Monday, June 26, 2006

'Hell's Kitchen' - Ep. 4 -or- "I Don't Think We're Getting Dessert

I think it may be sinking through to foul-mouthed, sometimes fowl-cooking Chef Gordon Ramsay that he has no real winners with the candidates this season. I personally don't think any of these folks could make it past greasy-spoon or, perhaps the best might make the line at a franchise restaurant. That's sad.

Hell's Kitchen
As the show opened for the fourth episode of Suppose They Gave A Gender War And Nobody Came, Garrett was complaining that Tom was dragging down the mens' team. Well, yeah...but so did Giacomo. And Keith's too busy "rocking" his pants and "rolling" down the street to ever make it through to the end. For some reason, I can't see anyone with the nickname of K-Grease running a fancy-schmancy Zagat-rated restaurant. Go back to Jersey and work a diner down the shore, Keith. Oh -- and take Tom with you! So, who's the most normal on the mens' team? Garret, the ex-prisoner prison chef. Can I get an eyeroll from everyone, please?

As far as the women, I still like Heather for the win. That is, unless Ramsay decides none of these frycooks are up to the challenge. Each week, Sara is irritating me more and more. Virginia and Rachel are ho-hum at the best, inept at the worst. And, Maribel is still so out of her league that it's shocking she doesn't spend entire episodes in a panic attack.

Due to the fact the men were down to three, Ramsay declared that Rachel, Sara and Heather were leaders. The men needed a leader, so he gave them Heather. Then they all went off to eat at the busiest restaurant in Los Angeles, Pinks. It's a hot dog/fast food place.

The first challenge for the teams this week was to serve lunch to a bunch of brats (ahem) children who were obviously told to be on their worst behavior. Kids never act like that when their parents aren't with them to give dirty looks to strangers who dare say something about their behavior! Both teams actually completed the service -- pizza, hamburgers, french fries and cake. The Blue Team (men plus Heather) narrowly got the win and went off to an amusement park.

The Red Team (women) had to clean up the dining room which was destroyed by the children. Sara acted like a real jerk, laughing and not taking the loss seriously at all. I did have to smile when she inhaled helium from a balloon and imitated Ramsay. But, other than that, all she did was irk her fellow team members.Chef Gordon Ramsay

When the actual dinner service went down later that night, once again it was a catastrophe. I didn't expect it to be anything but one, so I rocked my pants and settled in. That Sara must go away. She really must! She literally sabotaged Virginia in Ramsay's eyes by letting her take the fall for something done wrong. On the Blue Team, Heather was babysitting the men and, surprise of all surprises, Tom was royally screwing up the meat station so much so that Ramsay pulled him and stuck Keith in his place.

Eventually Ramsay had his meltdown and closed the kitchen while patrons were still awaiting entrees. As one person said, "I guess this means we're not getting dessert." In his rage, he told both teams to nominate someone for elimination.

The women should have nominated Sara. But did they? Nope. They nominated Virginia. Chef Ramsay obviously thought they should have nominated Rachel. Sara, I say! Sara! The Men Plus One got their nomination right -- they nominated Tom. Of course, he was full of bravado boasting he wouldn't be eliminated, but guess what? As Caroline would say to Trump, "This was a no-brainer." Buh-bye, Tom!

He should never have been on the show to begin with. In tonight's show he mentioned that this is his fourth career in his 43 years. I wouldn't even want him cooking hamburgers the way he sweats into the food. Hmmm...a good career for Tom? Um, how about cleaning subways? And I don't mean the restaurant!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The 'Big Brother 7 All-Stars' Hit the Campaign Trail!

As Monica would say, "It's AWN!"

The candidates for the Big Brother 7: All Stars hit the streets, the airwaves, the chatrooms, and more trying to get themselves back into the House of Horrors. Er, the Big Brother House, that is.

This week's campaign trail includes:

Today, June 25: Erika at Venice Beach, CA, 12:00 noon. George Boswell will be hitting the streets in his chicken costume in Chicago and Rockford, IL. Howie will be doing a chat at Jokers, 10 PM ET/7 PM PT. Marcellas is appearing on Reality Remix (FOX Reality Channel) -- check your local listings. He's also going to be on KIFR radio (San Francisco - 106.9 Free FM) doing the Gretchen Massey Show from 9-11 PM PT.

