The Finale
The Apprentice: Martha Stewart: Finale

No monkey business! When the show opens, it's night and in the MSLO office, I think, Martha, wearing what seems like an orange raincoat, asks Charles whether he's ready. He says that he is always ready. Alexis is nearly unrecognizable as a tall elegant woman with a dazzling smile that is so unlike her and she asks Martha, "Are you ready?" Martha tells her that she is "very ready". Charles then announce that they may as well all go ahead and "do it". No, don't switch off the TV, people, this is not a home-video of some skanky threesome between Charles, Alexis, and Martha, it's a very staged opening to this oddly-stilted talk show masquerading as a finale. They get into a chauffeured black Buick Lucerne - ooh, go buy one or twenty today! - and leave the MSLO building.

In the vehicle, Martha says that it is "great" that they now have time to talk about Bethenny and Dawna. What, she's going to call them unsuitable again like she called them in her interview with Fortune? Charles, as per the script, actually turns his head so that he can turn to Martha and Alexis in the backseat and says that it is up to Martha to determine who will "fit in" with MSLO. Alexis says that one is more creative and one is business-oriented, so the question here is, according to her, which person is the better person. Alexis has a knack of saying something that seems to be profound until I think about what she's said a little and realize that she's just yammering to the sound of Duh. Martha turns to the camera and says with a smile that the whole event is going to be so exciting for everybody. Yeah, I know. I can't wait.

Those three enter Martha's studio in New York City where they are greeted with applause from the members in the audience who can't get tickets to the next taping session of Oprah as well as the dismissed Apprenti who weren't called back to help Bethenny and Dawna. I'm referring to Jeff, the non-clapping Chuckie who must be disgruntled that his boycott attempt failed when Burnetto's lawyer called up and told Chuckie to reread the fine print in the contract which states that he is Burnetto's dancing monkey for the stipulated duration, Shawn, Dawn, David, Jennifer, Leslie, and Marcela. To demonstrate how little Martha cares for the finale now that the show has been cancelled and it's time that she and primetime TV part ways due to irreconcilable differences, the studio is decorated for Christmas and Martha's daytime talkshow Christmas episode instead of for the finale of The Apprentice: Martha Stewart.

Martha says that she will have to make a difficult decision in choosing her new Apprentice. That's true. She griped to Fortune about how unsuitable the Apprenti are after all. She diplomatically says in this show that while some Apprenti are better suited than the others, all have their own areas of expertise. Martha also says that she takes the whole challenge "extremely seriously", which is one of the rare sincere statements that fall from Martha's mouth tonight. She did take this show seriously, the same way that she takes everything about her job and her business very seriously, and for all her faults, I have to respect and admire her for this determination and drive that she has. After rehashing the nature of the tasks assigned to Dawna and Bethenny, Martha now lets the audience see parts of the finale that was later chopped up to accommodate this "I don't care, let's just get this over with" one-hour format.

Dawna's Angels. Linda the Liz Claiborne bitch (give her her own The Apprentice series, Burnetto) grills Amanda on the progress of the runway show preparations and Amanda assures Linda that everything will be ready at eight. Dawna who is listening rubs her face wearily. She tells the camera that Linda is a Grade A Bitch who won't be pleased even if you rip out of your own stomach and offer it to her, only she puts it in a more diplomatic manner, and says that she intends to try and make Linda happy but "honestly" she doesn't think that Linda is capable of being pleased by anybody. Meow, Dawna. Linda, now upset that she hasn't been consulted on the make-up and hairdressing of the models, now gets Amanda to grovel apologetically to her about leaving her out of the loop. I wonder whether Amanda deliberately "forgot" to inform Linda. From what I can see, Linda is not happy at all to be part of the guinea pig brigade for Burnetto's show. Either her superiors enlisted her into being part of this show that she obviously doesn't care for or Burnetto must have some incriminating photos of her with someone or something. Amanda also says "Liz Clayburn" instead of "Liz Claiborne" and you can bet that Linda takes great delight in correcting Amanda. Sarah, also watching from the sidelines, gets agitated. She tells the camera that Linda obviously doesn't think that Amanda is doing anything right but she kind of understands Linda's lack of compassion because Sarah thinks that it can't be easy for Linda to find herself babysitting the obviously ill-prepared Apprenti some 48 hours before the show. Back to Sarah, she tells Dawna that they have to leave to get other things done. While Dawna is reluctant to leave Amanda alone with Linda, she tells the camera that she has no choice other than to trust Amanda at this point. Linda in the meantime gives Amanda a list of things she expects to be done by 9:00 am the next day and Amanda promises her that everything will be done. The show gives this honking sound to let me know in advance that Amanda will once again screw up. She talks the talk but she can't be put behind the wheels unless the ship is meant to crash into the iceberg, that Amanda.

