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Friday, April 09, 2004

Apprentice Friday: It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over Edition

 
I Know That I often seem omniscient to you, but even I was surprised to see Amy and Nick treated to a brunch of Trump's delicious "You're Fired!" flapjacks. Nick always had a bit of the Bayonne flimflam artist in him, and it was clear that The Donald had taken a shine to the guy. But Trump hasn't amassed a global empire of luxury properties draped in mediocre, French monarch foppery by letting the three-card monte guy run his game out of the corner office, charming the business development department out of their milk money by materializing binder clips from behind their ears. Nicky, it was fun, Trump's eyes seemed to say, but I can still smell that Hooters waitress on your fingers. Indeed, Nick. Trump has to shake that hand. The Los Angeles document reproduction industry is getting back its superstar. I can't wait for the hero's parade in aisle 5 of the Cerritos OfficeMax.

But Amy? The sweet, charming, nearly-undefeated Aimster? She seemed like even more of a lock to get trounced by Bill in the finals once it was announced that the next challenge was an interview with four Trump Organization henchmen. Her librarian-on-the-verge-of-a-bender skillset seemed a perfect match for the task. But Trump's personal assistant and his three captains tore into her like a box of Ding-Dongs after a Laser Floyd planetarium show. I'm not entirely sure, but I think one of their recommendations was "Ditch the tomatah, Boss, there's no there there." And in what was probably the biggest surprise so far, Trump let Amy go without snapping the catchphrase cat o' nine tails. Yeah, he was a little sweet on her. When The Donald douses you with gasoline, more times than not he's going to watch you roll around for a while after he drops the match.

So here we are, left with Bill and...hold on. Who's left? Nick? Nope. Crazy Sam's coming back? No. And I'm pretty sure they just fired Amy after we got a fabulous montage of the "Girls of the Apprentice" photo shoot for FHM, starring Ereka's six-pack.

I guess that leaves Kwame "Silent But Deadly" Jackson. Kwame of the book smarts, the post-Jordan Chicago Bulls losing record, and no discernible leadership qualities past the occasional high-five. Kwame, who's likely to make senior VP at thirty-two, draw the blinds in his office to play fifty thousand hands of Free Cell until an early retirement. Kwame, whose bonfides start and ends with the bizspeak gobbledygook they teach on the first day of the Harvard MBA program before handing out your tee time and golden parachute cyanide capsule. Kwame, your Apprentice finalist.

Maybe I've been wrong about Kwame. He'll perform under pressure, right? Rise to the occasion and show us how he clawed his way to the top of the pile?

Cut to the rooftop patio of the Apprentice compound, where Bill and Kwame share a celebratory glass of champagne. But some tricky producer's replaced the Dom with a magnum of Veuve Cliché. Kwame takes a deep swig and lets fly a string of tired platitudes that would make even a Sportscenter anchor incontinent.

Kwame: "It's time to go big or go home."

Bill: "Um, yup."

Kwame: "Let the best man win."

Bill: "Uh, I think we already have."

Kwame: "Big risks, big rewards...man"

Bill: "Indeed."

Kwame: "Ass...you gotta kick it or kiss it."

Bill: "Yeah..."

Kwame: "Yup. (A long beat) Man, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

Bill: "I wonder if there are any more crackers back in the suite. See you later."

I'm sure that Amy and Nick, perhaps watching via close-circuit TV during Trump's taxi ride down the Avenue of the Downsized, felt much better knowing that the guy who beat them to the finals cribbed his conversational skills from the backs of No Fear t-shirts.

The only consolation for the outraged audience is that Trump's clearly got an idea of the eventual winner, all but tracing on Bill's forehead a holy water "T" with his death pinky. Trump gives The Anointed One first pick for his final challenge team from the returning Cohort of the Damned, ensuring that Kwame would be saddled with a certain...let's just call it an Albatrosa and wait for next week's live finale.

Where I fully expect Kwame to propose to Troy as strains of "Reunited (And It Feels So Good)" play over their final, televised hug, making us all forget who's been chosen as The Apprentice.

As Kwame would say, we're all winners.

See previous Apprentice Friday entries:

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



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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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