Apprentice final two spoiled by the preview? No: the preview is fake

The Celebrity Apprentice worked toward its final two last night, as Donald Trump finally fired Teresa Guidice and then, after interviews with Marlee Matlin and John Rich, fired Lisa Lampanelli. That meant one more firing until the final two were revealed, and that became the “to be continued” cliffhanger for next week. Except the preview very clearly gave away who made it to the final two.

Based on the way the final three–Clay Aiken, Aubrey O’Day, and Arsenio Hall–are sitting at the table and switched seats, it was obvious that he fired Clay, who was sitting by himself to Trump’s right, while Aubrey and Arsenio are sitting together on his left. Trump clearly looks to his right when he says “you’re fired,” and then says “congratulations, you’re my final two” while looking to the left.

Except Mark Burnett and company are up to their season-one Survivor tricks, and it almost worked on me: This post was almost definitively titled “spoiled by the preview,” and in the first draft, I wrote, “unless Mark Burnett is playing us.” He is.

Watch the footage below, and see if you can spot the difference between the final moments and the preview. The answer: It’s Donald Trump’s tie. In the episode, he’s wearing a pink tie; in the preview, it’s purple. The knot is slightly different, too. This is pretty genius.

Also, that makes sense. Aubrey did her thing with a task for a blow dryer (insert jokes about hot air here) by actually inserting herself into the ad as a model, and then took credit for doing everything (“I saved the day”). And her game is so transparent that both Marlee and John Rich picked up on it/were told by producers. Marlee asked Aubrey, “Are you truly sincere?” while John Rich told Trump that Aubrey is “a little transparent in her chess playing.” She’s done.

The only shocking thing about Teresa’s exit was that it didn’t happen sooner; the demands of the tasks on this show are clearly over her head, as Arsenio Hall said. She couldn’t present, she didn’t lead, and she made bad choices. Lisa’s exit wasn’t as obvious; the only thing Trump could come up with her is to say, “you weren’t in control of your emotions.” That may be true, but it’s weak, and Trump could have just as easily rewarded her for her ruthlessness.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.