The Apprentice, Episode 14: You’re Hired!by Betsy Wasser -- 04/16/04
The final episode of The Apprentice begins with Trump giving us a full recap of what’s happened so far on the show. But you fine people have undoubtedly been printing and filing my articles all along, so you don’t need me to go over that again, right? Interestingly, Trump says that once the candidates got to the casino challenge, Kwame and Bill had emerged as leaders. He points to their two different strategies (though they were on the same team). Bill handled the VIPs, and Kwame relied on the shock value of bringing a tiger into the casino. Trump says that Bill is an “idea man,” and has business savvy and street smarts. Kwame is a “solid competitor” who managed to avoid conflict with his teammates – a difficult task with this group for sure. He has a calm and collected demeanor, a Harvard MBA, and a prestigious job.
But in the final challenge, Trump says both men were in a bit over their heads. Bill was to manage a golf tournament at the Trump National, but had some organizational problems. Kwame, in charge of managing the Jessica Simpson concert at the Taj Mahal, had some logistical nightmares that culminated in the star herself going missing. In the final boardroom, only one will win. Let’s get to it!
We start at the Taj Mahal. Omarosa wonders again how you can lose a rock star like Jessica Simpson. Kwame and Troy join her in the office to track down Jessica. In an interview, Kwame says, “Omarosa just totally dropped the ball. I would fire Omarosa because she’s incompetent, but I don’t have the luxury of doing that.” Finally, Omarosa gets Jessica on the phone. Where is Jessica? Why, she’s in the hotel! It turns out that Jessica’s people booked their own transportation, but the staff of the Taj Mahal didn’t know that. It’s too bad there wasn’t anyone in charge of handling the logistics of the transportation. What’s that? Oh, that’s right! Omarosa was in charge!
Kwame and Omarosa head to Jessica’s suite and meet her and her husband Nick. Omarosa jokes that she thought she had just lost “the biggest rock star in the country.” Could it be more obvious that she’s trying to kiss up to Jessica? Jessica is indeed a big star, but to call her the biggest rock star in the country is taking things a little too far. Jessica says that she was confused about the transportation, but they figured it out. Omarosa assures Jessica that from now on, the logistics will be tight. I wonder if by that she means that she will no longer be in charge, because that’s the only way I can see that happening. Kwame, in the background, looks relieved.
Bright and early the next morning, Bill and his team get to work on the golf tournament. Bill says that they got up at four and started work at 5:30 so they’d have as much time as possible to iron out the last details. He notes that for the first time ever, Katrina was dressed and ready for a task on time, and he appreciates it. Shortly after they start work, Bill discovers that the sponsor sign for Marquis Jet is missing. One of the workers at the clubhouse asks him what the sign looks like. A frazzled Bill says that it’s a sign that says Marquis Jet on it. Hee! The man goes to look for the sign.
Next, Bill learns that because of the cold weather, there will be a frost delay that will postpone the tournament. The tournament was to start at 9:00, but because of the frost, people walking on the green would damage the grass. They won’t be able to start until 10:30. Bill asks what the normal procedure is when this happens. Good question – it’s not like this is the first time this has ever happened, and I’m sure the Trump National knows just how to deal with this problem. The groundskeeper says that all you can do is have a cup of coffee and wait.
Bill says that he’s not stressed yet, but he is worried about the Marquis Jet sign. He calls to see if it’s in the model home. Amy explains in an interview that they are under a contractual obligation to display the signs. Bill says that it’s crucial to have good relationships with the sponsors. As he’s looking for the signs, the reps from Marquis Jet arrive. Bill smoothly tells them that their sign will be up as soon as the frost goes away. Good move, Bill. Bill then decides, in desperation, to see if maybe the sign got thrown away by mistake. Sure enough, it’s in the dumpster, undamaged. Amy thinks that in their frenzy of cleaning the office, it must have been thrown away by mistake. Bill has the sign on a golf cart just as the Marquis Jet reps return.
