Two Women Vie to Be Next 'Apprentice'

For the first time, two women will duke it out Thursday night to be Donald Trump's third "Apprentice."

Book smart Kendra Todd (search), a 26-year-old real estate entrepreneur from Boynton Beach, Fla., and street smart married mother of two and successful Mary Kay saleswoman Tana Goertz (search), 37, of West Des Moines, Iowa, emerged as the two finalists on the NBC reality series two weeks ago.

Trump's right-hand woman, Carolyn Kepcher (search), told FOX News Tuesday morning that she thinks both women deserve to be in the finale (which airs Thursday night at 9 p.m. EDT, live from New York University).

"They've worked very hard and were successful throughout the 13-week process. I think some of them had bad weeks, some of them had good weeks but overall I think it's a close call right now," she said.

As for Trump, he told FOX he just picks the best candidate.

"It's all about business. I choose the person that's going to be the best, and that person, I think, gave us credibility, whoever that may be. I've had numerous characters, whether it's Omarosa or Sam, that I could have kept longer but it would have been inappropriate. Good for show business but bad for business."

In the final challenge, Todd is in charge of the Best Buy Video Game World Championship at Webster Hall in New York City. Goertz heads up the NYC2012 Athletic Challenge, a sports exhibition designed to promotes New York's bid to host the Olympics.

Ruffling their confidence are some cranky corporate sponsors and New York Governor George Pataki (search).

And good news for bleary-eyed viewers: Unlike the second season's much bemoaned three-hour finale and reunion last December, this swan song will only last an hour.

"At my insistence, I wanted it to be a one-hour finale," Trump told the Associated Press in April. "We ended up with a reunion and all of this nonsense. Nobody wants that. What they want is a finale where somebody gets fired."

Next fall, NBC pits a new "Apprentice," hosted by Martha Stewart, on Wednesday nights against the original version, starring Trump, on Thursdays.

The news that NBC was going to double up on "The Apprentice" was a surprise, since the show has not fared as well this year in the ratings

Bill Rancic and Kelly Perdew won seasons one and two, respectively.

The Associated Press and The New York Post's Adam Buckman contributed to this report.