On ''The Apprentice," it's the show's Dumbest. Mission. Ever. The teams become male-female but immediately go to the dogs. Plus, Stacy leaves with her tail between her legs

By Whitney Pastorek
Updated October 22, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT
The Apprentice (Season 2)
Credit: Apprentice 2: Eric Liebowitz
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”The Apprentice”: A walk in the bark

As I mourn the season-ending loss of my beloved Astros, I come to you prepared to celebrate the one and only thing that went right tonight: the dismissal of the Tiny Terror. Hooray! Put away those mason jars, kids, cause we don’t need ’em anymore! Little Stacy is gone, and for that, I am thankful.

For weeks we’ve been lamenting the way this show has gone to the dogs, and so of course the only thing more ridiculous than Maria’s winning the fashion mission and then donning that revolting motorcycle jacket and shorts with stilettos would be for this episode to revolve, quite literally, around canines. Yes, they actually went to the actual dogs of New York City, and by my calculations, actually traumatized somewhere close to 75 of them. Beagles, pit bulls, schnauzers, Labs — didn’t matter. Jen M. made two of them bleed, for crying out loud. Dog owners, please take note: If you see people coming at your puppy with nail clippers and a television camera, do not give them $10. Walk quickly in the other direction.

But back to the beginning. This evening, we opened on a lovely taco dinner that the women cooked for their men, and the return of Wonder Boy Andy and Increasingly Indignant Kevin to the roost from the Boardroom. But no sooner had they sat down to eat than the phone rang, and Robin the Receptionist found herself forced to improv lines on an entirely new subject: Trump (sans fanfare this week) wanted everyone back in the Boardroom, where he had them choose Project Managers and then merged the teams.

In order to accomplish this — and in a move I find completely consistent with the tone of this season — he asked PMs Wes and Jen M. not to choose the people they wanted on their teams but rather to get rid of the people they didn’t like. Perfect! Such relationship-building techniques, Donald! Please continue to stay away from all of my faucets!

Jen M. sent away Maria (good choice), Little Stacy (awesome choice), and Sandy (huh?). Even better, Wes sent away Raj (declaring him ”happy to go with the ladies”) (oh, and by the way, what did I ever see in Raj? Why did you people let me labor under that misapprehension for so long? This column has a comments section, guys! Speak up!) (oh, wait. You did say something, didn’t you?), Chris (who had my favorite line tonight, by the way, when he declared that he’d been an entrepreneur ”since he was 11.” Dude, who isn’t an entrepreneur when they’re 11? There’s nothing to do but try to con adults out of cash), and Kevin. That’s right: Wes got rid of the player, the homophobe, and the black guy. Ah, America.

And then, sometime around 6 a.m. — right after Disgusto-Raj channeled Raymond Chandler to describe Jen M. as ”analytical, calculating, and beautiful . . . a deadly combination” — the phone rang again, and there was poor Rhona, who has to get her butt out of bed every single Thursday at an ungodly hour to wake these fools up (do you think she secretly resents Robin for getting the prime-time slot? Do you think Robin is working on a union contract that requires she get 12 hours off between 10-second shifts? And is it just me, or has time ceased to exist on this show?), telling the kids they’ve gotta be in Central Park at 8 a.m., where Trump introduced George substitute Alan (George is somewhere pouting after his Big. Boardroom. Moment. failed to materialize last week, no doubt) and told the troops their job for the day was to take $1000 and ”do something with dogs.”

(This week’s Apprentice was brought to you by the good people at Mark Burnett Ran Out of Ideas and Decided to Torture Animals Week.) (Oh, yeah, I TiVoed Survivor. Oink.)

So a dumb mission descended into chaos, because on reality television shows, ”do something” invariably means ”makeovers!” Too-vigorously-washed dogs made awful noises. So did Stacy. Potential lawsuits between NBC and crazy New York dog-run patrons abounded. Wonder Boy left his cell phone in a cab after talking a cat charity into sponsoring dog washing. Raj called something a ”cluster-screw-up situation.” Tonight’s pudding was tapioca.

When the fur cleared, Jen M. and her bunch had made a whopping $300 or so to Wes Etc.’s $100. Ignoring for a moment that there are elementary-school children all over this country who could make more money than that by selling Christmas cards to Jehovah’s Witnesses in February, the minute the results were announced, my friend Al and I screamed out, ”Stacy!!!!” I mean, this had to be it for her. She contributed quite literally nothing to the team this week, except the potential that she might actually get mistaken for a treat and eaten by an overzealous golden retriever. And sure enough, while Jen’s team was off visiting with Mayor Michael ”Grinning Skull on a Stick” Bloomberg, Wes brought Andy and Stacy into the Boardroom with him, and finally, finally finally finally finally that little yapping Smurf of a girl didn’t have anyone else to blame. After Alan had some sort of Nam flashback regarding Andy’s loss of the phone and how it related to munitions and the breakdown of communication systems during military maneuvers or something (total downer, Alan!), Carolyn told Stacy to take some freakin’ responsibility, and Trump (who hates people who exaggerate, bwah-hahaha) fired her without remorse, and my darling Al, God bless her, yelled out, ”Cry, little girl, cry!!!!!

And so off went Ms. Blabbermouth von Tinkerbell McMini-Me, the Loudest Snack Cake Ever Made (sorry. Had to get that all out. She’s not coming back, people) (wait. I thought that about Omarosa, too. Crap), dragging her giant suitcase behind her, and all the happy people on my living-room couch sang a joyous tune of glee. But only for a moment. Because then we watched the scenes from next week and not only is the show going to interfere with our personal safety as New Yorkers by allowing these people to hire police officers, there was some tiff surrounding Elizabeth and for the life of me I can’t remember which one of the seemingly inexhaustible supply of straight-haired bratty chicks it was. But that’s probably just the baseball sadness talking. I’ll try and focus better next time. Cards in five. Oink.

What did you think?

The Apprentice

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