The Apprentice 5 Finale: Barenaked Hockeyby Betsy Wasser -- 06/06/2006
Tonight, the final decision will be announced in the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles. Trump arrives, with Carolyn and George right behind him. I wish Don, Jr., Ivanka, and Bill were right up there with them. The three of them were a big part of this season, too. Trump and the viceroys sit down at a conference room table just like the real one. He explains that the finale is being held in Los Angeles because the next season will be filmed in L.A. Trump says he couldn’t have asked for two stronger candidates than Sean and Lee. Really? You couldn’t? Because I could.
Let’s see the two final candidates again. Sean is 2-0 as project manager. He says he’s going to be a passionate, driven employee. He says he’s proven himself in international business and is a perfect fit. Lee is only 23 years old and is 3-1 as project manager. Lee thinks his expertise in business, intelligence, and loyalty will make him a good candidate. In the first task, Sean’s charm made him a valuable asset. His popularity grew when he had the opportunity to visit the White House and felt more American than ever. Lee had a more challenging team to work with. He stumbled in his first task as PM, but after following Lenny’s advice, pulled off a win. He volunteered to be PM after a bad losing streak and had a huge win in the Ellis Island task. The two men worked well together, despite their many differences. Together, they trounced Synergy. They created a retail-friendly environment for Wal-Mart, then designed non-hideous uniforms for Embassy Suites.
Last week, on The Apprentice, Sean and Lee learned they were the final two. Sean assembled his “dream team” of Tammy, Tarek, and Andrea, figuring that would cover sales, marketing, and operations. He was assigned to organize a Barenaked Ladies concert at the Trump Taj Mahal. Lee sought to choose a team of people who cared about him, and with Lenny’s guidance, selected Lenny, Roxanne, and Pepi. Carolyn about died laughing since she didn’t even recognize Pepi. Lee was in charge of organizing a charity hockey game. As always, the episode ended with both candidates facing problems. In Lee’s case, Lys, the head of the charity, was completely unimpressed- and angry- with the lack of progress he’d made thus far. As for Sean, team member Andrea just had to leave because of a medical scare… coughing up blood is scary stuff. What will happen in the tasks? And who will win? We’ll find out soon.
Trump asks the audience who will win. Sean seems to get a much bigger response. He claims he hasn’t made up his mind yet. He encourages us to go online to vote. But first, let’s see where the two candidates are.
We start with Sean. Sean is prepared to lose Andrea if he has to. He says he’ll have to roll up his sleeves. The doctor assures Andrea that everything looks fine, but that if this continues, he’ll need to see her again. Andrea says she was upset to have to leave Sean, which is incredibly selfless of her. As the team tries to regroup, she returns. She wants to get right to work, but Sean wants to know how she is first. He is relieved to have her back, and says she’s a rock. Andrea doesn’t want to talk about it, just move forward.
Lys joins Lee and his team. She really wants to know what the plan is. Lee admits that he doesn’t have a script for halftime. Lys demands details on the “shirt off your back” auction. Lenny confuses Michael J. Fox and Jaime Pressley for Jamie Foxx. Oops. Lee says Lenny will approach the players, which causes Lys to make an alarmed face. She doesn’t think he sees the weaknesses in his team. She doesn’t think Lenny is the best person to greet the celebrities. As much as I love Lenny, she’s totally right. Lenny isn’t exactly a smooth operator. Lys says that this was obviously Lee’s choice as a leader and doesn’t look like a strong one.
Sean says he regrets not meeting with Mark from Pontiac. He goes to the concert venue with him. He wants to have the lead singer of the band dressed as a panda, which is the charity’s mascot. Mark says no- it’s a little too goofy for him. Sean suggests that the panda just walk on stage and is met with resounding silence. He backs down from his panda idea.
We see quick glimpses of Lee and Sean’s hometown parties, then it’s back to action. Sean meets the band. He says it’s “pretty sexy” to be working with rock stars. Tarek introduces George to the team for the VIP event. He says Sean has let him run with the event, which he might not have done himself. She explains the product in great detail, which I tune out. George doesn’t think Sean is spending enough time with his team.
The next morning, Lee is feeling good. Everything is set up, and he’s happy with his team. He’s going to meet with Christine from the Leary foundation. He reviews all of the details with her. She isn’t clear on how, for example, the players will show up. She hates his plan- it lacks drama. “There’s no show. I’m bored,” she says. Lenny then reveals that half of the stuff was stolen, then smiles- he was kidding. She’s not laughing. Lee asks Lenny not to make jokes- he’s making her more frustrated. She tells Lee that he “can’t wing it.” Roxanne says the meeting was a nightmare and really embarrassing. Things don’t look good, and they only have two hours.
