Thursday, March 30, 2006

Q&A with Brent Buckman

Orthodox Apprentice had the opportunity this week to interview Brent Buckman of The Apprentice. We are grateful that he took the time to respond to our questions. Thanks again, Brent!

Read on to learn about Brent's Bar Mitzvah, the 4 Bagel Plan, his reaction to Dan and Lee skipping a task for Rosh HaShana, an acting career and more!

Did we see the real Brent Buckman on the show?
You did see the real Brent Buckman on the show. I believe it is important in life to make sure people do not treat you as if you are a door mat. My teammates did not treat me properly and I did stand up for myself. If I do not stand up for myself who will? Outside of “The Apprentice” environment people love dealing with me and I love dealing with people. I am a people person, my friends tell me that I am the funniest guy they know. I am a very nice guy and I am loyal to my wife, family and friends. I have a good head on my shoulders and I pride myself on that fact.

If you could have a do-over on The Apprentice, what you would do differently?

After I was fired by Mr. Trump I would have asked him to give me another chance to go back up to the suit to join Gold Rush. I believe I would have got along with the members of Gold Rush. Mr. Trump could have fired me the following week even if Gold Rush won the task.

Congratulations on losing so much weight with your bagel diet. Are you concerned at all that the diet might not be good for your long-term health?

I appreciate the compliment on my weight loss. I have lost 64 pounds and 11 inches off my waist to date. My diet is called The 4 Bagel Plan which can be viewed at my website at: The 4 Bagel Plan is good for my long term health. In version 2 of The 4 Bagel Plan I have a glass of orange juice with calcium along with a multivitamin for breakfast. I exercise on the treadmill for 1 hour and 30 minutes whenever possible. This is the diet for me. I plan to follow the maintenance version of my diet once I reach my goal weight.

With the diet plan outlined on your website, how do you plan to monetize it?
It would be great if one of the big bagel companies such as: Dunkin Donuts, Einstein Bagels, The Great Canadian Bagel, Lenders Bagels, Atlanta Bread Company or Panera Bread Company decide to endorse my diet or hire me as their spokes person to promote their company. We shall see!!

Could you tell us about your Jewish upbringing?
My late Bubbi, Zaidi along with my mother and father instilled Jewish values in me at an early age. I am proud of my Jewish heritage and my wife and I plan on instilling Judaism in our future children. My parents threw me a wonderful Bar Mitzvah which was enjoyable for all who attended. My father added to the entertainment by singing a few songs, he has a wonderful voice. My family was not affiliated with any particular temple although we went to a Conservative Synagogue during the High Holidays. I consider myself to be Reform. I did attend Hebrew school three times a week, Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday from grades senior kindergarten/grade one through grade six. I did not attend Hebrew school in grade seven. My parents hired a private tutor for my Bar Mitzvah who did a fantastic job.

Are you currently affiliated with any Jewish organizations, such as a temple, social services, community center, etc.?
Currently, I am not affiliated with any Jewish organizations, temple, social services or community center. For the High Holidays, I attend a Reform Temple in the Fort Lauderdale area.

Did you observe Rosh Hashana in any way in the Apprentice Suite?
I cannot comment on footage that was not seen, but I did observe Rosh Hashana. When I came back from the board room into the suite I wished everyone Happy Rosh Hashana!!!

Were you surprised to learn that Lee and Dan were skipping a task to observe the holiday? What was your reaction?
I was surprised when I found out that Lee and Dan were skipping a task to observe the holiday. I respected their decision as they did what was best for them. I thought it was great that Synergy had more team members than Gold Rush for that task.

What's next for Brent Buckman? I am working on promoting my diet, The 4 Bagel Plan, which can be viewed at my website at: I may pursue my acting career. I may open up my own law practice. I may pursue a combination of all three things. The sky is the limit!!!

Episode 6: Another Apprentice Holiday?

Here's what we know about upcoming events on The Apprentice:
  • Episode 6 will air at 10:00 PM (Eastern time), April 3rd, following a 2-hour Deal or No Deal.
  • The task is to write an original advertising jingle for the restaurant chain Arby's. One team finds their groove right away while the other contends with an out-of-tune teammate. Judged by Arby's executives, the team with the most effective and creative jingle wins.
  • The winning team enjoys a scrumptious reward (no jewels) and the losers go to the boardroom. One candidate will be fired.
  • One candidate does not participate in this task.
  • Lee misses two tasks in total, including the earlier event that took place on Rosh HaShanah.
  • The previous boardroom ended on October 12, shortly before the start of Yom Kippur. Therefore, this task could have started as early as Thursday, October 13 - Yom Kippur day.
  • Often - but not always - there's an off day between tasks.
  • Considering that (1) Lee and George, and possibly some production staff and crew members, would not work on Yom Kippur; (2) not much happens in Manhattan on Yom Kippur; and (3) there's often a non-working day after the boardroom day; it's possible that this task started after Yom Kippur.
  • Sukkot - the next Jewish holiday on the calendar - started Monday evening, October 17 , and continued through Wedesday evening, October 19.

