|— Christina M. Rau / GatsbyGirl
Who rules the world? Is it Oprah Winfrey? Is it Bill Gates? Could it be Tom Cruise? I suppose the answer depends on which world we’re talking about. If we’re talking about real estate, then a safe and true answer would be Donald Trump, or for some reason, the media and the rest of the world has taken to calling him The Donald. And with “The Apprentice” The Donald seems to be on top of reality television shows as well. Or at least he was.
The first season offered non-stop entertainment. Guys versus gals. Successful women flaunting brains and boobs. Men getting rowdy and getting randy and getting to the finals to win in the end. The second season also offered interesting business insight and in-fighting. But then, popularity dwindled. Even with reruns on MSNBC, the show lost something.
This season changed things up a bit more with Bill Rancid replacing Old Man George as one of Trump’s sidekicks. Even Ivanka has made appearances to replace Carolyn. These younger faces aren’t as terrifying or judgmental as those we’ve grown to know to be at The Donald’s sides. And Bill? Is a bit annoying. He was an apprentice. Now he works for Trump as a regular business guy. But that doesn’t give him the experience enough to judge these people as George or The Donald or Carolyn do. Sure he can judge contestants based on their actions in the competition, but it’s too early for him to help Trump decide who to hire. He acts as if he’s been with the Trump Corporation forever and it’s been only a few years. Settle down, Rancid. (Yes, I know that’s not his real name, but it’s easier to spell and it speaks to his demeanor).
The concept still remains pretty cool. As Trump reminds the contestants every week, they’re in the middle of a job interview. Imagine being on that type of interview; it’s not the kind where you wear your one good business suit, have the perfect answers memorized, hand your resume over, and field questions from the interviewers for fifteen or twenty minutes, maybe seeing your competition in some waiting room for a few seconds.
Not on “The Apprentice.” Here, you have to work with your competition and then turn on them after each task completed. You have to wear your best business suits all the time. You have to be prepared to answer difficult questions every day, all day long. And you do it with a bunch of cameras following you around, knowing that if you screw up, the entire nation will know it. Plus, the job you’re going for is only a year-long gig. That’s what an apprenticeship is. You go in, you learn, you get out. Unless you’re Bill Rancid, who stayed on with Trump, and I have a sneaking suspicion he did that so that he could be on “The Apprentice” some more. Just a theory and I have no proof, but suspicion is enough in the reality tv world.
That concept still remains fascinating. Trump does it best as we’ve seen with the downfall of Martha Stewart’s version of his show. And does anyone remember Tommy Hilfiger’s show? Or the one where contestants made birds’ nests and doilies? No. Not really. Because Trump knows what he’s doing and he does it best.
I keep saying Trump as if he runs the show. That’s not exactly true. There are producers who run the show. But Trump, guaranteed, would not even step into that boardroom set if he didn’t approve of what was going on.
But seriously, people tune into “The Apprentice” for reasons other than Trump’s savvy decisions. They like to see people fight. They like to see people fail. Miserably. Which many do every week. Take this past week, when the female team lost; how they lost to a team that created a presentation that was falling apart, I’ll never know. But lose they did and wow how they turn on each other. One was complaining that their interactions are so high school. And they were. Including her own. They talked about each other behind their backs. Two of them ganged up on the other. Pure loathing seeped out of every pore. Bill and Ivanka berated them over and over.
And then, the women and Trump had a huge confrontation involving eye rolling. Yes, eye rolling. As in, who was rolling her eyes versus who was winking versus who was squinting versus who rolled her eyes just once versus who looked up but didn’t continue with a full roll.
[b]And THIS is why I love reality tv[/b]: They have the fights we wish we could have but are so incredibly ridiculous we never could bring ourselves to go through with them.
A job is on the line, and the ladies are fighting about who’s giving who dirty looks. I wonder how that would go over in a regular job interview.
And I suppose people still tune in to “The Apprentice” for one more reason. Just to see the single most spectacular thing about Trump: his hair never, ever moves. A phenomenon never to be understood.