Pepi and Lenny decide to guess on the sizes for the players. Lenny figures, for whatever reason, that the goalie needs a big jersey and small helmet. When in doubt, he gives everyone a medium. Pepi notices that some of the players seem to have more gear than the others. They shrug it off.
Sean joins Tarek, and they are looking for a CD that the SLS executives want. They are tearing apart the room looking for it. Sean asks over the phone for help. Tammy finds it in about two seconds, and sounds of triumph congratulate him. The studio audience cheers. Sean says she’s his lucky charm.
Jason Priestly checks in, and there is no one to greet him. Christine is not impressed. The woman at the door is supposed to call Lenny, but it’s too late. Lee goes to check it out. Roxanne reports that Lenny isn’t answering his phone. Lee quickly drafts another volunteer. She looks completely on top of things. Trump should hire that volunteer. Lee recaps that Lenny really screwed up. Lee and Lenny meet Jaime Pressley. Lee asks her to handle auctioning off the cars. She asks if he has a script for her, and he assures her it’ll be taken care of. Jaime looks forward to meeting the naked players, including one of the Baldwins. She goes to the locker room, where Stephen Baldwin ogles her. Not surprisingly, the jerseys don’t all seem to be fitting.
After meeting the players, Jaime is a little lost and doesn’t know what to do or where to go. Carolyn says that Lenny “is not giving a level of client to any client, donor, VIP- you name it.” She has no idea why he’s even on Lee’s team. She also has no idea why Lee chose Pepi. We end with Jaime Pressley wandering around aimlessly.
Trump brings out the fired candidates live. Brent’s hair looks marginally less stupid. Tammy has on a gorgeous red dress. Andrea is wearing jeans. And Roxanne appears to be wearing a weightlifting belt right under her chest.
We return to Lee with his VIP party. They aren’t getting many bids on the silent auction, and Lee encourages Pepi to push them. Trump calls, and Lee says he will be impressed with what’s going on. He promises Trump things will run on time. Lee hustles everyone from the party to the ice. He rushes to meet Trump, but doesn’t get there in time. Trump mutters, “They never learn” as Lee scrambles to find him. He does, however, have a reserved seat and a diet Coke ready for him.
The players skate out onto the ice, and the game begins. Some of them aren’t wearing helmets, which is scary.
Sean’s event begins, and the Pontiac guy is unhappy at the lack of signage at the party. Andrea and Sean hammer out some final details. Andrea tells people all about the car and does a solid job of it. Sean swings by a salon and requests good luck hair gel. Oh, Sean.
Lee’s auction begins, and Jaime says she won’t be able to see bids because she can’t see well. She is annoyed because she doesn’t know what to do and demands that Lenny “get it together, little apprentice boy.” I love Jaime Pressley. Lys says she wondered if she’d see Lee shine. She’s happy now. Lee says goodbye to Trump. In an interview, he says he did “pretty darned well.” He feels confident. He’s got a lot more faith in himself than I do at this point, but I guess you can’t really end a task like that and say, “Yep, pretty much screwed the pooch on that one.”
Trump calls Sean and says he hopes to see good things. Tarek introduces the executives from SLS as Trump lands. Sean is waiting right for him, so there’s a point in his favor. The Pontiac guy complains to Andrea about the lack of signage. She does not look happy. The car auction goes for considerably more than Lee’s does- Lee sold his for $35,000, but Sean got $40,000. Sean is very happy and just hopes for a great show.
Trump “drives” on stage in a Pontiac, and George seems to get a real kick out of it. The concert starts, and Trump jokes again about naked ladies.
Lee thanks his team for their hard work. He says that no way did Sean’s team do this for him. He says that they all pushed for him and passionately feel he should be the next Apprentice. Meanwhile, George is dancing at Sean’s concert. Trump leaves and looks pleased. Sean says he’s proud of everyone and says he worked with the best people. He tells them that when he wins, it will be because of them.
Commercials. Dateline is doing another “catch a predator” special. Isn’t this, like, the fourth one they’ve done? They should change their name to PredatorCatchers NBC… um… or something more clever than that. You get my point, right?
And now for the Trump Lesson Of The Week: “Taking Credit.” Trump says it’s important to take credit for your success before someone else does. And now for the Betsy Lesson of the Week. This Betsy Lesson is inspired by the warmer weather. When you’re eating a popsicle, take a paper towel and poke a hole in the middle. Put the stick through it, and it’ll catch the drips.