Here's what we don't know about upcoming events on The Apprentice:
  • Did Lee Bienstock - the remaining Orthodox Apprentice candidate - miss the Arby's task because it started on Yom Kippur?
  • Did Lee miss the task because it took place on Sukkot?
  • Did Lee not participate because the Arby's task took place on Shabbat?
  • Was Episode 6 filmed in between Yom Kippur and Sukkot, and a different candidate didn't participate for some other unknown reason?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Kosher in The Apprentice Suite

3/29/06 UPDATE:
If you have only 30 minutes (actually 35), listen to Avi Frier's interview with Dan. Avi is publisher of The Florida Jewish News and The Brody Report, which have been following Daniel Brody's performance on The Apprentice.

Orthodox Apprentice blog gets a mention nine minutes into the recording. Towards the end of the interview, Dan talks about the George Foreman Grill, which the show's producers marked "kosher only." (You heard about it here.) Dan was also provided with separate dishes, glasses and aluminim pans.


If you have 30 minutes, you should listen to Nachum Segal's radio interview with Daniel Brody.

Dan shares some fascinating "behind the scenes" info about The Apprentice and discusses his particular challenges as an Orthodox Apprentice candidate.

During the JM in the AM interview, Dan confirms "there was a small refrigerator.... I had a separate little fridge. They would stock with literally whatever I would ask." You heard it here first!

Quotables: Dan on Lee; Bill on Dan

In Dan Brody's exit interview, Daniel has this to say about Lee Bienstock:

"There had been a little tension between he and I.... didn't really get along with him.... lost respect for him.... one of my less favorite people...."

Also, Bill Rancic blogged this about Dan:
"Like I said in my final comments on tonight's show, I liked Dan and think he is a classy guy. I know he is an entrepreneur at heart, and I wish him continued success, especially with his line of clothing for younger golfers. I think it's a great idea."

And Allie Jablon commented:

"Size matters!"

(Allie was talking about diamonds.)

Orthodox Apprentice: Dan, you're fired!

Today we saw the two Orthodox Apprentice candidates turn against each other. Lee Bienstock's earlier proclamation that he's never talked about someone behind their back is out the window. Lee took every opportunity to talk smack about Dan Brody - behind his back.

The task was to produce a commercial for Norwegian Cruise Line's freestyle cruising. Dan was calling all the shots early, while Lee and Lenny were fooling around. Lenny came up with the idea that a castaway would come aboard the ship and get pampered by the crew. Lee loved the idea and Dan agreed to go along with it.

When you're shopping for a cruise, would you choose the cruise line that allows castaways to hop aboard the ship???

The Norwegian Cruise Line executives didn't like the castaway, so Gold Rush was sunk.

Tarek and Dan strategized before the boardroom. Tarek Saab expressed his desire to keep Dan in the game, but then told Daniel that he'd have no friends going into the boardroom. In the boardroom, Lee came out swinging at Dan. Brody chose Lee and Tarek to return to the boardroom. [Time for a sip from the "Lashon Hara, Lamed Hay. Go to the boardoom, the easy way!" mug.] Dan thought about taking back Lenny too, but quickly decided against it.

Back in the boardroom, Trump wanted to know why Lenny wasn't taken back in. Carolyn accused Dan of leaving Lenny out to avoid Lee and Lenny ganging up on him. Dan denied it and tried to explain to Trump that Lee contributed nothing to the task, but that whenever Carolyn or Bill was around, Lee would run over to chat with them. "He's a politician," Donald proclaimed, with a rather accurate assessment of Lee's performance. After pounding on Tarek for making mistakes, underperforming and not living up to the Mensa label, Trump turned to Dan and said, "Dan, you're fired!"

Dan Brody's fatal mistake: not bringing Lenny into the boardroom. That's what Trump said. We believe, however, that Dan couldn't have fared better with Lenny in the room. Lenny Veltman had escaped two earlier boardrooms and there's no reason to believe he wouldn't have made it out of this one.

Although he was fired, it's rather difficult to pinpoint what Dan did wrong on this task. He didn't appear to be the cause of any of the problems. He wasn't a disaster, a term Trump has used often regarding other candidates. He didn't do a terrible job. He wasn't a weak leader. And he didn't have any history of problems. As far as firings go, this wasn't an obvious choice.

Unfortunately for Dan, the producers of the show kept him in the background up until this episode so we never got to see much of him until now. He'll now join the group of forgotten reality contestants. He didn't do anything crazy or terrible that we'll remember him for. And he didn't make it far enough to be remembered for his achievements.

As for Lee, his long term prospects don't look good. He's not on the verge of being fired, but he doesn't look like a final-two candidate.

For those of you watching the Jewish calendar, here's the timeline for this episode:

Monday, October 10: Task starts on the Norwegian Jewel. Filming must end by 3 pm. Editing continues through the evening.

Tuesday, October 11: Commercial production is completed. Teams prepare their presentations.

Wednesday, October 12 (Erev Yom Kippur): Gold Rush and Synergy present their commercials to the NCL executives. Gold Rush spends the afternoon in the boardroom. They get out in time for Kol Nidrei.

If there's anything positive that came out of this for Dan, it's that he didn't need to explain Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret to Lenny and the rest of the team. Not to mention the lulav and etrog.