Each Thursday, NBC declares, “Next week on The Apprentice, the Donald will do/say/think/gesture/insinuate something that he’s never done/said/thought/gestured/insinuated before!” And each week we’re disappointed. (The producers at UPN, however, apparently don’t cry wolf, as last week’s coming attractions for America’s Next Top Model showed Tyra “Humble Pie” Banks screaming, “Shut the fuck up you insolent, piece of shit coat hanger!”—okay, well that’s not an exact quote, but, as Alynda Wheat points out in this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, “Tyra neglects to use her ’inside voice’ when one of the Barbies acts a fool.”) The one thing this season of The Apprentice does have is Tana Goertz, a 37-year-old mother of two from Des Moines, IA. With Erin and Angie out of the running (and the 26-year-old Kendra a non-threat), Tana could be Trump’s next Carolyn—who, by the way, deserves her own show. Tana has yet to find herself on the chopping block and the bottom-line-oriented Trump isn’t stupid: Choosing three white men in a row is unlikely to help his sagging ratings. Here are some reasons we love Tana:
· While Kristen and Angie were screaming obscenities, John and Brian were beating their chests, and Tara was checking out during Episode 2’s motel remodeling challenge, Tana was at the front desk telling guests to give her a “jingle” (complete with wiggling, hand-to-the-ear telephone signal). The move was cloying and over-patronizing, but now that we’ve gotten to know Tana better, we love it.
· While boasting about the credentials of the casting director her team hired in Episode 5, in which the teams had to create a mobile, service-oriented business, Tana name-dropped “Uma Thurma” with so much conviction I almost logged onto Internet Movie Database to find out who this new up-and-coming starlet was.
· After being booted from Net Worth in a corporate shuffle during Episode 8, Tana helped lead Magna to victory by speaking the language of the street with Lil’ Jon (“Give me a little bling bling! That is nice. Now we be talking!”) and Lil’ Kim (“I just wanted you to know that, straight up. I know somebody would really diggity that”). Mooooooom! You’re embarrassing us!
· During her on-screen interview after disputes over what kind of pizza to make in Episode 10’s Domino’s challenge, Tana boldly declares, “It’s not rocket scientist.” She pauses briefly as if she knows something’s not quite right (you could almost hear crickets), but continues talking anyway.
This blog entry was originally published on Slant Magazine on the date above.