Bethenny's Brigade. Ryan rounds up the disgruntled performers and Bethenny introduces herself before telling them to enjoy the pizza, soda, snacks, "and things" available at a corner. A distinguished-looking gentleman, probably the performers' supervisor, says in a rather sarcastic manner to the performers, "There's food! There's food, everybody!" Jim Roper, watching from the sidelines, shakes his head. Bethenny tells the camera that she didn't freak out or anything when "Big Jim", as she calls Jim Roper to differentiate him from the other Jim, came to her at the end of the previous episode because she knows that she still has twenty-four hours more and the show will turn out fine. Wow, she would have allowed the circus performers to wander around aimlessly until the next day if Big Jim hadn't forced her to address the performers? Does she honestly expect the show to miraculously turn out okay on its own accord? There are some obvious flaws in her logic there. Still, she says that she decides to get down to work, get things right, and make Big Jim "confident". Ryan tells Big Jim as the performers get ready for their rehearsal that they had a slow start but they're doing good. Big Jim agrees. Ryan asks him whether he thinks that they will be great and Big Jim answers cautiously that maybe they will all pull through at the end.

Night, Dawna's Angels. At the Capitale, Dawna calls up Amanda who is still at the Liz Claiborne HQ and asks Amanda about the possibility of them getting the programs ready by the next morning for printing. Amanda says that she can get the materials for the program ready but Dawna wisely says that she'd rather be there with Amanda so that she can "help" (read: supervise) Amanda in that task. Dawna cleverly says that she only wants them to work together so that they will spend less time griping on the phone about how little time they have to do their work. Amanda insists that Dawna that leave the fashion show to her because Amanda promised that she'd get everything done. She repeats this promise of hers to Dawna twice, so I'd expect that she'd actually deliver on her promise to Dawna. To the camera, Amanda says that she is frustrated by Dawna's unwillingness to let Amanda do her own thing. Dawna tells Amanda that Howie has arrived and once Howie, Dawna, and Sarah have finished working on the goodie bag thingies meant for the fashion show guests, they will drop over to "help" Amanda out. Amanda sighs in exasperation. It's not like she can barricade the door to keep Dawna out, after all. Dawna tells the camera that she has tried to get Amanda to join them at the Capitale but Amanda wanted to keep working so they have to go to her at the end of the day. Back at the Capitale, Howie tells Dawna that Amanda is a "machine" - and she speaks like one too - and Dawna says, "But that's too much!" She tells Howie that Amanda should be less hands-on when it comes to work.

Over at Bethenny's Brigade, the perpetually prune-faced Carrie works away at her laptop over what she tells Jim is a "VIP thing". Jim comes in to steal some of her Pringles for dinner and Carrie starts complaining to him about Bethenny's lack of delegation. Jim agrees that Bethenny's style is a mess. Carrie rants about how Bethenny said that "they" would be working on compiling and printing out all those auction materials that Bethenny managed to procure for them earlier that day but it ends up with Carrie doing everything while Bethenny is nowhere to be seen. Jim just nods and says some absent affirmation to what Carrie is telling him. Carrie then holds up in indignation pages of Bethenny's messy scrawls and complains to Jim about how disorganized the mess Bethenny left her to sort out is. As Jim flees the room, Carrie now tells the camera that Bethenny never delegates or even tells them what to do, so it's up to her, Ryan, and Jim to "assume leadership" at some point or stand back and watch her fail. She says that since their names are all attached to this project, naturally they don't want to see Bethenny fail.

