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Two Apprentices Sent Packing: Wes, Maria

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Donald Trump doesn’t look like the kind of man who benefits from many two-for-one deals, but he couldn’t pass it up on Thursday night’s Apprentice: The real estate mogul decided to dump two contestants.

Bossy Maria Boren and her ineffectual project manager Wes Moss were fired after a disastrous showing by team Mosaic, in which the two sides were charged with putting together a catalog for the Levi Strauss company that highlighted the jeans-maker’s universal appeal.

With the Apex team down to three members to Mosaic’s five at the start of the show, Trump told Mosaic they would have to send one of their members to the other team. Wes, Maria and remaining members Andy and Sandy decided to sacrifice Kelly, but the slimmed-down Mosaic had problems from the beginning.

Maria took control of her team’s photo shoot, as Wes appeared to cede the leadership role to her. “Give me bitchy or give me death,” Maria instructs the models posing for jeans shots. Off-camera Sandy says, “It would be an awful stupid, ridiculous idea to just leave Maria in charge of (the task).”

Apex is only off to a slightly better start, with Jennifer completely befuddled about the concept outlined by teammate Ivana. Fellow Apex members Kevin and Kelly seem to get it, and the Apex team all appears in its own photos for a rotating “fit wheel” that highlights Levi’s various lines, and accents how the jeans fit on the models’ rear ends.

When Maria ends up tossing most of her groups’ butt shots in favor of more generic pictures, Mosaic’s presentation crashes in front of Levi execs. In the boardroom, season 1 winner Bill Rancic replaced George, while Maria tried to blame her team’s loss on Wes’s lack of leadership.

Trump, however, was having none of it. He fired Maria first, and just as it looked like Wes might live to lead another day, Trump lowered the boom on him, too. But the final indignity came as the two had to share the cab that carried them into the New York night.