Celebrity Apprentice

Celebrity Apprentice Smackdown

Previously, on Celebrity Apprentice: Piers Morgan and Omarorsa hate each other, Piers and Stephen Baldwin hate each other. Empresario continued to suck. The editing suggests that Trump fired Nely Galan for mouthing off, rather than for being terrible. Of course, the editing also suggests that Stephen can form a coherent sentence. Lies!

In the Hydra suite, Piers is insulting the competition, much to his team’s delight. He call’s Omarosa’s defeat “So satisfying I can almost hardly eat my pineapple.” For the record, he does indeed appear to be eating pineapple, but you have to admit “almost hardly” is an interesting qualifying phrase. It’s almost more of a testament to the deliciousness of pineapple than anything else. You know how people just love the “I drink your milkshake” line in There Will Be Blood? I feel that way about “So satisfying I can almost hardly eat my pineapple.”

Tito Ortiz makes the first correct Hydra allusion in the series to date. That’s not who I would have picked either. Still, after six weeks of slaughtering mythology, somebody had to use an accurate reference at some point. Piers does a strange little dance about how much he hates Omarosa. We’re off to a weird start tonight.

For the first time, the non-firees return to their own suite, rather than hanging out with the winners. I guess this is the first time that I’ve realized that there were two suites, actually. I just sort of thought there was a big common area where they drank and talked about how much they hate each other. You know, like the House of Representatives. Omarosa explains to the camera that she knows what she has to do to keep from being fired. Might I suggest winning?

Back at Hydra, Tito and Piers talk about Stephen as a ‘broken man’. Tito thinks it’s hilarious that he has to answer to four women. First off, nice take on gender relations, ass. Second, nice take on math. Piers takes some time out if his busy, pineapple-eating schedule to foreshadow that he would never work with Omarosa, and would sooner quit. I might be crazy, but I’m convinced that he said “Literally, I would rather shave myself.” Is that a real thing they say in England, or is Piers just a weird guy? The musical score is absolutely insane for the next few minutes, by the way. There are violins and xylophones and it’s either wacky or dramatic, but I can’t quite tell.

The receptionist who sits outside the Boardroom and has an incongruous voice calls both teams. Their phones have a little digital screen, and on that screen is the logo for the show and a picture of Trump. That’s probably useful if Tito forgets what show he’s on. Both teams are ordered to return to the Boardroom. (Cue dramatic and/or wacky music.)

Opening credits. I just noticed something that will now amuse me until the end of the season. For each celebrity, they have three quick scenes. There’s a posed shot of each one, then a picture of them doing what they’re famous for (which in the case of Omarosa appears to be standing), and then a really short clip of them from the actual series. For all of the women, the clip is from the first episode, where they sold hot dogs. So every single member of Empresario appears in the opening credits wearing a stupid cap with her name on it. Nely may be gone, but her hat-obsessed legacy lives on.

The Retarded Baby Ducklings return to the Boardroom. Trump explains that he’s going to shuffle the teams, since Empresario is a hilarious failure. That’s not exactly what he says, but it’s what he’s thinking. I like that he says Hydra keeps beating the women and Stephen. He’s been on Empresaio for one task! He doesn’t really have a pattern of losing yet.

Piers looks mad already, because he knows darn well what Trump’s going to do. Trump moves Tito to Empresario. Tito sulks, and Lennox Lewis makes fun of him for joining “the girls team”. What is it with these guys? Lennox stays on Hydra. Marilu Henner remains with Empresario. Carol Alt (or as Trump calls her, “Beautiful Carol”) moves to Hydra. Trace Adkins moves to Empresario. Omarosa goes to Hydra. That just leaves Piers and Stephen unassigned. Boy, do you think Piers is going to end up on Hydra with his mortal enemy? Mark Burnett assumes we are actually in suspense, because we head to a commercial on that note of suspense. Or “suspense”, if we’re going to be all accurate.

I was actually excited about the Knight Rider TV-movie, until Will Arnett was dropped from his role as the voice of KITT. That’s right, I was going to watch a two-hour movie just because an actor I like had a voiceover role. Don’t look at me. I’m hideous.

Back from commercials and Trump keeps Stephen at Empresario, which means Piers and Omarosa are on the same team. You may now back away from the edge of your seat. Piers complains, and Omarosa makes fun of him. Trump says “You know, the English are very tough”. I like when people make a broad, positive statement about a race or nationality. It’s the opposite of an ethnic slur. It’s an ethnic hug. Piers adds that “We did fight two world wars, but we never had to deal with (Omarosa).” That’s the third awesome thing Piers has said this week already. There’s so much going on there. I don’t know that you personally get credit because the country where you were born participated in major wars. That’s why they call them “World Wars” – everybody’s country participated! Also, I think he just implied that Omarosa is worse than Hitler. There are a lot of things that Omarosa is worse than, including flash flooding and gangrene, but that’s going a little far.