Monday, June 26: Grr, if I didn't have to go to work, I'd be at the Plaza for The Early Show -- James, Janelle, Mike "Boogie" and Monica begin their campaigns on the show itself, some will be on the Plaza. Monica will also be appearing at the Applebee's located at 102 N. End Ave., between Murray and Vesey Street. Marcellas will be on Reality Remix again and also on Sirius Satellite radio, the "Out Q" station at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT. Lisa will be on 98 PXY Radio "Spezzano and Sandy" morning show, 8 AM ET. Kaysar will be doing a Jokers chat at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT. George will be seen on the streets of Las Vegas in his chicken costume (of course). Diane will be doing a chat at Big Brother Extra at 9 PM ET/6 PM PT. Dana will be at the Madonna concert in Hartford, CT (bet Madonna is thrilled, eh?). Alison will be at the Sugar Bar, 525 Park Street, Columbus, OH, 11:00 PM local time

Tuesday, June 27: The Early Show Plaza appearances and campaign pleas by Ivette, Alison, Jase and Kaysar will be happening...once again, I won't be at the Plaza due to work (waah!). Lisa will be doing a Jokers chat at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT. George will be running the streets of Los Angeles in his chicken suit.

Wednesday, June 28: The Early Show Plaza appearances and campaign pleas include Dana, Danielle, Cowboy and Dr. Will. I think Dana will be the only one on the Plaza (sure, that's my day off!). George will be still running amok in his chicken costume in Los Angeles.

Remember, vote early - vote often! The voting is open at the official CBS BB7 website! Let's NOT have another summer of Alison, I beg of you!

Another interesting bit -- there seems to be 14 slots on the CBS site, not 12. Hmmm...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

'Big Brother 7: All-Stars' -- Our Choices

Tonight's show with Julie Chen announcing the Top Twenty houseguests up for the running to be in the house this season just ended a few minutes ago.

In addition to announcing the twenty, she gave us a few hints about the upcoming season. Apparently, the punishment food won't be peanut butter and jelly and there's also something going on with the HOH penthouse/room...something secret. (Cue suspense music here.)

The Top Twenty were broken down by season and here's the eligible houseguests:

Season 1: Chicken George (woohoo, says I!)
Season 2: Bunky, Dr. Will, Mike "Boogie" Malin, Monica
Season 3: Marcellas, Lisa, Danielle
Season 4: Erika, Dana, Alison
Season 5: Jase, Michael "Cowboy", Nakomis, Diane
Season 6: Howie, Kaysar, Ivette, James, Janelle

I found it interesting that some of the websites posting spoilers on this were wrong. It was reported in more than a few places that Marcellas wasn't available and that both Nakomis and Ivette had "bad experiences" and weren't interested in returning.

My own choices? I definitely do not want Cowboy, Ivette, Diane, Dana or Alison in the house. I can take or leave Bunky, Lisa, Mike Malin, Danielle, James or Erika. I'd like to see Chicken George, Dr. Will, Monica, Marcellas, Jase, Howie, Nakomis, Kaysar and Janelle in there. But that's just me!

Another thing I noticed tonight which hadn't dawned on me before -- Ivette and Dana are so similar that it's freaky. Oh... and I actually liked Jase tonight on the show. Just keep Holly out of it. The other big "news" is that Ivette has turned her back on the Nerd Herd Friendship. A little late for that, methinks.

Voting opens tonight on the CBS website and runs through June 28. Julie said that the aspiring houseguests will be campaigning across the country and on The Early Show. This could be fun!

Tonight, Tonight! It's BACK -- 'Big Brother 7: All Stars' - America Votes!

Is everyone ready? I know I am! Tonight So You Think You Can Dance has been delegated to the taping venue while I'm watching the pre-season start of Big Brother 7: All Stars! Zoetawny has made me some nifty new artwork for the season and I've decided that I'll be doing the live feeds reports right here! Unfortunately (or fortunately health-wise), I don't have the summer off from work due to knee surgery and it's best I confine all my television addiction to a single blog. My intentions? Well, I plan on blogging live feed reports and other show news here -- you can sign up through feedblitz or RSS or Atom to get the skinny on what's happening or just keep checking in!

