''The Apprentice''

The Gamblers

Six head-scratchers from the latest episode. Amy losing and Kwame winning? Where'd THAT come from? Karyn L. Barr asks

Kwame Jackson, The Apprentice | NEW MAN Kwame came out of nowhere to be our new fave
Image credit: The Apprentice: Scott Duncan
NEW MAN Kwame came out of nowhere to be our new fave

Six head-scratchers from the latest ep

Okay, maybe I was too distracted by Heidi's unconditioned hair or Omarosa's ''traumatic'' head injury to notice, but is it just me or were there a few moments in tonight's episode that were, shall we say, ''where in the hell did this come from'' head-scratchers? I mean, it's almost as if ''Apprentice'' producers realized that they needed to one-up the drama factor now that Omarosa is outta there by taking some barely seen story lines and milking them for every last, dramatic second. Confused? Don't be. I'll lay out my big ''HUHs?'' for you…

Head-scratcher No. 1:Since when do Troy and Bill not get along? Protégé picked Versacorp's cigar-chomping Bill to join the team for the Atlantic City challenge. The teams were sent to the Trump Taj Mahal (A.C.'s No.1 casino, natch, according to Mr. Modest) to get people to spend more money. But before the bus trip down, we randomly learn that country boy Troy and Bill aren't exactly BFF, due to their ''incompatible styles.'' WHAT? Granted, I don't recall every waking second of this show (it would seriously be freaky if I did), but where did this come from?

As much as Troy gets under my skin with his aw-shucks demeanor and lack of Poland Spring water knowledge, the Idahoan seemingly gets along with everybody. I mean the guy is hardly an Omarosa. And then there's cool, calm, and occasionally overstressed Bill. He's no poster boy for anger management. So what's the deal? Was there some rift that happened that I just don't remember? Or was this sudden tiff simply a piece of Mark Burnett magic used to lure us catfight lovers back in in hopes that another Omarosa-Ereka-Heidi fiasco might unfold?? Hmmm…

Head-scratcher No. 2:What happened to Amy this week? She sucked. Sad but true. Her lousy idea to simply give away a $300 car rental as incentive to get people into the casinos was by far her worst yet. Usually, the Texan can be counted on to two-step in at the last minute and steal the show with her amazing negotiation skills and advertising ideas.

Head-scratcher No. 3: When did Amy and Nick become a ''couple''? Copy boy (and fellow Versacorp member) Nick was just too damned distracting this week. She was more interested in getting to know him up in the Taj Mahal suite than getting to know the customers down on the street. Didn't it seem like just yesterday that Amy would barely give Nick the time of day? Ah, I guess the clanging of slot machines and the smell of smoke just turns her on, because it seems that Amy may have hit her professional peak. If she keeps heating things up with lover boy, I may lose my winner bet -- and my Trump bobblehead -- after all.

Head-scratcher No. 4: Who knew that there was a white tiger extravaganza at the Taj? Maybe you did. But, hell, I'm from the Atlantic City area, and I didn't know! God bless Mr. Trump and Mr. Mark Burnett -- those camera shots of the Taj Mahal and its oh-so-gaudy interior actually made the neon-less, not-Vegas look cool!

Head-scratcher No. 5: Where's George?! Once again, Georgie-Porgie was away ''tending to business'' this week, leaving the Donald in the trusty hands of Mark Brown, the Taj's CEO. But bring George back! The boardroom dynamic just isn't the same without him.

Brown doesn't have what it takes to offset Carolyn when she shot Amy the evil-eye after the Trump-ette tried to justify choosing Katrina to join her in the boardroom instead of her boy toy Nick. And Brown was too busy grooming his 'stache to give Katrina the good ol' buh-bye shrug when she got the boot.

But at least there's comfort in knowing that Grandpa George will be back next week… or so I thought!! A man suspiciously looking like Bernie Diamond, George's previous replacement, seemed to be sitting Trump-side in the boardroom in next week's scenes. Damn, we'll be skunked again!

Head-scratcher No. 6: Kwame's still on the show? We actually see Kwame show off his Harvard-earned MBA skills as project manager for Protégé in this episode. Huh? That man faded so far into the background that I could have sworn he got the boardroom boot a month ago.

But then, bam! Bring the strong, silent type to A.C., and he shines... and eventually wins! Along with Troy and Bill, he's schmoozing the casino VIP crowd with comp cards, a wheel of fortune with the chance to win $1,000 cash, and even a white tiger! I was seriously impressed with his smooth-talking ways and ability to butter up the 10-year-old Siegfried and Roy-wannabe producer and the gaggles of retirees who frequent the joint. In fact, so impressed that I am definitely considering abandoning the Amy ship to start rooting for King Kwame.

Originally posted Mar 26, 2004