LAST EDITED ON 12-18-05 AT 03:38 AM (EST)
Official RTVW Summary
The Apprentice 4
It doesn’t much matter what other reality shows you have watched over the years, there can not have been a weaker ending for a contest than the finale of The Apprentice 4. It was like the moment after you’ve won the lottery and then you realize that half of it is going to be taken away through taxes. It’s good, but it’s just tainted now.
This is all Trump’s fault of course. Not only is he a pansy who constantly keeps his hands below the desk so that you don’t see him fondling himself, but he has the decision-making ability of a sock monkey. Exhibit A in the case against Donnie is the list of bankruptcies he has gone through. Exhibit B would be this show. Even last time around - when Trump was too drunk to remember one of the former contestant’s names - the finale had some meaning to it because one person was selected outright as the winner. Not this time around. Nope. There was no clearcut winner in this one, no matter what the braying asses say. Donald Trump needs to get slapped around for a while and then tossed in to the Hudson River. He has always been the worst host of any of these reality contests, but now he’s not even trying to make it a contest. If he didn’t have a personal distaste for certain types of people working for him, then we would have an Apprentice just like we’ve had every other season. All of a sudden now, it’s too difficult for him to decide between the final two candidates. What a pile of crap this man is.
Most people who bother to watch his little ego pet-fest really get drawn into rooting for one contestant or another. Viewers actually care who wins, mostly because the viewers have nothing comparable in their own humdrum lives and we have to live vicariously through the characters who are paraded before us in what is supposed to be an entertaining spectacle. Then when “our” guy or gal wins, we can pat ourselves on the back and say, “Uh huh, that’s my soul twin who just walked away with the prize and that somehow reflects well on me”.
With one question at the end, Donnie pretty much makes it all meaningless. It is not just our preening self-reflection in the TV screen that gets wrecked, though. All of the effort that the actual contestants put into winning this thing is cast aside like so much toilet paper. This entire show is tainted with Trump’s crap and the rumors of another season of Apprentice will hopefully pan out as nothing more than rumors. And it wasn’t just the contestants he pissed on. There was at least one major sponsor of the show who was just humiliated by Trump himself. Who would want to put money into his show now? We won’t even get into the failed Apprentice Light that has been gasping for air on Wednesday nights. Enough of the setup. Let’s take a few moments to review the finale to see how bad Trump’s creation has gotten.
When the show opens, we are treated to a shot of Trump, Caroline and George getting into a limo. Yawn. Then Trump drools and some guttural sounds come out. He is almost unbearable to look at directly, especially when he does that over-extended puckering thing with his mouth. They arrive at the place where a “studio audience” has been assembled. Since very few people would intentionally spend an evening looking at DT up on a stage, this is actually just the place where the patients from the nearest mental asylum have been gathered and told to pretend to be a studio audience. If they don’t, there will be no parchesi for a week. The patients are just glad to be out for a few hours so they play along.
Trump stumbles around looking for his throne and we are treated to at least five minutes of the mental patients hooting and hollering. For a moment, it seems like we’re watching Oprah. Donnie reminds us that the final two candidates of this program, Randal and Rebecca, had some tasks to work on involving charity events. Randal had a softball game and Rebecca had a comedy event. DT asks the audience who they like and we have a few more minutes wasted on the audience. Who cares about the damned audience? If Donnie had more than half a brain in his head, he would have found some way to entertain us better. But, of course, this was never, never about entertaining people. It was about Trump getting some patsy corporations to pay for his inept interview process.
First, we get a look at how Rebecca’s team is doing. In case you weren’t watching or didn’t see the summary for the previous week, Rebecca was trying to raise money for a pediatric AIDS foundation. However, the expected emcee of the event - Joe Piscopo - backed out at the last minute because he had a manicure that day and his personal grooming was more important to him than a charity. Someone says, “Let’s get someone bigger than Joe Piscopo”. Not a problem. The guy is only 4’3”. So they call around to the local improv troupes to see who’s available. This becomes the main problem for Rebecca : Improv comedy is not easy. Successful charity events are not easy. Doing improv sketches regarding AIDS can be pretty damned funny when you’ve tossed a few beers back. But that’s more likely to cause a stink than to raise money. But wait! There’s more: Yahoo! is the corporate sponsor of her event and they don’t want her to explicitly ask people to donate at the event. So we have a charity event where they can’t ask for money being emceed by Joe Piscopo’s stand-in and the project manager (Rebecca) is still on crutches. You know what word perfectly describes all of this? Craptastic. The challenges facing Rebecca are so horrendous that you can’t help but watch just to see how many die in the train wreck.
