Full Show Index
Advertise With Us
Write For Us
Dateline: Behind The Apprentice – Beyond the BoardroomPage 2
View Printable version of this article
Burnett’s next venture is a show called The Contender, which is about boxing and stars Sugar Ray Leonard and Sylvester Stallone, along with boxing hopefuls. In an interview, Stallone says that the reason the shows are a hit is the interesting human interactions.
Burnett is proud to have a show on NBC’s Thursday night, an acknowledgement that The Apprentice is a hit. He concludes by saying, “There’s nothing like biting off more than you can chew and chewing it anyway.”
No discussion of The Apprentice is complete without discussing what Stone Phillps calls the two most controversial candidates: Sam and Omarosa. Actually, I don’t think the two of them are especially controversial. People have been pretty unanimous in thinking that Sam was a bit wacky and that Omarosa… well, let’s just say there’s a reason she’s been inducted into the Reality TV Hall of Shame… twice.
We start with Sam. He cheerfully admits, “I am a little nuts. It’s a slice of life.” In his life outside of The Apprentice, Sam is a successful newsletter publisher. He says that, like Trump, he likes living the good life, and shows us around his apartment. His apartment is like a smaller, slightly less shiny version of Trump’s apartment. Sam is a trained auctioneer and is dedicated to his family. In his audition tape, Sam talked his way onto, and then commandeered a Washington, DC, Tourmobile bus. I would have loved to have seen the rest of that tape, because that’s hilarious.
Sam calls his time on the show “a train wreck.” He says that he was penalized for thinking outside the box and insists that he almost closed a sale for the $1,000 glass of lemonade. And the time he supposedly fell asleep on the floor? He says he was sick, hungry (the other guys ate all of the food), and exhausted. He also felt a tremendous amount of pressure being in front of his idol, Donald Trump. In an attempt to rein himself in, he carried a note in his pocket that said, “Shut up, Sam.” As for the laser beam death glare he shot at Trump when he was fired, he insists that he wasn’t angry; he was devastated.
Still, life has been good for Sam since the show ended. He appeared on The Tonight Show, did a very funny commercial for the Miss USA pageant with Trump, and even proposed to his girlfriend on the Today show. Sam’s future wife jokes that in the five years she and Sam have been together, she’s learned some “coping mechanisms.” At the close of his story, Sam says, “The game’s never over,” and says that he hopes one day to work with Donald Trump.
Then there’s Omarosa, simply described as “the villain.” Omarosa caused a lot of controversy on the show – some of her teammates found her arrogant and flat-out hated her. Omarosa says she didn’t care – she didn’t go on the show to make friends or to join “the sorority.” She wanted to win.
Omarosa says that there is a misconception about her that she grew up rich. I don’t know why anyone would think that, since she made it clear several times that she grew up in the projects of Youngstown, Ohio. Her father died when she was very young, and her brother was involved in gangs and is in jail now. But her mother encouraged her to succeed. In her audition tape, she proudly showed off her college degree. She is currently one credit shy of earning her PhD. Omarosa helped finance her education by participating in beauty pageants. She shows off her crown for being Mrs. District of Columbia. She has been married for four years.
Omarosa was the butt of jokes on Saturday Night Live, and NBC is kind enough to show a clip of Maya Rudolph playing Omarosa, getting hit on the head with progressively bigger pieces of drywall, and finally a bowling ball. Omarosa maintains that her injury was real, and that she went to the emergency room. She leaves out the detail that we learned in the clip show, which is that the doctors there found no serious injuries. As for her accusation that Ereka used a racist word to describe her, she stands by her story.
Omarosa says that her time on The Apprentice has helped her career. She gets recognized on the street, her web site has had half a million hits, and she’s been in talks to host a talk show and to write a book. She claims that she made great contributions to her team and yielded good results.
Of course, we have to talk about the final two candidates, one of whom will win the big prize: Kwame and Bill. Kwame has an impressive resume – he has an MBA from Harvard and works for the prestigious financial firm Goldman Sachs. In an interview, he says that he auditioned for the show because it's important to take risks. Ultimately, he doesn't want to be Donald Trump's assistant – he wants his own empire. He says that one thing he and Trump have in common is a love of beautiful women. Kwame separated from his wife because, as he candidly put it, his days of "skirt chasing" were not over. Kwame says that he's not as straitlaced as he seems to be on the show, and can actually be a lot of fun. He's ready for the final battle and is confident that win or lose, he'll make the best of this opportunity.<--Previous 1 2 3 Next-->
View Printable version of this article