The Donald fired the nice one! Nice guys -- or girls -- do finish last, apparently, and the obnoxious ones get to stay on the show, says Karyn L. Barr

By Karyn L. Barr
Updated February 12, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST
Donald Trump, The Apprentice
Credit: The Apprentice: Kevin T. Gilbert
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The Donald fired the nice one!

Zzzz…. that pretty much sums up this week’s supersized episode of ”The Apprentice.” Don’t get me wrong, I totally LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this show. From Sam’s oh-so-addictive self-destruction to the worst case of permanent PMS bitchiness I have ever seen (yes, I mean you, Omarosa), Trump’s lil’ TV project sucks me in every Thursday.

So naturally, once I heard on the promos that tonight’s ”Tit for Tat” episode was going to be ”the most dramatic yet” with its all-too-shocking ending and big ol’ love story, I bagged out on my dinner plans (Sorry, Aaron and John. Miss you!) and stayed home to tune in and marvel at the wonder that is Trump’s hair turban. But man oh man, was that a mistake, because tonight’s ep was a serious letdown.

Let’s see? where to begin? Okay, now I could have sworn that every ”Apprentice” commercial this week promised that two of the Trump wannabes would be starting a little something-something just in time for Valentine’s Day. But if you left the room for even a nanosecond, you would have missed the so-called romance between copier salesman Nick and entrepreneur Amy (my choice to win this whole shebang, by the way).

His whole ”shushing” her in a cab routine seemed more like an aggravated brother picking on his sister than a boy falling in lust. I mean, where did this come from? Seriously. Until tonight, we haven’t even seen Nick talk to Amy. In fact, I can’t recall a moment prior to last week’s ”corporate reshuffle” where the two were even in the same room together (okay, okay, the boardroom doesn’t count!).

Truthfully, from what we have seen, I was willing to bet my beloved Donald Trump bobble-head that Nick would hook up with Katrina, the 24-year-old real estate agent from Florida. (I mean, they even flirted while Dumpster diving together last week, for god’s sake. If that’s not a sign of a budding relationship, I don’t know what is!) Granted, I understand that due to time constraints, the editors of the show can’t reveal the cast’s every waking moment. But come on, Nick and Amy?? Talk about being from the left field. When was this merger negotiated?

But even more shockingly boring than this match made in TV heaven is the fact that tonight’s task was a serious snoozefest in comparison to past missions. Usually, we are kept on the edges of our couches as the team members regress to the 5th grade and yell at each other while they hunt for flea market supplies, negotiate squid prices, or sell lemonade. This time around, both Protégé and Versacorp had to ”give back to the city” by convincing celebrities to donate to a Sotheby’s auction to benefit the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. A wonderfully honorable mission in real life, but in reel time, the task, shall we say, sucked.

Besides stockbroker Tammy proving that she’s the new Sam with her serious lack of tact around Carson Daly and chef Rocco DiSpirito (prompting teammate Bill to quip, ”She’s not on the same page. She’s not even reading the same book.”), Versacorp effortlessly negotiated some classy auction packages from Regis Philbin, NFLer Tiki Barber, and exec producer Ed Bernero (”Third Watch”). But too bad the same can’t be said for Protégé.

Though I applaud self-sacrificing, country boy Troy for swallowing some harsh Carson-isms for not wearing a belt while consulting with ”Queer Eye”’s Fab 5, Protégé, for the most part just couldn’t get their act together. Weak link Jessie patronized fashinonisto Isaac Mizrahi by speaking to him like he didn’t speak English. Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons was baffled by Troy’s Idaho accent. And Omarosa was, well, Omarosa. She hung up on Kwame, repeatedly talked over Jessie and continued to reign as the most loathed gal in the loft (and in her time slot). So, naturally, it was of no surprise that come auction time, Versacorp once again swept Protégé and avoided getting canned.

So, off to the Boardroom we go with desperate hopes that the show would end with a bang. Being that oh-so-lippy Omarosa was the Protégé’s project leader this time around, I thought her toosh was toast. I totally respect her for her assertiveness and ability to pull off wearing plushy bear claw slippers with a designer suit, but her permanently chipped shoulder is starting to wear thin. She just had to go. And once she blatantly told Heidi in the boardroom that she had ”no class,” I thought it was only a matter of moments before the big D would tell the big O to hit the streets. Wrong!

Though Trump and his cronies weren’t thrilled with Omarosa’s ”abrasive” attitude and ”sharp edge,” they freakin’ keep her around (!!!) only to fire Jessie for not standing up to Miss Rudey-Patootie earlier in the boardroom. Huh??? Yeah, I’m still annoyed by his decision, and it’s been two hours since the show ended. I just don’t get it or her, for that matter. But being that Omarosa is the gal that I absolutely love to hate, I’ll definitely keep tuning in each week to see if she gets the ax. Hmmm? actually, maybe ratings-savvy Trump knows what he is doing after all…

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