Trump should have just stopped the show right there and said, “You know what? I have a better chance of getting my wife to let me touch her with my psoriasis-laced genitalia than you have of winning this thing. It’s over, Randal won.” But the show’s sponsors have put their money in and so we have to endure another eighty minutes of The Apprentice. And even when you think it’s over, Donnie will throw in a twist. And it’s not one of those good twists that makes you gasp in delight or anything.
Then we get a look at Randal’s team. He and Marshawn are trying to make their beds look like they’ve both been slept in, but it’s not working. Randal’s team gets the call telling them that rain is coming. They did not prepare for rain. Randall and Josh head down to the stadium to figure out what to do next. On the way there, they get a call from the autism charity spokesperson. That doesn’t sound right, does it? A spokesperson for autism. Whatever. She wants to know what they are going to do and Randall says, “Relax. I’ll just pull something out of my butt and everything will be okay“. They meet up with the head groundskeeper of the stadium and he informs them that there is no way they will be able play softball if it keeps raining. Mudwrestling is briefly discussed as an option, but that idea is set aside. So, Randal takes a look at the spaces inside the stadium. The best room they have to work with looks like somebody’s poorly maintained basement, cockroaches included. At that time, Plan B is drawn up. Plan B is to have a live auction as a replacement for the softball game. Hmmm. A random auction for hundreds of people who were expecting a softball game held in a cruddy space within sniffing distance of a men’s locker room. All of a sudden, Randal looks like he could be in trouble, too.
We have a brief interlude where we catch Trump diddling himself in front of the mental patients and then we go back to Rebecca. We see that she has found a new emcee. He isn’t very funny. Kind of like this summary. Somehow, Rebecca and her team have decided that not only aren’t they going to ask the guests at their charity event to pony up some cash, but the guests are actually going to receive “goodie bags”. These goodie bags don’t contain what you might think. If they had, Rebecca could have made a small fortune from selling munchies to the suddenly laid back crowd. In addition to whatever the goodies are, the guests will find in their bags a simple brochure letting them know where they can donate should they choose to do so anytime in the future. In other words - Rebecca is not going to raise one penny for the pediatric AIDS foundation. Sick kids who are hoping for any little relief may suffer a while longer because she would rather be a typical corporate suck-up than actually do the right thing. Nice girl. Since raising money is one of the requisites of having a successful event - the other requisite is getting everybody naked and drunk - then you have failed. Automatic, no exceptions. Unless, of course, your opponent is socially unacceptable to the person who will be picking the winner.
You may back away from this summary now, if you want. It’s not going to get any nicer.
Going over to Randal, the Outback sponsors are jittery because they think the invitees may still want to see a softball game. Randal assures them that everyone who can squeeze into the twelve-by-ten foot room will have a good time. Like riding a subway in Manhattan. Or walking into the shower room at BYU. Then the spokeswoman for Autism Speaks arrives at the stadium. She is still very concerned that Randal is losing sight of what they are trying to do. Randal shakes her by the shoulders and screams, “I heard you the first twenty times! I’m not one of your needy cases, so STFU right now!” Classic TV. This might air on Nick at Night in years to come. Didn’t the ##### Van Dyke Show do this scene before?
As this scene wraps up, we are watching it on the big screen with the live audience. There is a quick peek backstage where the fired candidates have been gathered. They’re all chatting friendly-like. Except Markus. Markus is talking to himself. “Did you hear about my lawsuit?” “Yeah, I hope you stick it to Trump.” “He was so mean to me, and he lied.” “Yes, he lied and now I’m going to have to kill him. Kill them all.” The sound was off, but you can read his lips. Markus clearly belongs in the audience.
Back from the commercial break, the patients have started a fire and a cloud of mace hangs over the first three rows. Trump’s bloated head appears on the screen and he announces the fired candidates as they file out onto stage: Melissa, Chris, Jennifer W., Toral, Crystal, James, Jennifer M., Josh, Mark, Markus, Marshawn, Clay, Adam, Felicia and Alla. Several of these people wave as if they think they’re popular. No one gives a crap about any of you any more. Your fifteen minutes are done because you couldn’t get simple jobs done. Case in point…
Looking at Rebecca’s team again, Chris gloats about the placement of a single Yahoo! banner. His mom and dad must be proud. He hung a banner where people can see it. Yay! But it wasn’t just that one banner. There were lots of other banners and video displays. Everyone made a big deal of the fact the “colors” of Yahoo! were everywhere. Pardon the aside, but presenting your colors didn’t do Tookie Wilson any good, did it?
