NEW YORK — Donald Trump has fired the field of 15 candidates down to the final four on the second season of NBC’s “The Apprentice” — but one contender is unpopular with his peers.
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Following their firings, many candidates expressed not-so-nice comments about software executive Kelly Perdew, 37, the oldest “Apprentice” contestant.
“Personally, I don’t care for the guy,” Chris Russo, who was fired in week 10 of the 15-week job interview, told The Associated Press after his dismissal.
Other fired candidates have expressed similar sentiments, with outspoken Raj Bhakta taking his disapproval a step further. “He’s just like a pretty humanless fellow,” Bhakta told the AP. “He lacks any chutzpah.”
Andy Litinsky, who went head-to-head with Perdew as an opposing project manager, agreed with Bhakta.
“As far as Kelly’s likeability factor, I don’t want to get negative,” Litinsky said. “I would say Raj’s characterization is correct.”
Unlike other reality shows such as CBS’ “Survivor,” the opinions of “Apprentice” firees don’t matter because Trump decides who wins the job with the Trump Organization and a six-figure salary.
On Thursday’s upcoming episode, the final four candidates will go through a series of interviews with executives such as Dawn Hudson, president of Pepsi-Cola North America, and Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots.
Following the boardroom grilling, two candidates will be eliminated. The two remaining candidates will each organize a charity polo match and basketball tournament with the help — or hindrance — of fired candidates.
The winner will hear the words “you’re hired” during the live three-hour finale broadcast from New York’s Lincoln Center on Dec. 16.
Ivana Ma, the most recently fired candidate, had a different point of view about Perdew, a former officer in the U.S. Army who has created several Web sites including a personal site where he dispenses entrepreneurial advice.
“I thought Kelly was great,” Ma said. “I didn’t really notice any tension.”
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