Remember! The show starts at 8 PM ET/PT in most viewing areas tonight!

And, of course, please (I beg of you), let's not suffer another season with either Holly or Alison if they're up for the vote. Listening to either of them on the live feeds makes my ears bleed. Both are shriekers and much too annoying to deal with for another season.

So... who do you want back in the house? Are you psyched?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

'Hell's Kitchen' Well-Burnt

Last night FOX TV aired the third episode of this season’s Hell’s Kitchen. Well, they aired the second episode first and then, of course, we had to sit through the recap of the episode that just aired. It’s enough to make you dizzy! I don’t know if they’ll be doing that all season, but speaking for myself, I find it a waste. I’d rather see something new!

Ah, but…onto the show…
Hell's Kitchen
Although it’s hard to believe, it seems Chef Gordon Ramsay is having an even tougher time with this season’s contestants than he did with the last season’s. Or, he’s just working himself up to a lather for the camera.

The contestants themselves for the most part really don’t seem like world-class chefs ready to take on a luxurious Las Vegas restaurant. Some of them seem more inclined to work the greasy roadside stops than a “real” restaurant. But, what do I know? I’m just an eater.

As we started the third episode, most of the contestants are at odds with each other as much as they are with Ramsay. Garrett doesn’t like Tom; Sara hates Heather, and no one seems to like anyone very much. I’m just embarrassed by the two from the state where I reside. Folks, New Jersey isn’t being properly represented by Tom and Keith. I don’t think I’d want to eat a greaseburger prepared by either of them.

In a three entrée competition, the Red Team (women) won once again even though they only prepared two of the entrées. Mirabel is absolutely out of her league. She missed the relay of one of the dishes resulting in only two entrees. But, the men did even worse. Yeah, they had three entrées…none of them palatable. As reward, the women went off on a yacht while the men had to do all of Hell’s Kitchen laundry — by hand with a washboard.

The men were full of sexist comments both during the laundry and again after the women returned. I wanted Garrett and Heather to get in a knockdown-drag-out brouhaha, but it was only verbal. Rats.

When the service started the next day, the women started out well and Sara (ick) actually shined for their team. The men were buffoons in the kitchen for the most part. Tom burnt his hand, not a bad burn like Heather’s the week before — you couldn’t even see it! I know when I burn myself and fuss a bit, the burn shows. Ramsay declared him a Drama Queen and I think that was a spot on observation. Then Giacomo really blew it for the team. Um…the oven should be on. It helps. It really does. It was one disaster after another for the men as the potatoes were burnt by Tom (whose oven must have been on) and they choked.

The service was still in no way on a professional level, even with the women getting entrees out to the customers. It was still too long a wait — no one waits an hour (or two or three) to be served!

In the end, the men did worse than the women and lost once again. This time Ramsay told them each to pick someone for elimination as they all made mistakes. Now, Garrett really wants Tom gone, as does Keith. Tom and Giacomo were the worst of the worst. Of course, Giacomo wants Tom gone and himself to stay and Tom vice versa. So, it ended up being three to oust Tom and one to oust Giacomo.
Buh-bye, Giacomo
So, what does Ramsay do? He eliminated Giacomo! Argh! I know Giacomo was basically lost in the kitchen, but he doesn’t creep me out like Tom does with the sweating in the food, nastiness, attitude, and just his all-out um…Tom-ness. I think the only actual contender on the Blue Team (men) is Garrett, the ex-prison chef. I’m still liking Heather for the win, though.

Sigh, there is no longer a Moppet (or Muppet!) in the kitchen. G’bye, Giacomo!

"Shut the kitchen down!"

Monday, June 19, 2006

'Treasure Hunters' Season Premiere

Treasure Hunters
NBC has been touting its new reality television series Treasure Hunters as a “thinking man’s” show. Well, not only can I think, but I like reality television, too. So, I was sure it would be a fine fit for me. Now, after spending two hours of my Sunday evening watching it, I’m not as sure. But, I think the good outweighs the bad in this Amazing Race/Da Vinci Code hybrid and I’ll most likely keep watching it.

