. . . Friday April 16, 2004

Settle Down!

Bill won. Ratings were insane. OK, now that the details are out of the way, we can go back to talking about what really makes the show The Apprentice a hit. It’s not the genius of Mark Burnett (who may out-earn his star before his career is over). And it sure ain’t Omarosa. And it’s probably not Sammy although one wonders how (in this day and age) a guy like that managed to make it into a crowded room with an unmarked suitcase. A bold move to be sure, but honestly, I’m not sure that I’d even be willing to have lunch with Sammy for 250K. No, it’s none of these things.

It’s The Donald. At no time was that more clear than last night when the boardroom walls were swept away to reveal an enthusiastic studio audience to which Trump responded by repeating what I think should be the new trademarked tagline of the show: “Settle Down!”

And they did and so did we. Because none of us wanted to miss a word or a gesture. Even watching The Donald squint his way through telepromptered lines is enjoyable. Of course, we love it when he describes his properties. The Chicago monstrosity that will forever change the field of architecture. The golf course that is better than Pebble Beach (of course it is, that goes without saying).

But the best part of watching Trump takes place when he engages in distracted, unscripted banter with one of his underlings (and come on, that includes all of us). I say, forget the plot of The Apprentice and let’s just let Donald loose in a Dr. Phil type show. Overweight teen? Hey, if you lose the weight, The Donald will let you see his apartment. Cheating on your spouse? Make up for it and the two of you can spend a night in the greatest casino suite in the world. Feeling depressed, hysterical or hopeless? No problem. Two words. “Settle Down!”

Concentration is important!