On ''The Apprentice,'' Audrey reveals her secret shame; later, the too-green candidate shows she lacks the drive when bully John tees off on her

By Whitney Pastorek
Updated March 04, 2005 at 05:00 AM EST
Credit: Audrey: Craig Blankenhorn/ NBC
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”The Apprentice”: Audrey’s secret shame

In the beginning, the rose was sepia toned, and then it became red. So, too, did the nose of Chris change from his normal fleshy hue into a crimson bloom. And not because of ‘roid rage this time, either.

We opened with a bit of Boardoom Story Time, as all the little muffins gathered round and listened to the tale of how Audrey would surely not return. But then there she was, all 52 pounds of her! And in a moment that will live forever in reality-television infamy, she revealed that the reason she had done graffiti or whatever was because her parents both went to prison when she was 17. Prison! A young girl! Alone! Living out of her car! Oh, it’s too, too terrible! And as a tear formed on the cheek of even hardened smoker Angie, all of us in Tee Vee Land felt bad for darling Audrey and what she must have suffered . . . and then the world’s shortest sympathy spiral came to a tragic and violent end as little Aud-Aud went on to lament that really her biggest problem in life is . . . just being way too damn pretty?

Insert sound of crickets here. And then insert the sound of John beginning his journey down the path to full-fledged insert profanity here, by steamrolling all over her in an unattractive way as he basically told her he hated her guts and then acted like a cocky profanity after she told him to profanity off. Oh, John. Hubris, John.

Tonight, our friends the Apprentici found themselves charged with playing golf. Well, miniature golf. It wasn’t a commercial for much more than Chelsea Piers and Donald Trump’s gut and ugly golf swing, which was refreshing (well, not the gut part), but dude, that was the lamest task of all time, resulting in the lamest mini-golf courses of all time. Seriously. I would rather give my kid a paper cup and a rock to play with than doom him to being assaulted by clowns with mouths full of chewing tobacco or, worse, Bren. (The level of nicotine addiction this season is truly alarming, by the way. The kids on The Real World are starting to look like Mormons by comparison.) Even the lesson for tonight was lame: ”Play Golf.” Uh, okay. (Although I did like the Fake Business Moment. Guy to Trump: ”You just keep making par after par!” Trump to Guy: ”Thank you. Here is five million dollars.”)

Our team leaders for Mission: Impossibly Lame were Stephanie for the college kids of Magna (”I understand the rules of miniature golf”) and, despite her problems with ”too much personalness,” Little Audrey, the Prettiest Princess in All the Land, for Net Worth. In case you were wondering, she, too, credited herself with mad mini-golf skillz, to the vast eye-rolling pleasure of Carolyn, who, I have realized, is mostly getting paid to act out my inner monologue. Audrey also made the zen statement of the night: ”My business is business!” Yes, master. I see. I understand everything now.

So Stephanie’s course had a jungle theme, but more important, it had the cutthroat brilliance of Stealth Kendra, who scored exclusive rights to pass out fliers inside Chelsea Piers, which was a great move because no one who’s not already inside Chelsea Piers ever goes to Chelsea Piers. (Those dudes standing on the adjacent, non-Chelsea pier? Yeah, no.) Meanwhile, Audrey dressed her team up like clowns of the scary variety and set about ruining the lives of small children for the remainder of the afternoon. Although I’m not sure what was the scariest aspect — ‘Roid Rage Chris hollering, ”Did you have fun with Dad?” as flecks of chaw sprayed all over little Timmy’s face, Tana in the Bozo suit, or John stalking the edges of the course like something that just fell out of The Matrix. Dial down the dour, dude. You’re not a professional killer.

Ah, but as it turned out when Net Worth got spanked and made their way to the boardroom, John may in fact be a professional killer . . . of souls. ”She’s a 22-year-old girl,” he smugly said of Audrey, when asked why he didn’t respect her, and you could just see our little peanut start to crack. It wasn’t a particularly suspense-riddled boardroom — Audrey was pretty much doomed in the previews from last week — but it did have some lovely moments. In first place: Special Guest George, a man named Ashley, came up big in the following exchange, reprinted here in its poetic entirety:

Trump: ”Were you chewing tobacco while you were wearing a clown suit?”

Chris: ”I had a dip in.”

Trump: ”It’s not good.”

Ashley: ”Specially for a clown.”

Mamet can’t write dialogue like that, kids.

So while Magna was off reaping its reward at Trump International Not Miniature Golf Course (we shall withhold comment on the totally revolting flirtation between Erin and Trump, except to say it had never occurred to me before, but she has a very Eastern European air, don’t you think?), Audrey was told that yes, she was beautiful, but not so bright, and she took the elevator ”down” to the street for the last time. I am only upset about this insomuch as we will now never learn what sent her parents to prison. Well, until she goes on Oprah, I guess. Remember your spirit, Audrey!

Cab numbers checked out. Angie answered the Rhona Phone. Robin came nowhere near saying, ”You can go in now, guys.” And anyone who can tell me what Audrey’s parting words meant gets five million dollars. I’ll type them in here for those of you who maybe want to have them engraved onto an inspirational plaque for your cubicle: ”Those of us who walk away winning win more than just a loss.”

Amen, pretty. Amen.

(PS: If anyone would like to build an actual, non-lame mini-golf course in Manhattan, please do. We need one, desperately. Do it for Timmy.)

What do you think? Is John’s belligerence going to come back to haunt him? Could one of the quiet candidates come out of nowhere and win it all? And did Audrey really deserve to go, or did Trump fire her because she’s so pretty?

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