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It All Comes Down to This – The Apprentice 4, Live Finale

It All Comes Down to This – The Apprentice 4, Live Finale

by Helen

After 13 weeks and 18 candidates, it is down to the final two, Randal and Rebecca. The moment we have all been waiting for is finally here. However, before we can find out who will be the next apprentice, it is necessary to finish up the tasks at hand and find out just how our fearless finalists did under intense pressure. Add in a lot of pageantry and you have the makings of a television finale.

Donald, Carolyn and George leave Trump Tower and are greeted by cheering and adoring fans. They smile and wave at the crowd. On the way to Lincoln Center, Donald comments that this will be an exciting night. On the one hand, Rebecca is smart, tough and loyal and on the other hand you have Randal who is just that Randal. Randal is exceptional. Donald says that it is going to be tough. The trio arrive at Lincoln Center to more cheering fans and a packed theater. They take their places on the stage which has become tonight’s board room. Robin enters and takes Donald’s coat.

Donald is blown away by the crowd and the energy. He welcomes everyone to the live broadcast. He shares that over one million people applied to be the apprentice and now they are down to Randal and Rebecca. They are both in the middle of their tasks for charity. Randal was in the midst of a rainstorm and Rebecca was having difficulties with pinning down a host for the comedy show with a last minute cancellation by Joe Piscopo. Donald takes a very scientific poll by applause as to which candidate the crowd prefers more. It is evenly split. Donald confesses that he has not made up his mind yet. Donald says it is time to get this show on the road and for the last time until next season we hear the theme song of “Money”.

Rebecca is wondering how long Joe Piscopo had known about his union problems. Toral suggests that there are many comics that will do a show for a charity such as the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Rebecca doesn’t skip a beat and assigns Mark and Chris to call improvisational companies and see if they can line up some talent. Rebecca is bummed that Joe Piscopo will not be able to make the engagement but she knows that she must roll with the punches and this is what life is all about. Speakerphones abound and they are trying to find a host. This is a challenge because it is very last minute. James jokes with Mark that they are the next two on the list to host the show.

Meanwhile, it is literally dark and stormy for Excel Corporation. Josh takes a call from Steve at Keyspan Park and he brings news that the rain is possibly going to dampen the chances of a softball game happening. Steve says that they are going to put a tarp over the field but that may not be good enough for all the other functions that are set to take place outside. Randal is frustrated with himself because there should have been a contingency plan in place but he neglected this by not checking the weather reports adequately. The team is hightailing it over to the park to check out the damage. Randal takes a call from Alison, the founder of Autism Speaks. She is calling to see what the plans are. She sounds less than pleased with Randal as she was last week. Randal assures her that she will be kept in the loop regarding the events as they unfold. After Randal hangs up, he and Josh discuss the differences between rain and drizzle. Look guys, it is wet and all those V.I.P.’s are not going to be thrilled to get their designer duds soaked.

Capital Edge has secured a comedian named Pete Dominic, from the Gotham Comedy Group. He seems like a winner as when he meets James he shakes his hand and says that he has pee on his hand. But once he meets Rebecca and the rest of the team he cracks a few more jokes and sets the group at ease. He does have a few requests though; Jennifer Lopez and Jennifer Garner to name a couple. From his appearance, he looks nothing like Ben Affleck except that they both have the same taste in women.

Excel Corporation makes it to Keyspan Park and sees that the weather conditions are worse than in NYC. It does not look favorable to play softball even with the field tarped until game time. The other areas are very wet and muddy and the clientele would not be comfortable. The team is in crisis mode. They take a tour of the indoor facilities because they know they have to scrap the game and bring it inside. They see the clubhouse and decide to make it work. They decided to have the live auction and no silent auction or game. Randal is stepping up to the soggy plate and leading the charge to make his event a success.

Remember Sesame Street and the letter of the day. Well, this finale is all about the letter R. Randal…Rebecca and Donald’s words of wisdom: Responsibility and Respect. A good leader will step up and find the right solution, that is what responsibility is all about.