I don't know whether Jim called her to come here and placate Carrie or she has just returned from some chore and Carrie is just griping and blowing things out of proportion, but Bethenny shows up and joins Carrie soon after. Carrie tells Bethenny that they haven't even discussed the VIP party but Bethenny assures her that Bethenny has everything planned in her head. Carrie says dryly that she is so reassured to hear that. Bethenny tells the camera that while she understands why her team mates don't "get" her management style, she wants to tell them to trust her, their leader, because she thinks that she didn't get this far by not knowing what to do. Boy, there are so many things wrong about that statement, I don't even know where to start. Bethenny decides that their work is better off done downstairs. As she and Carrie collect their things to move downstairs, Bethenny tells the camera that her method is to let them do what they need to do and she will eventually come in, take over the reins, and they will all need to do what they need to do then as well. That's exactly how she phrased her words. Boy, that method sounds like something Martha will approve of! Do anything that has to be done and let the Great Leader step in to clean up the mess when you realize that the crap has hit the fan and you run screaming to this Great Leader! There's leadership and there's figurehead leadership and Bethenny is skirting very closely to the latter here.

Dawna's Angels. At the Liz Claiborne HQ, Amanda is trying to persuade a quietly stunned Dawna that it takes indeed very long for Amanda to accessorize the models to the point that these models are barely-accessorized so late in the night when Amanda had promised Linda that everything will be ready by 9:00 am. She tells Dawna, Sarah, and Howie that she is still working on a plan when it comes to accessorizing the models and she intends to work on the program as soon as she's done with this. She magnanimously tells the others to go home and get some rest while she handles everything. Dawna says that she'd like to stay here and help, heh. Amanda tells the camera that she has a very important responsibility when it comes to accessorizing (the unspoken message here is that Dawna is being unfair in thinking that Amanda is too slow or slacking or worse) because if anything goes wrong, "the entire Liz Claiborne line would be in jeopardy". No, more likely it's Amanda's job is in jeopardy if she happens to be working for Bitch Linda. Or in this circumstance, Amanda's reputation. No one is going to say, "Oh no, that model is wearing a nasty huge-ass nosering so I'm never going to buy another Liz Claiborne outfit again!" Mostly likely, people will say, "Oh, it's that psychotic all-talk no-walk Amanda again. How did she keep getting all these jobs instead of licking stamps at the post office?" A flustered Dawna is asked by Howie whether she's alright as the night wears on.

Back to Martha's studio, where she unnecessarily says that the two women are off on a rocky start in their tasks and oh yes, it's now time for a commercial break.

Once the break is over, it's back to Dawna's Angels. Dawna and Sarah head over to the Capitale to collect materials for the program while Howie and Amanda head over to clean up loose ends in the preparations for the runway show. Dawna hopes that everything will get done on their ride to Capitale and Sarah, while rummaging through her bags, assures Dawna that they are all "on that". She's an optimistic one whose good-nature can be valuable in terms of stress, that Sarah. Dawna however tells the camera that she isn't so sure and tells Sarah that this may just be the calm before the storm. They survey the preparations taking place in the Capitale and Dawna produces a file where she has printed checklists after checklists of the things that have to be done so that she can check away accordingly and follow her own progress. She tells the camera that her listmaking can be tedious but it's her way to make sure that everything gets done before the big moment. To Sarah, she hopes that Linda won't make too many last-minute changes to the runway show like she knows Linda is itching to do. Even Sarah looks defeated when Dawna mentions the Bitch. Indeed, right now Bitch Linda is telling Amanda - with great relish - that there are a "couple" of "glaring errors" in the program, although in this case, a couple amounts to a few dozens, at least, including cases where Amanda actually confuses a skirt for a jacket. Yes, she confuses a skirt for a jacket. I am afraid to ask. Linda loves nothing better than to tell Amanda that Amanda has only sixteen hours left to come up with a nice program. Amanda tells the camera that she is now stressed out over everything. How does that make Dawna feel then? Amanda, best friend or foe, is still Project Manager poison. Oh, and I just have to love Linda's truly evil smirk as she wishes Amanda good luck before leaving her to repair the damages. She really should have replace Donald Trump in the next season of The Apprentice.

