It grieves me to report that Osama, er, Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth–drat!–still hasn’t been fired from The Apprentice, NBC’s biz-reality show in which youthful aspiring execs vie for a plum job as amanuensis to Manhattan mogul Donald Trump. Trouble was that wicked-witch-of-the-East Omarosa’s team, Protege, won last night over its rival, Versacorp, so she couldn’t be dumped as so many of us (including her teammates, I suspect) fondly hope will yet happen. Instead we had to watch Omarosa, who connived to have two of her female teammates, Jessie Connors and Kristi Frank, fired last week and the week before, triumphantly announce, “I’m still here!” Gee, great.
In last night’s episode, the two competing teams were assigned to pick a dingy Brooklyn apartment and renovate it and rent it out within 72 hours. Fortunately for Protege, Omarosa wasn’t project manager (as she was last week when she blew it). That role went to Troy McClain, who plays good ol’ country boy but who managed to trick Versacorp project manager Katrina Campins, a veteran real estate maven, into revealing her first choice of fixer-upper apartment; then Troy maneuvered a coin toss for the place that Troy happened to win. After that, it was pretty much a cinch for Protege to win.
As for Omarosa, she continued to boss her teammates around as though she were still the boss, holding numerous meetings and demanding progress updates, until a piece of plaster from the apartment’s ceiling fell onto her head. Thereafter, Omarosa spent the rest of the 72 hours lying on her back and essentially slacking while her teammates scurried to paint walls, scrub toilets, replace kitchen cabinets, and otherwise spiff up the place for prospective tenants. “I’ve had a headache for three days,” whined Omarosa. Her teammate Amy Henry analyzed the situation a little differently: “Omarosa didn’t want to get down and dirty.”
Meanwhile fellow Protege-ite Heidi Bressler learned that her mother had been diagnosed with colon cancer and required immediate surgery. But Heidi (in contrast to Omarosa) stayed on the job and pitched in bravely–a fact that her teammates did not fail to notice. Heidi showed that she was tough but not mean, while Omarosa showed that she was mean but not tough.
Stuck with a second-string apartment for Versacorp, Katrina compounded her bad luck by assigning the feckless Bill Rancic to negotiate the lease, a task that Bill performed pitifully, letting the tenant poor-mouth down the rent the team wanted. But neither Katrina nor Bill had to hear the fateful “You’re fired!” from Trump after Versacorp went down. That was because everyone on Versacorp had already decided whom they wanted to get rid of: Tammy Lee. Tammy was Versacorp’s Jessie; both were regarded as incompetent and difficult by their teammates. Tammy had another failing that she shared with Jessie: Clad, like Jessie, in a drab pantsuit at the board meeting, she looked and acted just plain mousy. Omarosa, for all her failings, is a glamor gal, and Trump likes that.
“The team ganged up on me,” complained Tammy after her one-way trip on the down elevator. But the real significance of last night’s episode, in which Katrina, like Omarosa the week before, escaped punishment for poor management, was yet another goad to drive up hardcore feminists’ blood pressure: Looks count.