On ''The Apprentice,'' pride goeth before a firing: After losing the ice-cream war, good-humored Bradford shoots off his mouth and shoots himself in the foot

By Whitney Pastorek
Updated September 17, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT
Apprentice 2: Eric Liebowitz

The Apprentice

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”The Apprentice”: Pride goeth before a firing

Talk about a blunder: I am now willing to step up and admit that last week when I called Bradford ”impressive,” it was a mistake, okay? Whether it’s because I was blinded by his shiny, shiny forehead or by the bottle of wine I drank over the course of the evening (what? is that bad?), I was wrong in my assessment. But more important, ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod, it is entirely possible that last night was actually the Best. Boardroom. Ever. I mean honestly! Who saw that coming? Bradford! You moron!

In fact, there were a lot of Shocking Moments in tonight’s very special Ciao Bella commercial:

Stacy Speaks The 12-year-old piped up, and her voice was approximately three octaves lower than I thought it would be. Now, as far as what she said: She had me at ”Uh, we all have a really specific skill set.” Man, that’s some compelling footage.

31 Flavors and Then Some I rewatched the ladies’ brainstorming session a couple times, and for those without the benefit of the TiVo, please can I just recap some of these proposed ice-cream flavors? (Warning: If you have not yet eaten breakfast, perhaps skip ahead.) Okay. You’ve got your Bloody Mary. Your lobster. Your Old Spice. Spazzy little Ivana tosses out ”marzcapone,” which I’m pretty sure she at least pronounced wrong. But then if you freeze frame on the dry-erase board, you can pick out suggestions like ”fried chicken,” ”peppers,” and my personal favorite, ”buttermilk biscut.” Talk about [sic], indeed.

Pity the Fool Pamela makes an A-Team reference! The four of them busting out of that van to ransack Dunkin’ Donuts will surely go down as one of the greatest Apprentice moments of all time. The very idea of people in suits screaming, ”Gimme all your doughnuts!” as children weep behind them in line and a camera crew records it all — oh, it’s pure reality-television gold.

Touch of Class And then there’s this one thing that I have to be totally sincere about: Raise your hand if you thought the men’s plan to sell the ice cream for charity was a ”New York’s Own Kwame Jackson” sort of move. Right? I’m thinking, these dudes are so busted — and then I’ll be damned if they don’t go right ahead and do it . . . and then throw their nuts on the boardroom table and ask Donald Trump if they could donate all the cash to leukemia research! I just about dropped my marzcapone at that one!

But what I’d really like to address today is this (deep breath):

While I am aware that the show was taped last spring, and that my yelling at the screen cannot change the events unfolding before me, if for some reason there is like a rip in the time-space continuum sometime soon I want to be on record as saying that these women are the doofiest bunch of individuals I have ever seen in my entire life. If we’re not listening to Spazvana and the Dragon Lady’s seemingly inexhaustible supplies of insincerity (Maria wins Mixed Metaphor of the Night for her assessment of b.f.f. Spazzy’s leadership abilities as ”She didn’t step up to the plate when it came to taking control of the reins”), we’re watching a 12-year-old struggle to have a personality, three indistinguishable sorori-blonds struggle to get screen time, and NBC struggle to convince us we’ve got another psycho black woman on our hands, when really I think she’s just a former model who now owns a Subway sandwich shop in the Bronx and has probably got someplace better to be. Yes: I feel sorry for Stacie-with-an-i-e (and I didn’t even have any wine). While the others debate the relative merits of strappy black sandals versus pink kitten-heeled flip-flops and then complain about being asked to use sex to sell, I can feel Stacie’s inner pain, and frankly, I, too, am concerned that the Cold Cut Combos have been left unattended.

In the end, after an hour of watching these women run around like cocker spaniels with their heads cut off (oh, God bless you, George, for pointing out that 42nd Street and Broadway and 42nd Street and 7th Avenue are like 50 yards apart), I was thrilled out of my mind when the Pamendelas and their Kamikaze Donut ice cream won. And I couldn’t wait to see Ivana get it in the boardroom, both because of the hilarity that’s sure to ensue when Trump fires someone named Ivana and because she’s a little twit of a girl who should be managing a Gap somewhere and enduring laser-hot stares of hate from her employees as she cheerfully suggests that they might enjoy folding that entire wall of jeans over again.

But then (ohmygod), if it isn’t Mr. ”Coming in Second Feels Like Coming in Last, Here in This Competition Between Two Teams” Bradford to the rescue, with his shiny boneheaded decision to give up his immunity. Despite all of Ivana’s ”unorganization,” that one martyr-licious move managed to get him tossed out of Trump Tower with nothing but the clothes on his back, because the dude didn’t even bother to pack a bag. Sigh. Let this be a lesson to you, kids: It’s called hubris. And it’s a bitch. And so, when she chooses to be, is Caroline. Er. I mean Carolyn. Crap.

What did you think? Was Bradford’s firing fair? Do you pity the fool? And who’s got to go next?

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