Bethenny's Brigade. Jim complains that the banner he is adjusting on the wall is horrible. Bethenny welcomes the caterer and asks for balloons and other decors to get the Crobar ready for the pre-Circus VIP party. Bethenny tells the camera that she has to be creative in using what she has at her disposal to set up the party. There are Apple & Eve T-shirts, BGCA plushie tigers, and other cute thingies from their sponsors all around. Bethenny says to the camera that it is not easy transforming a "gritty nightclub" into a Circus ring. Soon they have everything set up. Bethenny is pleased because everything looks nice and the sponsors (Pringles, Adam & Eve, BGCA) get their names and logos prominently displayed as well in the process. Bethenny compliments the caterer by saying that the caterer is just like her. The caterer laughs politely. Bethenny tells Jim that the people involved in escorting or serving the VIPs should wear red clown noses. Jim wears one to get camera time. To the camera, Jim says that everything is coming together very nicely. He thinks that if they can somehow make the whole event look acceptable, they can very very pull this off. At the end of the day, the VIP room looks like a small funfair area with balloons and Pringles all over the place. Bethenny loves it.

Dawna's Angels. At the Capitale, Dawna and Sarah are becoming very nervous about Amanda spending so much time at the Liz Claiborne HQ. What can she be doing over there? Dawna calls to find out. Alas, instead of causing a commotion while trying to jump off a window ledge, Amanda instead tells Dawna that Linda wanted a lot of changes done to the program "this morning". I wonder how many hours have lapsed since "this morning" before Amanda decides to hit Dawna with the news about the program. Dawna asks Amanda to email the draft of the program to her but Amanda says that she can't do that because she has so many things that she doesn't feel that she can finish even if she is in "hyperspeed". Obviously telling Dawna that the crap is about to hit the fan is among these many things that Amanda can't complete. This woman is amazing. She's like every horribly incompetent yet self-assured "I can do it! Just let me do it! And I'll tell you everything has gone wrong at the last minute when you can't fix my mistakes!" nincompoop that I'm sure we all have met in the workplace one time or the other. Dawna tells Amanda that if they don't have the draft of the program at that very moment, they won't have a program at all. Sarah praises Dawna to the camera because Dawna remains calm when speaking or ordering people around even when things are going really wrong. I have to agree with that: Dawna is great when it comes to keeping her cool and that makes her a good leader in the sense that she can keep her team focused instead of panicking and making things worse. Amanda ends up dictating the changes made by Linda over the phone to Dawna but Dawna realizes that she can't get it printed in time now that it's late into the day.

Bethenny's Brigade. The brochure turns out beautifully, thanks to Jim and Carrie, and the VIP party turns out well as well. The few kids are entertained by the clowns and the performers and the adults that wander around the place don't look too bored. I believe these VIPs are orphans bussed in to the parties as well as the people running the BGCA and their guests/patrons because this party lacks the sophistication one would expect from a typical tie-and-tux party. Martha shows up, pretending that she honestly can't wait to see what will happen next, with Alexis and Charles in tow, and Bethenny wisely waits at the door to greet them. Bethenny shows Martha the list of items she managed to get from various corporates and parties for the silent auction, including a free course at a trapeze school. Martha says that she has always wanted to go to trapeze school. Me too, if only to see the normally posed Martha clad in spandex and being flung into the air. The silent auction goes off without a hitch and Bethenny feels that she is now validated for taking the trouble to make so many phone calls.