At the Taj Mahal, Kwame and Troy have an 8:30 meeting with the reps from Project Smile, a charity that Jessica Simpson works with for children born with cleft palates. Kwame notes that he woke up at 6:30 even though he had been up until 2:00 the night before. Much like I’ll be doing after I finish this recap. There is to be a breakfast that morning with Mark from the Taj Mahal, the Project Smile people, Jessica, and Nick. Kwame says that Troy took over the planning of the breakfast, which was supposed to be Omarosa’s job. Good plan, Kwame, but unfortunately, things aren’t going well yet. Jay, who heads the food and beverage staff, was unclear on when breakfast was to be served, so nothing has happened yet. Kwame makes arrangements for them to pull together a quick cold breakfast for everyone.
Omarosa arrives, assesses the situation, and quickly reminds Kwame that Troy was in charge of the breakfast and is to blame. Seems she can recognize everyone else’s screw-ups, but not her own. Omarosa asks Jay to make sure “Miss Simpson” has whatever she wants for breakfast. Omarosa pulls Kwame aside and tells him that he needs to be more expressive with what he wants. Considering the way she’s performed so far, I’m not sure she really wants that to happen.
Jay tells Kwame that he never talked to Troy, so he didn’t know what the arrangements were supposed to be. Mark is unhappy because this snafu makes the Taj Mahal look bad. He tells Kwame that it is ultimately Kwame’s responsibility, as the leader. In an interview, Mark says, “Kwame’s team killed him.” Kwame returns to the hotel room and fills Heidi and Troy in on what happened. Heidi is glad to hear that in the end, things worked out. Troy says that he did talk to Jay. I tend to believe Troy – he’s an honest person and wants Kwame to succeed. Kwame says in an interview that he doesn’t want to run around looking for the person to blame and just wants to move on.
Back at the golf course, Bill is still worried about the frost delay. Lesley from the Trump National notes that the frost delay will push back everything on the schedule and wonders how Bill will deal with it. She asks him if he’s made arrangements for when Trump arrives. Bill says that they’re all set, but admits that he doesn’t know what time the man will get there. Lesley tells him, “Be aware of his arrival.”
Lilting music sounds from the heavens as Trump arrives. His clubs are waiting for him. Meanwhile, Bill asks that someone man the gift table, because it looks terrible. He asks Nick for an update on the frost delay. Trump works the crowd. Finally, he and Bill run into each other. Trump says in front of everyone that if Bill doesn’t do a good job, he’ll fire him “like a dog.” Bill says that Trump was joking, but that basically, it’s true. He really wants to win and is feeling the pressure. Trump tells Bill that the tournament needs to start no later than 10:30 because he needs to go to Atlantic City that night. If I were Bill, I’d feel totally confident telling anyone and everyone that the frost delay would be lifted at 10:30, since the owner of the golf course said so.
Back in Atlantic City, Omarosa smugly says that Troy dropped the ball on the breakfast, so the meet and greet must go smoothly. I’d say that’s the pot calling the kettle black, but I don’t want to be accused of using a racist term. Heidi says that she was in charge, but now Troy is in charge too, and it’s too many chefs in the kitchen. Heidi is upset that Kwame asked Troy to help because she feels like he doesn’t trust her to do a good job. Kwame joins the rest of the group in the office, and Heidi confronts him about it. He says that he does trust her and that Troy is just there to help. She is in charge. Heidi says that she feels like if it goes badly, it’s all on her. Kwame corrects, “No, actually, it’s all on me.” He tells Heidi that it’s her show.
At the golf course, it’s time to clear all of the boxes and junk out of Lesley’s office. Bill says that the fast paced environment is fun for him. He asks Katrina to take care of the boxes. She says that Bill is frantic. “Don’t ask me 20 times whether I’m doing it,” she complains. Lesley notes that he’s running like crazy in and out of the clubhouse and that it doesn’t look professional. Bill asks Amy if the final pairings are done. She reminds him of a conversation they had the day before in which she asked him to only ask her to do a task once and to consider it done. She thinks he’s too crazed. She and Katrina take a walk and complain that Bill asks them a million times if they’ve done what he asked. Amy says, “I right now don’t think that Bill will win and it makes me very sad.”
