A Dose of Reality: The Apprentice 5 - Episode 15: Season Finale
by Paul Schultz
Published: June 6, 2006
If an apprentice is hired, and nobody sees it, is he still an employee of Mr. Trump's? That's the most dramatic question to come out of the
less-than-tension-filled season finale of the fifth iteration of The Apprentice. The show was live from Hollywood, California, with "America's Boss" Donald Trump. In the face of dwindling ratings,
I couldn't help but wonder if there were more people in the audience than parked at home watching it on television. Trump's bullshit meter, however, was full-throttle as he proudly proclaimed, "in every way this season has been
a tremendous success." I had no idea your standards were so low, Mr.
For the same reason I can no longer stand watching the The Today Show when the hosts go outside the studio, the screaming, rowdy crowd in the auditorium touches the nerve in my arm usually reserved for channel-surfing. Fortunately, they quickly go into a recap of the season, and how the two finalists positioned themselves to via for the title of Apprentice. Trump asks the audience who they like best, and the resulting cacophony for Sean pretty much negates any further doubt as to the outcome. Still, he want the viewers to tell him who to pick, but it sure sounds like a ploy to me, since I doubt anyone tells Trump what to do.
The final task
The team leaders selected three former candidates to assist them in this
final determining task. Gold Rush was assigned to organize a celebrity hockey match benefiting the (Denis) Leary Firefighters Foundation. Synergy was tasked with putting on a charity concert by the Barenaked Ladies benefiting the World Wildlife Fund.
Team - Synergy
The team needed to cope with the absence of Andrea, who went off to tend to an unexpected medical emergency. Not to worry, though.
Cameras were in the exam room to capture the verdict. Now, it would have been cool to see antisocial maverick Dr. House trotting into to examine the
patient, but this show is not nearly that clever and besides, it's the wrong
network. Our crimson-haired beauty merely broke a blood vessel in her nose
and responds to Sean's concerns with an "I don't want to talk about
it. I just want to get back to work." That's all fine and dandy until you pass out but, hey, it's only your health. Sean says Andrea is a
rock, and thus she proves you can get blood from a stone.
Sean walks the sponsor through the plan for opening the concert. Trump is to drive onstage in a hot new Pontiac G6. When Sean gets to the idea of Trump being accompanied by the lead singer dressed in a panda suit (symbolizing the World Wildlife Fund), you can hear a pin drop. The sponsor firmly says there is to be no comedic elements. Then why the hell did you hire the Barenaked Ladies? Now there's a band with a sense of humor. To Sean's credit, he replies, "I hear you loud and clear" and wisely drops the idea.
Tarek says he is pretty much left to run the show. But rather
than enjoy the freedom of autonomy, he laments that the project manager should be more involved in the details. Dude, that's called micro
management, and nothing good comes from that. Tammy, meanwhile, makes herself useful by finding a lost music CD for Sean. Then they get chummy. Hey, hands off the help, mister!
Before the big event, Sean rushes off... to find some hair spray! To him, apparently, the worst thing that could happen is a bad hair day. Other than the mad scramble for music, the only glitch in Synergy's
plans were the complaints by the Pontiac execs that there wasn't enough of their signage at the pre-party. Although Andrea in jeans showing off auction items didn't look terribly professional. At least Sean met Trump at the front door like he said he would, a simple task that Gold Rush couldn't accomplish.
Team - Gold Rush
Gold Rush meets with Christine DiCarlo of The Leary Firefighters
Foundation, and the team does little to make the anxiety-ridden representative comfortable. Well, okay, Lenny tries cracking some jokes. The guy's a freakin' riot. And here I thought Brent would have been the most entertaining choice for teammate. Lee and his team are not prepared with the level of details she expects. Roxanne hid in a corner until the train wreak ended.
In a stupendous lack of judgment, Lee determines that Lenny will be the one to greet the celebrities as they arrive. This results in Jason Priestley (Beverly Hills, 90210) wandering aimless around the facility, and Jaime Pressly (My Name Is Earl) stranded in the locker room as the guys are dressing in their hockey gear. It does, however, result in the best line of the night, as Pressly gets a bit testy with the disorganization right before she's to conduct the auction out on center ice, and ardently spits out to Lenny: "Your shit's not together, little Apprentice boy!"