Sean says he’s proven himself to be adaptable, more experienced than Lee. Lee says he’s not intimidated by Sean. He doesn’t think that his lack of experience is an issue- he is the epitome of an Apprentice. Sean says that he’ll be enthusiastic and will fight Lee if he has to. Lee says that when he’s Sean’s age, he’ll be far beyond where Sean is. He thinks they’re in the same place now.
The two go to the Boardroom. Sean says he picked a balanced team- sales, operations, and marketing. He thought they’d all get along well, also- he didn’t want conflict. He thinks that much of the task was won in the selection process. He thinks he won. Trump asks if he knows something he doesn’t. Sean says no, but he’s still confident. Lee says he chose a riskier team. Lenny is risky, Roxanne is a good lawyer, and who was Pepi again? Lee says he wanted people who were passionate about his winning. Carolyn says Pepi barely knows him. Lee explains that Pepi wants to prove himself. And Lenny? Lee says Lenny would die for him.
Sean says that his age and experience are a big advantage- Lee isn’t ready yet. Lee disagrees; look where he is now. He’s barely close to peaking. George isn’t impressed. Sean says he could hit the ground running now and could make him millions. Lee says an Apprentice grows and learns. He had a 4.0 GPA in college. Sean says he has equivalent grades. The two trade resumes, and they come out pretty equal academically. Trump says both are outstanding, and he’ll chose one to win live in Los Angeles.
Trump introduces Don and Ivanka. Don says that he’s spent a lot of time with the candidates, and they’re both great. Trump jokes that it’s not much help. Ivanka agrees and thinks he could work with either. She says, “So essentially, it’s back to you, Dad.” Call me, Ivanka!
Trump greets Randal, last season’s winner. Randal says everything is going well with his job so far, then pimps his website. Trump then brings out Lee and Sean. Once again, the applause is much louder for Sean. Trump talks to the fired candidates. He starts with Tarek. Tarek says he respects Sean and thinks he’s a great leader with real integrity. Trump teases Tammy about Sean’s crazy Tammy love. Was he too effusive? Tammy says it shows how much passion he has, and that he’d bring it to the Trump organization. Good answer, Trump says. Trump gives Lenny some love and says that he does remember Pepi. Trump asks why Lenny relied on him so much. Lenny jokes, “Who’s Pepi?” He says that Lee is “like a goat,” which has no age and only appreciates in price over time. Oh, wait- he said gold, not goat. Heh; funnier as goat. Charmaine thinks that both men are smart and creative, but Sean has the organizational and leadership skills that Trump needs.
Trump reviews the two jobs available and claims that the candidates’ choice will “probably” influence his decision. One potential job is a hotel being built in Hawaii. Ooh, that’s going to be hard to beat. The other job is in Soho, a condo-hotel. Sean says he’d like to learn as much from Trump as he can, so he’d choose New York. Lee loves New York, so he’d choose that job as well.
Trump polls the candidates and has those who like Sean stand up, then Lee. The votes seem split. George says that he’d be happy with either of them. Carolyn says she’ll pick one. They’re both great. Lee is creative, and Sean is an energetic motivator. Carolyn never actually says so, but I think she favors Sean. Lee says Trump should hire him because he has been different. Trump says he’s a politician. Lee says he’s volunteered to be PM a third of the time and is better than Sean. He’s a true Apprentice. Sean thinks he’s better- he has the aptitude and attitude, and has ten years of experience that would prepare him. He says, in answer to Trump’s question, that he loves Tammy and wants to marry her. Trump says that the viewer poll just closed. He says it’s pretty one-sided, which surprises him. He says he agrees with the vote, but it’s a tough decision. He’d almost like to hire both, but he won’t. Sean wins, and does a little dance of joy, as you might expect. He gives Tammy, of course, a huge hug. Trump tells him to go get his new car. Sean yells, “I’m the Apprentice, baby! Yes! He promises to work his fingers to the bone.”
Well, that was really anticlimactic. It looked like Sean pulled off a fantastic event, whereas Lee just did okay, but they never even discussed the final events. I don’t think they even mattered. Really, it came down to whether or not Trump thought it was important that Sean has more experience than Lee. Lee is incredibly accomplished, especially for someone his age, but there honestly is no comparison between the two when you look at the real world. Even more anticlimactic is the fact that there were about two minutes of filler at the end of the episode where they played the boardroom music over and over and we watched candidates shake hands with Trump. It was very strange pacing and felt really off.
Well, that’s it for this season. I’ll be ready to recap the L.A. season come January. See you then!
Betsy Wasser is the Associate Editor of Reality News Online. She can be reached with any comments at email@example.com