In the end, you knew that unless Sean Yazbeck screwed up royally on his final task, Donald Trump would name him the winner of season 5 of "The Apprentice," the best edition of the show since its rookie edition.
Yazbeck had the experience, good looks, really cute girlfriend and engaging British accent, to, um, trump Lee Bienstock, very capable, extremely determined, but still baby-faced at 22.
Nonetheless, Trump was very impressed by both of them. "I'd like to hire both of you, but I can't."
Well, yes and no.
Yes, there's only supposed to be one Apprentice. But that choice had been unequivocal until last season, when Randall Pinkett wowed the Donald, though he was also smitten with Rebecca Jarvis.
Pinkett got hired, but Trump didn't want to say goodbye to Rebecca just yet. So, he asked, Randall, if he was in Trump's shoes, would he also hire Rebecca. To which he replied, to the scorn of many:
“Mr. Trump, I firmly believe that this is ‘The Apprentice,’ that there is one and only one apprentice, and if you’re going to hire someone tonight, it should be one. It’s not ‘The Apprenti,’ it’s ‘The Apprentice.’”
Not wanting to risk sending Sean into a hissy fit so soon after his triumph, not to mention a buzzkill among the audience in the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, Trump decided not to lose control of his show anymore and bade Lee farewell the old-fashioned way.
What remains to be seen is whether Lee will have a future with Trump after all. During the extended closing sequence -- spurred by Trump saying goodnight before the show really had to end -- there were extended shots of people on stage, and at one point it looked like The Donald was telling The Lee something like "I'll talk to ya," indicating there might be something in the offing.
And, yes, Sean really did say he was going to marry Tammy. Great catch and mazel tov. Maybe you could find out where they'll be registered at www.seanyazbeck.com, assuming you can navigate past the first page. So far, I can't.
ADDED AT 8:48 p.m. :
If you want to hear more from Lee, who is being very much the good sport, at least in public, check out:
Thanks to Steve Weiss for sharing this.