Image Credit: Virginia Sherwood/NBC Hi Apprentice fans! We’ve finally reached the finale and I couldn’t be more excited about this episode. We have plenty of twists and turns and one really fantastic Apprentice was hired! I can’t wait to hear what you all think! Feel free to send me all of your comments to my Facebook page. I look forward to hearing from you… but first let’s get to my thoughts on the finale.

Problems Solved

As you may remember from last week, both teams had some pretty major issues to deal with. Brandy was in danger of not having a photographer at her event and Clint had misspelled his celebrity’s name on ALL of his collateral pieces. Lucky for both, their problems were resolved. Clint handled it well and remained in budget, and Brandy’s photographer made it! The playing field was evened and the battle was about to begin. At this point, I truly didn’t know who would do the better job — both had remained calm and cool through any issues and it seemed they were both leading their teams well. There was no clear front-runner and I normally have a favorite — but not in this instance!

A Golf Pro?

With no golf experience, Brandy seemed to handle the celebrity side of the tournament with grace and ease. She and Stephanie were very courteous to the members, VIPs, and sports stars that attended and the loss of Liza on her team was not evident. Her only glitches were golf related — the shotgun went off before Kathy Griffin could do her intro and my father was unhappy playing golf in a threesome. I wasn’t sure how Brandy would resolve the first issue, but I really liked the pro-active approach of bringing Kathie onto the course to visit the players. It was a great use of Kathie’s time, brought a lot of energy to the game and was a terrific VIP touch. Smart move No. 1. Smart move No. 2 was making sure my father got an additional player. Keeping the potential future boss happy is a must! Smart move No. 3 was giving all the players a unique and memorable gift — a framed photo of their team. All in all, I thought Brandy’s event was well-done and very polished.

Time Tables

At the Liza Minnelli event, Team Clint had one hour to have 550 people fed and seated. This was no easy feat, and with Liza Minnelli due to perform, there wasn’t much extra time — and I must say, the tight time frame made me nervous for Clint. I didn’t know how it would work out and I definitely did not want to see people waiting for food while Liza was performing. I think that the timing issue was a big one, and that Clint relied too heavily on Steuart for the planning of the dinner. The main focus of this task was putting all the details together to make this big event work, and I think that Clint may have delegated a little too much.

That said, everyone managed to be in their seats at the right time, the room looked great, and the excitement was running high to hear the great Liza perform from her new album, “Confessions.” Clint did an introduction to the event, which I thought was smart in order to illustrate and assert his role in organizing it. The show was terrific and Liza received a standing ovation as she finished “New York, New York.” She is a rousing performer and hits it out of the ball park every time! All in all, it was a job well done by Clint’s team.

Both contestants had produced two sophisticated, well-organized events, and I knew that we would have a really tough decision for this final boardroom.

The Boardroom

In the boardroom, my father decided to ask each contestant about their initial choices right off the bat.

Brandy was wise to tell him that she had chosen her team because Mahsa had been a problem and she wanted to avoid repeating that situation. As I mentioned last week, I thought that this was a prudent decision. Divisiveness amongst the teammates was rampant on the women’s team throughout the season and Brandy didn’t need that in the final task.

Clint was then asked why he had chosen to do the concert. He told my father that he wanted the opportunity to show him his communication skills. While I thought that Clint did a great job producing the dinner show, I thought that his use of “y’all” and slang was a little too familiar with clientele that he did not know. I generally think that communication was his weakness in this task, and that he would have done better to discuss how well his organization and problem solving paid off.

In opining on the events, Don thought Brandy did a great job, the big negative being the gifts and prizes not being up to the caliber of what our members are accustomed to. At the end of the day, however, the guests and VIPs enjoyed the tournament and had a great time, which is very important in the golf club business. In my opinion, Brandy was winning this round in the boardroom. Time to ask the teammates…

Taking Sides

It was fascinating, but not surprising, to see who some of the players decided to support in the boardroom. Poppy had worked with both Clint and Brandy, but felt that Brandy was the clear choice. While Liza had disregarded Brandy’s delegation in the task, she still thought that she was the stronger player, which showed team spirit and respect. I had a feeling that Mahsa would be a wild card, but in the end, she chose Clint as she thought he had a good way of dealing with people. Steuart, who had been very close to Clint all season, made the obvious choice.

The Final Firing

Going into the final decision, my father congratulated both Brandy and Clint — who I agree are both winners to have made it this far. Getting through this many weeks of boardrooms with my father is not easy! To make his final decision, he gave both Brandy and Clint the floor so that they could tell him why they should be the Apprentice.

Clint told my father that he had a winning combination of “paper on the wall,” being a “CEO in a box” (his catchphrase), and great charisma. A little non-specific, but a decent argument nonetheless.

Brandy listed her accomplishments and said that she looked forward to working along with the next generation, meaning myself, Don and Eric. I thought this was a smart response as it incorporated a vision of herself at The Trump Organization. My father said that was a good idea and a good plan.

In the end, Brandy was hired as the new Apprentice! My father pointed out that while Clint had overcome weaknesses and done a great job, Brandy was most highly respected by the candidates. To my father, the respect of your peers and your relationship with people is a key element of business, and Brandy had been someone who had gained respect time and time again.

I wish Clint the best and I am confident that he will continue to impress and achieve in his career — he was a dedicated player, one of our strongest to date, who contributed a great deal to The Apprentice this season. That said, I am really excited our new Apprentice: Brandy! She has been a constant force of focus and motivation throughout the season. With her poise, drive and sophistication, she will make a great addition to The Trump Organization in many different capacities. We welcome her to our team!

I hope to see you all very soon when Celebrity Apprentice begins in the Spring! Until then, happy holidays and have a wonderful New Year!

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