Rebecca is instructing the staff about the goodie bags. The bags are full of Yahoo! Products. The executives at Yahoo! were wary of pushy soliciting of funds and so Capital Edge will not ask for donations on site but will put a brochure and donation envelope in the front pocket of the bags to entice the VIP’s to dig deep and give to the charity after the event. Toral is taking charge of this area and she is actually smiling.

Randal is meeting with Steve from Outback Steakhouse and Jim Kerr, the announcer. They are all in agreement that anyone that makes the trip to this rainy site should be treated well and given attention. There is a lot of activity happening in the clubhouse. Marshawn greets Alison from Autism Speaks and tells her the vision of the event. As usual, Alison is less than thrilled. She is worried that with the change in plans, Randal will lose the scope of the task. She just doesn’t like Randal…now that is a first. Randal takes her through point by point, where they will be talking about autism. It seems that he has all bases covered but again she is not happy. Randal realizes this and feels that with such a short timeframe and the change in venue, she is not going to get everything that she wants.

At the live telecast, scenes from Chicago and Newark are shown as fans for Rebecca and Randal respectively are partying in support of their favorite Trump wannabe.

Donald brings out all the fired candidates and here is the line up: Melissa, Chris, Jennifer W., Toral, Kristi, James, Jennifer M., Josh, Mark, Markus, Brian, Marshawn,Clay, Adam, Felisha and Alla. Six of these candidates were chosen for this task and they will be heard from later.

Back to the action, Capital Edge is in purple heaven with Yahoo! signs everywhere. There is one small sign for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and they are worried that it will be outshone by Yahoo!

Excel is running around trying to put the finishing details on the event. Randal is enthused that everyone on his team is working so hard for him and he can’t believe that he is keeping it all together. Alison is still not really excited about the event. She says that it is rainy and it is bedlam on site. People will be arriving in 45 minutes and she is worried that people won’t know where to put their donations or the message won’t get out. Mark, Marshawn and Josh are doing great and Randal tells George that he didn’t have to manage them at all, they have been stellar. Randal is outside and greeting all the attenders and celebrities. He is smooth and suave. He feels that all the pieces are coming together.

Carolyn is welcomed by Rebecca and she is given the 411 on the event. She is shown the Yahoo-tini’s and the blinking Yahoo! ice cubes in the drinks and other inspired products. Carolyn asks what is there to represent the charity and she shows the teeny weeny banner and says that Elizabeth Glaser’s son will be speaking at the event. Carolyn thinks that Rebecca may have missed the mark by not focusing on the charity and giving more effort to the sponsor.

Randal gets a call from Trump that he will be landing soon from his helicopter. Randal knows the importance of greeting Mr. Trump and not making him float around trying to see what is happening at the event. Randal comes outside and escorts him inside and gives him the big picture. Donald wonders if they could have had the game now that it is not raining. Randal says that most of the celebrities did not want to play in the rain. Donald says that he doesn’t blame them. Randal sits down with Donald and gives him an overview of the proceedings and the charity. He also gives him some bullet points to address when Trump will be introduced and will address the crowd. Randal realizes that this is the last time to impress Donald. Randal addresses the crowd. He speaks very passionately about autism and admits that he did not realize what an epidemic autism has become not just in the United States but also internationally. He shares about learning from parents that they may have children that will never be able to tell them they love them. The crowd is moved. Mark says that Randal stepped up and was a rock star. He is impressed that Randal showed that there was a genuine man behind this cause and that he does care. Mark feels that he did an outstanding job. Randal says that he and his team have taken on the challenge to raise awareness and money for autism. Even Alison is touched by Randal’s passionate plea. Randal introduces Donald Trump as not only a business man but also a humanitarian as well. Josh feels that the parallels between Randal and Trump are amazing. He was also impressed by Randal and loved that he was unscripted and real.

