The Apprentice 3 Finale: Live From New Yorkby Betsy Wasser -- 05/20/2005
Welcome to the finale of The Apprentice 3. I’m sure everyone who watched the finale of The Apprentice 2 joins me in being very glad that this is only an hour and not three. We start with a recap of the show, giving us the results of each and every task, highlighting in particular the accomplishments of our final two candidates, Kendra and Tana.
In the end, each woman had served as project manager three times. Kendra’s 3-0 record beat Tana’s of 2-1. Kendra is the president of a real estate company, is undefeated as project manager, and excels at marketing. Tana is the mother of two, owner of a successful clothing business, and one of the top Mary Kaye salespeople in the country. In her time on the show, she demonstrated a positive attitude and incredible negotiating skills. For their final tasks, the two candidates were given a staff of three challenging former teammates. Tana was bombarded with problems, whereas Kendra had a brief problem with a sponsor, but overall did a great job. Who will win?
Trump welcomes us to the live finale and says, “Let’s get to work.” He accuses Tana of losing control of her team and of mocking them. Tana denies losing control and admits that she poked fun at her team, something she now regrets. She says she should not have prejudged her teammates, that they really pulled through in the end for her. Trump points out that she acted superior, in particular when, at the end of the task, she hung back until they left so she could get in the limo alone and avoid the riff raff. Tana says that she was just being funny. Trump doesn’t think Tana’s team likes her very much. Tana acknowledges that she made a mistake.
Trump asks her, then, why she should win? Tana says that she learns from her mistakes and says that she apologized to her team for the way she talked about him. I think Trump believes it’s all well and good to learn from your mistakes, so long as you don’t do it on his dime. He hints at that by telling her that she has “an uphill battle” if she thinks she’s going to win.
Trump then asks her about the missing American flag. Tana says that looked bad, but that she had a volunteer check beforehand to make sure there was an American flag in the box. It must have been misplaced. She says she had to keep going and that she regrets letting the governor down.
Things aren’t looking so good for Tana, are they? But now, Trump turns his attention to Kendra. “I don’t like crying, especially in the boardroom,” he barks. That’s funny, because in last week’s episode, he said there was nothing wrong with crying. He asks Kendra if it’s a sign of weakness. Kendra says absolutely not, that she’s seen linebackers cry when “as the Super Bowl trophy is raised.” That’s a fantastic answer, and as far as I’m concerned should be the end of the discussion, especially because it’s not like Kendra was crying in frustration or anger. Kendra says that her team was great, and that she was touched and proud of the results. Trump says that it was nice “as crying goes.”
Then there’s an awkward segment in which Trump asks Kristen what she thinks of Kendra. Kristen doesn’t answer, and across the room, Erin wonders if he meant her, since she worked with Kendra and Kristen didn’t. Trump insists that he meant Kristen, because when you have as much money and power as Donald Trump, you do not make mistakes. Kristen says that she has never worked with Kendra, so she can’t say much about her. She has, however, worked with Tana. She reports that the Olympians said that Tana’s event was one of the best they’d ever attended. She thinks Tana did very well and appreciates Tana’s apology.
Now it’s time to really talk to Erin. Erin says that Kendra was amazing. When Erin was fired, she and Kendra weren’t on speaking terms. She says that she, Michael, and Danny really had no reason to do well on the task as they had nothing at stake. But Kendra inspired them. “We certainly weren’t stooges,” she says, referring to Tana’s calling her team the three stooges. “We were valued employees.” Kendra says that she’s very flattered by what Erin has to say.
While we go to commercial, I find myself wondering when Tana morphed into Ellen Degeneres. All of a sudden, Tana’s hair, clothing, and mannerisms totally remind me of Ellen. Is it just me?
Trump says that he takes hiring a new person very seriously. He introduces the first two Apprentice winners, Bill and Kelly. We see the projects the two guys have been working on, and suffice it to say, Trump thinks the projects are “huge.” He asks Kelly how his military experience prepared him for the job. Kelly says that it gave him discipline, taught him teamwork, and gave him a passion for work that help him now. He says that he loves working for Donald Trump, though what else would you say if your boss asked you that question? Bill says that Kendra and Tana should feel honored to be the final two. He says that Tana is a good leader and a hustler, but he doesn’t think she brings out the best in her staff. Tana disagrees and says that she did motivate her staff. Trump says he doesn’t think Tana’s team likes her very much. She invites him to ask them, which he says he will do after the commercial.
I hope you weren’t waiting anxiously for Trump to ask that question, because we’re back and he’s not asking. Instead, he says that he has two choices for the winner’s new job, and he’d like to hear which job Tana or Kendra would take if hired. The first job is working for the Miss Universe Pageant. The apprentice would work to choose a host city, then secure and set up all of the sites. The other job is in Palm Beach, overseeing the renovation of the Palm Beach Mansion, a ginormous and beautiful mansion on the ocean.
Tana says she’d do the Miss Universe job, no doubt. Kendra says that she’d love to work on the Palm Beach Mansion. It’s in her home county, she loves real estate, and it would be a fantastic transition for her into the Trump organization. Man, Kendra seems about a million times more polished than Tana, doesn’t she?
