On ''The Apprentice,'' Charmaine leads her team to failure in a salon challenge, but first, she touches the Donald's mysterious hair
The Apprentice (Season 5)
Credit: The Apprentice: Virginia Sherwood

”The Apprentice”: Charmaine touches Trump’s hair

America, there is something I want you to know: I love Diet Coke. As far as I am concerned, Diet Coke is the elixir of the gods. Without Diet Coke, I would not be half the woman I am today.

That might be a bold statement, but when you believe something in your heart, America, it’s hard not to say things like that.

What? You think I’m being super-dramatic? Well, you wouldn’t be alone. I suspect you and Tarek would be good friends, in fact. Too bad he got fired. You’re now friends with a loser. Congrats.

Tonight’s ep started off with the fallout from the Ellis Island disaster of ’06, in which Sean dared to stick up for Andrea the Robot in the boardroom. ”It’s okay for me to think differently from you!” Sean said, as Allie barked at him for his actions. ”I wish I could trust Sean,” she later lamented, and in a theme that carried through this entire show, I’m pretty sure her subtext was ”I wish I could make out with Sean.” Love was in the air for our Apprentici, from Tammy and Sean’s flirting (”Gorgeous, young, sexy, rrawrr, kind of businessy girl from Beverly Hills; young, strapping lad from London — anything could happen” is how Sean put it, and I don’t know about you, but I feel a new hit Fox show coming on) to Trump sexually harassing a completely oblivious Charmaine in the boardroom. (”She said she wants everybody to love each other, and you didn’t take advantage of that?” he asked Tarek. ”You are a schmuck.”). Frankly, I’m a little squicked by it all.

The task was to make the most money on the opening day of a new Haircuttery franchise. I have never heard of Haircuttery, but then today I bought a smoothie from a place called Juice It Up!, so I guess anything is possible. Goldfart, led by Charmaine, and Synergy, led by Tammy, trotted off to their respective strip malls to try and groom people, and all I can say is, thank God this went better than the infamous dog-grooming incident of a couple seasons ago. Perhaps this is because the Apprentici were not allowed to touch the clippers.

Synergy motored along fine — they handed out flyers, and Allie pushed product — but over at Goldsnot, chaos reigned supreme. Between Charmaine’s complete lack of priorities and Michael’s complete lack of living on this planet, they spent like five hours arranging product on the shelves instead of marketing, and while I rarely agree with Tarek, in this case he was right: This was idiotic. Charmaine kept blaming her lack of leadership on the fact that she was a girl trying to lead three guys — thanks for setting feminism back 40 years, babe — but the bigger problem was that Charmaine is a ditz and Tarek is a dick and together they are incapable of functioning. Goldpoop lost this task by around $300.

As a reward for persuading the most total strangers to get their hair cut, Synergy won a chance to write a song with Burt Bacharach. At least their drecky ballad didn’t have anything to do with ladies, or seeing anyone in the club, freakin’. Also, Roxanne has a lovely voice. But if anyone out there can tell me what on earth the ability to write a song has to do with real estate, could you let me know? Thanks.

Before Goldloogie headed to the boardroom, Lee asked Charmaine, ”What are you thinking?” and she said, ”I’m not thinking anything.” Well, duh. And then while in the boardroom, Bunker Bill Rancic continued his personal journey of growing a pair, and went right after Charmaine for getting her hair done during some of the ample downtime her team experienced that afternoon. Charmaine went after Tarek, Tarek went after Charmaine, Lee mostly just sat there (okay, I know he didn’t just sit there, and the Lee haters are going to eat up his waffling and scheming tonight, but I’ll let you all fight it out down below because he was ultimately a nonfactor and you know it), and then Michael let loose with the Most Beautiful Statement Ever Uttered on The Apprentice, which I was going to type out in its entirety here, but I am running out of space, and so just trust me when I say that it was ludicrous, and made all the better when Trump declared it to be so very beautiful, and Michael followed it up with the ”when you believe something in your heart” line I quoted at the top, and here in my apartment I marveled at the way these people are so bowled over by anyone who has a working knowledge of the English language. And that was the longest sentence ever, so who am I to talk about the Englishes? Sigh.

I’ll cut to the chase: Tonight was our first double firing of the season. Bam! Bam! Charmaine went down first because she couldn’t control Tarek (though Michael would like you to know she did not cry on this task once), and Tarek went down because he couldn’t be controlled. After their five-minute stretch of yapping over each other simultaneously, I can’t say I’m dismayed by this turn of events. But.


Tonight was about hair, and Trump opened the show by encouraging Charmaine to ”examine” his Möbius-strip ‘do. She actually touched it, people, she reached up and pushed back his bangs to prove that his ”frickin’ hair” is real. (Did I mention I spent a lot of tonight being squicked?) But: Did we see any proof of realness here at home? Did we get a close-up, or even a front shot? No. And thus I launch my first official Apprentice conspiracy theory of the year: Charmaine was fired because she knows the secrets behind Trump’s hair, and he couldn’t risk keeping her around. She’s got too much information. I’m telling you: Charmaine was not so much fired as she was disappeared.

Or not.

A couple last great moments: Bill briefly returning to his old toadying self at the end to sigh, ”Whoo! It’s comin’ down to the wire!” and Carolyn practically sucking her eyeballs all the way into her head to keep from laughing; and Tarek and Charmaine’s silent cab ride. Is it just me, or was anyone else hoping they’d make out?

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