Miraculously, they did get their shit together and the hockey game and auction was an entertaining success. At the end, event tsar Lys Hopper reflected on Lee's performance, "He did a good job. I have a big smile." Unfortunately, there was that little detail about the missing welcoming committee when Trump arrived on the scene, which got him good and pissed off.
Lesson of the Week
"Taking Credit" - Trump invites you to not be afraid to blow your
own horn when you've achieved success. I think that's what he said... it
was mighty hard to concentrate on his words with the dual distractions of his
hair, and the cheering throng behind him.
Melania had a good front-row seat for the boardroom proceedings
onstage. Really, when was the last time you had a board meeting with a
boisterous, sign-waving crowd surrounding you? Sean was determined to display his enthusiasm to Trump, while Lee was calmly confident. They were both asked why they picked the people they did for their respective teams. Both answers seemed rather contrived and forgettable, though I do remember them using the word "passion" alot. The fired candidates were up on the stage, though they were little more than window dressing. They were briefly queried for their opinions. And for all the snide editing throughout the series that showcased Brent's obesity, barely a blip was spared to show his substantial weight-loss.
Both candidates are given the option of taking a job building the Trump
International Hotel and Tower in Honolulu or overseeing Trump's $370
million Soho skyscraper. The New York project is selected by each. Then,
Trump gives each the opportunity to sell him on why they should be the next
Apprentice. Trump suddenly asks Sean if he's going to marry Tammy. Since a decision on his fate has yet to be made, he buries the natural "none of your frickin' business" response and simply blurts, "Yes!" Much discussion centered around the age and experience different in the candidates.
Trump asks first his kids, Ivanka and Don, Jr., then observer George Ross, what their assessment is. Each gives a non-committal "I like them
both" answer. He turns to Carolyn Kepcher, who promises to make a
choice, then proceeds to praise each without voicing her preference. All this wishy-washiness, you would think, would irritate the boss who is looking for an answer. Not so, since Trump has an ace up his sleeve -- the viewer poll results. After noting that they were surprisingly one-sided, he cheerfully sets the results aside without revealing them.
Finally, putting one unfortunate interviewee, and all of us, out of our
misery, Trump addresses the young leader of team Gold Rush, and Lee is fired. Sean Yazbeck is the next apprentice, and he takes the news in a
most unprofessional fashion by launching out of his chair with a celebratory
whoop! Then the winner... leaves the building. Well, that's a rather
anti-climactic ending for the assembled audience. Trump and all the losers are left, instead, to receive the sustained applause. The home viewer is
informed that items from the show will be auctioned off to benefit The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
"I'm the apprentice, baby!" Sean
shouts as he drives away in his new car -- the spoils of victory. His
parting words end things on a bit of a downer, as he divulges an empty pursuit of wealth: "Mr. Trump, I'm not going to let you down. I'm going to
show you as soon as possible that you made the right choice. I'm going to
work my fingers to the bone and I'm going to make you richer than you are
already." I sure hope Tammy wasn't listening, because that attitude could put a crimp in her love life.
The final show was light on the details. There was absolutely no discussion about what happened in the final task. There was no announcement of the results of the fundraising events. How much
money was raised? Which event was more successful? Did it even matter? What was Trump's reasoning for firing Lee? What was so great about Sean that he was hired? Plenty of unanswered questions were left scattered on the floor of the boardroom.
To alleviate concerns that he might be a decent guy after all, at the benefit concert Trump made sure to remind us what a boor he is. After the name of the headliners was announced, the band took to the stage, prompting Trump to whisper, "I thought there would be bare naked ladies." Grow up, will you?
Now if only NBC would just say those two magic words to Donald Trump:
Other Previously Fired Candidates
Past Recaps: Episode 01 | Episode 02 | Episode 03 | Episode 04 |
| Episode 06 | Episode 07 | Episode 08 | Episode 09 | Episode 10