I admit it: The Apprentice, NBC’s biz-reality show, isn’t nearly so much fun without contestant-from-hell Omarosa Manigault-Stalworth vying for the prize job as amanuensis to Manhattan mogul Donald Trump. The other members of Omarosa’s team, Protege, whooped and hollered with joy when they learned that Trump finally fired her last week after she had shirked, flubbed, whined, and fought with her fellow contestants for nine solid weeks. There are consolations, however. One is is that I can now concentrate my energies on the comb-overed Trump himself, hamming new life into such aphorisms as “Think outside the box.”
The other consolation is that there’s already a new Omarosa: Katrina Campins of Protege’s on-a-roll rival, Versacorp. Although Versacorp won again last night in a contest in which both teams managed Manhattan pedicab teams for a day, Katrina argued with team project manager Bill Rancic to his face and complained about him behind his back. Her beef: Bill didn’t appreciate her. Instead of appreciating her brains (which were not on display when Katrina managed a Protege project and lost a couple of weeks ago), Bill had used her looks (along with those of the even more gorgeous Amy) to sell pedicab rides. If Versacorp had lost, Katrina had vowed to bring Bill down with her: “I’m going to say he was a horrible PM.”
Like Omarosa, Katrina is toast waiting for its turn in the toaster. Which brings me to the inevitable observation: There are six candidates left competing for the $250,000-a-year job slot, and only two of the six are women. Protege lost last night because it had an incredibly stupid idea for maximizing revenue from the rickshaws: selling blocks of pay-in-advance fares (paid-in-advance fares for a pedicab? c’mon!). Versacorp’s Bill, by contrast, might have been a sexist pig, but he wasn’t stupid: He hit on the idea of selling advertising space on the pedicabs themselves–opening a new brand-new market just as creative entrepreneurs are supposed to do. Versacorp beat Protege handily, by 5-1.
The problem is, as The Other Charlotte observed last week, the “Apprentice” gals whine and bicker, while the guys bond like tubes of Epoxy. Protege, on a losing streak, was down to only three team members last night: guys Kwame Jackson and Troy McClain, plus the uncouth-but-likable Heidi Bressler. Guess who got to hear the fatal words from Trump: “You’re fired!”?