Randal, meanwhile, was directing things from his central set-up at the stadium and he heavily praised his team members for doing everything he had given them to do. He made them sound so good that it seemed he might ask Trump if he can hire multiple people when the contest is over. Perhaps viewers can respond to this summary if they think Trump should hire multiple candidates. There could be a grassroots campaign to get DT to change his hiring policies. Just kidding. Trump would never do that. Twice. Anyway, Randal is also shown greeting every VIP as they arrive. Very professional thing to do.
Rebecca, on the other hand doesn’t seem to have any VIPs showing up. The only person we see her greet is Caroline. Rebecca wants to show her the …blinking ice cubes. Caroline asks, “Are you high right now?” Actually, Caroline asks, “What are you doing for the AIDS foundation.” To which Rebecca responds (and I am not making this one up), “We have this sign over here and there will be a spokesperson saying something later.” Caroline is visibly under whelmed.
Trump is shown being loaded on to his helicopter. The whirlygig takes the girly wig to Randal’s event first. The black entrepreneur meets Trump at his arrival. Oh, did we not yet mention that Randal is black? Sorry, it didn’t seem relevant. We won’t make that mistake again during this summary.
As they walk into the bowels of the stadium, Trump wants to get clear on the fact that there was not going to be a game. Randal explains that the VIPs couldn’t take a few drops on their wee little heads. Randal sits DT down and goes over a very organized-looking agenda for the event. Since Trump can’t read, he just sits there and bobs his head while he wonders how long he can hold in a fart. Randal then gives the first confessional where the other candidate is addressed. “Unless Rebecca feeds Trump breakfast in bed, I have this locked up.”
There is a slight break so that the morons who sunk money into this stinker can try to get some of it back by pandering their overpriced and unnecessary products to the sleep-deprived masses known as “us”.
When we return, it is Randal in the spotlight. He gives a very well-reasoned and impassioned speech about why the event was being held. His team member Mark summed it up best: “Randal took the stage and turned in to a rock star for autism.” It is one of those unusual moments on national TV when an everyday person of color is given the opportunity to show themselves to be articulate and thoughtful. You may want to argue that, but then you would be challenged to provide three examples that do not include Condi, Obama or Colin (they are not everyday people). The look on Trump’s face was hard to read, but his expression almost said, “Oh, shit. I might have no choice but to hire this guy.”
Randal’s one little error is when he calls Donald a humanitarian. Please. Trump does things with one goal in mind - to make enough money to live like a Rockefeller. Randal then invites Trump to speak to the crowd. DT is unable to do more than say that Randal is doing a good job. And that’s all he says. Now, there is a lot of talk about how editing can make someone look bad on these reality shows. Well when you’re the person who controls the editing, then you should be able to make yourself look good. Trump looked pretty weak after Randal’s speech. The least he could have done was dub in something witty later.
The celebrities who donated items for the auction are introduced and the bidding starts. A boxing glove from Sugar Ray Leonard jumps up to $1,000 very quickly. It’s going to be a good event for Autism Speaks, and the spokesperson who was so worried before says that she is now impressed by Randal.
We switch views again and Rebecca is shown reassuring the Yahoo! shrews that their precious clients won’t be bothered by direct solicitations at the event. She then suggests that the people will go home and be so thrilled with the event that they will remember to write out a check at a later date. You can watch this entire show and there will never be any mention that anyone who attended the event sent in a check in the intervening weeks from the events themselves to the airing of the live show. It didn’t happen. Rebecca did not convince anyone to donate one penny. Great job on that charity event, Rebecca!
Trump’s driver has to drive the boss around until he awakes from his drug-induced delirium. Meanwhile, one of Rebecca’s team members is trying to juggle the lineup for the comedians and they’re making it a little difficult. They want everything to flow smoothly and Rebecca’s team thinks these people can just walk on stage and perform. Trump gets dropped off in front of the building and he stands there for twenty minutes because he is waiting for someone to roll out a red carpet. When he finally realizes that no one is going to drag his hide inside, he stumbles in to the club where the event is being held and he has to go looking for Rebecca even though he told her beforehand that he was on his way. She asks him if he wants to look around until the event’s scheduled starting time. Trump says, “Screw you, you crippled little turd. I want to be back in time to watch my favorite shows on ABC. We’re doing this now.” So Trump grabs the mike and gives a little pitch for the pediatric AIDS foundation, explaining that this is a charity event. Apparently, someone had tipped him off that Rebecca had conspired with Yahoo! to keep that unfortunate little detail about the event under wraps. Rebecca doesn’t even address the crowd.
