Apprentice

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Under the Hammer

Trace, however, is pleased with how well the band performs, wheatgrass juice or no. In the wings, Trace and Piers congratulate each other, and Piers thinks he's made friends for life. He doesn't say who they are, so I don't feel qualified to question him on that. Trace and Piers describe the magical moment of the six remaining celebrities all standing together and enjoying themselves, as we see them standing arm-in-arm behind one of the catering tables, watching the band. It's a special time, and then I look at the clock and realize that I'm about to have to weecap a one-hour board room. Shudder.

Back from the ads, Trump tells us that that generous Cantor Fitzgerald guy will be matching the text-message donations (you know, the ones I mentioned earlier) up to $250,000. Wow, that dude is dropping like a half-million on this show. I barely get paid that much to write about it. Trump then introduces Erin Burnett and Jim Cramer, complimenting them both on their looks before introducing tonight's Board Room Part One, which took place in the real board room some time after the charity event. Not immediately after, mind you, because they've changed clothes. Or at least Trace has, from the black-on-black ensemble he was wearing before. I'm already spending too much time on this.

The six remaining players return to the board room to face Trump and the Trumplets. Trump starts out by flatly asking Lennox which of the two finalists is better. Lennox talks about their different approaches, then says he prefers Trace's more laid-back style. Piers isn't surprised, since Lennox is laid-back (read: lazy) himself, but he voices his appreciation for Lennox. As for why he picked Stephen, Piers says they won nearly every challenge they had together, which is true. Trump then asks Trace how it went with the BSB, having heard they were difficult. Trace complains about the rider, and tells them the story about the last-minute cosmetics run: "I want[ed] the heavyweight champion of the world to hand him nail polish," he rumbles. Trace says he was briefly concerned that the band might not go on if all their demands weren't met. Piers volunteers that he would have told the BSB from the beginning to shove it, which Trump suspects might have resulted in the show not going on. Trace says he wanted a happy band onstage. And maybe he thought it would be nice if at least one of the two parties in the negotiation showed the other a little professional courtesy.

What about the money? In the final tally, Piers raised $376,000 in the auction, compared to $64,000 from Trace. That is a large margin -- almost four times more (TM Don, Jr.). "And $6,000 of that was mine," Ivanka fails to add. However, Trace raised $38,000 on ticket sales, handily beating Piers's paltry $12,000. Of course, Piers gave a bunch of his tickets away to servicepeople to try to jack up the auction bidding. There's some crosstalk, and Carol defends Piers's decision. Trump brings up Piers's move of bringing in Simon, mainly so he can remind everyone that Simon and Trump are friends. Piers says he raised a lot more money overall, but Don, Jr. calls him on blowing off one of the three criteria, namely ticket sales (the handy thing about having Don, Jr. around is that he rarely says anything of substance, but when he does you can count on it being wrong or irrelevant). Trace makes the argument that his donors don't have as much money to give as Piers's do, which is true, but he goes too far and makes the tactical error of accusing Piers of putting them down. Piers not only gets offended at "the inference that I was somehow belittling your donors," he wants Trace to take it back. And on that note, we go to commercial, which is fine with me.

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Apprentice

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