Charmaine Hunt and Tarek Saab fired from 'The Apprentice 5'
By Tim Andrews, 05/02/2006
For the second time this season, two The Apprentice contestants were fired for their failure on the same task. Citing her inability to lead Tarek Saab, Apprentice star Donald Trump fired Charmaine Hunt, a 27-year-old real estate consultant from Nashville, TN, during last night's boardroom session. Then, citing his inability to be led by anyone (logic that would appear to conflict with the reasoning behind Charmaine's firing), Tarek, a 27-year-old hi-tech manager from New Bedford, MA, was fired as well.
The Apprentice 5's tenth episode began with unrest, with returning Synergy Corporation member Allie Jablon still seething over Sean Yazbeck's boardroom defense of Andrea Lake, the Synergy member that Trump had fired at the conclusion of last week's episode. After calling Sean out in front of the other team after her team first returned to the contestant suite, Allie then later gathered the team together and railed against him a bit more. Meanwhile, Gold Rush Corporation enjoyed the show, excited that despite their winning performances in the competition's tasks, Synergy appeared to be imploding.
The next morning, the contestants were instructed to meet The Donald and assistants Carolyn Kepcher and Season One winner Bill Rancic back in the boardroom. Once there, rather than reveal some type of exotic twist that would account for the unusual meeting spot, Trump explained that their next task would involve the hair business and asked one of the remaining candidates to come examine his own hair to prove that it was real. While Charmaine, Allie, and Tammy Trenta sought to get an opportunity to get a up close look at The Donald's head, Charmaine was the lucky winner. After peering closely and insisting she "never doubted it," Charmaine vouched for the authenticity of Trump's follicles. Afterward, Trump revealed the details of the task -- each team would have to organize the grand opening of a new Hair Cuttery store and the team that made the most money would be declared the task's winner.
After determining that none of the other all-male members of her team had a clue about salons, Charmaine decided to serve as Gold Rush's project manager. However she and Tarek failed to see eye to eye from the beginning, with Tarek (as he had with previous project managers) undermining her authority and challenging her opinion that their grand opening did not need a "theme." While it was never made very clear what Charmaine's plan was, the friction appeared to set the team at odds and distract them from the task.
Meanwhile over at Synergy, project manager Tammy decided that due to Allie's ongoing resentment of Sean, the best way to deal with the disgruntled teammates was to separate them, so once the team had met with their store staff, Tammy teamed up with Sean while Allie and Roxanne Wilson worked together. The strategy appeared to work fairly well, and the only new sparks were of the mutual physical attraction kind between Tammy and Sean.
Sales started out slow for Gold Rush on the day of the grand opening, prompting Charmaine -- in the name of "research" of course -- to decide to have her own hair done. Meanwhile, Tarek and Lee Bienstock were sent around to neighboring parking lots to put flyers on cars in order to solicit additional business. Because both appeared to feel the flyer task was pointless, it appeared to bring Tarek and Lee on the same side as they relentlessly made their disdain for Charmaine clear to the cameras. Conversely, things appeared to go much more smoothly at Synergy. While they did not appear to get significantly more customers than Gold Rush, Allie's attempt to aggressively sell hair products to everyone who visited the salon appeared to mark a distinct difference in the two approaches.
When the results were announced, it came as little surprise that Synergy had handily won the task, sending Gold Rush back the boardroom for the fifth time in six weeks. As their reward, Synergy's members spent the afternoon with renowned songwriter Burt Backerack -- an encounter that should have been a great opportunity to mend some of their earlier discord. However, unfortunately for the team, Allie still appeared to be unable to put aside her differences with Sean, making it appear to be one of the most uncomfortable rewards ever given out on the show.
Back at the loft, Gold Rush's members began conspiring and preparing for their upcoming boardroom. While meeting with Tarek, Lee stated that he planned to tell Trump that Charmaine should be fired, an opinion with which Tarek also agreed. Later though, Lee was shown working against Tarek, attempting to convince "under the radar" contestant Michael Laungani that getting rid of Tarek would result in a more productive team.
Once in the boardroom the arguments became very heated. Charmaine and Tarek both took aim at each other, producing one of the season's more heated boardroom sessions. Michael -- despite the fact that he did not appear to contribute to the task in any meaningful way himself -- gave The Donald an impassioned plea about why Tarek was difficult to work with and therefore should be fired. Ever the politician, Lee appeared to take neither side despite his earlier discussions, however when pressed he appeared to slightly favor firing Charmaine due to her weak task performance.
In the end, The Donald appeared to decide that both were at fault. After he initially fired Charmaine for weak leadership (of Tarek in particular) and poor project management, Trump then turned and fired Tarek for his inability to be led. The cab ride out was silent as neither of them appeared to have any interest in speaking to one another again.