Celebrity Apprentice

Celebrity Apprentice (Week 5)

A big thank you to Myndi for taking the reins last week and recapping the weirdest thing that’s ever been on NBC. A lesser humorist would have collapsed in the face of that task, but she ate that freak show for breakfast.

Previously on Celebrity Apprentice, we all discovered that Vincent Pastore’s understanding of the difference between fantasy and reality is not, strictly speaking, firm enough to classify him as sane. Also, Piers Morgan and Stephen Baldwin hate each other now. Man, these previouslies are long. I think they ran last week’s episode in its entirety.

Hydra, minus Tito Ortiz (who’s at a fight or possibly a petting zoo) and Stephen (who’s sulking in the hall) enter Empresario’s suite. Immediately, Omarosa makes a snide remark about Piers drinking too much, even though she’s the one with a wineglass in hand. That’s not the first time she’s said that, either. Still, I don’t think we’ve seen Piers drink alcohol at all. I could be wrong – it’s not like I’m keeping stats. The two of them argue over who is less famous, which is sort of like Britney Spears arguing with Andy Dick over who’s less stable. Nobody wins that fight. Omarosa gets up and pours her drink on Piers, in a gesture that appears completely spontaneous and not at all prompted or in any way rehearsed. *COUGH* Omarosa completely misses his head and instead seems to concentrate on his upper back, which is just a waste of a perfectly good drink dump.

Piers heads out into the hall, where Stephen says they can’t work together anymore. Stephen’s mad that Piers called him a ‘hypocrite’ last week, because Stephen is under the impression that anybody cares what Piers thinks. Really, not even Piers cares. Anyway, Stephen heads back to see Trump, and the editing would have us believe that Trump, Ivanka, and Don Jr. are still hanging around in the Boardroom. Because that totally happens. Stephen announces his desire to quit, because he can’t work with Piers. There are reaction shots of Ivanka clearly pulled out of context, because she’s responding to something interesting. I think she’s watching Cloverfield. Trump offers to move Stephen to Empresario, which Stephen accepts.

Back in the suite, Stephen explains the situation and manages to leave the English language bleeding in the gutter: “The resolve that Mr. Trump has suggested is that I become and join a member of Empresario, which I have accepted.” Ladies and gentlemen, the author Unusual Suspect!

Empresario is angry about this, which doesn’t make any sense. Stephen is six different kinds of fruitcake, sure. But you can’t deny he’s been nothing but an asset to his team. Just because he’s on your team doesn’t mean you have to marry him, you know? He further offers that if all they want is that he “make coffee and shut up”, he’ll play along. Hydra is horrified, with Lennox calling him “completely mental”. I’ve only ever heard Ricky Gervais use that phrase before. Lennox tells the camera that he’s disappointed that a man would move to the women’s team to make coffee. First off, that’s not exactly what he said. Second, sweet take on gender relations, dude.

Naturally, Piers tells Lennox that the two of them can win it on their own. Which is totally classy with teammate Trace Adkins standing right there. Piers talks some more trash, and I can no longer tell if he’s taking this way to seriously or not seriously at all.

Stephen’s first act as a member of Empresario is to take a day off. He has a speaking engagement at a church. Now, I respect the man’s faith, but what kind of church hires Stephen Baldwin as a speaker? Wouldn’t you pick somebody who, I don’t know, knows things? Omarosa tries to turn this into a big issue, but if she didn’t want him on her team, shouldn’t this make her happy? I’m starting to think she might be a little difficult.

The opening credits have been cut to ten seconds, with no shots of the cast. Just Trump and his brood. You have to agree, it would have been impossible to trim 45 seconds out of what we’ve just seen.

The Retarded Baby Ducklings (minus Stephen) meet with Trump. This time, Don Jr. is there, but no Ivanka. Instead, it’s George! For you long time Apprentice viewers (I’m not here to judge), George was Trump’s original wingman on the early seasons, until he left the show to actually focus on his real job. He’s an adorable crusty old man, and he is not interested in listening to idiots. I am so happy to see George that it makes me a little sad about my life. There is also a woman who I initially identified in my notes as “Bjork’s mom”.

Trump recaps last week for Tito. Tito turns to the camera and says “Thanks, but I already read about it on spunkybean.com”. (NOTE: This may not actually have happened.) Omarosa says that they don’t want Stephen on their team, and Trump shuts her down because even he’s tired of her by now.

He introduces Bjork’s mom, and it turns out that she’s Vera Wang. Empresario is excited, Hydra is trying not to giggle about her name. The task is to create a ‘living window’ to promote the new Wang-designed Serta mattress. The hell? Mattresses are about the last things that need designer touches, what with being covered with sheets and intended entirely for functional purposes. Trump compliments Vera on how well she explained the task, and I don’t get it. Does he think that she learned English phonetically just for this purpose. Nely Galan looks excited, but that’s how her scary plastic surgery face always looks. Trace has never been less interested in anything in his entire life.

