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Getting Back to the Show’s Roots – The Apprentice 4, Commentary


by Cori Linder

Word on the New York streets was that Mr. Trump was seriously disappointed in last season’s cast and complained that many of the candidates were not of the caliber he required. For some strange reason, a high school diploma, a purple-suited guitar player, and a tobacco-chewing hothead just didn’t do it for The Trump. Apparently, these people just weren’t up to snuff … well, a couple candidates might have literally been into the snuff, but that’s a different story. Somewhere along the way, The Apprentice lost sight of its target audience — the viewers that are actually watching the show for more than just entertainment purposes. Successful business strategies and battles between highly intellectual minds differentiated the show from, um, other reality shows.

According to news reports, Mr. Trump was granted power this time to handpick the candidates for this season. And, I say, let Mr. Trump choose them every season, for all the people this year seem to have something of real substance to contribute to the Trump organization. The premiere’s opening delightfully showed that this season would definitely differ from the previous one and get back to its roots. The beginning was peppered with the academic, business and athletic prowess of the candidates (e.g., a competitive soccer player, a PhD fellow with like a zillion graduate degrees, etc.).

Mr. Trump divided the teams into men versus women, and I am immediately grateful that he chose not to divide them according to race. There were past reports that Mr. Trump had been considering this, and apparently, he decided that gender was better — except, however, if you are a woman in high heel shoes having to sprint across the fields of grass to catch a helicopter. Are any of us surprised that the men arrived at the helicopter first? At least one woman made the smart decision to remove her shoes and run in her stockings. Next time, ladies, wear the flat walking shoes. I mean, who said dark tailored business suits and nylons adorned with white sneakers wasn’t fashionable?

When the candidates learn they will be creating an exercise class for Bally’s Total Fitness, I cannot help but glance at the two cola soft drinks immediately next to my computer while trying to brush off the desk the crumbs from a cookie I had just consumed. Seeing images of exercise balls one after another inspired me — for a moment — to replace my comfortable leather swivel chair with one of those exercise ball chairs they now offer in the stores.

Two of the candidates who stood out the most to me were Markus and Melissa — both of whom needed to take one of those happy pills that loosen them up a bit. Melissa reminded me of one of those people who can furiously yell at you … with a smile. The angrier she became, the wider the smile was, until I became nervous and uptight along with her. Markus, the talkaholic, was uptight too, and I want to shake him and scream, “Markus, you are a reality TV contestant … lighten up!” Maybe he and Melissa talk too much when they’re nervous, but I feel confident that Mr. Trump and Carolyn could care less about what they’re saying. (Although, Carolyn did seem to care very much when Melissa said she can’t work with women.)

This brings me to Ms. Carolyn, and I felt the need to applaud when the show finally let her embrace her femininity. She’s actually grown out her hair and feathered it with some wisps, which is a nice contrast to George (and Mr. Trump for that matter). Candidate Kristi reminds me a bit about the old Carolyn.

Overall, in my humble opinion, the season premiere definitely validated the show again by getting back to its roots and becoming mindful that vacant entertainment will not satisfy many of The Apprentice viewers.

It’s been a pleasure to comment on the show. Agree or disagree with my opinions? Feel free to email your thoughts at clinder@realityshack.com.


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