The Good
The locales and clue-finding bits were very interesting. For the contestants, it looked almost impossible, but for the viewer all was fine. But, hey, we’re just watching! I liked the educational and historical bits throughout the show. The scenery in Alaska and Hawaii, in particular, was breathtaking.

Viewers can answer a show-related clue/question by text or on the
NBC website and one person each week wins $10,000. I should have entered. Without going to as advised on the show, I figured out that Thomas Edison nicknamed his son and daughter Dash and Dot due to the Morse Code in a show segment.

The Bad
There’s product placement to the point of taking over the show. The contestants use their Motorola Razr phones to keep in touch with the show host for clues; they were issued laptops to visit and Orbitz sites to figure out clues and make travel arrangements. Not only were the sites mentioned, but half of the teams wore shirts. (May I roll my eyes now? Please?)

There are ten teams of three, each saddled with nicknames like The Geniuses, The Ex-CIA, The Southies (Boston), etc. While I might get to know the teams, I know I won’t learn the individuals by name until they get booted or the season ends.

Although very attractive-looking, the host (Laird Macintosh) just didn’t have the spark that I see in Amazing Race’s Phil Keoghan or Survivor’s Jeff Probst. Maybe he’s too young, I don’t know. But he seems very replaceable at this point. (Well, at least in my opinion.)

The Ugly
Don’t get me wrong. I’m no Skinny Minnie myself. However, one team on the show (The Browns) has two overweight brothers, one of whom is probably to the point of what’s considered morbid obesity by doctors. The show is full of extreme physical tasks. This guy can’t even hike up a hill or stairs without getting winded. How safe is this? Plus, I’m not too keen on looking at very obese people in bathing suits. If I want to do that, I can go down the shore (as they say here in New Jersey).

The In Between and Quick Observations

  • What’s with repeating “cliffhangers” after the return from commercials? We saw the situation before commercial, just finish it.
  • I have no longitude and latitude skills. If I didn’t laugh, I’d just go insane. (A nod of the head to Jimmy Buffet.)
  • I found it amusing that the “Geniuses” along with their matched team the “Young Professionals” were the only group who went to Mt. Theodore Roosevelt instead of Mt. Rushmore. Even I had guessed Mt. Rushmore as the clues unfolded -- the names of all four presidents made it obvious.
  • There’s a sneaky preacher who stole a clue from another team. Tsk, tsk.
  • One team member has the most mullet I think I’ve seen in twenty years. It fits him well.
  • The show started with five teams in Hawaii and five teams in Alaska, each gathering clues. They met in Nebraska and all seemed shocked. Um. Okay.

If you missed the premiere, encores will be shown on Friday and Saturday nights in most viewing areas, so you might want to check your local listings. Starting next Monday (June 26), the show will air at 9 PM ET/PT. And, one last thing, the official website has lots of nifty stuff including a video of the episode(s).

Sunday, June 18, 2006

This Week In Reality TV

Summer is really heating up for the Reality TV genre fans! This week sees in the start of the highly anticipated (for me, anyway!) new series Treasure Hunters, the premiere of America’s Got Talent, and the pre-start of this season’s upcoming Big Brother 7: All Stars. Meanwhile, recent new seasons of returning series are building their audiences and providing us dedicated television fans fresh entertainment during the sultry summer nights.

Here’s the skinny on what’s going on this week in Reality Television:

Treasure Hunters - This new show debuts tonight (Sunday, June 18) at 8 PM ET/PT in most viewing areas. This one is well-hyped by the network, perhaps trying to tie in with The Da Vinci Code madness. It looks like we’re in for a wild Amazing Race/The Da Vinci Code worldwide romp as viewers are even offered the opportunity to win cash playing along on the show’s website. From that site:
From the producers of The Da Vinci Code, Project Runway and Top Chef! In this fast-paced adventure reality series, multi-player teams face mental and physical challenges in their quest for hidden treasure. The teams must avoid elimination as they travel to remote locations where they decipher cryptic codes that lead them closer to the ultimate prize.

The two-hour season premiere is tonight, but the regular day and time for the series is Monday nights at 9 PM ET/PT. On Monday, June 19, NBC has NHL hockey in the time slot, so look for the second show on June 26.

