Riding Coattails: One And One Equals One?

I wish Donald Trump would make up his mind. Even though he chose Kendra to be his apprentice this week, the Donald is obviously conflicted about several issues. For instance, I still don’t understand his position on the whole issue of crying in a business setting. In the boardroom following the final tasks, Kendra shed a few tears of happiness over the rock star performances of her employees Danny, Erin, and Michael. When she apologized for getting choked up, Trump dismissed it, stating that there was nothing wrong with crying. Then, at the finale, he kept bringing up the fact that he hated it when Kendra cried. I started cheering from the couch when Kendra gave her kick-ass response about how 300-pound linebackers cry when they win the Super Bowl. Donald admitted that this was a brilliant comeback, even going so far to say that he found something beautiful about the intensity of Kendra’s admiration for her team.

Mr. Trump showed further contradictions in his comments to Chris, this season’s other weeping candidate. When questioning Chris about Tana’s performance, the Donald acted surprised that Chris was so subdued. Um, dude, you’re the one who lectured this young man about controlling his emotions. And Chris already gave up chewing tobacco at the Trumpmeister’s request, so why was he so shocked that Chris was being chill? He’s already proven that he’s willing to change. Don’t harass him, compliment him!

Although I was happy that Kendra won, I thought that the finale sucked as a whole. Of course, the main reason for the suckage was Mr. Trump’s inability to smoothly host a live television show. There were far too many painfully awkward moments in the course of one hour. And it’s not that I wanted to see Regis Philbin again, but come on, who shouts, “Roll the tape!” in the middle of a show? Donald’s bumbling transitions to commercial breaks were appalling, as were his nonexistent interviewing skills, which involved interrupting people or switching topics mid-sentence. Mark Burnett should have brought in some kind of coach or assistant and to give Trump a few tips. Either that, or he should have previously recorded the show and edited the hell out of it like he did with all of the regular episodes.

And what was with the whole courtroom setup with Trumpo as the judge and the fired candidates sitting in a jury box? I thought this show was a job interview, not a criminal trial. The set looked so lame that I actually started to feel a little embarrassed for everybody. I mean, I’m already fully aware of how artificial the whole situation is, so there was no need to exacerbate the fakeness. And speaking of fake, I didn’t initially recognize Kristen, who is now a blonde. My first thought was, hey, why is one of the women from Season 2 (Sandy, Jennifer M., Elizabeth, Pamela) sitting up there? I think Kristen looks prettier with dark hair. Maybe she’s having an identity crisis.

Tana probably is, too, right about now. She really took a beating. I’ve already expressed my disappointment about her performance in the final task, but I thought that it was unnecessary for Trump to keep rubbing her nose in her mistakes. And he’s a fine one to be preaching to her about the merits of humility and respect; since when has he been the poster boy for those qualities? I appreciated the fact that George and Carolyn had some nice things to say about Tana, since she really was amazing during so many moments this season. However, Trump was fixated on her errors. Instead of hammering at her for being so mean to her team, I wish he would have just fired her and spent more time talking to Kendra about her experience on the show and how it felt to win. So much of the show was already wasted with the excessively long season recap and then the Donald prolonged Tana’s agony by hiring Kendra during the final minutes. The overall tone of the hour was so negative that, when Kendra’s victory was finally announced, I wondered why she would even want to work for Mr. Trump.

Over and above the name-calling and criticism, I despised the way in which Trump dangled two wildly different job alternatives, working for the Miss Universe pageant and renovating a huge mansion in Palm Beach, in front of Tana and Kendra, fully knowing which ones they would both prefer. In the past two seasons, winners Bill and Kelly learned of their two choices after being hired, and both opportunities involved real estate projects. The Donald is either running out of properties or he wants to promote his pageant, but either way, I was surprised at how different the selections were this time around.

Tana sells cosmetics and has a clothing line, so of course she expressed more interest in the Miss Universe gig. Yet Trump raised his eyebrows and said, “It’s a $100 million house,” as if Tana gave the wrong answer. Kendra has her own real estate company and lives in Florida, so naturally, she’d be drawn to the project in Palm Beach. The Donald, with his big hard-on for developing properties, clearly thought that Kendra’s pick was the “correct” one. What was the point of offering a choice when Trump already knew the strengths and interests of these two? And why reveal two job openings and when there was only one job offer?

Despite her screw-ups, Tana would be a phenomenal executive for Miss Universe. Although the whole premise of the show is that there can only be one winner, I would have been happy to see both Kendra and Tana walk away with those jobs, especially since they are uniquely qualified for them. And although Tana showed a darker side during her final task, Trumpo was a fool to give that performance more weight than the cumulative excellence she exhibited during the her other assignments. I can’t blame Tana for going a little nuts toward the end of the show, when she started whooping about how her idea to make the Pontiac brochure circular was the main reason that she, Kendra, and Craig won that particular task. Even though I winced as she grasped at her final straws, I mainly felt sorry for Tana for being put in that position. She was set up to look bad, which was a cruel payback for all of the hard work she did for so many weeks.

Maybe I’m being too forgiving. Then again, if Tana’s employees can accept her apologies and move on, the Trumpmeister should be able to get over her infractions, too. I guess it doesn’t really matter now. Tana admitted that she had a great life back in Iowa, so she’ll bounce back. The good ones always do.

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