Jim Kerr, the announcer introduces the various celebrities that are among the crowd of people. The crowd applauds Sugar Ray Leonard, Jerry O’Connell, Jerome Williams and the two guys from “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”. Then the auction begins and everyone is appearing to have a good time. Finally, Allison from Autism Speaks has a smile on her face and admits that Randal has good organizational skills and is able to get all his teammates together and run a successful event. But most importantly, he was able to get the word out that autism has reached epidemic proportions. I guess we can’t blame her for just wanting people to know the truth.

Rebecca meets with the Yahoo! executives and tells them about the goodie bags and assures them that no one will be asking for donations. Donald calls Rebecca and tells her that he will be there shortly. She tells him that she will be waiting for him.

Now for that last “R” that I mentioned earlier, Respect. Donald says to always treat your boss with great respect. It will always make you look good and it makes the boss feel better. He wants us to take a look out how Rebecca treats her potential boss. Donald and his driver are trying to find the venue. Rebecca is meeting and greeting. Backstage, James is talking with the host and he is a bit difficult to work with and doesn’t take to changes. It is decided that someone should introduce Pete before he comes out. Donald arrives and is not greeted by Rebecca. She gives him the scoop. The crowd of people are drinking cocktails and Rebecca explain that the comedy show will begin at 7pm. She invites him to enjoy himself and he says that he would like to get this show started. Rebecca asks if he would like to address the people and he agrees. He welcomes everyone and invites them downstairs for the show. Rebecca can’t believe that he would begin the show and it is a half an hour early. She goes into the next gear and tells Chris to get James and Toral to go backstage and tell them that the show is beginning. James tells Pete and he is not ready. They were still practicing their routines. This doesn’t go over well for comedians. Chris addresses the crowd and tells them to take a seat and that the show would begin soon. Chris feels that Rebecca is a great leader and no matter what problem may arise, she never lets anyone see her sweat. Donald wonders if this event is a bit disorganized…how nice of him.

Jake Glaser, son of Elizabeth Glaser speaks to the crowd and thanks them for coming in support. Then Pete is announced and he begins to joke around and especially with George. Chris is worried that Pete will not let up on George. For awhile it does appear that it is just a private show for George and his wife as the next comic picks on George as well but George has a sense of humor and is a good sport.

Excel leaves the park and Randal is hugging everyone and he can’t believe how much his team stepped up for him. He is really touched by their efforts on his behalf and the chance to work with people that he really cared about. He feels really humbled and relieved that the task is over.

The comedy show is over and the exits are manned with people bearing the goodie bags. Rebecca is all over thanking everyone for coming. Hopefully people will return their envelopes with hefty donations. George thought the night was a success and looked very professional. Rebecca is so proud of the night and how her team worked so well for her. She wishes that she could do something for James, Chris and Toral. She knows that they gave everything for her benefit.

Randal and Rebecca return to the suite and they reflect on the previous tasks, the good times and the bad times. They enjoyed working together and they are spending time praising each other. They know that they will be happy for the other one no matter the outcome. They both agree that they would have picked the other for the final two.

The next day, they enjoy a café meal together and again give each other props for what they each endured during the interview process…the death of a grandmother and a broken ankle. They have both tasted hardship but they have prevailed.

Randal and Rebecca are called to meet in the boardroom but before they are shown in, they must watch as there respective teams of three are ushered into the boardroom first. There is a very different feel as both teams are fierce advocates of their leaders.

Donald asks each team how they thought their leader was and all have equally glowing compliments. Donald turns his attention to Excel and asks if they know how much money they raised for Autism Speaks. They all think they did a good job raising money but have no idea the amount. Donald informs them that they raised $11,000. The team is pleased as is Donald. When Donald turns to Capital Edge to ask the same question, he stops short and asks the team why they didn’t find it necessary to fundraise at their event. They did not raise a dime for Pediatric AIDS. The team informs Donald that the Yahoo! executives did not want any obvious fundraising. Donald is appalled and says that they made a mistake and shame on Yahoo! for missing an opportunity to raise money for a worthy cause. He wants to know who was running the event Yahoo! or the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Carolyn says that Rebecca ran the event really well but she was surprised that Randal’s team did not have a Plan B in the event of bad weather. Carolyn should know about weather as she spends a lot of her time at Trump National Golf Club as you will remember.

