Thursday, January 11, 2007

Lee Bienstock meets President Bush

"Last month I had the privilege to be invited and visit the White House for the annual Hanukkah party hosted by the President and first lady...(and I got to bring my father as a guest). It was one of the most unbelievable experiences of my life and a privilege to walk to halls of the White House where so many of our great leaders had once stood. The President and first lady were extremely approachable, and personable. And the latkes?? The best I had ever tasted!!! I thought you might get a kick out of this picture....(my father is standing on the left looking proud).

I hope you are all well, and a happy new year to you and your families..."


Thursday, September 07, 2006

Donald Trump: Lee Bienstock, you're hired!!!

Donald Trump has hired Lee Bienstock, the Orthodox Apprentice finalist.

Lee has accepted a position within the Trump organization as an Associate Vice President in charge of corporate development for Trump Mortgage LLC. He reports directly to the CEO of Trump Mortgage, which is headquartered at 40 Wall Street in Manhattan.

Separately, Trump fired Carolyn Kepcher last week and replaced her with his daughter Ivanka.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Leno, Lee and the Losers

Orthodox Apprentice appearances....

Apprentice runner-up Lee Bienstock visited his cousin's 2nd grade class at Yeshivah of Flatbush in May and autographed pictures of himself for the students. On the yeshiva's website you can view a photo gallery of Lee's visit to Morah Raizy's class.

The day after Orthodox Apprentice candidate Lee was fired, Jay Leno showed reactions from Lee fans around the world. Leno also picked on an audience member -- Lee's brother. You can watch the video here until it's removed for copyright violations.

Last Tuesday, Daniel Brody made an appearance at a UJA Northern New Jersey Young Leadership Division event. Dan spoke about "his experiences on The Apprentice – including the gracious way the show met his needs as a modern Orthodox Jew."

Monday, June 12, 2006

Lee Bienstock did a good $%@#$% job

Lee Bienstock: First off, I would like to thank everyone for their amazing support from day one. It has been incredible how many people got behind me through this whole thing. I am grateful for everything.

OA: What were you and Mr. Trump chatting about after he fired you Monday evening?
It is remarkable how many people picked up on this. Right after the show, Mr. Trump asked me to come over, and he told me to give him a call this week so we can meet up and talk about "being hired" by the Trump Organization. It feels great for my work to be validated by Mr. Trump. I started this whole thing so that I could learn from Mr. Trump and further my career. Even though I was the runner up, my goal can still be accomplished.

If you could get one do-over throughout the 14-week job interview, what would you have done differently?
I know it sounds unbelievably cliche, but I wouldn't change one thing. It seems like so many of my castmates look back and say, "I should have done this, or that". I make sure I don't get caught up in that, for my mental health. Certainly I made made mistakes, everyone does. I think I approached the whole process pretty flawlessly, I must have, to be the youngest contestant a make it all the way to the finals. There were so many times where my actions were misinterpreted, and I can't control that. The "Apprentice" has given me an great deal of experience in such a short period of time. I learned from everything and everyone; I wish I could do it again.

You were living in a suite in Manhattan. You worked on tasks in Manhattan, and in Queens and Long Island, not far from your hometown. Did you run into anyone you know?
I don't know how it happened, but I never ran into anyone where it became an issue. There were a couple of close calls though, I'll tell you that. One time we where shopping in Bloomingdale's in the middle of the day, and one of my mother's friends saw me with all the cameras swirling. She asked my mom, "is your son in showbiz?" Of course she denied everything, but it was difficult. I didn't spend to much time at any of my hot spots, like the kosher restaurants, bars, pizza shops around the city. I didn't see my friends and family for a while. When we do a task in the bowels of New Jersey at a Wal-Mart, we don't leave for days.

How did you prepare your teammates for the Jewish holidays? How did you explain kashrut?
It was challenging, because we had to be sensitive to how it would come out to the rest of America. I have had this conversation many times before, so I was used to it. I had non-Jewish roommates in college, and non-Jewish co-workers before. There was a lot of conversation centered around what makes something kosher, and what the Jewish holidays are all about. There were plenty of misconceptions out there like, " a rabbi needs to bless something, and then it becomes kosher."

