I confess: Exhausted by my labors churning out this blog and other things, I fell asleep after the first hour of last night’s two-hour episode of The Apprentice, NBC’s riveting biz-reality show. (Correction: IWF webmeister Travis McSherley informs me that last night’s episode lasted only one hour, so I clearly fell asleep even earlier than I thought. Next week comes the two-hour episode, the finale, and I promise to stay awake for all 120 minutes.)

So I’m going to leave it to The Other Charlotte to post her thoughts about the debacle that occurred after Kwame Jackson, one of the two remaining contestants, was ordered to staff his team with failed “Apprentice” wannabes from earlier in the season and promptly picked Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth. What got into Kwame? Omarosa is a curse, she’s poison: lazy, whining, shirking, uninventive. She started slacking almost immediately, TOC informs me, declining to perform a task because she got the call during the dinner hour. Kwame, you can start kissing good-by right now that $250,000-a-year job with mogul Donald Trump that’s the prize for the show’s winner.

Of course, Kwame didn’t have the benefit of this latest People magazine report on Omarosa, encapsulated in Washington Post gossip columnist Richard Leiby’s Reliable Source. Omarosa’s claim to business acumen has always been based on the two years she spent working for the Clinton-Gore administration (answering invitations, doing something or other for the Commerce Department, and so forth). Seems, however, that during those years, Omarosa was bounced–or, to use People’s word for it, “banished”–from four different Clinton-Gore jobs because she was so disruptive. Writes Leiby:

“When we asked Manigault-Stallworth recently about rumors of her unstable job history, she said they were absolutely untrue. She blamed the final job transfer on a colleague at Commerce who, she said, had it in for her.”

Sounds like all the people who have had it in for Omarosa on “The Apprentice.” But back to that first hour. Trump, host of the show, changed the rules, and instead of devising a task for the four survivors of  “The Apprentice”‘s first 12 weeks, had his top associates interview Kwame, Bill Rancic, Nick Warnock, and Amy Henry. What a brilliant stroke! The candidates finally had to reveal what was inside their heads, and in most cases, it consisted of nothing.

I’d long noticed that although “Apprentice” contestants look slick (those pots of hair-mouse from which they plaster themselves with gobs weekly help create the glow), when it comes to sitting down and talking to Trump in his boardroom, they’ve been close to inarticulate. As TOC said to me when we talked about the show, they’ve mastered the management talk. “I’m going to hit the ground running….I’m going to come in with an agenda.” But they had few substantive thoughts about what they might actually do on the job.

Amy Henry, the gorgeous lone female in the final four, had the least-furnished upstairs of all. Amy is shrewd and mean under those blond curls, and I’d predicted that she would make it to the finish line through ruthlessness alone. And she almost did. Her first act last night was to turn on Nick, who’d been sweet on her and with whom she’d been flirting. “I’d fire Nick if I had a chance,” she announced to Trump. Nick blanched with shock and heartbreak, and even Trump looked taken aback. “Amy, you’re a cold-hearted person,” he said. But then Amy had to go through those job interviews, and all she could do was blabber mindlessly about “my skills set” and other such jargon. “She got on my nerves after a while,” commented one Trump assistant. “She irritated the hell out of me,” said another. A third called her “a Stepford wife.”

The genuinely smart people who work for Trump saw right through Amy and also through Nick, who has similar problems locating substance behind his slick salesman facade. (Nick also wins the show’s mousse prize for the most pointy peaks in his hair arrangement.) So Nick and Amy, the Paolo and Francesca of “The Apprentice,” had to hear the words “You’re fired”–the show’s equivalent of “abandon all hope”–and descend into down-elevator hell. Kwame and Bill Rancic, who are marginally more articulate than the other two, remained in the Trump Tower at show’s end.

The trouble the “Apprentice” eager beavers have with expressing themselves is generational, and hence, educational. Trump, by contrast, may look absurd (that combover starts farther back on his head every week), but he is commanding and well-spoken, an astute judge of character, and fearlessly upbeat (he’s currently having business troubles in his casinos and elsewhere, but they don’t get him down). I chalk it up to his schooling, which, like mine, was undoubtedly of the old school that emphasized voracious reading and mastery of the basics of English spelling and grammar at a tender age. Sure, Trump went to business school, and he probably took as few college humanities courses as he could get away with, but he’d already had a solid grounding in the basics. We don’t give that to young people nowadays, because we’re under the impression that school should be “fun” and “creative.” The deprivation ultimately shows, and sadly, shows where it counts.