Then Trump tells everyone to take their seats for the comedy acts. This is almost a half hour before the comedians are scheduled to go. If you’ve never done any kind of live performance, then you need to understand that a performer’s start time is not something you mess with. Any performer gives him- or herself just enough time to get ready and if you cut off even ten or fifteen minutes, you are seriously messing with the performer. The emcee goes berserk and tears the dressing room apart. Remember the scene in It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World when the garage is torn down? It’s like that, except with even more bloodshed.
The spokesman for the foundation gets up and addresses the crowd. He’s underdressed and ill-prepared. He also has a gag order from Yahoo! not to ask for money. Joe Piscopo’s replacement comes out as the emcee and he starts ripping on everyone’s favorite old man - George. George is good about it, though. Then another comedian comes out and makes fun of George. Perhaps these funny men would like to make fun of Trump but they just don’t have the cajones to do it so they pick on DT’s feeblest cronie (Caroline would have beat the crap out of them if they had started in on her). The show ends and people are handed their goodie bags on the way out.
We see both Randal and Rebecca say goodbye to their teammates and blather on about how wonderful it was to work with them again. Then we catch a brief look at their last night together at the suite where they fawn over each other. It’s nice to watch people play so nice right before the knives come out.
Each if the final two candidates give a little confessional that can be summed up thusly: “I would be a great Apprentice for Mr. Trump.” Rebecca goes so far as to say that she has a lot of passion. Well, we haven’t seen her come out of a bathroom stall with Trump yet, so that statement is in doubt. Randal points out that he won three challenges and that he kept getting drafted when the teams needed to be evened up.
The final Board Room begins with the six helpers called in to defend their respective leaders. Randal’s team pointed out that having to move inside probably made their auction event more profitable than a celebrity softball game. Their event raised $11,000. Rebecca’s team had to defend the lack of fundraising at their event. They pretty much blame it on Yahoo! George points out that their team should have been in charge, not Yahoo! Trump specifically says, “If I were Yahoo! I would make a major donation to the foundation”. Way to go, Trump. Embarrass your sponsors instead of letting them think of this for themselves. The teams quibble about who had the better leader. Caroline chastises Randal’s team for not having a Plan B ready to go in case of rain. They said that they just made up a Plan B and it worked. George tries to knock them for not giving more recognition to the celebrities, but Mark responds by saying that they wanted to make the event about the charity, not about the celebrities. Marshawn says that she has worked with both and she thinks Randal is better. Toral opens her mouth and defends Rebecca (you may remember that Rebecca threw herself on a grenade a while ago to spare Toral from elimination for one week). Best line of the night? Toral says, “ I think Rebecca is a better human being than I am”. Yeah, well, that’s a pretty long list to pick from Toral. I think Saddam might be a few places below you, but you’re pretty far down there. Trump gives some foreshadowing when he says, “ I am stuck with two stars”. Ummm, Mr. Trump? How can you be stuck with a star? Perhaps you slipped up and more or less admitted that there was at least one of those candidates who is good enough for your organization but that they happen to be a type of person that you don’t like to work with. Just saying.
The teams are excused and the two candidates are brought in. Donnie asks the softball question that you would get in any job interview: “Why should I hire you?” Maybe it’s because you spend a load of money on a game show to do exactly that, dumbass. Randal says that he was undefeated as team leader and that every time there was a switch, he was the one chosen in the switch. He begins to sound a little like a broken record when it comes to the points he wants to make about himself. Rebecca says that she has proven that she is honest and loyal, and she went through 13 weeks of his asinine nonsense with a broken ankle. Perhaps its one of those deals where you smash your hand in a door to make yourself forget about a toothache.
Trump throws the same complaints at them - Randal didn’t get a good setup on the inside in case of rain and Rebecca didn’t raise money at a charity event. When she tries to claim that she was respecting the wishes of her client DT reminds her that her true client was the charitable foundation, not the multi-billion dollar corporation. Donnie turns on Randal and says there should have been an auction list for bidders to look at. Apparently, the fact that this was a last-minute change in what the event was going to be was lost on Trump.
Trump asks them why he shouldn’t hire the other person. Randal points out that Rebecca had lost two out of three challenges and that she is pretty young. Rebecca says that Randal thinks too much. For someone like Trump, thinking can certainly be a liability so she actually scores points with this accusation. George, Caroline and Trump himself throw some praise at the two candidates and then they are asked to step outside so that we can be magically transported to the present during a commercial break.