Did you know the Holidays could create conflicts when you were selected for the cast? Did you expect production to stop for Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur? Was there any consideration of deferring your participation to a future season?
I certainly had an idea the holidays might be an issue, especially around the time we were taping. It made for television gold when it did come up. The 18 of us are like a family, we fight all the time but we love each other. I would like to absolve Lenny from some of the bashing he has been getting for the public's "perceived" view that he was not accommodating around the holidays. I didn't see it like that when we were living in the suite, and in fact he came to shul with me on Yom Kippur. Lenny even went as far as telling Mr. Trump in the boardroom that, "you know...Lee he talks to the g-d, I saw it." We all have something to learn, and it was great for Lenny and I to experience that together.

From the start of the season, many
Modern Orthodox young professionals viewed you and Dan as role models. Were you surprised by that reaction and the level of excitement in the Jewish community? Do you view yourself as a role model?
I never realized that we would become role models. The reaction in the Jewish community has been crazy, its fantastic. It makes the whole process so rewarding. I get emails from people of all religions including pastors and rabbis, that tell me they love what I am doing. They want me to come talk to their congregations and community youth about principles and my experiences. It is kind of hard NOT to view myself as a role model.

Who do you stay in touch with from the show?
I stay in touch with the majority of the cast. I am very close with Allie, Roxanne, Summer, Stacey, Michael, Pepi, and of course, Lenny. Now that would be a monster team!! I speak to Brent from time to time and I think he was misunderstood on TV; he is a very caring and energetic person. It is amazing how close we all get in such a short period of time.

You knew for seven months that you were a finalist. How did you deal with the suspense? Who else knew? Your parents? Girlfriend?
My mom can't keep a secret for the life of her, let alone one worth millions of dollars. Nobody knew!!! It was so hard keeping it in, but I know it was for the best.

Last Monday night's live boardroom was a letdown. Trump only asked a couple questions. How much time did you spend preparing for the final boardroom? Did you and Lenny prepare a cheatsheet?
I never prepare for the boardroom. I like to shoot from the hip, and I never want my answers to sound rehearsed. I attribute a lot of my success in the boardroom to this strategy. We had a really long boardroom, that they only showed briefly. They did manage to ask, Tarek, Charmaine and Tammy what they felt though.....

There was no discussion of the final tasks during the live finale. Do you know how much money your event raised for the firefighters?
I raised over $85,000 during our event, which is why Lys was so happy. I was auctioning off everything but the kitchen sink during the final task. I auctioned a chance to play in the game, called "play with the stars", I auctioned off thousands of dollars worth of sports memorabilia, as well as other items like sitting on the bench with the players, the shirts off of every player's back (Michael J. Fox's alone got $4,500), and of course the cars. All during a span of two hours. I auctioned both cars for more than they were worth. They showed my lowest bid for a car, and [Synergy's] highest. The best part of the final task was when Dennis Leary said, "You did a good $%@#$% job". I might have been shortchanged, but the Leary Firefighters Foundation definitely was not....

How does it feel to be a celebrity?
I am not a celebrity. I am more of a recognizable figure. I will be candid with you though, it feels nice to be recognized for my talents. It feels great to get an email from a 19 year old who says I have inspired him/her.

Before The Apprentice, did anyone ever call you a politician? Any interest in politics?
Mr. Trump is pretty perceptive. All throughout school I always held student government positions, and I did study Public Policy at Cornell. Who knows, maybe I'll run for Senate one day.

What's next for Lee Bienstock?
There is so much on my horizon. I will be going on the speaking circuit, and my calendar is filling up pretty quickly. So many people are interested in hearing about my experience and what I have learned. Maybe a job at the Trump Organization, and I have been offered a number of career opportunities from various sponsors of the tasks, as well as others. I update my website very frequently and it has everything I will be up to, and people can book me to speak at

Is there anything else you'd like to share with your fans?
Thank you all for sharing this ride with me!!!

The Apprentice or Real World?

The sneak preview for Season 6 mentions the mansions, the pool and the hot tubs.

