Don’t hurt your head trying to find some deeper meaning hidden in the title. There is none. Basically, I jump at any chance I get to reference Patrick Swayze movies – especially totally awesome ones. So… The Apprentice: Martha Stewart… Dawna won. Can I go home now?
Actually, that seems to be just what Alexis, Martha, and Charles were thinking throughout the live portions of the finale. It was all so stilted and odd to me – but then again I don’t watch Martha’s talk show, so I don’t know how she is within that context at all – but if she’s anything like she was on her primetime show, I’d expect her talkshow to be canceled any day now as well. The three hosts arrived at the studio together and – Hey now! Alexis got a makeover! Instead of looking like a butch lesbian, she now looks like a pretty dude dressed up like a butch lesbian for Halloween. Baby steps. But Martha caught my eye more with her shimmery black swishy pants. If she was fat, I’d have called her pants, “The night sky,” but alas, she’s not. Instead she looked like she was wearing garbage bags. And I’ll save her weird eyelids for later on in the recap.The producers smartly filled up 90% of the hour with taped footage – I wasn’t sure how many times I could take Martha saying the word, “finale” like, “fin-ahhhh-lee.” Instead, we got to see how the final challenges played out. Dawna was to produce a Liz Claiborne fashion show and Bethenny had to organize a circus of some sort at CroBar. Both raised money for some very worthwhile charities, which is always nice. The show did a very poor job of showing us just what the two Project Managers did throughout the whole challenge. Now that I think about it, I have no idea what Dawna did on her own task and forget about Bethenny. I didn’t really catch what anyone on her team did, let alone her.
Some would say that’s the mark of a good project manager – and I wouldn’t necessarily disagree. But it appeared that Amanda pretty much organized the entire fashion show. She picked the 40 outfits, wrote up the descriptions, and met with the exec from the company. Never once did I see Dawna even talk to the Liz Claiborne lady. This was probably a good thing because Linda Greenblatt was quite a biatch. I’m guessing the show told both she and the fat guy from the circus to, “Be mean, be aggressive, create some faux adversity,” but only one of them heeded the advice. (The fat circus guy seemed too preoccupied with the endless free Pringles and apple juice provided by the sponsors. In fact, all he said during the entire show was, I think, “There’s pizza and soda and stuff over there!”)
However when Amanda said, “Liz ClaiBURN,” Linda Greenblatt lashed out at her, “It’s Liz ClaiBORNE! She continuously told Amanda that she was failing miserably throughout the task and generally came off as one of the more unpleasant people I’ve ever seen on television. Then again, she was dealing with the incompetent castoffs from Martha’s “Apprentice,” so I guess I can understand. And guys like Amanda can be a bit pig-headed too. Y’know, I was going to lay off the “Amanda is a dude” jokes this week, but then I saw her mustache. Oh dear.
And come to think of it, Amanda has a penchant for neck scarves – she seems to be constantly wearing one. Hiding the ol’ Adam’s apple, hmmmmmm? And the name Amanda is a bit too convenient, eh? “A man, duh?” Anyway, Bethenny was busy doing nothing over at her Circus task. Jim called her, “A mess, an absolute mess.” Exhibitionist Carrie was also upset as she felt Bethenny wasn’t leading them and that many tasks had gone untouched – even as the deadline was fast approaching. Personally, I just love that Carrie kept her little sweater tied around her neck (though, as her titty showed us last week, there’s no question she’s all woman, baby) as if she studied her Dartmouth orientation guide a bit too hard. You know, the one with the black guy, the Asian girl, the Hispanic grad student, and the white preppie chick with her sweater tied around her neck. I say, dear chap, where do I sign up for the sailing club?
