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Friday, April 16, 2004

Apprentice Friday: Finale Edition

 
We Thought We'd never hear those sweet words, squeezed out between the pursed lips of one Donald Trump:

You're hired.

Once we realized that The Donald wasn't offering us the job of repeatedly, sweatily, multiply-orgasmically pleasing stunning Trump-trophy Melania while he's off attending to his golf courses, gauche hotels, and television sequel concerns, we admittedly became less enthused. But, you know, we're still sort of excited that Bill was coronated as the Apprentice. We did pick him to go all the way.

The final boardroom reckoning was decidely intense. Trump solicited opinions from The Fired Apprentice Jury of the Damned, from buttoned-down-businesswomen-on-the-verge-of-a-carnal-awakening Carolyn, from grouchy, old-school George. And they split exactly down party lines. The Jessica Simpson concert team thought Kwame was the boss material, and the golf tourney cohort showered their love all over Bill.

Indeed, The Donald knew that this was gonna be a tough one. So tough, in fact, that fake receptionist Robin was forced to go off book and improvise to the effect of "You can have a seat" to the nervous candidates instead of immediately ushering them into the inner boardroom sanctum. Trump had some quick thinking to do. This shit was live. He needed some time alone to sweep office supplies off the conference table, roll up his French cuffs, and mud-wrestle with his conscience.

So we waited.

Finally, Trump was ready to face Kwame and Bill.

He asked the hopefuls who should be hired. Not surprisingly, each thought he was the right one for the job. This touched off a pitched battle of self-promotion, where the surprising fact that Kwame was a graduate of Harvard Business School was unearthed. Kwame's self-presentation included a Harvard Business School fashion show in which he modeled crimson sweatshirts, Harvard-crested boxer shorts, and an apron bearing the slogan "Kiss the Cook, Who Happens to Have an MBA from the Harvard Business School." Trump cut him off in the middle of his virtual tour of the Harvard Business School's campus. He'd seen enough from Kwame. It couldn't be argued that the kid's pedigree was impressive, a pedigree that was issued by the Harvard Business School.

Bill Rancic's pitch was vintage Bill Rancic: intense, confident-bordering-on-arrogant, intense. Bill's an intense perfectionist who doesn't let his intensity taint his perfectionist attention to detail. And Bill Rancic, despite what his otherwise admiring teammates may have intimated, does not ruffle. He gets the job done. Sure, sometimes there are hiccups. Mr. Trump, Bill's not in ruffling business.

Trump's decision-making apparatus whirred audibly underneath the combover that keeps it protected from the energy-sapping fluorescent lights. Finally, it came to him. He hadn't considered The Omarosa Factor. He'd seen firsthand evidence of Omarosa's deceptions and guile, and they weren't Trump Organization-quality duplicitousness. Kwame had chosen her for his team (early on in the draft, Carolyn noted), failure number one. He didn't fire her, despite the fact that he was immune from her trademark fake racism allegations, when her weak lies were uncovered. This did not please The Donald. He likes to fire people. Doesn't The Kwame like to fire people? Bill hadn't fired anyone, but Trump could easily see him downsizing with a perverse sneer.

"Kwame...you're going to be a big success," said Trump. Kwame began mentally composing his class note for the Harvard Business School alumni magazine.

Kwame Toure Jackson (MBA '00), recently was chosen by Donald Trump as his "Apprentice" on the reality television show of the same name, and is now CEO of the Trump Organization's Free Cell Goldbricking Division. He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School.

"But for right now," continued Trump, "Bill..."

"You're hired."

Bill leapt from the table and was swallowed by a mob of high-fiving, back-clapping, cheek-kissing well-wishers.

Kwame disappeared down a trap door in the floor of the boardroom set, where he was beaten to death by disappointed Harvard Business School alumni, as all traces of his matriculation at the school were erased from the registrar's rolls.

In the ensuing post-coronation bedlam, the boardroom was disassembled and we're surprised to discover it was located (at least for the finale) on a soundstage and witnessed by a live studio audience. Layers of reality peel away in the wake of this dizzying reveal. I'm nearly certain that at one point, they were performing a special edition of Saturday Night Live and that Omarosa was being played by the black guy SNL hired to play black women when Tracy Morgan doesn't feel like putting on pantyhose.

But none of this matters. Bill hopped into his new Chrysler Crossfire and drove off into the night, triumphantly accelerating into Midtown Manhattan gridlock, hardly noticing the car's top was down in the middle of a chilly April downpour.

And as for us? We're lost in reverie for the 13 week Apprentice interview process, with only a half-empty handle of Jack Daniels, a value-sized bottle of Lubriderm, and the still-fresh memories of Carolyn, Robin, and Melania to keep us company.



See all previous Apprentice Friday entries:

The Final Two: It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over
Troy and Kwame: The End of the Affair
Bunsen handicaps the remaining Apprentice hopefuls
Drink Trump Ice
Goodbye, Omarosa: A Recap in Haiku
Fire & Ice: An Appreciation of Carolyn
You Can See Mr, Trump Now: Robin the Fake Receptionist's Fake Receptionist Job Duties
The Apprentice Coke-Binge Game



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This is the internet home of Mark Lisanti, a Los Angeles writer sometimes known as Bunsen. He is the founding editor of Defamer, a weblog about Hollywood, where he now serves in the nebulous capacity of "editor-at-large."
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