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The Winner? - December 22

At some point I had heard secondhand that Donald Trump had wanted to stop doing ¨The Apprentice,¨ since it eats about 20 or 30 hours out of his work week. But he's also a media monger, so the announcement of a fifth job search was no surprise. The problem is I don't know if I care anymore.

This season was as close to average as you can imagine. The tasks were uninspired, the results less than was a mess. There were certainly some great moments: the mass firing after the Dick's debacle, and the Boardroom segments were great, and that's what keep this show afloat.

I figured the final task would seal the deal whether this season was any good. And I was right. Everything is rolling along fine until Mr. Trump asks the two finalists which of the jobs they want. I started to wonder to myself "Could there possibly be two winners this year?" I didn't really think about what that would mean for the show. So we get to the great dramatic moment where Mr. Trump says to Randal Pinkett that he's hired. The band starts up, he celebrates, and it's a great moment.

Or it could have been, before Donald butts in. The question posed to Randal was one that did not need to be asked. It doesn't matter whether Randal thinks that fellow finalist Rebecca Jarvis should be hired for the other job, because it's not his place. Randal had the chance to look like a mensch in front of millions of people, but he did a heel turn and hogged all the glory for himself. I can't say for sure whether I would do the same thing, but that's not the point. Mr. Trump could have offered a bonus job after the celebration died down, making himself look good. Instead, he made Randal look like a tool, and himself even worse for putting a new employee in such an awkward position where Randal couldn't win either way.

Just remember, Randal, the guy who threw you under the bus on your first night of employment will be your boss for the next year. Is that someone you want to work for? Is that someone any of us would want to work for?

If ¨The Apprentice¨ wasn't dead, Donald Trump just put the stake in its heart. Good move, Mr. Trump.

Travis Eberle wouldn't work for Donald Trump for anything less than $2,200,000 a year. If you want to offer him that sort of money instead, email him at .


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