Nothing about business.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

It wasn't Lee's age

We finally got some official insight into why Lee Bienstock was fired and Sean Yazbeck was hired.

From Trump University's "Lessons Learned":
What can we learn from this season?
Sean and Lee are both excellent leaders. But in the end, Sean's greater maturity made him this season's Apprentice. Remember, maturity is not a question of age. It comes from a winning attitude, enlightened leadership, attention to detail and the other traits we saw in Sean throughout this season.
It would have been nice if Trump had articulated these reasons at the final boardroom, but - at that time - he didn't provide any explanation for firing Lee and hiring Sean. The past few days there has been discussion of the fairness of selecting young candidates for the competition if their age prevents them from being hired. The statement above may be an attempt to address that issue.

Sean's an apprentice. Dan's a COO.

We caught up with Dan Brody this week. Daniel was the first Orthodox Apprentice candidate to be fired by Mr. Trump.

He shared with us his final thoughts on the season...

The season was great! Sure, I was in it to win but to be honest I can not complain about the opportunity and success that my involvement with the program has brought me. I do believe that there were many valuable players that were eliminated far earlier than they deserved, ie. Pepi. He is very bright and talented and got a raw deal but now since he came back and Trump joked around about who he was Pepi has gotten amazing recognition and few will forget the name Pepi now.

The live Finale was great. Of course it was extra exciting to be there on stage in front of a live audience but I think it was a fantastic end to a great season.

He told us about the speaking circuit...

I have actually had several speaking engagements and that is one of the benefits of being eliminated earlier rather than later. As soon as you are fired you are released to speak to the public and since the show is still on air there was a great deal of momentum and interest in scheduling me. I have other engagements that will continue in to the summer that I have arranged months ago. I typically speak about both The Experience on The Show as well as my life and business experiences and little tips that I have been taught /picked up and have worked for me.

And what else keeps him busy...

VENCOR - Robeworks (VCOR.PK) has been a great opportunity for me. Vencor is publicly traded and I prepared and sold a business plan to them that outlines a marketing strategy to increase the company's Market Share. Since that time the company valuation has more than doubled and it continues to be exciting. Not only does Robeworks service many highend Resorts but the company claims recognized retail chains like "Restoration Hardware" as a valued customer.

Last week I signed on with GRACE a Multi-Million Dollar Japanese based headwear and accessory company as their new COO and Director of U.S. Operations with Headquarters in the heart of the Apparel District in NYC. It is a very exciting undertaking and I look forward to the challenge as we grow GRACE USA to become the leading headwear/ accessory company in this country.

Thank you, Mark Burnett....

I am grateful for the opportunity and the exposure that The Show has given me. It has opened many doors and that coupled with my business knowledge and experience has proven to be a fantastic combination.

From synagogue to basketball

TV Guide asked Apprentice runner-up Lee Bienstock about playing ball in dress socks. Read the full interview here.

Also read about Steven Weiss' post-game chat with Lee.

Lee's Orthodox Apprentice Q & A is coming soon.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Episode 15: Lee, you're fired!

Some high/lowlights of tonight's finale of The Apprentice:
  • Trump opens the episode asking the live audience who likes Lee? Mixture of cheers and boos. Who likes Sean? The crowd goes wild. And that's how the rest of the episode plays out.
  • Lys Hopper's jaw drops when Lee tells her that Lenny will handle the celebrities.
  • Jennifer of SLS Audio describes the Q Line home theater speaker system (available at to Tarek. He later dons a Q-Line hat for a high profile appearance.
SLS Q-Line Gold 650W Home Theater System w/ DVD Player QG5000

