Martha Stewart, <EM>The Apprentice: Martha Stewart</EM> Martha Stewart, The Apprentice: Martha Stewart
The Apprentice: Martha Stewart
It took the final three a long while to realize that neither Marcela nor

Ryan would be returning to the suite and that they were indeed the final three. Martha confirmed the demise of Matchstick, then hurried Bethenny, Dawna and Jim off to their corporate interviews. Bethenny was at best "scrappy" and at worst "manic." Dawna was sitting pretty as "almost the whole package." But Jim failed to impress, and at his dismissal it struck me that he honestly thought he was going to win. I applaud Jim's self-confidence; it's his self-awareness that I question.

With the chaff gone, we have an all-female final pair, which is fitting for this incarnation of The Apprentice. Two big charity events will wrap this whole thing up. Luckily, the circus was in town, and Liz Claiborne had a fashion show to put together. Finalists chose their team of employees (a nice touch on Martha's part). Dawna cherry-picked Amanda, Sarah and Howie, assembling a team she apparently felt would perform the task for her while she disappeared behind a clipboard and then went to bed early. Psst! Dawna, Howie's background in fashion will not help you since he has no sense of style, and Amanda, who is at times off-putting, should not front your crew. Put down the clipboard and get out of bed! Bethenny chose Jim, Ryan and her grudge-holding nemesis Carrie, thus creating a dynamic mix of cheerleading and resentment, elements that rarely work well together in pressure situations.

To my eyes there's no contest between Dawna and Bethenny. Martha clearly likes Bethenny and merely tolerates Dawna, but since this is a Mark Burnett production, this can only mean that the less obvious candidate will win. I'll offer my condolences to Bethenny now. However, for anyone who has been following this column, you'll realize that I'm no prognosticator. Here's hoping for a worthy winner and a surprise announcement for a second season.