When we come back, we get a little background bio on the two candidates. Rebecca is a business journalist and works with at least one not-for-profit organization. Randal co-founded a business consulting firm. He’s also married to a pleasant-seeming woman. Donnie opens up the final debate by asking some of the fired candidates to share their thoughts. Toral is allowed to speak first because Trump likes the ratings this harpy brings with her. She calls Rebecca “a diamond in a haystack”. Does this mean that Toral has sexual feelings for Rebecca? We may never know. Marshawn goes to bat for Randal. Why not? She’s already gone to the mat with him. Jennifer M. opens her mouth and nobody cares. Alla tells us that Rebecca is a worthless bag of rags and Trump calls Alla a wench, then a fight breaks out and Adam throws Clay through a window in a burst of repressed rage for Clay’s earlier Jew-bashing. There is a commercial break so that order can be restored.
After the commercials, one of the mental patients in the audience announces that he is the Chief Operating Officer of Yahoo! and that they are going to give $50,000 to each of the charities that were featured in the final tasks. It would be nice to believe that Yahoo! is going to make up for their embarrassing behavior during Rebecca’s task earlier, but the fact that this guy is subsequently led away by some orderlies leads us to believe that Yahoo! is going to do nothing of the sort.
Trump tells us what his biggest fantasies are and neither one involves his wife. In one, there is going to be another eyesore on the Jersey side of the New York skyline. In Atlantic City, Trump wants to have another casino that he can go bankrupt with. He asks the candidates which job they would prefer. Randal wants to take on Atlantic City and Rebecca wants to do the high rise.
Then Trump asks one of the strangest leading questions. “Rebecca, do you think there is such a thing as too much education?” For Donnie, that would mean eighth grade. He points out that Randal has tremendous education credentials. One wonders why Trump would choose to make an issue of this. Rebecca says that education is fine, but what’s really important is what you do with it. Randal mentions the fact that he has other credentials as well. For instance, there was that collaborative effort with Snoop Doggy Dogg on the “Terminator is Going Down” album.
Trump asks Randal if Rebecca is tough enough. Randal says no. Donnie asks Randal why he should be hired. First, Randal has his homies in the fired group pull out their glocks. Then, Randal starts talking about how smart he is again. Trump says, “Haven’t you noticed that I don’t like people who are smarter than me? Shut up about your education, already.” Donnie asks Rebecca why she should be hired. She states that she has been working the streets for charity since she was fifteen and that her client list includes Colin Powell and Al Gore. Randal starts on a roll about the various ways he is better than Rebecca and suddenly Trump needs to go to commercial again.
After the commercials, DT gives his spiel on the strengths of each candidate. Brak brak brak. When he is finished, he utters the famous words: “Randal, you’re hired.”
But then Trump does the stupidest thing he could ever do on this show. He asks Randal whether or not Rebecca should also be hired. Let’s think about where Randal’s head was at that moment. He had no doubt spent hours and hours during the intervening weeks forcing himself to think of Rebecca’s faults so that he would have no problem putting her down and making himself look good in the final boardroom. So it is only natural that Randal would say, “No, don’t hire her because she’s not good enough”. If Randall had said anything else, then it would reek of a scripted ending. He wanted to win, didn’t he? Wasn’t that supposed to be the whole point of the contest - to be the one and only person who got a job working for Trump? Randal says as much and tells Trump, “This is the Apprentice, not the Apprenti ”.
Donnie says that he could have gone either way on the issue, but he will go along with Randal’s decision. WTF?!?! Trump’s supposed to be this brilliant business man and yet he can’t make up his mind about whether someone should work for him? If you’re so savvy, Trump, how come you leave the hiring decision to another person who just moments before thought they beat the person you obviously want to keep for what was supposed to be a single spot? It’s quite a coincidence that the first black person to win Trump’s little contest is also the first person to be set up to be made to look like a sore winner.
Randal fought his way through the challenges that were presented to him and he won. Every single time. But because he did not allow someone to ride his coattails, there will be some who think he is a bad guy. In reality, Randal is just another reality show contestant who went after the big prize. Donald Trump is the person who just made up new options and a different ending that would have suited him better. Trump, and Trump alone, is responsible for Rebecca missing out on a job opportunity.
Randal is the sole winner of a job with Donald Trump because that is what he was trying to do since day 1.