Dawna's Angels. Dawna is on a last-minute whirlwind mission to clean up and clear up anything that needs to be cleaned and cleared up. Naturally, Howie is the one who has to move this, move that, take this down, put that up, and more at Dawna's orders. Unfortunately, Howie is not shirtless in this scene. Stupid selfish Howie. She thanks him for his grunt-work efforts and he tells her, "No problem, baby! We're gonna win!" The clear difference between Team Happy For Dawna and Team Down With Bethenny is never more apparent here. Howie is rewarded by the sight of a model in short cut-offs which he ogles discreetly, complete with a lecherous "And I'll be right over" and a crotch thrust that his missus watching at home must be happy with, when her back is to him. The model's butt somehow morphs into Sarah's butt as she quickly enters the Capitale. Where's Ryan's butt, huh? And where's Howie's butt? This show is sexist and I demand reparations! I love how Sarah cheerfully greets Howie with a "Holy canoli!", asks him whether he's okay, and when he says no she says that she's not okay as well - still in her chirpy voice, mind you. Her relentless optimism can grate when taken in huge chunks, but in small doses such as now, Sarah is too endearing and adorable for words. The reason for her distress is clear when she shows the printed papers that are now copies of the program to Howie. In her own words, "They look like crap! But we didn't have a choice! They're terrible! But they're better than nothing!" Howie shows these programs to Dawna who tells the camera that they just don't have the time to put together the fabulous program that they have envisioned. Oh boy, and then Linda gets to see the program, which she is not happy with at all, being that it's just a piece of paper printed on both sides without the Liz Claiborne logo anywhere on it. Even the first line is not centered! How gauche! Linda tells them that she expected everything to be perfect - I'm sure we are all not surprised that she expects everything to be perfect, heh - and therefore she is very disappointed with them.

Later that evening, the Big Apple Circus begins and Martha, Charles, and Alexis seem appropriately entertained. Jim sits in the audience and the kid next to him reaches out to whack his hand. Ah, but that's Jim, he's a cartoon character in so many ways that even kids think he's a clown worth smacking out at. At the end of the day, Ryan tells the camera that he has revised his initial opinion of Bethenny. Everything takes place smoothly that night. "Bethenny turned the ship around. I've never seen anything like it!" says Ryan. And inspired by Bethenny, he charges forward and flunks his Bar exam. Oh, Ryan. The hearts of future jaywalkers and litterbugs waiting for him to defend them at court are all broken. As Martha, George, and Alexis leave, Charles tells Bethenny that she has done a great job.

The next morning, after they have cleaned up the place and placated the owners of the Crobar for any damages that may arise from Ryan and Jim having some alcoholic celebration to mark the end of their task - come on, you know they will do just that - Ryan greets Bethenny as "Princess" while Jim tells her that the job should be his but he wishes her luck anyway in the final conference room. Ryan puts on the red clown nose, maybe wanting Jim to pinch his nose or something, as Jim and Bethenny babble in relief about how well the Circus turned out. Even Carrie shows up, looking like she wants to apologize to Bethenny or something. What could have been a beautiful Disney moment of group hug and Carrie weeping as she pledges to be Bethenny's best friend forever while Jim and Ryan sing For She's A Jolly Good Fellow, however, is ruined when Bethenny lamely brushes hands with Ryan's arm and leaves them to go into her own chauffeured Buick Lucerne. Man, I know she doesn't like her team that much but that is cold. For all their flaws, those three worked their butts off for her and pulled the show together when it threatened to fall apart at the seams. Jim echoes this sentiment in his confessional, saying that there's just a "lukewarm handshake" before Bethenny drives off into the sunset. "T-t-t-that's all, folks!" says Jim, mimicking the Looney Tunes ending scene that features Porky the Pig. He does know that he is a cartoon character, awww. In her ride, Bethenny is all "me, me, me" as she talks about how she couldn't have done any better given the circumstances (read: ooh, those backstabbing team mates) and she will be an asset to MSLO because the sky is the limit for her or something like that. Martha must be thinking right now, "Limitless manic antics? Oh please, hell, no!" Bethenny says that she never gives up fighting.

