Root For The Russian (Episode 5-1)

I’ll preface this by mentioning that most of my Apprentice recaps will be shorter than those for shows like Dancing with the Stars or Survivor. There inevitably comes a point in every season of The Apprentice when I want to throw my remote at the TV, so I’m forced to keep some emotional distance from the show. I just can’t keep buying replacement televisions.

One hero fell, and a new one rose, on tonight’s season premiere of The Apprentice. Tarek, the dead-ringer for Orlando Bloom, proved himself to be a total idiot. And Lenny, or “The Russian,”as Donald Trump called him, became the show’s evil darling, cackling at his enemy’s misfortune.

Tarek seemed like an early favorite until he opened his mouth. He introduced himself as a member of Mensa, a signal that he has no social skills. “Hi, I’m Tarek, and I pay membership dues so that I can say I’m smarter than you.”

Trump chose Tarek and blonde Harvard Business grad Allie to pick teams, which they named Gold Rush and Synergy, respectively. Allie’s best pick was Sean, whose British accent will undoubtedly be the focus of many of the team’s marketing campaigns.

Lenny was the last man left and wound up on Tarek’s team. Perhaps he was undervalued because of his Russian accent. NBC deemed it heavy enough to occasionally subtitle his comments. But, as Tarek was grilled by Trump in the boardroom, Lenny’s accent made his derisive laughter that much more delicious.

In this week’s challenge, Team Gold Rush had sold three fewer Sam’s Club memberships than did team Synergy, and project leader Tarek was held partially responsible.

Tarek tried to defend his management style, but Trump retorted, “The Russian didn’t like it.” This, after he compared Lenny’s task assignment of riding in a blimp to being sent to Siberia. Trump is nothing if not sensitive to former citizens of the Soviet Union.

Ultimately, restaurant owner Summer was fired because she didn’t make a few phone calls — and because she was dumb enough to interrupt Trump while he was berating Legolas, er, Tarek. As Summer left, Trump told Tarek her foolishness had saved the Mensan. Lenny said, “Not for long.”

Hopefully, the bad blood between Lenny and Tarek will make for good TV in the weeks to come.