It's down to two on ''The Apprentice'': While supervising charity events, finalists Jen and Kelly learn not to trust the weather, NBA players, or their treacherous teammates

By Whitney Pastorek
Updated December 10, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST
Apprentice 2: Eric Liebowitz

The Apprentice

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”The Apprentice”: It’s down to two

Well, you win some, you lose some, some get rained out, and then Chris Webber cancels. Everything sucks for our remaining Apprentices right now, kids, because being a party planner is hard. Sniff.

We started the night with four little chickens, all scrambling around trying to impress the grown-ups. And now seems like a good time to interject that it sort of bothers me the way people keep referring to this as a ”13-week job interview.” Who are we kidding? It’s a reality show, people. You are reality-show contestants. Do you actually believe Bill is doing more than figureheading that building project in Chicago? The man sold cigars, for crying out loud.

But anyway, so our little chickens had to endure some really really hard questions (oh, like they didn’t know ”Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” would be on the test) posed by four really really hard executives: Shrek from Unilever, Carolyn I mean Dawn from Pepsi, ”Ace” from Bear Stearns, and Bob, the owner of the New England Patriots. Shrek seemed smart, but maybe that’s just ’cause he was European; Dawnalyn seemed bitchy; Bob seemed to really like Sandy and Jen (but maybe he was just picturing them as his new Pats cheerleaders); and ”Ace” seemed to be counting down the minutes until he could have a martini. And in their professional opinions, the very first person who needed to go was . . . Kevin? Yes, let’s fire the Wharton business school graduate who’s now in law school! Do it! Get that freakishly overqualified person away from this company! Feh!

That opened the door for the blondes to rip each others’ throats out. With very little provocation, Jen and Sandy were attacking each other like angry shih tzus again, which made me sad, because when they were standing together at the refrigerator earlier in the episode, I had a little flashback to the M&M Sisters, and I really think these two have a future as models at boat shows if all this corporate stuff doesn’t work out, and I want them to be friends. But no, Sandy is resentful of Jen’s success, Jen thinks Sandy is a moron, and Kelly wisely just sat back and let them go at it. Ooh, which, by the way, is what Jen has been doing this entire show, and look how well she did! What’s the problem? Yes, she was only PM once, but she won, and then she was smart enough to dodge the Job of Doom the rest of the time, and bam! Final two! (Bye, Sandy. You were never interesting enough for me to get worked up about. Sorry.)

Our lesson tonight: Winning is everything (I could have sworn the cliché was . . . oh, never mind), and Donald Trump jogs much more convincingly than you’d think. Kelly and Jen were assigned their final projects, with Kelly managing a charity polo match and Jen managing a charity basketball game, and then their little helpers came into the room, and oh, my heart leapt right up into my slightly hungover throat. There was Raj! And Pamela! And Hottie John! And Sorta Racist Chris! And . . . Snack Cake Stacy? Oh, crap.

So Kelly chose John, Elizabeth, and Raj and told them he loved them, and when the three of them got done snickering about that, they took off to go run races on the polo field, which is exactly what I would have done if my boss was obsessing over spreadsheets and picking his teeth. But the frolicking had to stop when the rain started to fall and the manager of the polo place, whom we shall call Less Than Zero (he has that look) came in to tell them the match might have to be canceled. The horror!

Jen chose Pamela and Chris and then got stuck with Mini-Me. She did not profess her love to the group, but she did stick them with all the hard jobs while she did . . . something . . . and then when the company she’s planning the basketball tournament for —

You know what? I’m not going to say the company’s name here. I’m not going to give them what they want. That’s right, I’ve promoted these companies for an entire season, and I’m not playing into their hands anymore! No free publicity for corporations like Genworth! I am not their product-placement bitch! I — what? Oh, crap.

Anyway, so Jen et al. are trying to put together a basketball court where there isn’t one (although I play soccer at Riverbank State Park sometimes, and I’m pretty sure there’s usually a court in that barn thing, and they just took it down to make this show, like, interesting), and then they got a phone call saying that Chris Webber (or, as contestant Chris described him, Tall Black Guy), their emcee for the tournament, couldn’t be there. The more horror!

And to top it all off, it’s entirely possible that somewhere, Omarosa is still looking for Jessica Simpson!

So the stage is set for our final episode, Blonde vs. Blonde, Ponies vs. Tall Black Guys, rain vs. flaky celebrities. Who will win? Eh, right now my money’s on Kelly, actually, because those Genworth ladies really didn’t seem to like Jen very much. (In Jen’s defense, though, the ladies from Genworth did agree to let a character from a reality show run their event). But anything can happen — don’t forget the wild card: the returning helper monkeys. Raj made an interesting point: What exactly is their incentive? If they no longer care about being on TV (it seems none of these folks do — even Stacy seems subdued), why bother? Remember: Bill won last year because he had a little help from his friends. All these people hate each other’s guts. Should make for the Most. Mediocre. Finale. Ever. Can’t wait.

What do you think? Who were you happiest to see go? Who were you happiest to see return? (Anybody?) And who’s going to win?

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