Monday, May 01, 2006

Orthodox Apprentice: Episode 10 - Lee fires two more

Lately, Orthodox Apprentice candidate Lee Bienstock has been looking better and better with each episode. Today was no exception as Lee continued his ascent.

Here's the lee-cap:

The task was to promote the grand opening of a Hair Cuttery on Long Island. Synergy was assigned to the Oceanside, NY location. Lee would have been very familiar with the area - he lives just six miles from the store. On the other hand, since the grand opening was scheduled for Simchat Torah (Wednesday, October 26, 2005) and there's a large contingent of Orthodox Jews in the area, many potential customers were dancing with the Torah at their synagogue; not getting haircuts.

Lee's team was located in Carle Place, about 12 miles from the Bienstock residence, north of the Orthodox Jewish communities of Five Towns. As project manager, Charmaine Hunt's only concern was the display of hair products on the shelves. Lee wanted to go out and sell while people were still at the mall. He reasoned that they could return to stock the shelves after potential customers went to sleep. That strategy has proven to be successful with other tasks, but Charmaine didn't agree to it. She couldn't accept that the task results would be based on sales; not aesthetics.

Tarek Saab and Lee spent the day flyering car windshields. Charmaine got her hair done. Michael did nothing.

Synergy crushed Gold Rush in store revenue. As a reward, they were given another task. They had to help Burt Bacharach write some lyrics for his music. That's like showing Barry Bonds how to hit a baseb-, uh.... how to stick a needle in his arm.

Back in the suite, Gold Rush was preparing for the boardroom. Lee gave Charmaine advice - go up against Tarek because Trump doesn't like him. Lee gave Tarek advice - take down Charmaine. Lee gave Michael advice - just be yourself and no one will notice you.

We expected to see another Boardroom Cheat Sheet, but only Lenny got that special treatment.

Charmaine made it clear that she didn't want to go against Lee in the boardroom. No one has ever returned to the suite to talk about that experience.

Tarek admires Lee: "He's a really religious guy. Morals are really important to him... I respect that."

The boardroom went exactly as Lee planned it. Charmaine went after Tarek. Tarek went after Charmaine. Charmaine went after Tarek. Tarek went after Charmaine. (Was Michael in the boardroom?)

When Trump asked Lee about Tarek and Charmaine, Mr. Bienstock couldn't give a straight answer because he didn't want either of them to turn against him. Donald Trump, Bill Rancic and Carolyn Kepcher each called Lee out on this. As we've been hearing since Week 5 (when Orthodox Apprentice candidate Dan Brody was fired), Lee is a "politician". [Actually, Lee is currently working on a strategy project for city government.] Trump says "we'll see him in the Senate one day." Carolyn says he plays both sides of the fence. Bill is frustrated by Lee's non-answers.

But the attention shifts back to Tarek. And to Charmaine. And to Tarek. And to Charmaine.

"Charmaine, you're fired.... Tarek, you're fired." (Hair Cuttery thinks Donald made a mistake.)

The Politician orchestrated the double-firing of his Gold Rush teammates. Everything went exactly as he planned. Remember last week when he talked about "all the people [he] fired."? This week Lee fired two more.

Viewer Votes (East Coast results. Votes are counted separately in each time zone.)

For the second consecutive week, Lee had the most votes to be fired (18%) at the first tally. Fortunately for him, it's not American Idol and public opinion doesn't matter. (Just wondering... do a lot of people hate Lee or does he have one enemy that's voting over and over again?)

With all the votes counted, 31% wanted to fire Charmaine and 16% chose Tarek. Lee was next with 15%.

Later on The Apprentice

* Episode 11: Monday, May 8, 9:00 ET/PT

The candidates relive their younger days by putting on a tailgate party during a college football game. One team creates a spectacle with an eating contest while members of the other team dress up as cheerleaders. The winners wine and dine in the country, while the losers face a fierce boardroom. One candidate will be fired.

At least one team performed their task prior to the Rutgers University homecoming game against Naval Academy on October 29, 2005. They were promoting blooming onions from Outback Steakhouse.

Randal Pinkett (winner of Season 4) was in attendance at the game. He graduated from Rutgers and his wife is the Senior Alumni Relations Officer for the university's Alumni Association. The big question is if Randal's appearance at the game makes it into the episode. Season 4 was airing while Season 5 was filming. In October, Randal knew he was in the final two, but he hadn't been hired by Trump yet. The Season 5 candidates wouldn't know anything about Randal since there's no television in the suite.

Donald Trump also made an appearance at the Rutgers-Navy game.

Since Gold Rush now has two candidates to Synergy's four, and the girls were all shown together at the Rutgers game, expect Sean to join Lee and Michael for this task.