Back in the War Room, Omarosa nominates herself as project manager. There’s an interview that I can’t really follow, because she’s dressed like a super-villain. She assigns everybody their tasks, and proposes a display based around “The Perfect Marriage”, because Vera Wang is known for wedding gowns, which is not something that I knew and will not remember for any length of time. The premise involves Carol Alt in a wedding gown, and Stephen carrying her in. Contrary to everything we’ve heard so far, Stephen is apparently missing one day, and not the entire task.

Over at Hydra, they’re researching Vera Wang on the Internet. You know, given this team’s already-established ineptitude with research, it’s a miracle that Googling ‘Wang’ didn’t take this task into a more disturbing direction. Lennox is the project manager, and he says he’s playing for the Muhammad Ali Center. The first time, I assumed it was for Parkinson’s Disease, and I wanted them to win just for that reason. Now I wonder if maybe it’s just like a gym or something. This is information that I need!

Piers, eating a hamburger over the computer because he’s learned nothing, finds out that Vera Wang is known for wedding wear, and says that they should ask whether she’s trying to break away from that. And then, and I am not making this up, he explains that the men can’t be expected to get in touch with their feminine side, especially not Lennox Lewis. This last statement comes out of his mouth in a heart-shaped word balloon.

So, during this entire episode, there is a countdown in the corner of the screen telling us how many minutes remain until the premiere of Lipstick Jungle. I appreciate the warning. I don’t care what’s happening onscreen, when that timer gets down to one minute, I’m out of here.

Hydra meets with Vera Wang and Bob from Serta. After Piers restates the exact task, he and Lennox both ask a couple of good questions, and Vera clearly indicates that she’s moving beyond bridal. She also says that she spends most of her free time on her bed, which is either awesome or sad.

In the Hydra War Room, Trace suggests a theme of “The World’s Great Romance”, which does tie in to Serta’s slogan. He also comes up with Marc Antony and Cleopatra as being one of history’s greatest romances. That’s actually a really good idea as far as iconic imagery goes. Personally, I’d push for a romance that didn’t end in suicide, but how many of those are there anyway?

I love that Trace comes up with exactly one idea on every task, and it’s always a good one. He’s a nice counterpoint to Stephen’s strategy, where he puts out a thousand ideas, and one of them is good. Still, Stephen talks really fast, so both processes take about the same amount of time.

The editing suggests that Empresario asks exactly one question in their meeting, and it’s the wrong one. We all know that Nely asked a constant stream of questions, but nobody wants to see that.

Back at Hydra, Lennox explains that everybody needs to raise their hand and be acknowledged before they speak. Piers sasses him, and everybody’s laughing about it. Trace is thrusting his hand out there like Horshack, which is sort of funny. In an interview, Piers complains that Lennox went from being a “Good, fun, cheeky chappy” to some kind of monster. This is more proof to me that Piers isn’t taking this at all seriously and he’s screwing around in all the interviews. Also, you just know that “Cheeky Chappies” has to be a gay porn magazine in England.

Lennox wants to take a vote on every aspect of the creative process, and Piers is hassling him. It’s actually kind of funny, and the guys are clearly just having fun. Even Lennox is giggling by the third or fourth time he says “Let’s put it to a vote”. Throughout this whole sequence, Tito is counting what appears to be Monopoly money. You just know they told him he’s the banker, and it’s a very important responsibility.

Empresario visits their actual display space, and Marilu Henner is explaining the construction specifics to a guy who is not identified. Based on the camera talk and editing, we’re supposed to think that Marilu is a crazy lady who can’t express ideas, but it seems to me that they didn’t work out their specifics, and nobody really knows how to make a living window. Besides, none of the others jump in to explain anything. Awesome teamwork there.

We cut to Hydra for about thirty seconds, where they explain exactly one thing to their construction guys, who nod in understanding. Clearly, we are meant to marvel at how efficiently they work. Bask in their glory! Bask, damn you!

Back at Empresario, Marilu is explaining the scene, which apparently ends with Carol in her Vera Wang underwear. I don’t necessarily disapprove, but that may not be appropriate for a window display. Omarosa is wearing a newsboy cap throughout this scene, and a beret in the interview. I assume she’s trying to cover up the unformed fetal twin poking through her hair. She and Nely talk about Marilu being crazy, apparently not realizing that she’s talking to the cover model for every issue of Crazy and Incoherent Women Monthly. They also talk about how they wish Stephen were there. So they could tell him to his face how they don’t want him on their team, I guess.