Bottom line: both Dawna and Bethenny appeared to be doing a terrible job. Amanda was calling coral capelets “pink shawls.” The horror. Bethenny was telling a caterer she’d hired for the day, “Just take stuff and make it look great.” Gee, nice direction. And by the way, where were Howie, Ryan, and Sarah? What in the world were they doing? Oh yeah, that’s right… I didn’t care. Nor did I care that Team Dawna had to revise the wording on their fashion show programs at the last minute; causing them to skimp on the design of the print job. This totally pissed Linda Greenblatt off – especially since the program didn’t even feature the Liz Claiborne logo on it! Sarah finally spoke up, unfortunately channeling reality TV veteran Boston Rob with a hearty, “Holy Cannoli” as she began to feel the pressure. Howie leered at a passing model. I rested my eyelids for a moment.
Ladies and Gentlemen, gather ’round, it’s time for a good old fashioned circus… In a nightclub… With an apple juice advertisement as the background decor… And free Pringles for everyone. Yay! The performers were rather amazing – no animals or anything like that, just a bunch of highly skilled acrobats doing some pretty cool things. Martha had arrived with her lackeys in tow and was given a quick tour by Bethenny. Everything looked to be in order and Martha seemed pleased. There was even a silent auction that we were told, “went off without a hitch,” but who knows. We saw none of it. Since the audience was 98% kids less than 10 years old, I’m assuming the single malt and rare cigar gift pack Charles donated didn’t go over too well.
This scene just screams “Fun!”
After the circus was completed, Bethenny gave her team quick handshakes and a terse thank-you. Jim was offended and offered up a passive aggressive, “Good luck in the conference room, I mean, it should have been my job but God bless.” Carrie and Ryan weren’t even shown. Bethenny expressed confidence in her abilities and declared herself the winner. Later, she said, “There’s no way Martha’s giving this to Dawna. There’s no way.” It was as if Mark Burnett was saying, “I dare you to believe my ham-fisted foreshadowing this time. I dare you.” Then a crab scampered across the street.
The most fascinating scene of the entire season played out during the ride over to the fashion show. Alexis and Martha were side by side ostensibly having an unscripted conversation about the proceedings. Martha said, “I think this is a great challenge, don’t you?” She was also fiddling with her Blackberry.
Alexis replied, “Yeah!”
Martha reacted with an unemotional, “Excellent.” She was totally lost in her emailing.
Alexis continued, “Apparently Amanda picked out the outfits and Sarah loved… ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME OR ARE YOU EMAILING?”
Martha: “I’m listening. Sarah loved?”
And Alexis was ripshit. What a glimpse into her life. Sure she’s rich beyond rich – but man, when your mom totally ignores you while being filmed, and then allows that scene into the final cut of the fin-ahhhh-le, all the money in the world ain’t gonna make you happy. Christ, all the money she has and she still can’t get a decent haircut. Alexis, Martha, and Charles in his carnival barker suit (again) arrived at the show and sidled up to the runway. Was it just me, or did all of the models have really weak walks? After 5 seasons of ANTM and two Project Runways, I know my walks. Not to mention all those Victoria’s Secret shows I’ve enjoyed – hey, wait a minute… Wasn’t that the same runway coordinator guy that was on the Victoria’s Secret show? God I was bored. Though Charles,’ “Hubba-hubba” proclamation roused me a bit. At least his cigar didn’t suddenly get “erect” – at this point, I was totally expecting that from this show.
Afterwards, the bitch from Liz Claiborne lightened up and told Dawna that she’d done a great job. Dawna was so tired and apparently emotional that she began crying for no discernable reason. This display continued as she said goodbye to her little team; Howie, Sarah, and Amanda. Waah wah waaaaahhhh. So much for Red Dawna – she’s no WOLVERINE. Wimp.
After the tasks were complete, the two made their way to the final conference room. For some reason, Bethenny chose to wear a sexy little chocolate gingerbread dress and stilettos. Remember, poor little Bethenny has never had a corporate job before – what does she know? Maybe her hoochie get up would work for Charles (hell, it worked for his son, remember), but no way would it work for Martha. But wait a minute… the X-Factor Alexis still had an opinion. And it could be said she’s even more of an XY-factor. Bethenny might not be so dumb after all!