* Episode 12: Monday, May 15, 10:00 ET/PT
(special time)

The final five Apprentice candidates are challenged to assemble the perfect home theater display at a Wal-Mart store for the Microsoft Xbox 360 videogame console. The display will highlight the game system's features for potential customers. One candidate feels they are being undermined by their team, while the other group worries that their display will not be completed in time. The winners take a private jet to Hollywood and get a chance to appear in a movie, while the losers face off in the boardroom.

We suspect that the "undermined" candidate is on the three-person team and the "worried" team has two candidates. (Could an individual be undermined by a team with just one teammate?)

Tammy Trenta will watch this episode at her high school, Bishop George Ahr HS. Advance tickets are $10 each ($5 for current students). All proceeds go directly to the high school's alumni association and to Tammy's Theresa Kathryn foundation.

Does this mean that Tammy stays on the show beyond Episode 12? Stay tuned to find out.

* Future Episode

The remaining Apprentice candidates design a new uniform for Embassy Suites.

Later this week

Orthodox Apprentice will tell you...
  • which candidate (other than the obvious) went to shul and fasted on Yom Kippur.
  • which candidate just returned from Passover in Florida.
  • why Sean is not living the American dream.
  • how you can get tickets to attend the live finale in Los Angeles


At 5/02/2006 1:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, people dislike Lee A LOT. Or at least don't think he's deserving of the top job, let alone having gotten this far (which was all Tarek, by the way, on the two tasks that Lee was supposedly "leading"). I think that seeing as he is Orthodox Jewish, a lot of people who agree with his religious views are naturally biased toward him and this is clouding their vision.

Unless Roxanne does something HORRIBLY wrong (which I doubt), and if you pretend that Mr. Trump will make his hiring decision based solely on fan voting, Lee would lose in the F2. He is just so conniving, conspiring all the time, complaining against and about every PM, just a pain to watch. This is coming from someone who definitely isn't a fan of Roxanne's, either, since she's a part of Synergy and is in Allie's cult.

At 5/02/2006 3:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't tell whether, before the boardroom, Lee was being open, honest, friendly, helpful, and straightforward as usual in counseling his teammates, giving each the best objective advice for the particular individual, or he was being "a politician," Machiavellian, backhanded, strategizing, lying or omitting, and misrepresenting in order to get his teammates to do what was best for him. What do you all think?

The whispering, private counseling sessions, rather than the prior public group declarations, really struck me, seemed an especial departure.

Also it seemed out of character for Lee to, at Tarek's urging, tell Charmaine that everything was fine. Now, maybe if he had reported honestly she still would have given poor further instructions and not listened to any input he might have had, but was it right for him to sabotage his project manager? It makes him not a good team player and hurts his team. Maybe he felt she was doing a poor job and didn't deserve his help, or that he ought to punish her, which I can understand, but does he come off looking good?

In the past, Lee has made attempts to save the task when the project manager was failing. Here, he only was able to say the loss was not his fault because he was only doing what he was instructed to do, which is fine, but in the past he's been able to show what good he added or tried to add rather than only show that he did not add anything detrimental.

Did this task take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, S"A and S"T? Which tasks have taken place during Shabbat?

Just goes to show that Jewish denominations are only strongly associated with but are not one and the same as a certain degrees of ritual observance; there are plenty of observant Conservative Jews who would not partake in such activities on Shabbat and Yom Tov. Talking about how an observant Jew rather than an Orthodox Jew can participate in The Apprentice makes more sense to me.

What was it Michael said in the boardroom that Trump complemented? I missed it.

At 5/02/2006 7:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How ironic that Lee politically engineered the firing of Tarek and Charmaine, while Tarek kvelled about what a moral person Lee is.

I don't like Lee at all.

At 5/02/2006 9:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you say this task was on ST does that mean Lee worked on ST? Yes, a lot of us Jews are biased towards Lee. On the other hand A LOT of people are really mad at him for missing two tasks. Non Jews and non relig Jews just don't get the yuntif thing.

At 5/02/2006 9:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

why sean is not living the american dream ? I don't understand. Anyone care to elaborate ? Or do i have to wait till 'later this week' ?

At 5/02/2006 9:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also that that Lee's conniving manipulation of all the candidates before going to the boardroom was somewhat two-faced and cast him in a poor light.

If he worked on Simchas Torah how can he be Orthodox?

At 5/02/2006 10:27 AM, Blogger stephen said...

I am friends with a local Bienstock - Lee is a cousin. He tells me that both lee and his dad are very closed mouth about the show - and it's not a conversation at all. That must be very difficult to do...

BUT question - on the credits is a Jay Beinstock. My Bienstock friend does not know who Jay is. Any idea - any relation to Lee. Just how many Bienstocks can there be??

