wound up. She really did pull off an amazing event, as epitomized by the job offer from EA she received. “I almost forgot what it was like to work with people who believed… in me,” she told us later. Yeah, she’s not talking about you, CRAIG!
Anyway, the two ladies both arrived back at the suite and compared notes. Tana seemed shocked to find out that Kendra’s team actually functioned well. We could see the jealousy quietly creeping into her increasingly insincere smiles. Eventually, the women moved into the bathroom, and as Tana stood by the sinks, Kendra slipped into a stall. The two continued to talk through the stall door, but eventually Tana simply decided to up and leave, resulting in a humorously awkward moment as Kendra asked “Who fought? Kristen and everybody?” This was followed by silence. “Tana?” Aw shit! Mary Kay left you on the pot alone! That hurts!
The next morning was the final Boardroom which meant time for lots of boasting and proclamations. Kendra kept with her standard “I have the complete package” line whereas Tana mixed things up with all sorts of nifty quotables. “High school students have the advantage… because we’ve fought for everything we’ve ever had.” Well, except a college degree, but whatever. She continued: “I’m a shark in a goldfish costume.” Or, you know, a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Common saying. Once again, the virtues of education.
Well, the two finalists eventually faced Trump and his panel, and immediate scrutiny fell on Tana for her brochure. Carolyn did us a solid and finally read us a line: “Five gold medals, injured, won’t swim, but is great on camera.” Wow. Kristen is even more of an idiot than I ever thought. Most amusing about this though was Kendra’s face which registered pure shock. Wow, that ain’t FABOLOUS.
Trump then grilled Tana about the whole flag issue, eventually getting her to admit that she assumed there would be a U.S. flag in the international flag box (too bad the flag box was apparently made on July 3, 1776). The most glaring problem for Tana, however, was the way she treated her underlings. Carolyn, in particular, was quite peeved at Tana’s arrogance and condescending attitude towards Brian, Chris, and Kristen. Tana tried to talk her way out of it, but it was a losing fight. Damn, she was going down quickly.
Anyway, Trump then moved on to Kendra, asking her about her team. Almost immediately she became verklemped as Michael, Erin, and Danny’s efforts brought tears to her eyes. Sweet Tana extended a tissue in a gesture that seemed to say, “I AM SWEET!” Well, after this four hanky moment ended, Kendra fielded some questions about Danny and that initial chaotic meeting with the execs. Honestly, there was very little Trump & Co. could needle Kendra about. It was clear they were simply trying to get a rise out of her.
Finally, the two women went at as they tried to prove who was more worthy of Trump’s love. Kendra ultimately took a page out of Tana’s book by saying “I am the only person that has won three times as project manager. Tana’s loss was to me.” Ouch! Speak to the hand, Tana. Speak to the hand.
The episode ended with Tana and Kendra taking a seat on the couch in the lobby while the six other rejects-turned-workers shuffled into the Boardroom to spill the beans about their bosses. I’m not sure what everyone will say, but I’m fairly positive that Kristen will somehow make this experience about her. Maybe she’ll talk about the Dove commercial again. Either way, I guess we’ll find out tonight.