Last night’s (December 14) The Apprentice: Martha Stewart.

Dismissing Jim was a no-brainer. I think that dye had already been cast even before the interviews, where I must say Jim was more nonsensical then usual. The editors made some decisions that also cast some doubt on both Dawna and Bethany’s answers in the interviews. “How do you see the Martha brand?” was one of the questions, which is a no-brainer. A soft-pitch. Bethany then says, “I don’t know.” How ridiculous was that? Fortunately, there is one more competition and the interviews alone do not decide it, as Dawna might have been the hire.

I am baffled by Bethany’s choice of teammates. Jim and Ryan made perfect sense to me. Ryan was always correct until the last task, and even then he might have been bang on correct had Song Airlines made a different demographic the targets. Jim does beautiful work it is only when he has to interact with others that his value becomes suspect. Carrie is forgettable. So much so, that I do not remember a thing about her. Leslie, however, is a wonderful salesperson and she would have been my third choice. Leslie also strikes me as professional enough, or is it caring enough about her reputation and her portrayal on national television, that she would not hold a grudge. Carrie is neither professional nor concerned about being petty: it seems the definition of petty is characterized best by Carrie, not caring about how she is perceived instead opting to act out on a grudge. So, Bethany may be ruined by her poor hiring choice. But I think Carrie gave her a way out. When asked about the conflict in the car, Bethany should have immediately realized what was happening and fired Carrie. That would signal a level of professionalism to Martha that is normally hard to come by, especially in an interview format such as this. It would also provide a buffer for a close loss to Dawna. Bethany could then claim some staff troubles and also claim that she took some action, unfortunately not soon enough. The best candidate is not always the one that has the victory but the one that performs best, and firing Carrie might win some Martha points.

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