The Guy on the Right (Episode 5-14)

Sean and Lee started their final tasks on this season’s penultimate episode of The Apprentice, and it already seems obvious that Lee will not be hired next Monday night.

After both Allie and Roxanne were eliminated, Lee and Sean were called to the boardroom where they were told they were the final two candidates for the title of Apprentice. They’d receive their last tasks the next morning, but that night they each had to decide which three previously eliminated candidates they would like to assist them in the task.

All of this season’s former candidates were waiting for Sean and Lee when they returned to the suite. As soon as the ousted contestants realized only six of them would be selected to help with the final task, the campaigning began. Everyone pulled Sean and Lee aside to express their sincere loyalty and desire to work with whoever would get them another two weeks on TV.

To no one’s surprise, Sean’s first choice was his dream girl, Tammy. He rounded out the team with Andrea and Tarek, who was nominated by Tammy and Andrea. Sean’s goal was to create a team of smart people who could work well together, and he got the best people to match that description.

Lee’s first choice, also to no one’s surprise, was his surrogate father, Lenny. Like a good politician, Lee wanted to shore up his “base,” selecting a team of only those people he was sure wanted him to win. Lenny helped Lee determine who was most loyal to him, and Roxanne made the cut along with Lenny’s shocking recommendation, Pepi — who had been fired way back in week two.

In the board room the next morning, the mood was jovial as the final tasks were revealed: a celebrity hockey tournament and a charity concert featuring the Barenaked Ladies. Everyone laughed as Trump joked about his personal rule – always go with bare naked ladies.

Lee confidently offered to take the hockey tournament and give Sean the concert. Lenny felt good about their chances, promising Trump, “We’re going to bury them so deep nobody will find them for 20 years.” Then both teams left to start their big assignments.

Carolyn, who’d been giggling through the entire boardroom, finally got to let everyone else in on the joke after the teams departed. “Who was that guy on the far right?” she asked Trump with tears in her eyes. Trump didn’t know either, and he had to check on a sheet of paper to find Pepi’s name. “‘Pepi, you’re fired.’ Did I say that?” Trump asked, sending Carolyn into fits.

Sean’s team drove to the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, site of the concert. Proceeds of the event would benefit the World Wildlife Fund, who hoped to raise at least $100,000 through ticket sales, donations, and additional fundraising. Andrea and Tarek got the main corporate sponsor for both teams’ events, Pontiac, to donate two cars to be auctioned off.

While Tarek and Andrea worked with Pontiac, Sean and Tammy selected a menu for a pre-concert party. They spent so much time going over minutiae, it sounded like they were selecting the menu for their wedding reception. Tarek, who had not worked with Sean before, was concerned that Sean was more interested in being with Tammy than winning the task.

Lee’s team started their task with a trip to Denis Leary’s production company, as proceeds from the hockey tournament went to the Leary Firefighters Foundation. Liz, the foundation representative, was unimpressed when Lee suggested a firefighter date auction, and sent them away to develop some classier fundraising ideas.

As Sean’s team had done, Lee’s team met with Pontiac executives, and he also got them to donate two cars for an auction. However, Lee missed an opportunity when he didn’t follow up on Pepi’s suggestion that Pontiac match the funds raised at the event. Perhaps Lee’d forgotten who Pepi was, as well.

Lee’s laid-back, casual approach to the task concerned Carolyn, who was observing Lee’s team when Liz from the Leary Foundation called demanding ideas. Unimpressed with Lee’s latest suggestion of a silent auction, Liz decided she needed to come meet with them again that night — although there was no guarantee that the team would generate any new ideas, even with a few extra hours to plan.

In Atlantic City, Sean’s team faced an even more serious crisis. Stress or a mystery ailment caused Andrea to start coughing up blood. She left the team to see a doctor, and Sean told her not to worry about making it back for the task. Sean and his remaining team members made plans on how to pick up the slack.

The final task concludes next Monday night at 9:30 Eastern / 8:30 Central, followed by the live boardroom hiring. It looks like Sean is a lock for the job, even if Andrea can’t return. There’s no way that Lee can please Liz. She said that she ran the hockey event for the last five years, so there’s nothing Lee can do that will be up to her standards.

Tomorrow at Noon Eastern / 11 a.m. Central, Pontiac will continue to promote its charitable side, along with its G6 convertible. Go to http://www.pontiac.com/apprentice, and Pontiac will donate $1 to the charity of your choice, up to a total of $500,000. Voters will be entered into a drawing to win a G6 for themselves and for their charity.

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