The Apprentice: LA Finale Recap

Live from the Hollywood Bowl, The Apprentice: LA finale kicks off with much fanfare, as you would expect from a Trump production. Just as with everything else this season, the finale is a bit different -- the "final four" of James, Stefani, Nicole and Frank are all back on stage for the live show and Donald has some surprises planned. But first, we take a quick trip down memory lane to relive all those great moments during season 6. Remember Martin and his three-piece suit? Carey and his pink mankini? Michelle's resignation ... the tasks and of course, my favorite parts, all the firings. In fact we get to see a montage of all the firings one right after another -- which really could have sped this season along if they would have just done that 12 weeks ago. Trump brings out the four remaining candidates and the other Apprentice wannabes from this season. I always find it interesting how they often are sporting different looks on the live show versus the taped episodes. Surya's tamed his wild hair and Angela seems to have found the magic of makeup. Stefani and Nicole seem to have some funky new hairstyles, which I'm chalking up to the stylists on set.

To get to the real point of the show, Trump makes us sit through the two Renuzit mini-movies again and they were still as painfully bad as they were last week when we saw them. He then polls the other ex-candidates for their thoughts and then puts it to the final four to promote and defend themselves. We then get to see the two job options up for grabs -- both include a salary of $250K. One project is to oversee a luxury resort complex in the Dominican Republic; the other is to manage the planned Trump Towers in Atlanta. As usual, The Donald asks each of the final interviewees which task they pick, and not surprisingly two pick the Caribbean job and two pick the Atlanta job. He then asks each candidate which two people he should fire right away. Also not surprisingly each two-person team picks the other two to hit the road. By now this show is so predictable it's really sort of boring to see what's coming next. Both Ivanka and Don Jr. criticize Nicole and Frank’s mini-movie and choice of workers in Tim and Surya. Personally, I thought their answers were great and in the end, both movies could have used their own doses of Renuzit because they stunk equally on different fronts. But, as most people could have guessed five minutes into the show, it isn’t enough to save Frank and Nicole and they, along with any remaining personality on the show, were fired. Unfortunate, but again, not shocking.

The final two get some more air time with “getting to know you” clips of each of them on the job and with their families. James apparently has two really cute little girls, so that has to give him some points somewhere. Stefani likes to talk a lot on the cell phone while driving. They each are obviously skilled and successful people, but still find themselves on the hot seat in front of Trump, who trots out his “special guest” of George, from the previous Apprentice seasons. He gets all of about 90 seconds of airtime and gives the candidates some advice and then disappears again. It’s too bad he wasn’t a regular part of this season; I doubt he would have put up with all of the tent nonsense. In the final minutes, Stefani catches a lot of flak for not being a project manager during the entire process, which obviously had to be mentioned but was sort of a little unfair since part of that was due to how Trump set up the game. In the end though, Stefani’s steady performance, strength and ability to manage the entire view of a task wins out and Trump names her the newest Apprentice, leaving a more creative but flighty James somewhat stunned. That’s about all the reaction we get to see as time is up for this live show and another season of boardroom is done.

Do you think Trump made the right decision? What did you think about this season overall? Share your favorite moments – and not so favorite – here. Will we see a season 7 of Trump’s interview process? Rumors say yes, but it remains to be seen when – or where – it will take place. Stay tuned to TV Cocktail for all the latest reality show and TV-related gossip.

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