Most episodes of 'The Apprentice' end inside Donald Trump's boardroom, with him pointing and tersely saying, "You're fired!" to a contestant. This week, however, began in the boardroom with Liza Mucheru-Wisner getting fired and losing her chance at becoming The .
"There are no losers," Trump told Liza, referring to the boost the show will give her career. "You did a fantastic job."
This week's episode ended with a cliffhanger and we have to wait until next week to hear, "You're hired."
Brandy Kuentzel and Clint Robertson are now competing for the grand prize: a job with the Trump Organization.
"I'm going to have to bring my 'A' game to beat her," said Clint.
"This is one of the largest battles of my life," Brandy said.
Trump brought the finalists to his Trump National Golf Club in Westchester, N.Y. The contestants had to stage either a dinner gala for 500 followed by a Liza Minnelli concert or a golf tournament for 120 with comedienne Kathy Griffin.
As in past seasons of the show, Trump invited "fired" contestants back to work with the finalists. Up walked a team of Masha, Poppy, and Steuart along with another team of Anand, Stephanie, and Liza. (Liza was not gone long.)
Brandy chose first and opted for Anand, Stephanie, and Liza. Clint got to pick his event first and chose the gala, with the strategy that Trump would see he can do more than what's expected.
Brandy was lucky to get Liza on her team. The corporatefrom Alaska didn't know much about golf and Liza was formerly a member of the Kenyan National Golf Team. The downside is that Donald Trump requested Liza for his own team in the tournament! That meant Brandy would be down one person and down her best resource.
Clint had to juggle two major productions. In addition to a gala for 500, Liza Minnelli's contract riders needed a separate manager. In a long contract, she requested a director's chair of a specific height, particular food, and a special brand of humidifier for her green room among other things. Luckily for the gala planning, Clint had Steuart on his team. Steuart has worked in catering since he was a teen.
With just 24 hours to plan both events, errors were bound to happen. Brandy sent her photographer to Trump National in New Jersey, two hours away. On all the posters and place cards, Clint spelled his guest of honor's name wrong: Minelli. Next week, we see who ultimately pulled ahead.
Liza's run on the show was peppered with interpersonal challenges. While Trump liked her, others didn't.
"I saw things in you that no one else saw," Trump told her, "but you have to learn to get along with people better."
Liza told AOL Jobs that the most important lesson she learned on the show was that, "I am talented and my talent can be seen by the likes of someone like Donald Trump who is a person that I admire in regard to his business sense and tenacity." Liza explains that she is now "a very confident person, ready to conquer the world and try out anything new thrown at me."
Liza gave a list of other lessons she learned from being on 'The Apprentice':
- Passion: You have to love what you do to ensure success.
- Learn sales: You have to be your own best salesperson and learn how to sell yourself.
- Improve: Education is the foundation, but it's not just about the number of degrees, it's honing your skills and practicing every day to be the best you can be.
- Focus: Dabbling is not productive because you cannot be the best at everything. Focus on one thing you love doing and are good at and you will find success.
- Be tough and courageous: Even when faced with adversity, stay tough and keep your head up. The light at the end of the tunnel may be closer than you think.
- Working hard = getting lucky: Mr. Trump loved to say, "The harder I work, the luckier I get."
- Trust God & be true to yourself: Never compromise your own personal values and integrity. The freedom of trusting God first is really a true testament to leading a stress-free life.
Liza claims her only mistake was to "underestimate the person that I am. The number of fans and accolades I have received from everywhere has taught me to speak up and make my voice heard because many people are interested in me and what I have to tell them. I can touch and inspire a lot of people including those I admire."
Behind the scenes
Liza admits that in the beginning she was intimidated by the set because she had never been in front of a camera before. After the second day, however, she was used to the set and could relax and do what she needed to do without thinking about having a camera following her around.
"The viewers don't get to see the cameras, lighting and production team all around us while we were carrying out the tasks."
"They also don't get to see that my interaction with other participants off the set is actually nil and therefore there was no opportunity to make friends or work on getting along with them."
Where is Liza now?
After Liza finished filming, she went back to both her business, Texas Techies children's pilot, and her full-time job as associate director at the ELITE graduate student retention program at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. She told AOL Jobs that she has also "decided to embark on a program to expand my business internationally through an organization I am setting up by the name P.O.W.E.R. UP (Providing Opportunities Where Everyone Rises Up). I am working on a roll out plan for this new organization to be agreed with partners, donors and sponsors."
Liza continues, "What has led me to expand my business is the confidence I have gained from my appearance on 'The Apprentice,' which instilled in me a belief that I am talented and I am an inspiration to millions of Americans and Kenyans worldwide. I stand for a cause and the cause is to ensure technology integrated education for all children."
Liza recently returned from a weeklong trip to her home country, Kenya, during which she attracted a lot of media attention and received support from government officials. She visited schools and homes and saw firsthand the need that exists there for technology-integrated education. Now she plans to launch a pilot program there as well.
"I want to be an inspiration to young children everywhere and give them an opportunity to play with grand ideas and come up with creations that can change the world.
For more information on Liza's trip to Kenya, you can log onto her fan page at http://www.facebook.com/lizamucheruwisner
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