Playing the Trump card
The interview is over and Trump has found himself a third minion. Find out who will walk away with the prize of a lifetime in The Apprentice finale this week.
You would never be stupid enough to admit this to your employers (or publish in it in a magazine for that matter), but little white lies have a way of creeping onto your CV. When ‘fluent in six languages’ actually means you can order a glass of wine in French and Spanish, and being a ‘team motivated person’ means regularly watching football on telly, you run the risk of being caught out.
So how would the average office slouch shape up after a 15 week interview process during which they are put through a series of mentally and physically exhausting tasks and picked off week by week until only two potential candidates remain? Add to that the humiliation of being bawled at in the boardroom by entrepreneur Donald Trump and his two po-faced colleagues as their competitors do their utmost to get them fired: sounds like the perfect reality TV formula.
Love it or hate it, The Apprentice is here to stay. While Big Brother contestants (often with more fake tan than braincells) are rewarded with cash and Z-list celebrity status for their stupidity on camera, Trump can offer his talented protégés the opportunity to become a part of his billionaire business deals. The pungent mix of office politics and communal living is compulsive, tears and tantrums are weekly essentials and the bitching and backstabbing of these über-ambitious would-be executives make for brilliant television.
More than a few memorable reality TV characters have been lifted into the limelight by clever producers who recognise how much viewers love to scream at their small screens. During the third season of the US show currently being aired in Dubai, we have already become acquainted with Erin, the self-assured beauty queen-cum-attorney who winked at Trump in the boardroom once too often; Bryan, the artistic advertising guy armed with an acoustic guitar, polyester suits, and an inability to make the simplest of decisions; and Craig, the tobacco-chewing 21-year-old in need of anger management classes who continually reminded his housemates that he’s a ‘self-made millionaire’. Refreshingly, such marketing pawns were often booted out early in the game, although Craig managed to last far longer than anyone could have guessed thanks to some dimwitted competition and a solid helping of luck.
While the original season proved a success, critics were quick to suggest that the follow-ups would soon start to wilt. In an attempt to pep things up, the third season has used the gimmick of ‘Book Smarts’ vs. ‘Street Smarts’ – those with a college and high school education respectively. After 14 weeks of fierce boardroom battling and perfectly made-up eyelash- batting, two women, Kendra and Tana have made it into the final. Tana, the ‘Street Smart’ who has raised a family and a number of businesses, described herself as ‘MILF’– which she then confidently told viewers was a ‘mom I’d like to fool around with’. Ahem. Meanwhile Kendra, a college-educated book publisher, played a savvy game early in the season and floated under Trump’s radar to avoid a premature firing.
For those of you who missed the explosive penultimate show on Star World (Friday November 24), Kendra and Tana have already completed their last tasks. Tana was responsible for setting up and organising the NYC2012 Athlete Challenge, an exhibition to help bring the 2012 Summer Olympic Games to New York. The honour eventually went to London, and Tana played her part in messing up the Big Apple’s chance of Olympic glory. She printed athletes’ personal details in the publicly available brochure and omitted the Stars and Stripes from the official parade when more than 100 national flags were represented, which Trump called a ‘big mistake’. She claims she wasn’t helped by having to work with ‘three idiots’ for colleagues. But happily, her feisty performance in the boardroom helped her make up lost ground. Consistently impressive accomplishments make Tana a likely victor, although arrogant assertions like: ‘I think you’re looking at the new Apprentice’ make her an unpopular choice.
Under Kendra’s leadership the Best Buy Video Game Championship went smoothly. The venue was transformed into a stylish cyber-friendly space – complete with boxing ring – and corporate sponsorship was negotiated with gusto. Trump did however question Kendra’s delegation skills when she left Bryan (the previously mentioned ‘loose canon’) to talk shop with the event’s major contributors. Quietly confident of victory in the final, teary-eyed Kendra’s girly persona may yet let her down when it counts.
Trump and co-judges George and Carolyn agree that both women are strong candidates, leading to a nail-biting one hour finale in the studio this week, with one woman walking away with the prize of a lifetime – an executive position within the Trump Corporation. But one thing is for certain – for the moment The Apprentice is still the true champion of reality TV. Michelle Byrne.
The Apprentice final will be shown on Thursday December 1 at 23:00 on Star World.