September 10, 2004 08:00 AM

And the first person to be fired by Donald Trump on the second season of The Apprentice is ? Rob Flanagan, a 32-year-old corporate branding salesman from Frisco, Texas, who had built up a multimillion-dollar company with his wife.

For Trump’s taste, Rob was too laidback and observant, rather than proactive and aggressive. “Rob,” said a solemn Trump, “you’re fired.”

The firee took the bad news silently and with a nod of the head, though he did bite his lip.

The 90-mnute Apprentice 2 premiere actually got off to a late start, so NBC could give extra time to the premiere of its Friends spinoff Joey (which received mixed to good reviews from critics).

Although the teams were divided by sex – the women’s group called Apex; the men’s, Mosaic – Trump instructed the member of one group to lead the other. So, the women got Bradford Cohen, 33, an attorney from Ft. Lauderdale and a real-estate investor. The men got Pamela Day, 32, an investment firm partner from San Francisco.

The team’s first challenge was to produce a toy for Mattel, only the Mosaic team failed to come up with a product little boys could relate to.

As for the first standout player, that would have to be Raj Bakta, a 28-year-old real estate developer from Vail and Philadelphia, who looks a bit like Matt LeBlanc on Joey – but dresses like Urkel on Family Matters.

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