Hydra is still arguing about Lennox’s management style, and I still don’t believe anybody thinks it’s a big deal. They’re laughing and insulting each other. And then, Lennox farts. Seriously. And it’s loud. I’m going to trust that they didn’t sweeten the audio track, because the sound is hilarious, and I need to believe it’s real. Everybody cracks up, and it’s pretty clear from the reactions that there is a certain odor issue. Sometimes I heart you, Celebrity Apprentice. (Please note that were it not for the Writer’s Strike, I would have been laughing at a well-constructed joke about corporate culture on 30 Rock at that exact moment. Instead, I’m laughing at a fart. If you think about it too much, you’ll feel sad.)

Stephen finally shows up at Empresario, and right away, he’s pitching ideas to Nely. Obviously, their concept is already set, but she acts like he threw acid in her face or something. It’s not like he can’t help fine-tune it. He explains that he loves their idea, but he wants to help out, to “pepper it with a little Stevie B.” If I ever produce a rap album, I will be credited as Little Stevie B. There is a stuffed sheep from the Serta ads in the background of this scene, and it’s cracking me up. That sheep is so happy that Gene Simmons has already been eliminated.

Commercials. NBC wants me to believe that they threw a red carpet party for the premiere of Lipstick Jungle. Why would NBC lie to me?

In the morning, Tito and Lennox are out buying fruit, champagne, and fabric. Where are the paparazzi when you need them? George shows up to check out their progress, and he stays out of the way and watches. That’s much better than having to stop what you’re doing to pretend you care what Vince McMahon thinks. They have models being made up as Antony and Cleopatra, and it’s totally cheesy, but I’d probably stop to watch if I were on the street. Piers is looking for scissors, and Trace is frantic to find a staple gun. I sure hope they’re not working on the same thing.

Empresario puts on the finishing touches. Carol is in a wedding dress. I hate to say this, but it’s not doing her any favors. She generally looks fantastic, but I don’t think they tried on the gown ahead of time. It’s sort of squeezing her chest into her armpits, and it really doesn’t look good. Still, she’s on a team with Omarosa and her croquet ball implants, so comparatively she comes out ahead.

Vera and Bob show up to watch the window. There are bridesmaids leading the happy couple (Stephen and Carol) into their bridal suite. I’m single, so I don’t have any experience, but is that really how it happens? Marilu is directing the action from behind the backdrop with a ridiculous amount of enthusiasm. Vera Wang loves it. Vera Wang is freaking out over how perfect it is. Bob from Serta fakes a smile. Even the Serta Sheep, inexplicably in the bridal suite, does not curry his favor.

Omarosa tells the camera that she is great, and she’s going to “TKO Lennox Lewis”. Dear, I think you want to KO him. Unless you’re actually looking to beat him on a technicality, I guess.

Vera Wang and Bob show up at Hydra’s window, where Marc Antony and Cleopatra are lounging, while surrounded by various modern devices. Vera Wang loves it and freaks out over how perfect it is. She loves it exactly as much as she loved Empresario’s window. In my brief experience with Vera Wang, she seems to love every single thing as much as she loves everything else. Bob from Serta seems pleased, nodding his head in an approving manner.

Now, I think Hydra did a better job of displaying the mattress, but I think their real advantage was the nature of the presentation. Empresario had what was almost a little skit, so if you’re walking past, it’s not immediately apparent what you’re looking at. Plus, they’d have to keep starting over to display the window for any length of time. Hydra’s window was really based on a single image, which is definitely more effective with street traffic.

And now it’s Boardroom time! Stephen is still wearing his tuxedo from the display, and he’s standing behind the seated members of Empresario. I think he’s the concierge. Piers and Omarosa talk some more trash, and George is particularly tickled when Piers slams her. Stephen is excited about the nurturing, supportive environment at Empresario.

Piers talks about how great everybody is, and Trace compliments Lennox’s management style, as diplomatically as he can manage. Empresario laughs to find out about the hand-raising, and Trump actually says it’s a good idea. Actual employees of Trump probably panicked a little at that moment. Piers is fairly critical of Lennox’s style here, which is surprising. Has the man love soured? Is he playing hard to get? Something’s happening here, because it’s the first time Piers didn’t sit next to Lennox in the Boardroom.

Summing up the task, Piers says that Vera Wang made it clear that she was moving away from bridal themes. There’s a great reaction shot of Omarosa trying to hide her panic, and then looking over her team for a sacrificial lamb. Don Jr. says Empresario worked well but went conservative. George says Hydra was entertaining and seems to mean it.

Trump reveals that Vera Wang loved them both equally. Of course she did. However, Serta liked Hydra, and Hydra wins again. Piers gets one last shot at Omarosa before he leaves, and the jury is still out on whether he’s funny or a tool.