At 5/02/2006 10:29 AM, Blogger stephen said...

Oh and on my Apprenticeviews blog, I will be posting the latest power ratings. Lee and Roxanne are at the top - and my picks for the final two.

The balance of candidates are way off the mark.

At 5/02/2006 10:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lee says in his audition video that he's not related to the producer and he doesn't know him. Most game shows or reality shows do not allow relatives of employees to be on the show.

At 5/02/2006 10:52 AM, Blogger Mississippi Fred MacDowell said...

>On the other hand A LOT of people are really mad at him for missing two tasks. Non Jews and non relig Jews just don't get the yuntif thing.

George also took off on those days. A lot of non-Jews and non-religious Jews *do* get the yuntif thing.

At 5/02/2006 11:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So does anyone know definitively if Lee worked or did not work on SA/ST?

At 5/02/2006 11:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lee is a backstabing politician, but I don't blame him, the ends justify the means, and everyone in that show is a little creepy. If he had integrity and moral values, he would have kept his mouth shut and roll the dice. Not manipulate Tarek and Charmaine into fighting each other. However, just because a jew keeps kosher and observes the holidays doesn't mean he's a better jew than other jews. Maybe that's the lesson to be learned, don't trust ANYONE just because they have good moral values.

Charmaine should have been fired alone, not Tarek. It was her fault the team lost, she made Lee and Tarek waste valuable time restocking product instead of marketing. It was her idea to put flyers in cars when talking to people would have been more effective. And getting her hair done? Come on! As if Hair Cuttery was able to perform a better service than your typical stylist. I can't believe Hair Cuttery offered her a job, it's obviously a publicity stunt.

Lee got lucky that Mr. Trump likes him, but he must watch himself, because even politicians get whacked eventually.

At 5/02/2006 5:15 PM, Anonymous just worry about yourself said...

Anonymous said: "So does anyone know definitively if Lee worked or did not work on SA/ST?"

Isn't that between Lee and God and no one else?

How would you like it if someone was asking the public-at-large if you're shomer(et) negiah or if you washed negel vasser this morning or if you're still counting the omer or if you talk lashon harah about reality tv contestants?

At 5/02/2006 5:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 5/02/2006 8:02 PM, Anonymous Mike said...

Touche! I don't know about that. This blog is called "Orthodox Apprentice" and would not even exist if Lee (and Dan) were not billed as being Orthodox. The whole excitement of this experience is to see if Orthodox Jewish practice is compatible with shows like The Apprentice. If Lee had to compromise his religious practice in order to progress in the show, that is exactly the information we want. Otherwise, why bother with this blog? There are so many others.

At 5/02/2006 8:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

mike, get a life.

...and check out

At 5/02/2006 8:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on... Lee is a traitor... he is a snake... i wonder what this blog will post once he got fired... come on he has no chance with this game!!

At 5/02/2006 9:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see that Lee's college rep as a sleazy politician is shining through.

At 5/02/2006 10:00 PM, Anonymous not so smart said...

I understood his position even if Bill and Carolyn didn't want to. Lee thought Charmaine should be fired based on her performance on that last task, but who says that the judges should only look at the last task. Based on earlier tasks Tarek should get the boot.
I thought it was very manly when he said that they all shouldered the blame for the loss and they are all equally eligible to be fired, even himself. That's not being a politician.

At 5/03/2006 11:51 AM, Blogger keyboardguy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 5/03/2006 11:54 AM, Blogger keyboardguy said...

I have to come to mike's support here.

"The whole excitement of this experience is to see if Orthodox Jewish practice is compatible with shows like The Apprentice."

Exactly! Why is it any better to talk about Lee being a politician, but when someone says something about the purpose of this blog - something related to orthodoxy, suddenly we have to shut up about it?

mitch -

You deftly say that "...the grand opening was scheduled for Simchat Torah". Based on the point of this blog, why not just say directly that Lee worked on Simchat Torah?

At 5/03/2006 1:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

how do you even know that the grand opening was scheduled for Simchat Torah?

At 5/07/2006 12:09 AM, Anonymous leah said...

What was it Michael said in the boardroom that Trump complemented? I missed it.

michael gave a speech about something and trump sayed he said it very well, to which michael replyed that it came from his heart

At 5/08/2006 2:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leah, go to and watch the boardroom scene

At 5/08/2006 7:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had asked:

What was it Michael said in the boardroom that Trump complemented? I missed it.

and Leah responded:

michael gave a speech about something and trump sayed he said it very well, to which michael replyed that it came from his heart

Thanks Leah, but I would like to know what Michael actually said, or at least about what he spoke, more specifically than "something."

Anonymous at 2:35: Unfortunately, I don't have audio capabilities to check out the clip.


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