Charisma on Raj’s side |

Charisma on Raj’s side

Cassie Pence
Shane Macomber/ Knowing fans watch local Raj Bhakta, managing partner of the Holiday Inn in West Vail, appear on the first episode of NBC's "The Apprentice" Thursday at Bull Crabs in West Vail. Raj definitely made a statement in his polka dot bow tie.

Local Raj Bhakta was en fuego Thursday night on the first episode of NBC’s “The Apprentice,” entering the show in fire-red pants, wing-tipped shoes, a blue blazer and his polka dot bow tie insignia.As fellow contestant Andy said, Raj was P.I.M.P. Although he was also compared to Rodney Dangerfield in “Caddy Shack.”Attire aside, Raj’s attitude and charisma stuck out among the 18 candidates, definitely securing him some time on the show and foreshadowing some future stand out moments. Even Donald Trump himself asked about the walking cane. Raj, managing partner of the Holiday Inn in West Vail, uses it for style.

“He saw the Johnny Walker bottle one day and said, ‘Henry, look at this man here on the Johnny Walker bottle. He walks with a cane and that is a good thing to do. I’m going to go find a cane,” said Henry Harper-McCausland, Raj’s best friend from Philadelphia. Starring Donald Trump, “The Apprentice” is a reality-competition show that tests business savvy to win a dream job with the Trump Organization and a hefty six-figure salary. Each episode, the 18 candidates are divided into two teams; last night it was the boys against the girls. But this time the two teams had to draft a player from the opposite sex. The women chose Apex for their corporation name, and the men chose Mosaic. One of the only times Raj spoke up was to differ about the name. He wanted Empire, which makes perfect sense considering his obsession with powerful leaders and desire to keep America as the most powerful country on the global theater. But I’ll have to agree with Raj, Empire is a much better name than Mosaic.Trump’s first assignment was to create a toy in prototype form and then test it in a focus group of kids. The toy deemed a winner qualifies its team to have dinner with Trump and his fiancee, Melania. The losing toy dooms its team to the Board Room, where Trump says the famous catchphrase “you’re fired,” and one contestant is gone for good. Last night it was poor “I didn’t get utilized enough” Rob.

The women created the toy that won, a remote control car with interchangeable parts. They couldn’t have done it without the help of their project manager Bradford, a 33-year-old lawyer and real estate investor from Florida, who aggressively took charge of the team’s success.The official “Apprentice” watching spot is Bull Crabs in West Vail. Although the Vail Daily said Raj would be in attendance, he won’t be present at Bull Crabs until the third or fourth episode – which says something about his longevity on the show.Raj’s dad, Bharat, was there last night, watching with a crowd of knowing fans. Bharat said he wasn’t sure where such a distinct character came from in his son, but was positive it will help him advance in the show.When Raj does appear at Bull Crabs, anyone wearing a bow tie to the viewing will get his or her first beer for free.

For more information about “The Apprentice” official watching zone, contact Bull Crabs at 477-2722.Vail, Colorado

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