• April 15, 2004 | 8:00 p.m. ET
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Blogging the ‘Apprentice’ finale
Will Bill or Kwame get the $250,000 job with Donald Trump? Will Kwame's team ever find Jessica Simpson? Will Bill suffocate in an office full of golf-tournament goody bags? All those questions, and more, will be answered in tonight's two-hour finale of "The Apprentice." Let's blog.
8:00 p.m. ET: "Portions pre-recorded." No surprise, we really didn't think the Jessica Simpson concert and the golf tourney were waiting around for tonight's show
8:01: "Venture capitalists came to compete against copier salesmen," says Trump. Hope Nick's selling a lot of copiers these days.
8:02: Heh, Kwame: "I didn't sell the kid crack!" One of the show's best lines ever. Wow, they really are going to rehash ev-er-y sin-gle challenge.
8:04: Four minutes in, first reference to Kwame's Hah-vahd degree. You knew it was coming.
8:05: Ouch, those interviews with the Trump execs were tough, but Amy just had nothing, and it exposed her. Stepford wife indeed. Who can forget her saying she hoped the interviewers would be more impressed with how she said something as opposed to what she said? Because she said NOTHING.
8:06: Ding, third mention of Harvard. No mentions yet of Bill's alma mater, Loyola.
8:08: Ooh, the Diane phone call. Omarosa lied, lied, LIED. "But I didn't get her when they called me at Mark Antony. She had already left." What part of LIE does she not understand?
8:09: Best. Theme song. Ever. "Dollar bills, y'all."
8:14: Omarosa: "How do you lose a rock star?" Well, considering she thinks tuna is chicken...
8:15: They found her! She was safe but confused. Perhaps not for the last time. Well, so much for that big plotline.
8:16: Jessica, for all your money, please buy a nicer sweater. One that fits.
8:18: Somehow, Bill battling frost and misplacing a sign is a lot more boring than Omarosa losing Jessica Simpson. Although the sponsor on that sign is getting more than their share of product placement. Does it really help, I wonder? Can your average "Apprentice" viewer afford a corporate jet ride? Also, "Sweet GINGER Brown," Bill? How about "Georgia"? You may have your own business, but you're no Globetrotter.
8:24: Aw, Operation Smile. I'm pretty sure they came to my high school once, and by the end of the presentation we were all ready to drop out of school and join their charity. Good work.
8:26: Great, all of Kwame's team members are falling down on their jobs. Troy too? But how did he blow this one? Delegating and trust might bring Kwame down yet. Kwame says he can't go and follow up and make sure his employees did their jobs, and he's right, it is micromanaging. But somehow I bet Bill "Micromanage is my middle name" might have done it.
8:29: How can they not know when Trump is arriving? Wasn't one person assigned simply to follow him around? It's like everyone except Bill and Kwame have totally taken a hike.
8:31: "NO LATER than 10:30," Trump tells Bill. Sheesh, what does he want the guy to do, crawl around on the greens aiming a hairdryer at the grass? Wait, don't answer that.
8:36: Heidi: "It's not personal. Well, it actually is." Heidi, it's not personal that I hate how you paint your eyelids with gray eyeshadow. Well, it actually is.
8:38: Is Bill wearing white gloves? Oh, they're golf gloves, maybe, but they make him look a little Baron Von Trappish.
8:44: Not to keep dogging Heidi, but I think I wore that skirt she has on through four years of Catholic high school. And why is she incapable of handling any problem without calling Kwame on the Batphone?
8:46: "We're bringing in our VIP guests and Troy's talking to them like they're third graders." OUCH.
8:47: Oh, Omarosa, we'll tell you what you can do with your tambourine.
8:48: Kwame: "My management style requires talented people." Well, sorry, instead you got Heidi, Omarosa and Troy.
8:49: "So far, so good." That always precedes disaster, no?
8:50: Golf uniforms, Amy? Golf UNIFORMS? Yeah, better pack up your flight attendant clubs.
8:51: "Mr. Trump's foursome won the tournament." Yeah, can't imagine how that could have happened.
8:52: Bill did do a good job, his tournament was fairly flawless. Kwame may be in trouble.
8:53: Woo, the TrumpCopter flies over Gotham City! Forget landing, just drop the TrumpHook and slide down that way.
8:55: Yipes, Omarosa may be blowing it for Kwame yet, with her whisking Jessica Simpson off to parts unknown. Perhaps they're sitting backstage discussing grammatical goofs they have made. "Well, I thought that Buffalo wings were made out of buffalo!" "Oh yeah, well I thought 'pot calling the kettle black' was a racial slur!" Why, oh why, did Kwame not fire Omarosa when she lied about the phone call from Diane? He may have cut his own throat by not doing so.
9:01: That look Kwame just gave Omarosa could freeze Hell right over and then some. Wow, he must really be in trouble now, Jessica Simpson is feeling sorry for him and giving him advice.
9:04: I love how they made it look like Jessica Simpson only knows one song. And her eyes popped wide open when Trump announced his $25,000 donation. She's probably thinking "Hey, I think I have that much in my coin purse."
9:05: Kwame: "The meet and greet went well." Wuh? Are you delusional? Kudos for keeping it together on the outside, though. Kwame is like a duck: Outwardly calm, but below the surface, paddling like hell to stay afloat.