Hell’s Kitchen - Perhaps it’s my deep-within sadistic inner child looking for redemption, but I get a kick out of Chef Gordon Ramsay going berserk in the kitchen with chef-wannabes who aspire to run ritzy restaurant kitchens. I couldn’t do it; I wouldn’t do it. In “real life” I despise Ramsay-like mean people. But it’s “good TV.” This second season pits men against women for the position of their dreams. It looks like FOX TV is continuing to run two episodes in a row from 8 to 10 PM ET/PT on Mondays, with the first episode a repeat from last week. After this week, this will conflict with Treasure Hunters for me. Thank you whomever invented the VCR, I love you!

Fear Factor - Now, I’m not a huge fan of this show. Since its inception, I believe I’ve watched perhaps five episodes. However, for the Reality TV fan, this is the season you may want to watch. This season’s contestants are previous reality show “stars” from shows like Survivor and The Amazing Race, to name a few. It airs on NBC Tuesday nights at 8 PM ET/PT. Me? I ate a caterpillar when I was a child and had to go to the emergency room to have bristles removed from my lips and mouth. Watching people eat worms tends to put me in post traumatic horror. Or something.

Last Comic Standing - This week it’s past the auditions and into the house for the comedian-contestants. I personally haven’t been too faithful to this show since the season of hometown guy Rich Vos. So far I have watched this season and perhaps will keep checking in. I want to see how Joshua Blue handles comedy sets not dealing with his disability, but I enjoy his disability-related stuff, too. It’s sort of like John Callahan with his cartooning -- sometimes you just have to laugh at the blows life deals to you. If you don’t, well…you’ll be a miserable bitter so-and-so. The show airs on NBC at 9 PM ET/PT. Check your local listings and remember…I’m funnier than Dat Phan.

So You Think You Can Dance - The competition’s heating up with the dancers as we saw last week when the first couple was eliminated. Can a break-dancer or a popper do ballroom? Can a ballroom dancer dance hip-hop? For the answers to those questions and more, check out this FOX TV show which airs 8 to 10 PM ET/PT on Wednesdays followed by the elimination show at 9 PM ET/PT on Thursdays. I personally enjoyed the couple who “Broadway-danced” to “Steam Heat” last week and may or may not watch this series through to season end. I’d like to see a series based purely on the break-dancers and poppers as I find what they do amazing. Me? I can do that crazy hand-jive and know I can’t dance. I do, however, think that FOX should capitalize on this format. I can see it now -- So You Think You Can Skydive or So You Think You Can Walk Bad Neighborhoods In Camden (NJ) At 2 AM. The possibilities are endless!

Big Brother 7: All Stars - America’s Vote - Oh, if you know me, you know I’ll be watching! I’m not too keen on “All Stars” versions of reality television shows, but I’m a true BB fan at heart, so the season is a given for me. This Wednesday (June 21) at 8 PM ET/PT, it’s a pre-season show giving America the opportunity to vote previous houseguests back into the house. From what I’ve read, it’s a bit limited as far as who might be available for the return to Hell in a House, but I think it could be quite intriguing. I’m a people observer with live feeds. Just, please, America -- do not vote either Holly or Alison back in, I beg you! I beseech you! The regular season premieres Thursday, July 6, at 8 PM ET/PT.

America’s Got Talent - Another ballyhooed NBC series premiere is on the slate! Like Treasure Hunters (even more so), I’m eagerly anticipating this series! Created and produced by Simon Cowell of American Idol fame and hosted by the much-beloved Regis Philbin, it’s a talent contest which goes the realm of…of…um…whatever! The two-hour season premiere is this Wednesday, June 21, at 9 PM ET/PT. Be there or be square.

Of course, my listing here tends to focus on shows in which I’m interested, but I’m the one writing the article. If you have a reality show you enjoy or are looking forward to watching, let me know! This is going to be a big TV week for this TV fan, I tell you.

Monday, June 12, 2006

'Hell's Kitchen' Season Premiere -or- "There Are Muppets In My Kitchen!"

Hell's Kitchen
I enjoy cooking. I enjoy baking. Folks seem to enjoy eating food I prepare. But, do I want to be a chef? Or, more specifically, do I want to go through literal hell at the hands of Chef Gordon Ramsay of Hell's Kitchen?