On the Liz Claiborne fashion event day, Sarah comforts Dawna by telling her that only they and no one else know what didn't went according to their plans. It works and Dawna is smiling again. Dawna also waits at the door for Martha to arrive. In their ride to the Capitale, Martha absently rambles to Alexis about how great it will be to see the event and how great the challenge has been. Alexis agrees, saying that Amanda picked the outfits while Sarah loves working at Liz Claiborne. Alexis pauses in midsentence when she sees her mother fiddling with her Palm Pilot and asks Martha tersely whether Martha is listening to her or emailing. Martha, still fiddling with the Palm Pilot ("gotta go bitch alexis calling me xxx martha"), says yes. While some people enjoy this scene as a sign of how dysfunctional the relationship between Martha and Alexis can be, I enjoy this scene because I find that this is more like an indication that Alexis isn't so much a complete victim as much as she can give back as good as Martha gives. I am not so much a Pollyanna to believe that these two have the perfect mother-daughter relationship, but I like this scene because it tells me that Alexis isn't a complete victim or passive doormat like some people claim she is under Martha's shadow. Okay, maybe I'm a little Pollyanna-esque still. The fashion show takes off without a glitch, Martha loves the outfits although I personally feel that Amanda is right because those are some ugly kinds of pink and brown the models are wearing, Charles reaffirms his masculinity by admiring a model or two, and Dawna has tears in her eyes while Bitch Linda actually hugs Dawna and tells her that the event was "amazing" and she is so proud of them.

Dawna says that her victory is mostly due to her team. She and her team mates hug hard where the others tell Dawna that she deserves to win. Amanda, fast entering creepy stalker fangirl territory, tells the camera that she is sad when the event is over because that will be the "last time" she will ever see Dawna - because Dawna will move to Trinidad and never come back after slapping a restraining order on Amanda, I think - and she thinks that Dawna must win because she deserves to win more than any candidates on the show. When Amanda can actually say on TV that there is someone more deserving than her, it really must be love, eh? As Dawna get ready to climb into her chauffeured Buick Lucerne, they all have a last reaffirming group cheer where they clearly consider themselves the original Primates-R-Us. Sarah, Howie, and Amanda all tell each other how sad they are to say goodbye to Dawna while Dawna wipes away at her tears during her drive back to the Loft. She says to the camera that whether she wins or not, this has been a great experience for her and she feels that she can do anything she wants at that moment. She has no idea what is in store for her the next day though!

The next day. As those two women get ready for the final conference room, Bethenny says to the camera that she goes on this show to prove to herself that she is special and stronge like she thinks she is. Dawna tells the camera that she has more experience to make her more qualified for the job. Bethenny says that she is the only one among the Apprenti that connects with the Martha Stewart brand. I think Marcela would beg to differ. Dawna says that she wants the job more than anything she can remember. People who say things like this always have convenient short-term memories. Bethenny says that Dawna is not her and therefore won't be an employee like she. Bethenny says that as if it's a very good thing. Dawna says that she's the right choice for Martha. Bethenny says that there's no way Martha is choosing Dawna as an Apprentice since the job is Bethenny's. In the conference room, Martha makes some mild digs at Dawna's program and Dawna cleverly deflects the blame to Linda, saying that Linda made so many changes at the last minute that they had to "literally" wait to the last minute.

Martha asks Bethenny whether she is better for the job than Dawna. Bethenny says that she understands Martha's brand and she has integrity and she is learning her style and the whole thing is about the journey and not the destination and I have no idea what she is babbling about. Dawna on the other hand tells Martha that she fits in better at MSLO and she hopes Martha can see beyond what Dawna thinks is a mistaken impression of her being lacking in having a sense of excitement. She says that her being calm is the reason that she is successful and people want to work with her. She claims that there were Apprenti calling Dawna up to ask her to pick them so that they wouldn't have to work for Bethenny! Ooh, that's a low blow and Bethenny clearly doesn't like that because she accuses Dawna of wanting the job at MSLO only as a stepping stone while Bethenny apparently wants to be Martha's true MSLO slave forever and ever. Dawna protests, saying that she doesn't view the job as a stepping stone. Bethenny becomes even more incoherent as she talks about how Dawna doesn't want to work for Martha, she only wants the "job", Bethenny is a superstar, yadda yadda yadda. Dawna clearly cuts through Bethenny's babblings by telling Martha that she wants to work for the best - someone who is synonymous with quality - and here Martha nods. Dawna however turns into a little like Bethenny when she says that she wants the job so bad that she can't express it, which is why she can't express it now to Martha. Heh. Martha calls the conference room session to an end by telling them that she will make up her mind and in the meantime she reminds them that she is taking the whole process very seriously.

