Apprentice L.A.: Finale

Trump hired Stefani as his latest Apprentice, largely because she was easy to get along with. Based on her competition, that’s pretty high marks.

But Stefani wasn’t the candidate most people were talking about in the days leading up to the finale. Kristine got naked for Playboy, and she will be the magazine’s cover girl for June.

Most of the live Apprentice: L.A. finale comprised cast introductions and recap footage. I’m sure the crowd at the open-air Hollywood Bowl appreciated that — especially once it started to rain, halfway through the program.

Frank and Nicole, neither of whom stood any chance of being hired, had to sit on stage for more than 30 minutes before they were both fired — Frank for being stupid enough to ask his arch enemy, Surya, to help with the final task, and Nicole for being distracted by her in-show romance with Tim.

Nobody pointed out that Trump didn’t seem to have a problem when last season’s winner, Sean, got involved with a fellow cast member.

Stefani and James were asked to say nice things about each other before Trump asked them, "Well, then why don’t I just hire him [or her]?" Stefani was quick to answer that Trump should hire her, and then she could hire James as her employee.

Then Trump introduced footage of Stefani and her "beautiful family." Apparently, she’s very close with a construction foreman she works with, as well as her karate instructor, because nobody else was featured in her video. That was followed by footage of James’ home life, which he shares with his wife and two cute daughters.

Trump traditionally asks the fired candidates for their opinion on who he should hire, and cast members have made passionate pleas on behalf of their favorites in seasons past. Not this time.

Angela, Trump’s favorite Olympian, wouldn’t answer the question. Frank told Trump, "You’re on your own." And Surya suggested Trump hire Sanjaya, since he was now available. Only Heidi (who supported Stefani) and Aaron (James) chose sides at all.

When it came time to hire someone and put the drenched live audience out of its misery, Trump told Stefani that, even though she’d never volunteered to serve as Project Manager, she’d at least been able to get along with everyone.

Then he turned to James and cryptically told him, "there were certain things and certain dialogue that you gave during the course — and you know what I’m talking about — and that bothered me very much."

Trump then fired James. It would’ve been nice if he’d used something that took place in an episode as a pretext for firing James, instead of some off-camera occurrence that viewers never got to see. In a post-show interview with Buddy TV, even Stefani didn’t know what Trump was referring to.

Trump hired Stefani. She’ll be working on the construction of a new Trump resort in the Caribbean — and no doubt appearing on the next season of The Apprentice. That’s assuming that NBC brings this sinking ship back.