As the penultimate episode dawns, we find the nonloser (I refuse to call them “winner”) team eagerly awaiting the results of last week’s purge. Tana bursts through the suite door crying, “Honey, I’m home!” She all but tosses a beret into the air, MTM style, in celebration. Group hugs. Craig tells us that he and Tana are the “cream of the crop.” And the crop’s down to three, so I guess (quell surprise!) he’s saying Kendra ain’t so creamy. Craig and Tana kneel and pray together, which makes me realize that I am as interested in seeing the separation of Church and reality television programming as I am in the separation of Church and State. Face it, Tana and Craig – praying to triumph during your stint on “The Apprentice” is like lighting a bunch of votives in the Temple of the Moneychangers. I may be an irreligious Jew, but I’m pretty sure jockeying for position as The Donald’s Bestest Newbie Beootch by pimping pizzas and cars week after week is not WJWD. But at least Craig is tasteful enough to wear a shirt when he picks up the phone the next morning and receives the instructions to appear at the Trump Tower Appallingly Huge Vacant Suites.
I’m wishing I had Larry tag-teaming with me on this summary right now, because I think the contestant wardrobe choices featured in this episode are important. Tana wears a “I’m Strong N Spunky N Just A Little Wacky” red ensemble with a fat (but not “phat”, unfortunately) faux fur collar. What the hell is she thinking? The contestants have to have a pretty good idea that the Cavalcade of Deeply Serious Corporate Interviews is to follow, and she’s wearing the J-Lo Collection. By contrast, Kendra wisely opts for a simple grey suit. But what really piques my interest is Craig, because Craig is wearing….a Bow Tie of Doom. That’s right! Perhaps Craig figures the look didn’t work for Rahj or Bren because they didn’t SMILE as much as he does. Or perhaps he simply stopped thinking altogether. All I know is I’ve never seen so much foreshadowing packed into Ľ yard of 100% silk foppery before.
Donald welcomes the Final 3 to the vast, empty space of an apartment he assures the contestants they might be inhabiting one day (so high above The Big Apple you might as well live inside a Comcast satellite, BTW) and informs them that they will, indeed, be subjected to savage interviewery with the following Powers That Be at the following Corporations That Paid To Shill For Trump Enterprises:
• Someone Brandon - Dominos Pizza • Darlene Daggett - QVC • Someone Bremerman – Burger “We Don’t Serve Finger Food Like Those Other Guys But Our Commercials Are Even Scarier” King • Someone Lorber - Douglas Ellison (or was that Someone L. Douglas, at Ellison? Does anyone really care? The veeps will hereinafter be referred to hereinbelow as Suit, Suit, Suit and QVC Lady, respectively, if not respectfully. See Author's Note below).
QVC Lady asks Tana if a Young(ish) Gal From a Small Town in the Midwest (like they just got indoor plumbing in Chicago) can Make It In The Big Apple, or something similarly Our Gal Sunday like that. Tana plugs in her grin and brags about how much lemonade she sold in kindergarten, presumably by adding rhinestones to the Josie & the Pussycats napkins for an extra nickel. Can I just say that QVC Lady is every stereotype of a Career Woman embodied? Sensible short hair cut? Check. Glasses that in no way resemble any eyegear that could be called “cutting edge” or “fashionable”? Check. Makeup in shades like “Tepid,” “Not There,” “Unthreatening” and “Totally Devoid of Colour, Not To Mention Sexuality”? Check.
Suit asks Craig something about his (Craig’s) shoe shine business (no WAY am I going to touch the fact that Craig runs a shoe shine business. I saw what happened when a certain poster mentioned a certain Cosbyness in Craig’s mannerisms). Craig says something like “I allow…when I think I can allow….to trust….when I trust…when I delegate I allow…the decisions can be made … let them burn their own bridges.” Which pretty much sounded like “I try not to do jack shite” to me, but maybe I didn’t really understand Craig’s answer. Or the question.
Suit asks Kendra about her real estate development background. Kendra points out that if The Donald doesn’t hire her, she’ll be his competition. This appears to charm suit. Moxie points for Kendra!
At this point the interview scenes start flying together faster and faster, but it is obvious that Craig is getting the worst of it (and I don’t even LIKE Craig), fielding invitations to shoot himself in the foot thinly disguised as inquiries, such as “Do you have a short attention span? “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?” and my favorite: “Would you be willing to work on programs in the inner city for The Trump Organization?” Craig answers affirmatively. “But that’s not what the organization does!” Suit cries. “You want to change the Trump Organization?!?” The bow tie aside, what remains clear, as the faces of the veeps and candidates start whizzing around my screen in geometric fragments, like the beginning of the Brady Bunch but MUCH more aggressive, is that Craig. Is. Toast.
The Donald debriefs the Deadly Serious Interview Cartel. QVC Lady likes Tana. One Suit thinks Kendra sounded scripted (have you ever given anyone a completely spontaneous job interview? Me neither). One Suit vastly prefers Kendra and thinks she’s intelligent and aggressive. All of the interviewers found Craig lacking in substance, hard to pin down, and vague. The Suit that set Craig up repeats that Craig WANTS TO CHANGE THE WAY THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION DOES BUSINESS. Have I mentioned doom lately? Toast? Foreshadowing? And it is a tad unfair; because the guy did set Craig up.
Which doesn’t decrease my enjoyment of Craig’s ensuing demise one whit. Because, as I’ve posted before, It’s Not You, Kendra; Craig is a Butthole. Craig was simultaneously patronizing, self-aggrandizing, limp-minded and clueless, all at the same time, for the duration of this personal “journey” (as they say on the pick-a-mate reality shows). Still waters run still. Now The Donald inserts a skewer up Craig's arse and casually asks Craig what he thought of the interviewers. Craig stretches his carcass over the roasting pit and eagerly responds with compliments, assuring Trump the veeps all “will know how to assess a candidate”. I smile as The Donald sticks an apple in Craig’s mouth and cranks him over the open flame for a minute, basting Craig in his own juices, before informing him that every one of the interviewers thought Craig was weak. The weakest. Lacking substance. Not as good as Kendra, in other words. (Okay, Trump didn’t quite put it that way, but I was thinking it, and that counts). So….we’re all of sixteen minutes into the episode and ………………