Eh, not so much. The conference room showed us nothing new, as Dawna held her own and carried herself rather well. Meanwhile, Bethenny’s thong was rubbing her the wrong way (due to the skin tight dress, no doubt) and she kept interrupting Dawna and selling herself by saying such brilliant witticisms as, “I have some rough, rough edges.” Just what Martha wants, dumbass. Just before the commercial, the camera panned the live studio audience; there was Dawna’s family and there were Bethenny’s friends. No family, just friends. Was she raised by wolves? Or more likely, was she raised by Mr. Peanut salting his, um, nuts to attend?
We were then treated to short vignettes about the candidates “real” lives – there was Bethenny buying some radishes and some Brussels sprouts. Then she washed the veggies and chopped them up. Oh yes, now I see… chopping veggies = $250,000 executive position with Martha Stewart Omnimedia. Makes perfect sense. Then we got a peek into Dawna’s world – swimming in cycling gear and publishing a women’s sports magazine. Gee, what a tough decision for Martha. The anticipation was killing me!
We finally got to the meat of the show; the live discussion and crowning of the winner. This is where the personalities would really shine! Martha asked Alexis what she thought about the candidates and she gave a very eloquent and thoughtful answer: “You’ll have to tune into Sirius radio channel 112 at noon to hear what I really think.” WTF? I suppose this would be the absolute last time Alexis made it onto television in her life, so she used the opportunity to plug her stupid little radio show. She finally did offer up, “Dawna is a little dispassionate and uncreative but is a better fit.” Which reminds me, I have a pot named Dikembe Motumbo and this kettle… oh never mind.
I couldn’t help but be distracted by Martha’s weird right eye all night. Is this normal for her? Did she have some recent Botox shots or something? Her eye was a little too open; a little too “bright.” I can’t really explain it other than to say it began really freaking me out after a while. To Martha’s credit, however, she did expose Jim for being the fraud that he is, saying, “Jim, I think your whole thing was an act. No way was that you on the show.” Amen. I wish she went a little further to tell him that she will do everything in her power to see that he never appears on television again. One last time: F Jim.
The whole proceeding was very choppy and poorly orchestrated. Martha kept cutting off everyone’s answers and – I can’t stop staring – that goddamn eye! The eye, coupled with her weird orange Dr. Evil cape thing just gave off an eerie vibe somehow. Before I knew what hit me, Martha cut Bethenny off again, told her that her style of dress was unprofessional and she was unqualified and that she was just thinking and was wondering if Dawna wouldn’t mind working for her.
“We could use you at MSO.”
Oh hey! Dawna won! Yay! Actually, since that wasn’t a surprise at all, I guess it was kind of clever how Martha announced the winner – all surreptitiously and stuff. That’s why she’s a billionaire and I’m looking up the proper spelling of capelet since my spellchecker keeps telling me it’s not a word. Dawna will be working at Martha’s newest magazine, “Body and Soul,” which is essentially Oprah’s magazine with a lot more white people in it. The magazine seeks to “Nourish your soul,” and other hokum like that.
Martha’s a big hit with Pilgrims
And with that, Dawna ran outside to “nourish her soul” by climbing into the Buick Lucerne she had just won and spitting out the scripted phrase, “So excited!” Then she drove away into the Manhattan night.
So, the show ended with the Dawna winning – the same Dawna who didn’t do a single noteworthy thing in the first 6 episodes – shaking Martha’s hand and then walking out of the studio, climbing into her new car, and driving away leaving her family and new employers standing around drinking warm champagne. A fitting awkward ending to a thoroughly awkward season.
Have at it TVgasm readers! I can’t wait to see the 400+ comments this “Apprentice” finale garners! (I did say that Martha’s magazine has more white people in it than Oprah’s! That should be good for a good 100 comments, right?)