The Apprentice
Wow. What a way to take a perfectly sportsmanlike finale and turn it on its ear in the last 30 seconds. My jaw's agape, my tongue tastes funny and I think I may actually have lost all faith in humanity. But wait, wait, let me start from the beginning. Ba-bomp, ba-bomp, ba-bomp, ba-da-da-da-domp ba-bomp Every season I forget just how terrible that jazzed-up live version of the Burnett

-esque end-credits music is. Receptionist Robyn's show-opening fist-bump with Carolyn, on the other hand, is quite possibly the most charming thing I have ever seen. See how well things started out? I'm so naive.

Cain and Abel. Romulus and Remus. Randal and Rebecca. (Or Randy and Becky, as the folks back home apparently call them. How quaint.) Someone's going down, and the knife's gonna be all kinds of twisty. But the show's got to follow protocol first. Final task clips, check. Miraculous feats of grace under pressure, check. Awkward Trump tosses to commercial, check. And then the entire cast of firees takes the stage, largely for the purpose of being ignored aside from my favorite exchange of the night, as the always outspoken Toral sticks up for Rebecca:

Trump: "That's the first time I like you, Toral."
Toral: "She is a diamond in a haystack."
Me: "What?"

Verbal delights aside, we're here for one reason and one reason only: to find out who's hired. Trump chooses the undeniably outstanding MIT grad and Rhodes scholar, and then turns the tables on him to find out if he thinks Rebecca's also worthy of a job. "It's not The Apprenti, it's The Apprentice." (Well actually, buddy, it's apprentices I'm guessing English isn't one of the five degrees you've got under your belt.) That's right: Randal says no. And Trump listens to him. Et tu, Randy? He's been the picture of graciousness throughout the season, and this is the sour note we're forced to leave him on? Sure, maybe Trump shouldn't have put him on the spot like that, but c'mon dude. Share the wealth. It doesn't take a single thing away from your victory to admit that Rebecca's excellence (nay, her almost robotic resolve) is Trump-worthy as well. I was really looking forward to this final, civilized showdown between evenly matched adversaries, and damn it, what I got was a reality stunt gone wrong. Frankly, I'd rather watch Joe Rogan make people eat buffalo guts. Chana Shwadlenak

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