With Hydra gone, the damage control begins. Omarosa says that they asked the same question Hydra did, and Vera Wang indicated that she wanted to stick with bridal themes. Now, it’s hard to imagine she would give opposing answers to the two teams, and we certainly didn’t see Empresario ask this question. Still, the editing is so screwed up on this show that you can’t be sure. For all we can tell, they might have just inserted Trump into an episode of Celebrity Fit Club and called it a day.

George is reaming on Omarosa for their boring concept. George hates weddings! I wish George had his own show where he could just tell famous people how stupid they are. (Don’t steal my idea! I’m totally going to pitch it to VH1. What the Hell is Wrong with You? Starring George!)

Trump asks who came up with the concept, and Omarosa can’t remember. Don Jr. helpfully reminds her that back when it was a good idea, she took credit for it. George goes on about how great Hydra’s display was some more. I love George.

Donald Trump asks Stephen for his opinion. Little Stevie B., to nobody’s surprise, is super-pumped about the whole thing, but if he had to pick somebody, it would be Marilu. Like I said, we didn’t actually see anything that made her seem as flaky as her team presents her. More to the point, Stephen wasn’t even there for the construction discussion. I’m really not sure what’s going on there.

Omarosa smells blood in the water and takes a moment to slam Marilu before saying that she has to bring Stephen back for the final Boardroom, since he wasn’t there. Don Jr., who also seems to hate Omarosa, reminds her that means he wasn’t there for the bad decision that made them lose. Trump, and this is kind of great, breaks it down as simply as he can. He’s not going to fire Stephen, and if she brings Stephen back, it would be a mistake along the lines of Gene Simmons’ mistake. Trump flat-out says that Nely should have been fired on that task, but Gene didn’t bring her to the Boardroom. His message is: “Remember that time I wanted to fire Nely, but I couldn’t? I’d sure hate to see that happen again.”

Omarosa doesn’t want to pick two people and leave and come back. She wants to hash it all out right there, so that they can sit united. Except for the person that they’ll turn on. Man, Omarosa really grabs on to sisterhood when it’s convenient, doesn’t she? George is shaking his head before she even finishes, and then yells at her, because that’s not how things are done. Is there any event that wouldn’t be improved by George being there to call out people for being stupid and fake? Forget Seacrest on the red carpet – I want George covering the awards shows. “Your dress is impractical, and you’re not going to win anything.” Trump agrees with George. Partly because he doesn’t like losing the control that comes from ritual, partly because George is awesome.

Omarosa can’t decide who to bring back. Back in the Hydra suite, they’re having a great time. Pies is sure Omarosa is fired, because the project manager has been fired two out of three times. That’s partly correct, I guess. This is, after all, the sixth task, and two of the previous five firings have been the project manager. So the “two out of” part was right. Way to go, Piers! One of the two numbers in your ratio was correct. Or, in a way that you would understand it, one of the nine.

Omarosa picks Marilu and Nely, and Trump can hardly describe his glee. As they leave, Trump consults his wingmen. Don Jr. isn’t sure who to blame, George, having learned a thing or two from his century in the Trump organization, offers up Nely. That is music to Trump’s ears, I tell you what.

Six minutes until Lipstick Jungle! Let’s get a move on so I can change the channel!

Back in the Boardroom, Omarosa slams Nely for not being creative, and Marilu for poor communication. Marilu refers to herself as “a great communicator”, and this just seems like a weird place to invoke Ronald Reagan. Omarosa says Marilu doesn’t listen, which doesn’t fit with anything we’ve seen. Trump and the wingmen think it’s hilarious that Omarosa said somebody else doesn’t listen, and she actually tries to talk over them at this point, which is way funnier than Trump’s original comment.

George goes after Nely for being a television producer who doesn’t understand creativity and entertainment, which is completely true. Honestly, Nely has been sort of a failure on every task. Trump says she should have been fired twice, I can think of three times.

Nely seals her fate by saying that Gene Simmons didn’t bring her to the Boardroom because he thought she “was excellent”. Way to bring up what Trump thought was a fantastically stupid decision. And as for me, on the Venn Diagram of things Gene Simmons likes and things I like, the circles don’t overlap at all. She goes on to say that nobody’s brought her back to the Boardroom before, which in her mind, counts for something. Trump wants out as badly as I do, so he says it doesn’t matter and fires Nely.

On the way out, Trump tells Omarosa that she’s also doing a lousy job. That’s kind of petty, but it’s Omarosa, so I approve.

Farewell, Nely. Six weeks ago, I didn’t know who you were, and I’m still not entirely sure. Most likely, I’ll never see you again. That is probably for the best.

Next Week: Tito is kissing his porn star girlfriend. Awww… For some reason, it looks like Piers and Omarosa are on the same team, which confuses me. Still, they’re promoting it as the battle of “Mean Vs. Evil”. I’ll see you there! I’ll be the one with a big foam finger that says “Mean”.

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