'The Apprentice' crowns Brandy Kuentzel over Clint Robertson
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/10/2010
The Apprentice star Donald Trump hired Brandy Kuentzel during Thursday night's NBC broadcast of the seventh-season finale of the show's non-celebrity edition.
"Here I am with everything I had hoped to gain out of this entire experience and it's just -- I can't even describe how amazing it is -- I am the next Apprentice. I am just so excited," Brandy, a 30-year-old unemployed lawyer from San Francisco, CA, said after Trump selected her as the competition's winner.
As The Apprentice's winner, Brandy will receive a $250,000 job with The Trump Organization for a year.
Trump selected Brandy over Clint Robertson, a 40-year-old real estate developer from Austin, TX, after both remaining finalists were given a chance to state their cases for why they deserved to win The Apprentice.
"Clint, you've been outstanding. You've done a wonderful job. I almost couldn't ask for anything more. You've had certain weaknesses but you've overcome those weaknesses," Trump said before he revealed his decision.
"Brandy, likewise. You've been outstanding. You're teammates think you're fantastic. Almost every one of them. I want to congratulate you, Brandy. Clint, you're fired! Brandy, congratulations!"
The Apprentice's seventh-season finale began right where last week's penultimate episode had left off with Brandy and Clint each encountering unexpected issues as they attempted to execute their individual final task assignments.
Clint was required to put on a 500-person dinner gala that would feature a concert by Liza Minnelli, while Brandy was responsible for organizing a VIP golf tournament featuring Kathy Griffin.
Clint -- who was assisted by previously fired contestants Poppy Carlig, Steuart Martens and Mahsa Saeidi-Azcuy -- had discovered spelling errors on his welcome posters and table cards while Brandy -- helped by Liza Mucheru-Wisner, Stephanie Castagnier and Anand Vasudev -- had her photographer show up several hours away at the wrong location.
However, the problems were quickly resolved and both finalists' tasks appeared to turn out very well.
Afterward, Clint and Brandy met Trump in the boardroom and Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. reviewed the positive and negative aspects of each event.
Brandy's team chose to give the golf tournament winners an inexpensive brand of golfing equipment Trump had never even heard of before and the winners had been so unimpressed that they left it behind. Clint's weakness happened to be his public speaking skills, which were unpolished and featured his southern accent too prominently for The Apprentice star's liking.
However, Clint successfully fed 500 people in a short time and engaged the golfers at the event, while Brandy's guests and VIP's really enjoyed themselves at the tournament.
In the end, Trump said he believed both teams did great jobs.
Trump then asked the six previously fired contestants who they would choose as the winner of the competition. Anand, Poppy, Liza, and Stephanie said they would choose Brandy, while Steuart and Mahsa favored Clint to win.
Mahsa, a 29-year-old prosecutor from Brooklyn, NY, also noted that while she and Clint had clashed before her firing, her opinion of him had changed drastically as they worked on the concert and dinner together.
"I truly mean this. I thought he had a spark, a charisma, a personality, and I saw it in every single person's eyes who was right behind him. Everyone would just light up, and then I got it. I got it why he is one of the last two standing," Mahsa told Trump as she voiced her support for Clint.
Stephanie, a 34-year-old commercial banker from Chicago, IL, was the most outspoken on Brandy's behalf in the boardroom -- especially in reference to her leadership and personable qualities.
"In my eyes, it's a no brainer. It should be 100% percent Brandy. In the business world, you need an excellent businesswoman. She's polished, she's intelligent, she speaks eloquently -- She has a great presence in every business environment we've ever been in. She's the business professional," Stephanie raved.
Liza -- who had made it to the competition's final three before getting fired -- also acknowledged that her support for Brandy was inconsistent with her pre-firing claim that she felt Clint was the the stronger candidate, but claimed she had only said that because she hadn't wanted to compete against Brandy, who she felt posed a bigger threat, in the finale.