  • Gold Rush meets with Christine DiCarlo of The Leary Firefighters Foundation. Lee and his team are not prepared with the level of details she expects. Lenny tries to crack jokes to remedy the situation.
  • Lenny assigns a size medium uniform to each hockey player.
  • Jason Priestly enters Chelsea Piers and no one from Gold Rush greets him or escorts him.
  • Lee Bienstock answers Mr. Trump's phone call, "How ya doin' pal?"
  • Donald informs Lee that he'll be there shortly, but no one from Gold Rush meets him at the door. Trump recalls that Rebecca Jarvis made the same mistake last season.
  • Best line of the night... Jamie Pressley to Lenny Veltman: "Your sh**'s not together, little apprentice boy!"
  • At the end of the event, Lys reflects on Lee's performance, "He did a good job. I have a big smile."
Back to the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles....
  • Don Jr., Ivanka, George and Carolyn each praise both candidates without expressing any preference. Politicians!
  • Lenny tells Trump, "Lee is like gold. Gold can only appreciate in value."
  • Donald reveals the two projects: hotel / condo developments in Hawaii and SoHo. Both Sean and Lee prefer the New York project.
  • Trump asks the fired candidates to stand up for their choice of the new apprentice. Dan Brody stands for Sean.
  • Trump receives the final tally of votes and is surprised that there's a clear favorite. However, he fails to reveal the results of the vote. He also neglects to announce the results of the fundraising events. How much money was raised? Which event was more successful? We'll never know.
  • "Lee, you're fired!"
  • In an unusual departure from past Apprentice finales, Donald fires a candidate. Usually he "hires" the winner without "firing" the runner-up.
  • Without any explanation. Without any criticism of Lee's performance. Without any praise for Sean. Trump leaves us hanging with many unanswered questions. We may never know why he chose to fire Lee. He didn't give a reason.
  • Lee's religious holiday observances were not mentioned tonight. Not in the season recap. Not in the boardroom. It's not an issue for Trump.
  • Sean drives away in his new Pontiac, "I'm the Apprentice, baby!"

Lee kept it exciting but came up short at the end. Lee has much to be proud of and his future is bright and promising. More thoughts to come. Stay tuned....

The Faceoff

Today's Boston Herald reports that Christine DiCarlo -- who has run several charity events for Denis Leary -- was involved with Lee Bienstock's celebrity hockey event for his final task on The Apprentice.

The paper quotes her as saying, "Personally, I don’t think he did very well. He tried, but it was quite a long day. In the end, he pulls it off, but getting there was a struggle. It was so unorganized.... I have no idea what the outcome will be - since the viewers will do the voting, but I can see how Lee got as far as he did. He’s quite the politician.”

According to the Herald article, a silent auction was held at a VIP reception before the hockey game. A wealthy Bostonian offered the highest bid for a pair of bench seats at the game.

Among the celebrity participants were Cam Neely, Jason Priestly, Paul Guilfoyle (CSI), John McEnroe, Phil Esposito and Michael J. Fox. The teams were coached by Jaime Pressley (My Name is Earl) and former Boston Bruin Derek Sanderson. Lenny Clarke emceed the event.

So we know that Lee's team struggled through the planning and preparation stages of the task. But we also know that they held a successful auction for the VIPs (and there were many wealthy attendees) and, in the words of an eyewitness, "he pulls it off." It's all about results, isn't it?

Reports from Sean Yazbeck's task indicate that the Barenaked Ladies concert was a success and the WWF raised a nice sum of money at the event.

Tell Trump who to hire. It's not too late to VOTE FOR LEE!

Want to win $30,000?

Just tell Trump who he should hire. VOTE FOR LEE!

Text message your vote to 51515 with the message "A" for Lee. Or vote online.

Limit 20 entries per person, regardless of method of entry. Must be 18 years of age or older and legal residents of, and are physically present in, the 50 United States and the District of Columbia (excluding Puerto Rico, Guam and the US Virgin Islands). All entrants who vote, regardless of their answer to the Question will be entered into the Grand Prize random drawing for $30,000.

Promotion ends at 11:00 p.m. ET on Monday, June 5, 2006.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Will Lee get leied?

Trump International Hotel and Tower Waikiki Beach Walk is a planned 460-unit luxury hotel and residential condominium tower. The building's amenities will include a library, lobby bar, café, outdoor swimming pool, sun terrace with ocean views, indoor/outdoor dining and bar area, cabanas with tropical landscaping and views of the ocean and neighboring park, a private fitness center and spa, and resident and hotel lobbies. Public sales are expected to begin in late spring, with construction of the 350-foot tower starting in early 2007. Completion is scheduled for early 2009.