Heidi heads to the ballroom to get started. The meet and greet will be an opportunity for fans and casino VIPs to meet Jessica. Heidi wishes she had more responsibility and says that she would actually do better than Troy if given the opportunity. In the ballroom, she’s immediately accosted by Steve, one of the casino Vice Presidents. Steve is concerned because there may be more people than they’d originally planned and the ballroom may not be big enough. Apparently Troy knew this, but never passed the information on to Heidi. Looks like Kwame’s plan of having them both involved backfired a bit. Kwame arrives and explains that they plan to have people come into the room in small groups, not all at once, so it should work out fine. Through all of this, George is there making observations. He says in an interview that Kwame has everything under control and that it’s a hard task.
Everyone mills around in the ballroom waiting for Jessica. Kwame says in an interview that it’s important to stay calm and not “Chicken Little with his head cut off.” That’s a funny mixed metaphor – you’ve got your headless running chicken, but apparently he’s also yelling, “The sky is falling!” Come to think of it, that seems to be exactly what Kwame meant. He wants to be calm and collected and not alarm everyone without cause. But where is Jessica? There she is – on stage… with Omarosa prancing around in a short dress. Omarosa doesn’t answer her walkie talkie for a while, but finally picks it up and says that Jessica will be there at 5:30. In an interview, Kwame says that it’s hard to check all of the details, but that he has faith in his staff. If he were to check up on everyone else’s work, it would be like doing their jobs as well as his own.
Back at the golf tournament, the delay has ended and play begins. Bill feels better and checks in on plans for the dinner. Carolyn is there, and he reviews the schedule with her. Carolyn tells him everything looks great. In an interview, she says that Bill is doing a great job. There have been some “hiccups” along the way, but in a task like this, it’s “par for the course.”
Amy says that the golf course is beautiful, it’s a lovely day, and there are hundreds of handsome men in golf outfits. She’s in heaven.
Trump arrives in his golf cart and is in high spirits because his foursome won the tournament. He seems impressed with the job Bill has done. Trump congratulates him and says he doesn’t know if Bill will win or not, but that he’s done well. Trump leaves for Atlantic City, Kwame, and Jessica Simpson.
In Atlantic City, Kwame puts a briefing together so he can tell Trump that everything is under control. He goes to the helipad to meet Trump. Meanwhile, Troy says that the meet and greet is going well, but that Jessica is worried about having enough time for the concert. Trump arrives and Kwame gives him a progress report. Trump wants to meet Jessica – his girlfriend loves Newlyweds. Kwame radios the ballroom to tell them that Trump is coming to meet her. At the same time, Omarosa herds Jessica out of the room.
Trump arrives in the ballroom. Jessica isn’t there, and Omarosa won’t answer her radio. Kwame and Troy calmly explain that Jessica left because she needed to prepare for the concert. Trump is totally fine with that and would be happy to meet her backstage. Kwame radios Omarosa over and over again to see if that’s where Jessica is, but she doesn’t answer. Trump is getting annoyed and says, “C’mon, Kwame. Time is money.” How embarrassing for Kwame. Troy radios Kwame to say that he thinks Jessica might be in her suite. They head up to find her.
Jessica is in her suite… and so is Omarosa, modeling a big feathered hat. Her radio has been in her bag, abandoned on a chair across the room. Omarosa would clearly prefer to hobnob with Jessica than to actually do her job, it seems. Trump and his girlfriend say hello to Jessica. In an interview, Kwame says that Omarosa is a space cadet, and she wastes time that he does not have. He adds, “This is the first time that I thought I could be fired.”
As she gets her hair and makeup done, Jessica says that Kwame just needs to relax and act like everything is perfect, even if it isn’t. That’s pretty much what he’s been doing. Is it a bad sign if he’s following Jessica’s advice?
Everyone gathers for the concert. Trump says that the audience has raised thousands of dollars for Operation Smile and donated $20,000 of his own. Jessica is thrilled. She goes on stage to perform as Kwame watches from backstage.
Kwame feels like the concert was a success and that the meet and greet went well also. He says, “I feel like I’ve come to the end of a long journey.” He says that things haven’t gone perfectly, but that he’s learned a lot.
