December 18, 2005 10:57 PM by Joe Blackmon
One subject of debate about the Apprentice finale has been that it was unfair of Donald Trump to ask Randal Pinkett to make a decision about if Rebecca should be hired on the spur of the moment. Randal could have been caught off guard and not had time to think through his answer. However, a review of the Apprentice finale by Reality TV Magazine has revealed evidence that Randal probably had a pretty good idea what was coming.
While Trump was questioning the two candidates during the live portion of the finale, Randal turned to the previously eliminated candidates and gave them the following direction “If you believe that I should be the sole and single Apprentice tonight, candidates please stand, please stand.” A key part of this statement by Randal is that he said “sole and single Apprentice.” Why would Randal say “sole and single Apprentice” unless he had good reason to believe that Trump might attempt to hire both of them? His statement also makes it clear that he has no intention of sharing the title if it is up to him. In fact, one could probably make a strong case that Randal probably knew he had the Apprentice job in the bag, but he vigorously argued for himself to make sure he was the “sole and single Apprentice.”
In a Microsoft webinar on the day after the Apprentice finale, Randal even alluded to what he called his “modest stunt” where he asked the other candidates that believed he should be the Apprentice to stand up. Randal stated that virtually all of the other candidates stood up. (We’re guessing probably everyone except for Toral.) Near the end of the Microsoft webinar, Randal even admitted that he had a suspicion of what was coming. Randal stated, “There were a lot of rumors floating around that this would be the season given the multiple firings that there might be a multiple hiring so I certainly left room for the possibility in the back of my mind that would be something that Mr. Trump would do and so it didn’t come as a surprise. I was hoping that he would have been the one to make the single decision and not put the ball back in my court.”
Based on Randal’s admission of his multiple hiring suspicion and his pre-hiring finale statement indicating that he should be the “sole and single Apprentice,” it is likely that Randal had given a great deal of thought about the possibility and had no intention of sharing the title if it was up to him.
However, even if Randal’s finale statements were part of a prepared, calculated effort to make sure that he did not have to share the Apprentice title, there are some very compelling arguments that he should not have been asked to make the decision in the first place. Even though Rebecca was a great candidate, Randal obviously had the better project manager record and was the clear choice for the Apprentice title. In an interview with Black Enterprise, Randal stated “You wouldn’t ask the gold medalist in the Olympics to share with the silver medalist. Unfortunately for those that wanted to see a double hiring or see Rebecca win, I ended up being the bearer of bad news.”
Randal’s statements ring very true. Even though many might think the selfless choice would have been to tell Trump that he should hire Rebecca as well, our society is one where we have been taught that there is only one winner. Could you imagine a football team winning the Super Bowl and then being asked to share the Lombardi Trophy because the other team played really well? Just think about how much controversy arises whenever the thought occurs that there might be a split national championship in college football.
If Trump had phrased his question differently, then it might also have elicited a different response from Randal. Randal’s earlier direction to the previously eliminated candidates to stand and show their support for him as the “sole and single Apprentice” should have given Trump a clue that Randal had no intention of sharing the title. With this knowledge, Trump could have discretely offered Rebecca a job later. Or at the very least, Trump could have phrased his question by first clearly stating that Randal was the sole and single winner of the Apprentice, and then asking if Rebecca should be considered for another job in the Trump organization. However, if Trump had it to do over again, then he probably wouldn’t change a thing. Randal’s answer helped to make the show the center of water cooler conversations again, which can only mean good things for next season’s ratings.