This project will be featured on Monday night's finale of The Apprentice. The winner could be hired to support this development in Hawaii, where kosher food would be a big challenge.

Hawaiian Vacations for Less

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Upcoming Orthodox Apprentice Events

(Pictured above: (l-r) Denis Leary, Lee, Jaime Pressley, Lenny Clarke, Derek Sanderson)

Lee's Hometown Finale Party

Lawrence/Cedarhurst Fire Station
Monday, June 5, 8:30 PM

From the FiveTownsShuls community e-mail list:
All are invited to attend a home town party for Lee Bienstock to cheer him on as he vies to become Donald Trump's Apprentice.

Lee is one of two finalists. Trump will make his decision during the live finale, this coming Monday June 5th. Seating will begin at 8:30. Come early!!!

The party will take place at the Lawrence/Cedarhurst Fire Station located at Central Avenue (corner of Washington Avenue).

NBC will be on hand to broadcast the party live at times during the finale.

Refreshments will be served.

A nominal donation of $5 per person is recommended. All proceeds will be donated to benefit the firefighters.

You are encouraged to bring posters cheering Lee on.

Young Leadership Shabbat Dinner with Lee and Dan

The Jewish Center (Manhattan)
Friday, June 9, 8:15 PM

Join the Jewish Center Young Leadership for Friday Night Dinner with The Apprentice's Lee Bienstock and Dan Brody.

$36 Members

$40 Non-Members

Advance registration required. Register on the
Jewish Center website by Wednesday, June 7th.

Mincha / Maariv at 8:15 PM

Dinner promptly at 9:30 PM

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Stuff the ballot!

Denis Leary

  • The final voting is underway. Vote for Lee at and you could win $30,000.
  • You can now send questions to Trump about this season, his choices, the candidates or whatever else is on your mind. Donald will respond to selected questions during the live finale on June 5. What are you asking him? Post your questions in the comments to this post.
  • Steven Weiss talked to Mark Bienstock (Lee's father) and to Lenny Veltman about Lee. The interviews are available on Canonist.
  • Weiss also wrote this story on Lee Bienstock for JTA. Expect to see it printed in most Jewish weekly newspapers later this week.
  • We have learned that George and Carolyn will join Donald for the final boardroom on Monday. Lee is preparing for the inevitable question about why he chose Pepi. The episode starts at 9:30 PM ET/PT.
  • The next season starts filming this week in Los Angeles. Ivanka, Don Jr., George and Carolyn will all participate. US Olympian Angela Ruggiero is one of 18 candidates.
  • Congrats to Tarek Saab and his wife Kathryn on their wedding this past Saturday!
  • The Bienstock family's shul, Congregation Beth Sholom of Lawrence, NY, distributed this e-mail message today:
As everyone knows by now, Lee Bienstock, the son of our friends Flora and Mark Bienstock, has reached the finals of Donald Trump's Apprentice. Lee needs as many votes as possible to win. Donald Trump is deciding this time with our help and our votes can make the difference. You can vote by either going to (which brings you to an Apprentice link) and clicking on Vote for Lee or by going to Apprentice 5/

Voting started at 10:00 on Monday night and continues through June 5th.

Please join us in voting for Lee, as often as you can. Vote as many times as you can; it's free!

Gary Miller, President
Lester Henner, Chairman of the Board
Joel Shiff, Vice-Chairman of the Board

Barenaked Ladies

Monday, May 29, 2006

Episode 14: What about Dan?

Vote For Lee ButtonEpisode 14 opens with Sean and Lee summoned to the boardroom where they learn that they're the final two candidates. Their new assignment is to each choose three fired candidates to join their team. As Lee exits the boardroom, Trump yells out, "Freaking politician, Lee!!!"

Back in the suite, the former candidates greet the finalists and they each lobby to be chosen for the new teams. Former Orthodox Apprentice candidate Daniel Brody takes an opportunity to sell himself to Sean. Mr. Yazbeck, however, quickly chooses Tammy and Andrea and then agrees on Tarek to complete his team.