And now it's back to Martha's studio which she says is at 26 St in New York City. The six Apprenti who aided Bethenny and Dawna are seated on the stage. Martha then says that Bethenny and Dawna are both impressive in their own ways - which are probably very different from Martha's way - both Bethenny is "creative" while Dawna is "corporate". It looks like "creative" is turning into a nicer way of saying "hyperactive nuisance". The show then introduces a clip of Bethenny talking about how great she is while she is shopping for vegetables that she later cuts up. Once more she talks about how she may be manic and what-not but she is also a fighter, how she tends to jump into things first but she has changed so much in twelve weeks so she could do more in twelve months. She repeats that the sky is the limit for her. Poor Bethenny, she's really trying to sell the whole "I'm an unpolished underdog who will work really hard" thing about herself very hard. The trouble here is that Martha doesn't want a tenacious scrappy fighter, she wants a corporate executive. Dawna's clip sees her swimming, being on a boat, and running a sports magazine for women called Her Sport (which I hear isn't too successful) with her husband. Dawna is selling her potential employability by saying that she sees work as fun, she is more "corporate", and she fits better with MSLO.

Once both Bethenny and Dawna join Martha and the others on stage, Martha asks Charles of his opinion on Bethenny. Charles says that Bethenny has passion and creativity but he has his doubts about Bethenny fitting in with MSLO about seeing how she interacts and works with other people. When asked by Martha about what she thinks of Dawna's employability, Alexis thinks that we should all tune in to her radio show at Sirus Satellite Radio, Channel 1-12 at noon to find out what she really thinks about Dawna. I understand that the show is called Whatever and her co-host is Jennifer, Charles' daughter (and Bethenny's friend - Bethenny also dated Charles' son, remember). I also hear that those two are really good and funny as radio show co-hosts in a "nepotism is actually a good thing at times" way. Everyone laughs and claps at Alexis' sudden coming to life on this show. It's like now that her mother's show is dead, she's decided to go on a "the Queen is dead, long live... me!" power trip and tells everyone that the party is still going on in her own turf. A little more seriously, Alexis says that Dawna may be "a little dispassionate" - like Alexis on the show? - and "a little uncreative" but she thinks Dawna is better suited to be Martha's Apprentice. And she's not saying this because she knows that her mother has made up her mind, of course.

Martha asks Amanda about the properties that Dawna lack as a leader. Amanda gushes that Dawna is perfect. This woman is scary, I tell you, with her crazy Juliette Lewis eyes and her Dawna fixation. Martha then asks Jim whether Bethenny chose her team well. I have a laugh when Jim says Bethenny chose the most "powerful" Apprenti from the bunch and the Circus went off better than the Liz Claiborne event so he can't find fault with Bethenny's choice. How like him to flatter himself on TV! Martha says that she can't believe that Jim managed to get a beautuful wife and two adorable kids, whom she met when Jim went on to her daytime Martha show, when he's behaving the way he did on the show so she suspects that Jim is putting on an act all along. Jim says that his wife actually holds him back when he could have gone wilder - and I notice that this is the same story he gives in all his interviews - and he's by nature competitive. He then goes on to say that he "won" his beautiful wife and I'll let the armchair feminists argue about whether Jim is a jackass with that statement. I choose not to take anything Jim says seriously so yes, I laugh along with him when he says that. Martha says that the people at Liz Claiborne, especially that "wonderful executive" (guess who), are not happy with Dawna's work. She asks Sarah what she thinks of that. Sarah says that they weren't displeased with Dawna as much as they were unhappy about how rushed things were in the 48 hours the Dawna's Angels had to put everything together. Sarah thinks that those Liz Claiborne people are used to working at a more leisurely scale.

