On ''The Apprentice,'' although skinny Stacy tries to pretend she feels threatened by portly Brent, she gets fired, taking project manager Pepi with her
The Apprentice (Season 5)
Credit: The Apprentice: Virginia Sherwood

”The Apprentice”: Judging a shnook by his cover

Good evening, and welcome to week 2 of the world’s most laborious job interview, where we have officially stopped hating black people (well, mostly) and started hating fatties! Yes, tonight our sweaty friend Brent was designated the resident crazy person, complete with accusations not seen since the days of Stacie J. and her Magic 8 Ball. ”He threatened me!” squawked a woman named, ironically, Stacy, who works as a criminal defense attorney. (Although larger in size than Stacie J.’s old nemesis Stacy, a.k.a. Mini-Muffin, she displayed amazingly similar characteristics.) Later, she came damn close to calling Brent ”the criminal element.” And Trump, perhaps having at last learned from his mistakes (i.e., 90 percent of the female contestants ever), made the smart decision to kick her to the curb. She wasn’t alone, but we’ll get to that.

We opened on Tarek and Lenny making their way back to the suite after pokey puppy Summer was fired. Tarek, who’d barely escaped last week, took the time to let us know that ”second place is just first in a long line of losers.” A reminder to everyone involved: Once again, there are only two teams competing here. Thank you. Now! Ivanka Trump is here to make you vork!

Okay, Ivanka doesn’t have an accent. I was actually pleasantly surprised to discover that, unlike her father, her mother, and almost every single person who has been on this show, Ivanka Trump is a poised, intelligent, articulate young woman who doesn’t take any crap from anyone. She is also the type of gal who lets her dad kiss her, in public, in a business situation, but hey, are you gonna tell Daddy that’s inappropriate? Also on hand tonight was Bunker Bill, looking quite tan and refreshed and happily sedated, and sporting a set of tooth veneers that would make Hilary Duff blush. (Bill did not get a kiss from Trump.)

The task: To get the most people to text-message something to some number on behalf of Gillette’s new razor. To quote my favorite Russian, Lenny, this task was simpler than whole earth. Than air. People send number. Is simple. I adore Lenny. I want to go drinking with Lenny. I want Lenny to be my life coach. ”Whitney. Stop with worrying about recap. Is simple. You write crap. Message board people bitch. They love you, they hate you, same. Drink more vodka now.” Thank you, Lenny. I believe I will.

So Lenny and the rest of Goldeneye just got their asses on the street and started badgering the tourists at the TKTS booth (NYC’s #1 Tourist-Badgering Location Since 1973!). Meanwhile, Synergy was still asleep. And this was after Synergy had wasted the entire previous day hating on the fatty once Brent got fed up with Stacy cutting off his silly, amateurish comments and decided to go outside and talk to her about the problem, one on one. Stacy freaked out; she said Brent got within inches of her face and he shook his finger at her, and so she burst back into the ”war room,” and the accusations began to fly, and soon enough the women of Team Synergy were demanding that project manager Pepi fire Brent. Pepi was at least smart enough to know that firing someone was not within his job description, but I’m not convinced that he didn’t have a little slip while checking out the Gillette razors and cut off something important, because he was completely incapable of getting his team back on track. As for the confrontation itself, look — it’s on tape. We can all watch it. What I saw was Brent trying awkwardly to talk to a skinny, snobbish chick who was clearly so uncomfortable with the idea of someone who didn’t spend all their spare time on the elliptical at Crunch that she couldn’t be within five feet of him without gagging, and so Brent’s hysteria + Stacy’s fat-ism + a narrow hallway filled with camera equipment = ”criminal element.” Of course, once this team finally got out on the street — dressed in bathrobes, in front of the ESPN Zone, not really doing much of anything — it was Brent who stepped in and saved the day by using his criminal-elementism to attract attention. I would posit that a fat dude dancing in a bathrobe in New York City is nothing special, but then I don’t hang out in front of the ESPN Zone all that often. And not that this team had any hope of winning today, but it’s because of Brent they didn’t go 0-fer.

In the boardroom, the news came down that the Goldfinches won, 683-458 (”an almost 50 percent margin!” said Bill, something I’m still trying to do the math on). Trump was appalled, and as punishment, he sent the Goldfarbs off to do community service. Oh, I’m sorry, wait, they actually won. I’ve said it before, but this was the Worst. Reward. Ever: Helping three down-on-their-luck dudes pick out new Trump suits and then listening to Trump pat himself on the back for getting the dudes back into the job market in some snazzy duds. I’m certain it never crossed his mind to, like, give them jobs, but whatever.

Tonight’s Lesson, ”People Are Strange,” seemed designed expressly to justify keeping Brent around. Trump explained that sometimes the people who don’t fit in — a geeky guy in glasses and a Jew-fro, or a black dude, to use the examples shown — are the most successful. In the boardroom, while Synergy, the real losers, set about trying to get Brent fired by explaining how he’s a crazy person, Trump seemed to be fond of the portly little pepperpot. And after warning the group that he would be firing two Apprentici tonight, he axed Stacy and darling, ball-free Pepi, who looked like he never knew what hit him.

Mostly, however, I leave tonight wondering why Robin walked into the boardroom to hold the door open. Did you guys see that? She’s never done that before. Could those have been googly eyes she was making at Bunker Bill? Do Robin and Bill have adjacent cells? Have they been tapping love letters to each other through the walls? Oh, the desperate romance of it all!

What do you think? Did Stacy deserve what she got? How about Pepi? Is Brent long for this world? And what lesson did you learn tonight?

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