Lee Bienstock outsources the team selection to his close friend, Lenny Veltman. In the words of Lenny, "Nobody better than me." Lenny chooses Pepi ("who the hell is he?") Diaz. It's likely that Lee and Pepi had never even met before, but Lenny had spent time with Pepi on Trump's "Exile Island". Lee asks for Lenny's thoughts on each possible candidate. "What about Dan?" he inquires. Lenny responds, "I don't trust Dan. [He and others are] not your friends." Lenny selects Roxanne for the final spot.

Lee explains to Trump that his picks are based on who likes him the most. (With two selections who never worked with Lee previously, it speaks volumes of Lee's relationships with the former Gold Rushers.)

Each candidate expresses a preference to work with bare naked ladies, but Lee agrees to take on the celebrity ice hockey event, sponsored by Pontiac, to benefit The Denis Leary Firefighters Foundation. Since Sean is from the UK, it might have been wise for Lee to hand him the hockey task. Sean's concert, also sponsored by Pontiac (with an additional sponsorship from SLS Audio), is to raise funds for the World Wildlife Fund.

Lee appears to have a very weak team. In meetings with the executives, they show no creativity, few ideas, minimal teamwork and no leadership. Pepi adds no value. Lenny doesn't say a word, not even a joke. Roxanne contributes the most, but not enough to make up for the others. Lee suggests a date auction (page 4), but the executive from Leary's organization is not impressed.

Sean's team is more energetic and everyone contributes to the project, but Sean spends too much time with Tammy poring over the catering menu. Eventually each team decides to auction off the Pontiac vehicles.

This episode appears to be edited with a preference towards Sean. Lee and his team were repeatedly shown in a negative way. The only strike against Sean's team is that Andrea left with a medical emergency.

It's now time to vote for your choice as the next Apprentice.

[Orthodox Apprentice has actual video footage from Sean's Barenaked Ladies concert at Trump Taj Mahal. If you have a website and are willing to store and serve the file, we will e-mail it to you and then link to your site. Please contact us by e-mail.]

Vote For Lee Shirt

Saturday, May 27, 2006


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Apprentice Tzedaka

For anyone who hasn't watched earlier seasons of The Apprentice, the final tasks are two major fundraising events, each with a corporate sponsor and a designated charity.

As you know, the two final tasks for this season are a concert by the Barenaked Ladies and a celebrity hockey event.

This just in....

Orthodox Apprentice has just learned that Sean Yazbeck's BNL concert is a fundraiser for the World Wildlife Fund. Steve Page, the band's lead vocalist, sits on the Board of Directors at WWF. Page and his band have been involved in other fundraising efforts for the organization.

Lee Bienstock's event is a celebrity hockey game to benefit The Leary Firefighters Foundation. Starting May 30, hockey memorabilia from the final episodes will be auctioned off at

Lee and Sean will plan and prepare for the events on next week's episode (May 29). The concert and hockey game will be shown during the June 5 finale, followed by the final boardroom, when someone will hear, "You're hired!"

5/25 UPDATE - NBC has just confirmed what we reported last night:
"Donald Trump will issue the final two tasks, which will unfold over the next two episodes beginning this week and resulting in the ultimate boardroom hiring of the fifth "Apprentice" on June 5, live from The Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles (9:30-11pm ET). "

"This week, Sean and Lee are reunited with their former team members and have the tough assignment of re-hiring four candidates each to help them with their final task. One finalist faces off with a tough executive while putting on a Pontiac celebrity hockey event benefiting the 'Dennis Leary Fire Fighter Foundation,' while the other tries to please a crowd while staging a Barenaked Ladies Concert in Atlantic City benefiting the 'World Wildlife Foundation.' "

Monday, May 22, 2006

Episode 13 - Vote for Lee!

Mazal Tov to Lee Bienstock! He's one of two finalists (with Sean Yazbeck) who can become the next Apprentice.

Tonight's episode was Gold Rush all the way. Lee demonstrated his business and marketing savvy and Sean provided his metrosexual skills. Their skills complemented each other well and took both candidates to the finals.