Donald wonders if Randal is tough enough for the mean streets of New York because it is plain to see that Rebecca is tough indeed. Josh fields this question and with a bit of hesitation finally answers and says that Randal is definitely tough enough and he has never seen an individual such as Randal.

Donald thanks the six former candidates for their efforts and for being outstanding in their own right. They leave and Randal and Rebecca take their seats in the boardroom. Donald asks Randal why he deserves to work for him. Randal reminds Donald of all his education, accomplishments, his 3 and 0 project manager record, the fact that he was always drafted by other teams and that he won the respect of every member of the candidate pool. He feels this should speak for itself. Rebecca on the other hand says that she has the conviction and the passion to stand up for what she believes even in the face of great hardship, such as being on crutches for all but one of the 13 week interview.

Donald tells both Randal and Rebecca how much or little they made for their individual charities. Randal is a bit taken back that Rebecca did not elicit donations. Rebecca said that it was due to her client’s wishes and Donald questions who the client actually was. Randal jumps in, seeing an opportunity, and he says that he and his team felt that the objective of the task was to raise money and awareness for charity. Trump agrees wholeheartedly.

Donald doesn’t think that this was Randal’s best accomplishment. He feels that he has been a lot better in previous weeks, Randal seems to agree. Donald again harps on there not being a Plan B in place. Randal says that they adapted really quickly to the problem they were presented.

Donald asks Randal why he shouldn’t hire Rebecca. Randal hesitates and I realize that this is really the first time that Randal has been in the hot seat, this is unfamiliar territory to tear down a competitor. Randal says that he feels that Rebecca lacks experience and she is still very young. Rebecca feels that Randal is an incredible person, who she respects but his problem is that he thinks too much and loses the purpose behind the tasks with too many details. Randal takes issue at this by asking how he could not be focused on the objectives when he has not lost a task.

Carolyn and George both agree that they each did a great job and are stars.

Donald says they are both brilliant and have tremendous futures.

Now we are back to the live telecast and both Rebecca and Randal are welcomed onto the boardroom stage following tapes showing them in their work settings and with family. They each acknowledge the crowd, their former competitors and then shake hands with Donald, George and Carolyn in that order. They take their seats and Donald asks for endorsements from the former wannabes. Toral goes into a litany of adjectives about Rebecca. Donald agrees with her and commends her for sticking up for Rebecca as Rebecca had done for Toral in the past. Toral continues to praise Rebecca and says that she was with Rebecca in the beginning and with her when she broke her ankle. Although Rebecca was in severe pain, she never cried and she never gave up. Donald says that this is the first time that he likes Toral and Toral just keeps on talking until Donald addresses Marshawn with her opinion. Marshawn says that there couldn’t be a more clear winner. Randal is the obvious choice, he is stellar. Donald decides to keep with the opinions of the females and asks Alla. Alla is ready to let it all out. She says that Randal is the best choice. She worked with both Randal and Rebecca and Randal was incredible at leading but that Rebecca was nothing special and she never saw her do anything. This comment is met with a lot of boos but Alla says that she is sorry but she is just telling the truth. Donald scolds her for being a bit too harsh but Alla won’t recant her statements. He moves onto Jennifer M. who says that she was a fan of Randal’s from day one and not just because of the obvious things but because he was so kind and sincere.

Donald then begins to tell Randal and Rebecca that there are two jobs on the line for the new apprentice. The first is a construction project in New Jersey and the second is major overhaul of existing properties in Atlantic City. Mr. Trump would like to know the final two’s job preferences before he makes his final decision. I am not sure how this will change the outcome but possibly if they choose projects that don’t play to their strengths, this will be a tip off for the Donald.

Randal says that both projects are nice since he hails from New Jersey, he would love to be in Atlantic City for that project. Rebecca says that she would prefer the job in construction in New Jersey. Once both R and R make their choices, Trump says that will make his choice easier…hmmmm, what does that mean?