9:06: Aw, Bill prayed to have God help him do the best job he could. Not to win, not to crush the competition, just to be himself. In the world of reality TV, that's one of the most gracious things I think I've ever heard. I certainly wouldn't mind if he wins.
9:11: Bill thinks a win could change his "kids' kids" lives. Bill, in NYC, $250,000 can barely buy you a tie. Hope your kids' kids like it!
9:14: Hmm, Bill is coming out better in the boardroom discussions. But now George is jumping in. Go, George! And of course Carolyn thinks the golf tourney is tougher. Doesn't she manage the golf club?
9:16: Wow, Omarosa made a good point. Kwame was too laid-back, although that's his style. Heh, Heidi likes to be micromanaged, which makes me think she has no real idea what the word means. Also, Omarosa: Not "WE lost Jessica Simpson." YOU lost Jessica Simpson. Twice, if you count vanishing into her suite so you could try on wigs.
9:23: Trump is surprised by Omarosa being chosen early. Kwame could have told him he didn't want her to be picked last, but apparently that wasn't in his head at all, despite what Internet bulletin boards say.
9:24: Kwame's too calm, Bill's too intense. Give each of them half the job and you'll have the perfect junior executive.
9:25: Trump reeeeally wanted Kwame to come out and say he'd be better than Bill over 30 years, and Kwame was too nice to say it. Bill almost said it, but he kind of lost me when he started rambling about "pedigrees." Westminster Dog Show's not for a few months, Bill. He's still hurting over the Loyola remark.
9:32: So glad this show doesn't do its final announcement in front of a live audience, a la "Survivor." That would be really annoying.
9:33: Trump's bothered by Kwame. This is not good. He said early on that loyalty in employees was vital, and if betrayed, you shouldn't give a person another chance. Omarosa brought him down.
9:34: Look at Bill, he's thinking: I got it in the bag! And he does! BILL WINS! Whoops, and there's that live audience I thought they didn't have. Mark Burnett, you never learn. Aw, it's too bad that Kwame was brought down by trusting Omarosa, but then again, trusting the wrong person is about one of the worst things you can do in business. Personally, I'd rather work FOR Kwame, but I'd rather delegate jobs TO Bill.
• April 15, 2004 | 9:30 a.m. PT
Hot night for TV
Tonight's a dream night for TV watchers. It's an even better night for TV watchers who own a TiVo, especially the kind that can record more than one show at once. Just take a look at some of the decisions required by tonight's primetime TV lineup.
Over on NBC, there's a rock block of two episodes of "Friends," including "The One Where Joey Speaks French."
Could care less about Joey and his parlez-vous? Things are heating up on CBS' "Survivor: All-Stars," where Kathy and Shii-Ann, now minus tattooed leader Lex, are struggling to not be swept away under the reign of King Boston Rob and Queen Amber.
Prefer singing to survival? Someone will hit the road tonight on Fox's "American Idol." Will it be redheaded John Stevens (dubbed "Teen Martin" by some for his Rat Packy tendencies)? Or perhaps Jon Peter "I Can't Dance, Don't Ask Me" Lewis?
After getting warmed up with those shows, the long-awaited two-hour finale of NBC's "The Apprentice" will let either Kwame or Bill hear the magical words "You're hired!" My colleague Jesamyn Go thinks Bill will get the nod , and the job with Trump, but I have to say I am expecting a bait and switch. The final episode will be edited to make viewers think Bill has it in the bag, but in the end, Kwame will walk away the winner, and Harvard's MBA admissions department will start the presses rolling on a whole new batch of promo material.
Not a fan of the Donald? There's also a new episode of top-ranked "CSI" over on CBS.
More a PBS person? There's a dynamite repeat of an amazing "Frontline," called "The Man Who Knew." There are so many stories from Sept. 11 that have stuck with us, but this one, of FBI agent John O'Neill, who warned of bin Laden's danger and then himself died in the terrorist attacks, is one that may never leave me.
I have friends who don't own TVs, and usually I feel a little embarrassed and unhealthy in front of them, like I've admitted to regularly eating a jar full of Marshmallow Fluff while they dine on sprouts and tofu. But tonight's not one of those nights. Tonight I'm going to sit back on the couch with my jar of Marshmallow Fluff and relax. There's always time for sprouts tomorrow.
• April 2, 2004 | 11:30 a.m. PT
• This link has been getting a lot of attention lately, and deservedly so: A woman named Elena rode her motorcycle to the abandoned Chernobyl nuclear site. Her English is sometimes broken, but both her photos and text shoot for the heart. Excerpt: "These fire-engines are some of the most radioactive objects in all of Chernobyl. The firemen were the first on the scene, and they thought it was an ordinary fire. No one told them, nor the soldiers nor helicopter pilots what they were really dealing with. The fire-engines never returned in their garages, and the firemen never returned to their homes. They all died within a few hours."
• Quoth the raven: "What have you done to Poe?" Archie McPhee, the funky pop-culture store that happens to be just down the street from my house, is famed for its unusual action figures (librarian, barista, Freud, etc.). And the Edgar Allen Poe figure, complete with raven, is perfect for your favorite English lit teacher (or Baltimore Ravens fan).
• Fans of the TV vampire drama "Angel" are fighting to save their show, which has been canceled. As a "Buffy" fan, I watched this spin-off for a while, but started to lose interest about the time they killed off Doyle.
• With Easter coming up, I'm keeping an eye out for the Peeps Bus.
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