Lee put himself in the shoes of the judges. He pointed out that it didn't matter what the executives wanted. Since the hotel employees were judging the task, Sean and Lee needed to learn what the employees wanted in their uniforms. Lee listened to the Embassy Suites team members and learned that they only wanted tweaks to the current design; not a complete redesign. Most importantly, the clothing had to be functional.

Synergy, on the other hand, felt that they knew what the employees should want. Allie Jablon had trouble listening to the employees. Roxanne took a low profile, hoping that only Allie would take the fall if they'd lose. Instead of asking the workers for suggestions, Allie recommended culottes to the housekeepers. She received blank stares but moved forward with her design idea. Allie emphasized style over function. That wasn't what the employees had in mind.

Sean's reaction to the Synergy designs: "It was horrendous!" The hotel employees agreed, with 69% of them choosing Gold Rush's uniforms.

One employee commented, "Gold Rush rocks!"

As a reward, Sean and Lee dined with the Trump children at Aquavit, a Scandinavian restaurant in Manhattan. Lee enjoyed a green vegetable salad. [Not that it's relevant, but the pastry chef at Solo, an upscale kosher restaurant, previously worked at Aquavit.]

We told you a week ago that two candidates would be fired this week. Allie and Roxanne were the victims of the latest double-firing.

Next week Sean and Lee will start planning and preparing for the final tasks (read about them in the previous post). On June 5 we'll see how the final events turned out and Mr. Trump will choose the next Apprentice.

Now it's time to vote for your choice on Yahoo's The Apprentice site. Show your preference for Lee by wearing a Vote for Lee button or tee shirt. You could also get a teddy bear, beer stein, even boxer shorts or a thong.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

OA EXCLUSIVE: The Final Tasks

We've been gathering more information on the final tasks. We've told you about guest appearances by Michael J. Fox, Jaime Pressly, Denis Leary, Jason Priestley, Stephen Baldwin and the Barenaked Ladies. We've also told you about the celebrity hockey event and the rock concert.

Now we're ready to provide further details and to share some photos and videos.

Celebrity Hockey Task

One finalist was challenged to put on a celebrity hockey event. Michael J. Fox and Denis Leary are huge hockey fans from Canada so we suspect they were involved with this task. Along with NHL hall of famer Cam Neely, they're heavily involved in charity work, supporting The Leary Firefighters Foundation, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research and The Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care. The three of them (pictured together in uniform, but not from The Apprentice) appear together annually at the Betting On A Cause & A Cure event that supports all three organizations.

We reported earlier that the rock concert task took place on Tuesday, November 8, 2005. We don't have the exact date for the hockey event, but we know that Leary and Fox were together in Toronto Monday night, November 7th, for Cam Neely's Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Will this interfere with the celebrity hockey event? Final tasks on The Apprentice have a history of celebrity no-shows, including Chris Webber and Joe Piscopo. Stay tuned to see what happens.

Stephen Baldwin played hockey in Slap Shot 2, so we suspect he's also involved in the sporting event.

It's more difficult to figure out Jason Priestley's role in the show. He's also a hockey fanatic from Canada. On the other hand, he's close friends with the Barenaked Ladies (pictured here with the band, not from The Apprentice). They performed at his wedding and he directed their documentary. They even use the same webmaster. He could be involved with either the hockey event or the concert.

Barenaked Ladies Concert

For the other candidate's final task, BNL played a private concert at Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. As Jessica Simpson did for her Apprentice event, the band members appeared at a "meet & greet" event prior to their performance.

Then they went on stage to play at least 15 songs, including fan favorites such as It's All Been Done, One Week and If I had a Million Dollars. Their encore performance was Brian Wilson (video here). We don't know if they played any of their three chanukah songs.

Thanks to this blogger, we have pictures from the event. Unfortunately, none of the candidates are visible.

SLS International investors are speculating that the company stock may jump after an appearance on the season finale. They're wondering how much airtime their company's product will get. Much to their dismay, the SLS audio system is not the focus of the show. As seen in the picture below, though, their speakers were visible to the Taj Mahal audience. As you can see, Pontiac is the corporate sponsor. Earlier rumors of Best Buy's involvement in the finale appear to be false.