No way! This guy is brutal. He makes my own micro-managing boss look like an angel. And, of course, when you're talking kitchens, there are weapons there -- knives, forks, and hot stoves, oh my!

I watched this show last season mainly because there wasn't anything else which interested me in the time slot. I ended up getting hooked on the show. So, here I am.

Tonight's season premiere was less of the touted two-hour special than it was two episodes shown one after the other. The events occurring were obviously two separate shows, not one grand ol' cookin' fest. But it did the trick for me on a quiet Monday night (as well as making me feel a bit better about my own boss).

This season, the 12 contestants have been broken down by gender to two teams of six each. I'm not huge on the gender war mentality in the reality television genre, but it seems like every show goes that route if it lasts more than a season. So be it. The men are the Blue Team; the women are the Red Team. Pink obviously is too fluffy and soft for Ramsay, I'd say.

Even though I watched the two hours, I still don't have too many of the contestants down. I'm impressed with Heather -- she knows what she's doing, severely burnt her hand in the second hour yet kept giving her team direction and says things like "We do not speak in the kitchen." I'll remember that. I will only dance and hum while in my kitchen.

Others I noticed on the Red Team included Polly, way out of her league and gone in the first hour. Being a mom of six puts you through a lot but doesn't mean you can make it in Hell's Kitchen. There's a Sara who just struck me as rather odd. No one really stood out as being a possible winner other than Heather. We'll see. If we're going to play gender war, I want a woman winner!
Gordon Ramsay

The Blue Team has its share of oddballs, too. There's a prison cook who was a prisoner. Eep. There's a young guy named Giacomo who started off very impressively, then screwed up the side dishes in the second hour and was nominated for elimination. I wanted to like him after the first hour, but now I'm not so sure.

One of the men I know I don't care for is this fellow Tom. He sweats in the food and looks more suited to be a character actor who'd be hanging out at an off-track betting parlor than someone I'd want fixing my dinner. He was nominated for elimination in the second hour, but Ramsay saved him and wanted a different person in his place. That person, Gabe, a lost sheep, was eliminated when put up with Giacomo.

They managed to have not one, but two medical emergencies in tonight's premiere. One of the men (Larry) went to the hospital as his "body shut down due to stress." Hey, they said it, not me. He, like Gabe, was a lost sheep. He was way out of his element and he should be happy the stress nailed him in the beginning or his head would have exploded or something.

The service? Well, I hope they don't charge the customers at Hell's Kitchen, not this early in the show, anyway. I can't imagine waiting two hours for my appetizers or more than three for my entree. Yikes! On both nights they served (two shows, I tell you!), the customers ended up walking out and very few tables were served. I don't believe any tables received their entrees the first night.

The best lines of the night:
  • Gordon Ramsay: "I've got Muppets in my kitchen!"
  • "We've got a runner!" - one of the contestants upon discovering Larry had gone missing.

The most disgusting part of the night? It's a toss-up between Gordon Ramsay making the contestants pull all the discarded (wasted) food from the first night out of the Dumpster and the who can sweat the most contest between Tom and Keith. I'm sorry, but I don't want people who sweat like fountains near my food. I don't sweat in my own food and I'd leave a restaurant if I saw someone like that.

As I mentioned, in the first hour Polly was eliminated. I agree with that one. As for the men, I personally thought Keith who couldn't even take orders and sweated all over the place should have gone. Yes, Gabe wouldn't have lasted much longer, but at least he didn't disgust me. He was clean and neat.

So, what did I learn from the show? Hmmm...don't sweat in the food. Don't overcook the pasta. Keep my side dishes and meat timed to arrive at the same time. Oh, and the most important thing, don't become a chef for anyone, especially Gordon Ramsay.

Burn baby, burn...

Monday, June 05, 2006

'The Apprentice 5' Season Finale -or- "I Hear There's An Opening In Hawaii"

As of tonight, Donald Trump has a new employee in his organization after a grueling, yet entertaining, 15-week long interview. Yep, tonight was the hour and a half live finale coming to us from the Orpheum in Hollywood, California. I found that rather unusual as all of the other seasons ended right here in the New York City area. Not that I was ever invited, mind you. (Sniffle.)