Bill feels good, too. He thanks his team for having his interests at heart. He’s not sure if he won, but it feels good to have crossed the finish line. Katrina says that they worked well together since they weren’t there to compete against each other, but to support Bill. As Bill takes a limo back to the city, he says that he prayed that he would do his best and be himself. Because he was true to himself, he’ll be happy no matter what happens in the boardroom.
Kwame thanks his team for their hard work. He says in an interview that he wants to win. He’s tired of being in training – he’s ready to go. He would love to learn business from an icon like Donald Trump.
The two guys get ready for their final boardroom. Bill says that it’s weird that things are coming to an end and that he didn’t sleep the night before. Kwame prays and says in an interview that although the game is ending, this could be a new chapter in his life. Bill says, “My life could change drastically. My kids’ kids’ lives could change.” Kwame says that in the boardroom, he plans to “respectfully take Bill down,” and expects Bill to do the same to him. Bill is confident he’ll do well. The two of them leave the suite for the last time.
The two guys arrive at Trump’s office and politely thank the elevator operator and say hello to Robin. Their mothers taught them good manners. They sit on the yellow couches while their teams file in from the elevator and enter the boardroom without them.
Trump starts with the concert and says it was great. He asks Omarosa if Jessica Simpson is pretty or beautiful. George interrupts to say that she’s definitely beautiful, which cracks everyone up. How was Kwame? Heidi says that he was good, but relied on Troy too much. She says they have a tight bond. Troy admits that he loves Kwame. How was Bill? Nick says he was good. Amy and Katrina say he was great. Carolyn says that for a three-day challenge, Bill did an exceptional job.
George says that Kwame was also exceptional. He says that a celebrity golf tournament is easy because the celebrities do what they’re supposed to do, but a pop star like Jessica is harder to handle. Carolyn vehemently disagrees with George and says that running a golf tournament is not easy. She really does look offended – keep in mind that Carolyn’s job is running that golf club. I think George meant that dealing with a star like Jessica poses a special challenge, but it came out the wrong way.
What problems did Bill have? Amy says that he was frenzied and not as good as usual. Trump says that he looked cool enough, and Amy explains that usually Bill is better than most people but that he wasn’t up to his own standards. Trump breaks it down as, “good by other standards, but not great by his own.” That is actually a compliment. It reminds me of George Huff on this week’s episode of American Idol. George was very good, but he’s usually phenomenal.
Nick says that Bill could have been calmer and that he didn’t always trust his team to do the tasks assigned to them. He does think that Trump should hire Bill. Trump wants to know what ruffled Bill. Someone mentions the lost posters. Katrina thinks Bill just needs more confidence.
Omarosa chimes in with, “We’ve had quite the opposite experience with Kwame.” She says that he was cool and aloof, not intense enough, and too hands off. Heidi says that he does have intensity, but, “I do like to be micromanaged.” So she’s the one who actually likes it! Heidi should go work for my old boss. She’d be in heaven. Omarosa says that when Jessica was lost, Kwame was too calm. Troy says that Kwame did a great job and has the formula for success. Carolyn asks if his feathers should have been ruffled more, and Troy says yes. George asks if they can imagine how Trump must feel, with the weight of this decision. Who is the best prospect for a long-term career? Omarosa, Heidi, and Troy choose Kwame, and Nick, Amy, and Katrina choose Bill. Trump says, “Get out of here! You haven’t helped me at all!”
Trump sends for Kwame and Bill. Trump says that they are both outstanding, but have different styles. Which task do they think was the easier of the two? They both think the other’s task was easier. Trump asks Kwame about his laid-back demeanor. Kwame says that’s the way he is – he’s calm and doesn’t get frazzled easily. He says that Omarosa was hard to manage. Trump says that it’s because she wanted his job, and Kwame agrees. Trump is surprised he picked her. Does he regret it? Kwame straddles the fence and says, “In some ways yes, in some ways no.” Trump is especially surprised that Kwame chose Omarosa second and not third. Carolyn thinks it was a risky move considering this was his last shot at the win. George says that Kwame’s team wanted to be managed more closely, and that Kwame needed to watch them more attentively to be an effective leader.