Now Martha talks to Bethenny and Dawna. She asks Bethenny what Bethenny thinks it was unnecessary to praise her team when they had finished helping her with the Circus. Ooh, that is a good question. Martha doesn't pull punches and I like that! Bethenny gives a lame answer about how she thanked them but on the whole the team wasn't cooperative and even disgruntled so she took on a more "passive management". She would have said more and become even more incomprehensible when Martha stops her and asks her whether she has the business skills to go along with the $250,000 she will be earning at MSLO. Ooh, another horribly upfront question that doesn't pull punches. I like, I like! Bethenny says, "Absolutely!" She says that she is actually "corporate" because she had handled and planned events for the likes of Merv Griffin before. That's not "corporate", that's "event planner", duh. She once more says that she gets things done before trying to blame her "disgruntled team" for any management shortcomings on her part. Again Martha cuts poor Bethenny in midsentence to tell Dawna that the client - Liz Claiborne - feels that Dawna lacks an "overall vision" despite being a "detail person" and "people person" and wants Dawna's opinion on that. Dawna sneakily says that she likes to make lists to get things done like Martha apparently does as well - score one for Dawna there - and correctly points out that at the end of the day these Liz Claiborne execs, even Bitch Linda, came up, hugged her, and told her that they couldn't believe that Dawna managed to plan the event successfully. Score two there. Martha asks Dawna whether she can hone her skills to become a "really big winner" at MSLO. Of course Dawna says yes. She claims that her interview sessions with Martha's four executives led her to believe that she can feel comfortable being around them as well as learn from them. Now Martha asks Bethenny why Bethenny will be a "good fit" in MSLO. Bethenny again repeats the whole "I love you! I am your biggest fangirl!" rant and adds that she thinks she will fit in well in health, cooking, et cetera. Dawna feels that she will fit in well with MSLO's publishing division.

Martha now says that Bethenny is "spunky", a "show-off", and someone who feels that she needs to make a physical impression on others which Martha feels isn't necessary in MSLO. Therefore, Martha invites Dawna to be her new Apprentice in MSLO for being "clearly a talented manager" and having "business acumen" that MSLO can use. Everyone claps and cheers. Martha explains that Dawna is now a "development manager" at Martha's own new holistic magazine Body + Soul and points out the executive officer who pulled the short straw and will be the babysitter for Dawna in the next twelve months. If we want to help Dawna, we should subscribe to that magazine, says Martha. The show then has a promotional clip for Body + Soul. Martha also has champagne brought forward for everyone, and forbids Dawna to drink because Dawna has also won a Buick Lucerne. As Martha chats with the others on stage, especially with Carrie who must be asking Martha advice on repairing one's public image ruined by callous media outlets, Dawna runs out to star in a blatant advertisement for Buick Lucerne as she drives off to who-knows-where. This show is determined to milk every drop of product-placement opportunity before it drops down dead, I tell you. And with that, the show is done for good.

Personally, I feel that Dawna is the only correct choice among the admittedly sorry batch of Apprenti on this show. Bethenny's Big Apple Circus event went off better than Dawna's event, or so the show suggests, but Bethenny's management style is suspect and there is a possibility that Ryan, Carrie, and Jim are the ones who worked to put the show together while Bethenny spent time canvassing on the phone for sponsors. You don't make phone calls for donations at the expense of supervising the event, that's what a secretary is for! Bethenny's inexperience in working in a team and dealing with people under her supervision really show in the final task. Dawna on the other hand may not be the most exciting person to have at a party but she is capable, she works well with people (even with the likes of Jim and Bethenny), and she gets things done without losing her cool or professionalism.

Thanks for sticking with me and the show until the bitter end. You guys have been great. Last one to leave please turn off the lights!

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