Donald asks Rebecca if there is such a thing as too much education. Rebecca says that she has great respect for education but it is dependent on what an individual does with the education. Randal says that he thinks that there has been too much focus on all his education and not enough on the 5 companies that he runs. Trump then asks Randal if Rebecca is tough enough and Randal answers that she is not experienced enough.

Again, both R and R make their cases and it is all that we have heard before. Randal even goes so far as to ask the former candidates to stand if they think he should be the single and sole apprentice, they do not show who stands. Randal must be worried that Trump likes both people a little too much. Rebecca talks about walking through concrete walls to get to where she wants to be. How she started a business when she was 15 years old and made $750,000 for a non-profit. Donald wants to know if Rebecca thinks that she is better than Randal. Rebecca hesitates and says that she does believe that she would make the better apprentice. Randal retorts that Rebecca writes about business and he runs businesses.

Donald says that he bases his whole life on being surrounded by really good people. He takes this whole process really seriously and it is not just entertainment to him but real life. The job that he is offering could be for a year or it could be for much longer. He wants them to both realize that this is important and serious to him.

Donald compliments R and R for the 35th time. He says that he is so impressed with Randal’s education. Trump has immense education as well and Randal just blows him away. He as well as Rebecca respects education. He says that not only did Randal go to great schools but he also got great marks. Trump feels that Rebecca has great education as well. He focuses on Rebecca’s perseverance due to her ankle injury. He proclaims that most people would have gone home to mommy. He applauds how she handled pressure. Rebecca says she never ever thought about leaving. Trump says he wasn’t always sure about her loyalty and if it was misplaced at times. Trump turns to Randal and says that he is an amazing leader who leads by niceness and example and he has never seen anyone like him before. People follow Randal. Time after time, people would always choose Randal to be on their team.

“Rebecca, you’re outstanding!”

“Randal, you’re hired!”

Randal gives the biggest smile and yell and Rebecca applauds. He jumps out of his seat and goes to give hugs to the other candidates after shaking Donald, George and Carolyn’s hands. Trump starts calling Randal back to the table. Donald asks Randal for his opinion on something. He wants to know what Randal thinks of Rebecca. He says that he can’t say enough about Rebecca. She did a great job and has much to be proud of and he realizes that she has a lot of supporters and he can’t say enough good things about Rebecca. Trump says that he really respects Randal’s opinion and he wants to know if Randal were Mr. Trump would he hire Rebecca as well? Randal says that he firmly believes that the show is called The Apprentice and that there should only be one apprentice. It isn’t called The Apprenti. Donald has a bit of a smug look on his face and says okay and that he felt that he could have been swayed to hire Rebecca as well. There are many boos from the audience and a mixed response from the candidates. Donald says that he will leave it this way and Rebecca shakes her head and says that it is unfortunate. Randal runs over to take the stage and points out to his family and supporters. He is then congratulated by some of the candidates. I think many of them are a bit stunned by the turn of events.

Whew, it has been quite a season. I am a bit surprised that Donald didn’t hire them both. Randal was definitely the MVP of the season, he was nearly flawless from the start. Rebecca had a tougher struggle but she found her groove and she will definitely be even more of a force to be reckoned.

I am sure that there will be a lot of bantering about Randal’s decision but I don’t believe that Randal should have been put in that position. It was for one person to win and if Donald wants to hire Rebecca he definitely is at liberty to in the future. It was a bit of a power play to make Randal the bad guy…make up your mind Trump.

Well, another season is over, hope you enjoyed all the drama and business antics. Thanks to those of you that took the time to send me an email, it made my day(s).

Any final thoughts on the show, email me at helen@realityshack.com.

Take care and stay warm during this wintry time of year.

Oh, and Yahoo! did make good and donated $50,000 to each of the charities. It is a good thing as Donald sure called them out on that fiasco.


Freelance writer, webmaster of realityshack.com, chief editor at applemagazine.com, contribtor to TechLife News and maketecheasier.com, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.