<EM>Lost</EM> Lost

You can't watch the premiere of The Apprentice: Martha Stewart without weighing it against the original Trump version, but comparing the two is like comparing Red Delicious apples to Goldens: They're the same thing except for the wrapping. So I'm moving on to the 16 candidates half creative, half corporate. The creative types called their team "Matchstick," because they're "going to be the start of something big." Based on names alone the corporates chose "Primarius" I'm thinking there's going to be a rip-roaring barbecue in the final conference room. Primarius is a horrible name. It sounds like some condition I don't want to have. Anyway, there are 10 women and six men competing to work for Martha. I am surprised to find that much testosterone on the playing field. Yet in this premiere episode, it's the men who make the strongest first impressions. Jim bears a passing resemblance to Latin crooner, Mark Anthony. Unfortunately, Jim thinks he's on Survivor and is already plotting for the final four. Dude, relax. Howie, like his namesake on Big Brother 6, just seems like a nice, fun guy who's got a way with kids. (Note to self: Name male child "Howie.") Jeff is Matchstick's first project manager and casualty. Episode 1 and he's already screaming at someone to shut up. Way to get yourself a "Dear Jeff" letter from Martha. And how sweet is it that Martha, after telling a candidate "You just don't fit in," will pen a handwritten salt-in-the-wound "Goodbye and thank you for playing" note to ease the sting of losing? Spare me your stationary, M. How 'bout some stock?