“That’s why restaurants have menus”

Tuesday, October 31, 2006 by

…That’s Donald Trump’s philosophy on homosexuality, and something that came out (if you’ll pardon the expression) during the fourth series of The Apprentice USA. I love this show, and have been greedily devouring episodes of it as quick as I can get ‘em (thank you, World Wide Web). 

To put things in context, the most recent series aired by the BBC was the third, whereas I’m now sailing through the fifth, and the quality doesn’t let up. Take that aforementioned discussion on sexuality, which – naturally – took place in Trump’s teak-veneered boardroom. With one contestant embarrassing a colleague by calling him a “tight-assed Jew” during a task involving running an adult education seminar (their topic: “Sex in the workplace!”), discussion roved on to the offender’s sexual orientation. Yes, he was gay – something that surprised Trump, who immediately sought to clarify this revelation by asking the would-be mogul to confirm, in turn, that he didn’t find each of his female teammates attractive. 

Indeed he didn’t.

The Apprentice is blessed with off-the-wall moments like this all the time. A camera lingering on a player’s declaration of love for another just long enough for us to see the first traces of a second-thought fluttering across his face; a winning team being sent off to record a rap record by way of a reward – and said tune then being cheekily played instead of the usual stirring fanfare that accompanies the non-fired candidates’ return to the suite; a quartet of apprenti silently and uncomfortably squeezing together on the back seat of that cab, following the show’s biggest-ever mass firing; and The Donald inviting one of the wannabes to inspect his hair so he can finally quash those rumours about his rug (“You didn’t check the back!” chided her colleague when they subsequently retreated to the lift).

Trump is clearly TV gold. My missus summed him up best when she said he’s like a gleeful two-year-old who feels compelled to tell his mum about every toilet trip he takes. No thought seems to cross his mind which he doesn’t verbalise. After every sacking, he turns to his Greek Chorus of Carolyn Kepcher and George Ross/Bill Rancic/Trump Jr (whomever) and advises them he’s made the right decision – and that it was good. In fact, in the episode I watched last night we had, “I think you agreed with that Carolyn, did you Bill?”. “Absolutely,” returned Bill. “Good,” said Trump. “I agree too”.

As my stock of unseen Apprentice thins, inevitably I’ve already started to check out the ill-fated spin-off series featuring Martha Stewart. There’s no boardroom – it’s “the conference room” – and come the pay-off, no-one is fired, just told, “You don’t fit in”. It’s really not the same.

And then there’s this: “‘George [Ross] has been around a long time. He’s seen everything. He didn’t get excited even when women on the street started screaming when they saw him on his way to work … But Carolyn took it very seriously. She thought she was a freaking movie star.’” More here, and it’s spoiler free.

UPDATE“Ain’t hard to find if you’ve got the mental power, you can find me in the suite at the Trump World Tower” - slightly spoilerific, as it shows who gets past the first few rounds of series four.


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