Perhaps looking for some excitement and drama, Trump asks the ever volatile Chris what he thinks of the two women. Chris thinks Tana is a good leader and he loves her personality. But she lacked integrity and did not show loyalty to her team, two things that he thinks are very important. Kendra has a real estate background, which Chris thinks makes her very suited to the job. Trump asks Chris if he was excited by Tana, and he says that he wasn’t. Trump then teases him about giving such sedate answers. Chris laughs and repeats that Tana did not inspire him and that he thinks Kendra is a better fit for the job.
Tana points out that Chris never worked with Kendra. Trump says that’s true, but they did live in the suite together. Chris says that he and Kendra have been working on projects together outside of the show. The audience hoots, apparently taking that to mean that there’s some kind of Chris-Kendra romance. Chris corrects that and says they’re working on real estate projects together.
Trump now turns to Carolyn for her opinion. Carolyn tells Tana, “I don’t think bad sense of humor is an excuse for the way you led your team.” That said, she was great in previous tasks and is an excellent seller. As for Kendra, Carolyn says she was great in the final task and did a fantastic job of motivating her team. However, she’s disappointed that Kendra waited so long to be project manager.
Ugh, Omarosa is in the audience. Don’t you think it’s interesting that she claims Mark Burnett’s shows demonstrate a bias against African-American women, yet doesn’t hesitate to show up in the audience of one? Go figure.
Trump then asks George what he thinks. George says he’s glad it isn’t his decision to make. Tana treated her team badly, and he doesn’t like that in the Pontiac task, she said she didn’t have to work hard because she was exempt. But she has more brilliant ideas and raw enthusiasm than he’s ever seen before. As for Kendra, he thinks she played under the radar for too long. Once she finally stepped up, she was outstanding. Well said, George.
Trump asks Kendra if her education gives her an advantage. Kendra values her education, but points out that all of the members of Net Worth were successful without college degrees. She says that education also comes from learning from one’s mistakes. Tana thinks that her not having a degree does give her a slight disadvantage. She says she is 28 credits short of a degree and otherwise learned from “the school of hard knocks,” presumably in the mean streets of Altoona, Iowa. She thinks that, on paper, she has a disadvantage. Trump tells her that she’s doing just fine and suddenly sounds uninterested in the whole college/ no college issue.
Next, Trump asks Kendra why she shared credit with her team in the Pontiac task. Kendra says that she’s a team player and didn’t want to show any weaknesses in front of the client. She adds that she likes to give credit where it’s due.
Speaking of credit, Tana declares that she, not Kendra, is the reason they won the Pontiac task. This ought to be interesting. Tana says that Pontiac loved the brochure because of it’s round shape, and that shape was her idea. Trump says he didn’t know that and asks Kendra if it’s true. Kendra says that she gives credit where it’s due, and that the shape was in fact Tana’s idea. Tana goes into a bit of a frenzy, says the shape won the task for them, and it’s about time everyone knew that. She then actually pumps her fist in the air and cheers for herself.
You have got to be kidding me.
Kendra responds to all of this by saying that while the Pontiac executives loved the shape of the brochure, they also seemed interested in the pictures, colors, and words, all of which Kendra did on her own. Right on, Kendra.
And in the most brilliant ad I’ve seen on The Apprentice yet, we get a commercial for Star Wars: Episode III, featuring the Emperor croaking, “Soon, I will have a new apprentice.” Genius!
Finally, Trump declares, “It’s time.” Across the country, people mutter, “It’s about time.” Again, is there really any suspense? They’re beating up Tana here for falling apart on the final task, but Kendra? Cried briefly. Anyway, Trump tells Tana that she treated her team horribly, despite the fact that she apologized to them. Frankly, he’s shocked that Chris was so nice. However, before the final task, she was a star, more so than Kendra. Kendra, over the last few weeks, was spectacular. Even Tana admits that’s true. He hated her crying, but she worked incredibly well with her team. Kendra, you’re hired!
I still don’t respect Kendra’s under the radar strategy. She tried to explain it as sitting back and observing at first, then making her move, but to me, that’s just dressing up the truth: she opted not to do anything to stand out and put herself at risk in those first episodes. I don’t respect that at all. I do respect how well she performed once she decided she wanted to, and frankly in the final task, she showed that she could handle the pressure, whereas Tana was in over her head. I don’t like the way she played much of the game, but in the end, she was the better choice.
There are hugs and handshakes all around. Trump says that the fourth edition of the show will be coming in the fall and encourages all of us to watch The Apprentice: Martha Stewart. And he also says that there’s going to be a musical version of the show. Huh.
Well, last week I said that Kendra had the job unless she punched someone in the face. She kept her fists to herself, and indeed she won. It was a huge anti-climax, but at least it didn’t last as long as last season’s anti-climax did. Really, I think this show should take a page out of Survivor’s book. Declare the winner at the beginning, then have a reunion to rehash what happened. I’d much rather watch that than this charade of Trump pretending he can’t decide.
As this season of The Apprentice comes to a close, I’ll leave you with a final Betsy Lesson of the Week: Say thank you. Thank you to all of my readers for taking the time to hear what I have to say. Thanks especially to those of you who wrote to me. I truly appreciate hearing from you. See you all in the fall.
Betsy Wasser is the Associate Editor of Reality News Online. She can be reached with any comments at email@example.com.