As for Bill, Carolyn says that the event was an overall success, but that Bill’s team found him tense. Bill says that he was intense, but because he realized the importance of the task. Good answer. He says that he had a plan and covered all of the bases. He was not out of control, and he’s used to working in high-pressure environments.
Trump asks Bill if he’s better than Kwame. Bill hedges, saying they have different skills. Trump repeats the question. Bill says yes, for this job – he has great experience, has proven himself, has an intense desire to win, and a good track record. Kwame says that their actual performances haven’t been that different, and that Bill is only a few wins ahead. Trump says that’s a lot. Kwame says that he has performed well and that Trump can be confident that he’ll do a good job. Trump asks, in thirty years, which one will be ahead. Kwame thinks they’ll be neck and neck. Bill says he thinks he’ll have a leg up. He’s versatile, has the entrepreneurial spirit, and that his experience is more valuable than Kwame’s education. Wow, that was a good answer. Kwame says that he really wants the job and gave up a lot to pursue it. Trump agrees that they both did, and kicks them out of the boardroom so he can deliberate.
The two guys head to the yellow couch for the last time, and they’re both nervous. They shake hands and neither of them has any hard feelings towards the other for anything that they said in the boardroom. That’s so cool. Both of them knew that they did what they needed to do to impress Trump. Plus, neither of them put the other down. Bill and Kwame are class acts.
Trump asks George what he thinks. George votes for Kwame. He’s good under pressure, he’s adaptable, and his win-loss record is, at this point, irrelevant. He’d be a good fit for the Trump organization in the long run. Carolyn agrees on Kwame’s good points, but thinks Bill would be a better hire. Kwame is textbook, but Bill is practical. He had a few hiccups in the last challenge, but they were minor. Kwame is too laid-back, which might make his staff uncomfortable. Bill, on the other hand, managed his unpaid and newly-fired staff well. George says that since he and Carolyn don’t agree Trump must make the choice. Trump sends for Bill and Kwame.
Trump congratulates both men on making it so far. He tells Kwame that he has concerns about him. Omarosa lied to him and deceived him on more than one occasion. Why didn’t he fire her? Kwame says, “I didn’t know it was an option at the time.” He also had a job to do and was afraid to so drastically reduce his staff. Why, then, didn’t he move her to a minor task? Again, he felt like he needed another person to get the job done. Trump says, “You should have fired her.” I wish he had – that would have been awesome. As for Bill, he did the job well. He was a little nervous, but he came through. Trump says that Kwame is outstanding and has a bright future ahead of him. But, “Bill, you’re hired!”
With that, the walls of the boardroom split open to reveal a live studio audience. There are handshakes and hugs all around, and Bill looks jubilant. Trump stops the music and applause and says they still have business to attend to. Bill must choose which company he’d like to run. Will it be the building of the new Trump International Tower in Chicago, or will it be the new Trump National golf course in Los Angeles? Bill has the commercial break to decide.
The fired candidates file into the studio. I notice that Omarosa immediately maneuvers herself to be next to Trump, but he shakes her hand and quickly moves away. Excellent. Bill says that although the weather is great in California, he wants to work in his hometown of Chicago. Trump says that he’ll still have plenty of supervision. Bill jokes, “I guess I won’t be able to rename it, then.” Trump then notices that Bill is sitting amongst the people he fired, and directs him to sit on the other side of the conference table. Bill grins from ear to ear as he pulls up a chair next to Carolyn.
Trump tells Kwame that he was an excellent candidate and a fine person. He says that he was undecided up to the end.
Trump then focuses on the “controversial” Omarosa. He says that she was caught in a lie and asks her to explain herself. Omarosa tries to deflect it by making a joke, but Trump interrupts her and cuts her off, saying he’s tired of her excuses. Omarosa clearly has no defense. Heidi chimes in that maybe she and Omarosa should take a two-hour lunch to discuss it. Good one, Heidi.
