Friday, May 13, 2005

A coupla words about "The Apprentice"

And here I was all set to do Scalzi's weekly assignment.  I'll do that tomorrow -- right now, he's being pre-empted for a little reality television.

So, tonight was the second-to-last episode of The Apprentice -- we saw the two contestants do the final task, and have their final chance to have their say in the boardroom.  Pretty much all that's left is for Trump to stall to try to fill an hour of live television next week.  Nobody on the West Coast will watch it -- it was boring as all get out last time, and we will have read the results on the internet by the time it airs.

The thing that I'm wondering now is, exactly who is editing this show and how much discretion do they have?  Because, in the final task, it looked like Kenda wiped the floor with Tana.  And -- in what looked to be an adorable little twist -- Tana was too full of herself to even notice that she was tanking the challenge.  Leaving the Governor of New York standing around doing nothing?  Printing up thousands of copies of a program that said one of the athletes was useless as a competitor but would look good on camera?  These were not just itty bitty errors.  And compare that to Kendra -- whose event sponsors were so happy with the work she did, one of them offered her a job.  Not to mention the difference between the way they interacted with their "employees" -- Tana was all about the image of being in charge and having respect, while Kendra actually earned it.

The point is:  that's how it looked to me.  As a viewer.  Watching the edited version the producers of the show wanted me to see.  For all I know, Kendra screwed this thing up as badly as Tana did, and it just didn't air.  But the way this show was edited made it look like Trump would be a freakin' moron if he hired Tana.

Same sorta thing happened last season -- although, there, it wasn't so much the final episode, but the entire season.  Two competitors:  Kelly and Jennifer.  During the whole season, Kelly was shown as cool, calm, and professional, while Jennifer looked to be just sliding by.  Indeed, each week Jennifer escaped firing, you sorta wondered how that happened.  So, by the time of the great big one-hour live finale -- after all of America had seen the show which was edited to make Jennifer look like a moron -- Trump claimed that he didn't know which one to hire (so he needed to take an hour-long show to make his decision), but everyone knew what would happen.  And it did happen -- every time Trump asked someone which one he should hire, the answer was always "Kelly."

So here's what I wonder ... suppose there were no live finale, and Trump had made his decision at the very end of the prerecorded episode (the one which just aired tonight).  Assume further that he decided to hire Tana.  If that had happened, the episode we saw would have been edited way differently -- because the people behind The Apprentice never want to make it look like Trump made the wrong decision.

So, near as I can figure, one of two things is going on.  Either (a) Trump has already decided to hire Kendra, and has passed the word to the editors so that they would validate that selection in the editing; or (b) Trump seriously had absolutely no idea who he would hire at the end of the episode, and left the editing up to someone else, but now that the episode has been edited the way it was, he has no choice but to hire Kendra, so he doesn't look like a world-class idiot.

Either way, the show would be more honest without the live finale.


1 comment:

brentub said...

I agree!  A lot of the "reality" TV is so editted that what we actually see on TV is probably not at all like what really happened.

I got sucked into "The Apprentice" the first season; last season was a bit of a disappointment; and this season has been, in my opinion, a non-stop barrage of whining, yelling, and screwing up.  If I had been Trump, I probably would have fired half of them about the third week.

It's interesting, though, that this season the finalists are both women.  In previous seasons, Trump took a lot of flak over the fact that both finalists were men.  So did Tana and Kendra get "preferential" treatment to offset potential criticism?  I guess we'll never know.

And next season, we'll have Martha Stewart hiring an apprentice -- to do what?  Polish her ankle bracelet?