Saturday, May 13, 2006

The Final Task

Episode 14 - Monday, May 29, 9:00 PM

The final two candidates take on their toughest tasks yet, coordinating two massive charity events. One finalist faces off with a tough executive while putting on a celebrity hockey event and the other lets his heart lead him astray while staging a massive rock concert in Atlantic City.

["His" and "him" are generic pronouns that could refer to either male or female]

Pontiac is a corporate sponsor for this episode.

Orthodox Apprentice has learned that the concert was performed by Barenaked Ladies on Tuesday, November 8, 2005, at Trump Taj Mahal. The event was not open to the public. Free tickets were given to Taj Mahal employees. All attendees were required to sign a waiver/non-disclosure. George and Donald were in attendance.

The playlist included these songs: It's All Been Done, Life (in a Nutshell), Taj Rap, Pinch Me, Get in Line, Upside Down, Curry Yogurt Rap, Alcohol, Shopping, What a Good Boy, Too Little Too Late, One Week, Old Apartment, If I had a Million Dollars, Brian Wilson (encore).

It's unlikely that they played any Chanukah songs from Barenaked for Hanukkah.

Two candidates will be fired in the previous Episode (#13).

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Episode 12 preview & spoiler

Episode 12 - Monday, May 15, 10:00 ET/PT
(Special time following a 2-hour Deal Or No Deal)

The final five candidates are challenged to create an in-store home theater display at Wal-Mart for customers to demo the Microsoft Xbox 360 videogame console. The display will highlight the game system's features, within a fully accessorized environment, for the digital entertainment lifestyle. The teams are challenged to demonstrate the Xbox 360 as a complete home entertainment system for non-gamers, featuring a DVD player, stereo system, slide show, video console and more. The team to build the most compelling promotion, as judged by Microsoft and Wal-Mart executives, wins the task.

The winners take a private jet to Hollywood to meet Jeffrey Katzenberg of DreamWorks Animation Studios. The studio executive coaches them through a voice-over session for the new animated film Over the Hedge, starring Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling and Steve Carell. Other voices in the movie include Nick Nolte, Avril Lavigne and William Shatner. Sean Yazbeck provides the voice for BBQ Barry and Lee Bienstock provides the vocals for Lunch Table Larry.

(Thanks to aeropostale676 at
Survivor Sucks for finding the spoiler and to Walt/Wallyhorse who first brought this spoiler to our attention.)

Over the HedgeOver the Hedge: 10 Hammy PlushOver the Hedge Movie Novel

The losers face the boardroom where one candidate will be fired.

Microsoft posted some rather bizarre interviews on, asking fired candidates Brent Buckman and (Jose) Pepi Diaz about the Walmart / Xbox 360 task. Brent answered each task question with "I don't know." Pepi actually answered a couple questions, but he also threw in one "I don't know." How bizarre!

In case you missed the hints up above, Lee is in the Final Four!

Previews for Episode 13 and the finale were posted last week.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Tarek: those guys seemed extremely observant

Last week we posted a quote from Tarek's website that generated a heated discussion in the comments area. Based on his quote about Sukkot and other information, many commenters on this site have been asking questions about how Lee and Dan handled certain situations during the show. We strongly believe in gathering facts rather than making assumptions and accusations, so we decided to get further information from a source close to the situation.

Lee is still very much alive on the show, so he's not available to talk to us. Since Dan was gracious enough to answer our questions last month, we decided to reach out to Tarek Saab. We asked Tarek to elaborate - from his perspective - on how Dan and Lee handled the Jewish holidays and other religious issues, and how it was perceived by their teammates.

A huge thank you goes out to Tarek for responding to us quickly, thoroughly and openly.

Here's what he wrote:
[passages colored in blue for emphasis by OA]

First of all, thank you for the compliment. I will return the compliment by saying that I think you have a great site. I have visited several times.

I want to preface this e-mail by saying I have a very rudimentary understanding of Judaic tradition, so please forgive anything I say that might seem ignorant (I am in the lower-echelon of Mensa!). Dan (my roommate in the suite) was very clear early on that religious observance was going to take priority over anything related to the show, and he explained this to everyone on Gold Rush. Obviously, I am aware of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, but Dan mentioned to me that there were some other holidays coming up that would cause an issue - Sukkot was one. I really respected him for taking the stance and sticking to it. I am religious as well, so I get it.