Trump says that Ereka has suffered a lot due to Omarosa’s charges of racism. Ereka says that if she’d had the chance, she would have fired Omarosa and loved it. She says, “She’s a liar and I’ve known that for a long time.” Trump repeats that she’s suffered, but is confident she’ll turn out just fine.
Next, Trump directs his attention to Nick and Amy and calls their romance “pathetic.” He says there was no heat between the two of them at all. They say that they’re not together anymore. Trump asks point blank who broke up with whom. Can I just say, I absolutely love that Trump is the one asking the questions? He’s blunt, to the point, and asks really interesting questions. Go, Donald! Nick says that maybe Amy should tell who broke up with whom, and Amy diplomatically says that it was mutual. I think we can all read between the lines and see that Amy led that “mutual” breakup. Nick says that they’re just good friends. Trump says that he’s had some good friends, too, “And it’s cost me a lot of money.” Ha!
Trump says that everybody loved Troy. Troy says it was a great opportunity, and he’s proud to have met and worked with Trump. He adds, “And I’m coming back!”
Trump next recognizes George and Carolyn. He says that they did a great job, and that he thinks they’re tough, smart people, but they have good hearts. My only hope for the second season of The Apprentice is that we see more of George and Carolyn, because I think they both had very interesting observations about the candidates.
Trump tells Bill that while he’s feeling good, he’s about to feel better. He gets a brand new Chrysler Crossfire! I can’t help but wonder if he actually gets the car, or if it’s just a weekend rental like Amy’s lame casino prize.
Trump next checks in with Sam. Sam says he has a proposition for Trump. Trump is about to pay Bill $250,000 to work for him for a year. Sam offers to pay Trump $250,000 for the opportunity to work for him for a year. Oh, and he has a briefcase with him with the cash inside. Trump says that it’s an intriguing offer, and he’ll consider it – and he has Sam bring the cash over. Wow, can you imagine actually getting a quarter of a million dollars in cash, then buying a briefcase to hold it all? Not to mention paying someone for the opportunity to work for him. If this actually works out, it will be the very finest of all of Sam’s crazy ideas.
Trump quickly talks to a few other candidates. Heidi says that her mom is doing fine, and the camera shows her in the audience. Tammy and her husband are expecting a baby. Jason says that since being on the show, he has doubled his real estate empire. Trump notes that all of the candidates have received interesting job offers since appearing on the show and wishes them all well.
Trump congratulates Bill again and tells him that he’ll start work for him very soon. In fact, Trump hands him the keys to his new car, suggests that he take a 15 minute drive, and then report to work.
We get a sneak preview of the next season of The Apprentice, which will start in the fall. Trump says that the competition will be tougher, the challenges will be harder, and the candidates will work with an array of Fortune 500 companies.
Trump wishes the candidates luck, and a grinning Bill goes off in his new car. And that’s it!
I think that Trump absolutely made the right decision in hiring Bill. I think that Kwame is great, and I would have been fine with it if he’d won. But Bill edged him out in the end. In the final challenge, the differences between their two styles really came to the fore. I love that Kwame doesn’t believe in micromanaging, and that he trusts his staff to do a good job. Unfortunately, that plan only works if the people working for you do a fantastic job all the time. In Kwame’s case in this challenge, that definitely didn’t work. Bill, on the other hand, made sure he was on top of every detail so that nothing could slide. I don’t think that he was frazzled, but I do think that he showed an appropriate level of stress for such a difficult and important task. When something went wrong, he didn’t just calmly hope it would work out. He took action and made sure the people around him new how important it was to solve the problem. Bill will do a great job working for Trump.
I absolutely loved this show. The candidates were smart, resourceful, and interesting. George and Carolyn were insightful, and I only wish we’d seen more of them. And Donald Trump did a spectacular job at making smart decisions in the boardroom week after week until he narrowed the field to two excellent candidates. Thanks to everyone who emailed me – I love hearing what you readers think about the show. Starting on Monday, April 19th, I’ll be recapping Mark Burnett’s other hit NBC show, The Restaurant. The Italian food and drama will more than tide me over until it’s time for The Apprentice 2. See you then!
Betsy is the Associate Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached with any comments at email@example.com.
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