However, Trump had a card up his sleeve. The Apprentice 6 will take place in California. Dang, it just won't be the same, at least not for me. I'm used to the NYC setting, know the areas and often see familiar sights. Yes, I lived for a few years outside of Los Angeles, but we're talking first grade. I think it's changed since then. Ah, well...on with the show...

The finalists -- Lee Bienstock and Sean Yazbeck -- were still amidst their final tasks as I wrote in last week's entry. Lee was in charge of a celebrity hockey game fundraiser at Chelsea Piers (NYC), while Sean was in charge of a Bare Naked Ladies rock concert fundraiser at Trump's Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Both had woes. In my opinion, Lee chose a horrible team. No matter how much loyalty he feels with Lenny, the man is not good for business. Pepi? He chose Pepi, fired in Week Two. Roxanne had some strong points, better than Lenny and Pepi, but...! And, then Sean had a strong team -- Tarek, Andrea and Tammy -- but Andrea had a health crisis and went running off to a doctor. Eep.

As we watched them complete their tasks this week, both still had woes. Yes, Andrea returned (which is great as she's a very strong team member). Her health crisis turned out to be a burst blood vessel in her sinuses. But Sean delegated too much responsibility to Tarek, in particular. Tarek actually did well, but even Trump's representative George commented on it, so it wasn't just me.

Lee was totally disorganized and really turned off the fundraisers by not having everything planned. Then he went and put Lenny (of all people!) in charge of the celebrities! What the hell was he thinking? Lenny all but deserted them, offended the fundraiser folks with ill-timed jokes and even got Lee ticked at him.

In the end, both candidates managed to get their acts together, although I don't think Jaime Pressley (the auctioneer for the hockey event) ever wants to see Lenny again. To quote her, "You're not together, little Apprentice Boy!" Nonetheless, both Sean and Lee seemed to have success with their events in the end. I'll admit I couldn't do it.

The task endings, as well as recaps on both Lee and Sean, were filmed and shown to the live finale show audience on a huge screen. Live hooplah included Trump asking his Trumplets, Donald and Ivanka, who they'd choose to win. Neither committed. Nor would George commit. This season's other candidates were split pretty much down the middle, too. Perhaps Sean had one more in his court than Lee did. Finally, Carolyn committed and chose Sean. Judging from the audience, Sean was a more popular choice.

Me? I wasn't thrilled with either of them, but I'm sure both will go on to success in business. But, they once again didn't ask me. Well, they did, but I didn't vote online for either candidate. I decided to be an apathetic slug. Or something. I thought Lee was too sneaky and Sean wasn't on top of things. Maybe I could have voted for Brent!

Trump told them that there were two job locations from which they could choose. No, each didn't get a job. He indicated that their choice may play a role in his choice of the winner, but that didn't come to play as both chose the same location. The choices were Hawaii or Soho (a nifty-keen quaint ritzy neighborhood in New York City that is being ruined with stupid highrises - my opinion, of course). Both chose Soho.

When Trump revealed the general vote from the online audience, he said it was overwhelmingly in support of one candidate. He chose the same one for the win, but said it was a hard decision.

The Winner of 'The Apprentice 5 Sean YazbeckThe envelope, please. Um...okay, no envelope. The winner of The Apprentice 5 is Sean Yazbeck, the Brit in Miami. Throw confetti, dance and sing...if you must.

Just a few tidbits:
  • Sean said he plans to marry Tammy (aw, golly gee, how sweet)
  • Was Andrea wearing jeans? What was up with that?
  • Denis Leary broke the NYC law by smoking in that locker room.
  • Those Pontiac G6 cars are really attractive. May I have one?
  • Trump believes you must take credit, blow your own horn, in business. Why am I not surprised?
  • seems to me that there is a position open in Hawaii. Should I apply?
  • Brent had to jockey for position to shake Trump's hand one more time.
  • Lenny is still surly and a step behind the world.

All in all, I was entertained this season, more than I have been for the past few. After all, I'm not applying for a job with Donald Trump. I'm just sitting here writing about a television show. If it entertains me, then it did its job. Donald Trump, I guess you're hired. (The paycheck is in the mail. Really. Would I lie?)

Thanks for reading this season and I'm sure to be watching next season.

Until then...

Dollar bills, y'all...