To answer your questions, those guys seemed extremely observant. Dan was getting kosher packages from home regularly, and there were times when the boys wouldn't speak on a cell phone. If I remember correctly, there were also times when it would be pouring out and they wouldn't use an umbrella or drive in a car. It was impressive, and I am sure there were other things they did that I didn't even notice. Even when we won the Post task and received a gourmet meal from Jean-Georges, the boys wouldn't eat it. (Actually, I ate Dan's meal in addition to mine). Later on in the season, our team would try to order all kosher food for dinner so Lee could get a good meal.

The topic of skipping tasks because of the holidays was very sensitive in the suite. Not everyone was in support of it because they thought it was an unfair advantage. (In truth, it can be a disadvantage as well because you can't prove your worth if you don't participate). As I explained on my website, I was in support of their decision even if they needed to take off additional time down the road. However, this was not the case with everyone. It was NOT an easy position to be in, and if they had taken off more time, I don't know how the others would have reacted. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Some have commented that they had an advantage because they were able to rest while we were working, but if I am not mistaken they were fasting during that time, so it wasn't exactly a vacation.

Dan was fired after the fifth task, so he was able to avoid future conflict. By default, I just assumed that Lee would maintain his stance and observe Sukkot after Dan left. Please understand that my comments are in no way an indictment of Lee or his beliefs or the way he chooses to practice his faith. I am not even familiar with the traditions related to the Sukkot holiday. I was just surprised that the issue wasn't addressed because I knew it was so important to Dan, that's all. I expected to lose Lee for another task. I didn't raise the topic with Lee because, quite frankly, it was none of my business.

I hope this helps. If you think your readers would find this interesting, feel free to post. Let me know if you have any other questions.


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Another vote for Lee

From Michael's interview with NBC:
NBC: Now we're down to five. Some very interesting and distinct personalities are still in the race. Who should we be looking out for in the weeks ahead?

Michael Laungani: I think Lee is one person to watch. I believe he is a stand-up, honest guy who speaks his mind. He's smart and aggressive, and has out-of-the-box ideas. He plays the game well and he's been very strategic in the boardroom so far.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Episode 11 - Lee survives another boardroom

Sean Yazbeck volunteered to join Gold Rush, but their losing ways continued. In a surprising move, Orthodox Apprentice candidate Lee Bienstock volunteered for his third stint as project manager. Lee reasoned that the task is about college and sports; it's what he knows best. Teammates Arinash Michael Laungani and Sean were surprised to learn that Lee was a recent college graduate, demonstrating how little fraternization there had been between Synergy and Gold Rush. Sean and Michael had each been PM just once, but they let Lee take charge without any resistance.

While introducing the task to the teams, Trump teased "The Politician". He physically acted out his impression of Lee dancing around a question. It was better than Trump's dance to the Arby's jingle in Episode 6.

Speaking of Arby's, on that task Trump had said that he loves the fast food chain; it's his favorite. In tonight's epsiode, he proclaimed his love for Outback Steakhouse. "They're the best," he said. So which is it... Arby's or Outback?

Lee might have been deciding between Glatt 27 and Mei Garden Cuisine for his Shabbat meals. Both glatt kosher restaurants are in close vicinity to Rutgers University, and Shabbat was fast approaching as the task kicked off. Kosher sandwiches and salads were also available at Douglass Cafe on campus.

[On a side note, Season 4 Apprentice winner Dr. Randal Pinkett attended the game, but did not appear in the episode. He'll speak at the Rutgers College graduation next Thursday.]

Lee quickly gained the respect of his teammates and they planned an exciting party for gameday (Saturday, October 29, 2005). However they did not focus their efforts on sales and they priced their menu much lower than Synergy. Gold Rush fell short by $1000 and Lee went back to the boardroom.

Sean and Lee placed the blame on Michael. Lee told Trump that he had stepped up as project manager. Carolyn said he looked desperate, but Michael's performance was worse. Trump agreed. He fired Michael and told Lee and Sean that they were lousy too.

Lee now has a 2 - 1 record as project manager and all of his potential allies are out of the competition. Aside from this task with Sean, he hasn't worked with any of the remaining candidates. Roxanne Wilson remains a strong candidate. Allie Jablon and Tammy Trenta are looking good too.

Last week's religion debate can continue in the comments to this post.

Info on upcoming episodes and the finale is available here.