Trump asks them how they feel about their new teams. You will be surprised to find out that Stephen is very excited. Omarosa says she can work with Piers, because she’s worked with “scums”. Trump talks about how great Central Park is, he tells the Ducklings they’ll be operating “horse and carriages”. I don’t know if that’s the correct way to pluralize it or not, but it sounds wrong. How’s that poor horse going to pull multiple carriages on his own? Or is it like how the correct plural is culs de sac? Anyway, Trump thinks they’re great for people who are in love, like Piers and Omarosa. Did I mention that this entire episode takes place in the second grade?

Anyway, each team will have three horses and carriages, and they are supposed to charge much more than the going rate of $34 for a ride. Thirty-four dollars? That’s ridiculous. For that kind of money, I should be allowed to actually ride the horse and maybe kill some cattle rustlers. Trump explains that “after a very short period of time”, the team with the most money will win. Wow, they’re not even trying to hide the fact that these guys aren’t putting in a full day’s work. I guess they don’t want to cut into Piers’ pineapple-eating time. This week, Trump’s wingmen are George and Ivanka. Now that’s a duo I can get behind.

(For the record, it should be noted that horse-drawn carriages are incredibly cruel and unhealthy for the horses. Walking on pavement destroys their hooves and lowers their life expectancy considerably. This is the only time I’ll mention it, as I don’t want to go all Al Franken on you and let righteous indignation interfere with comedy.)

At Empresario, Trace steps up as project manager, since he’s the only one who hasn’t done so. Tito thinks it’s because they’re working with horses. Apparently, Tito thinks Trace is a cowboy. Trace tells the camera about his charity, which is for people with food allergies. I’m assuming they’ll use the money to send out letters reminding people not to eat the things to which they’re allergic. He sounds so sincere talking about it that I feel like the worst person in the world for that last joke. I’m not going to cut it, but I feel bad.

They start calling in their big donors to come take a carriage ride, with Stephen making the announcement that “Billy Baldwin” is going to show up. That’s right, he uses his own brother’s first and last name. Trace is confused about New York geography, not knowing that 59th Street and Central Park South are one and the same. Stephen sets him straight, and then makes fun of his accent. I can’t tell whether Trace is amused or if he wants to punch Stephen. Marilu says how much she likes her team, and everybody seems happy.

Over at Hydra, Piers is taking the project manager role, since he hasn’t raised anything for his charity yet. Neither has Omarosa, but there’s all the sucking to get past there. Piers and Omaraosa agree to put aside their hostilities. Then Piers tells the team that if they lose, he’s going to take the people who raise the least money to the Boardroom. With that, they all start calling their donors. Piers asks somebody for $10,000. Carol seems to be doing an ad for a Party Line. Lennox tells somebody to “buy a ride off me”, and I picture people actually riding Lennox through Central Park. I assume Piers does the same, though it’s much less funny in his mind. Omarosa is clearly being rejected by whoever she called, and Piers reminds us that she isn’t a celebrity, and thus can’t raise big money.

It’s a new day over at Hydra, and the team is crammed into a minivan. Omarosa is wearing yet another hilarious hat. In an interview, Piers once again explains the task to us. Nobody restates information quite like Piers. Omarosa hands out a “commitment form”, which is never quite explained. Piers is upset that she misspelled his name. I assume she spelled it “Pierce”, but it could well have been something in the “turd” family. He overreacts, but he sort of has a point. Just a couple of weeks ago, there was a discussion in the Boardroom as to the correct spelling and pronunciation of his name. And you’d think somebody who grew up with the name “Omarosa” would be sensitive to getting people’s names right. Omarosa balls up the form and throws it at him.

Of course it turns into an argument, with Omarosa instantly escalating. She tells us that her goal is to break him, and that she knows his weak spots. Thus, she tells him that his wife and kids hate him. Now, I don’t know anything about Piers Morgan other than what we’ve seen on this series. It would seem he’s divorced and his wife is remarried, based on other comments that we’ll hear. Still, once you go there, you’ve really crossed a line. There’s so much else to make fun of, there’s no reason to bring his family into it. Not cool. As much as I hate her, Omarosa does make me laugh when, in the argument, she says “I do what I want”, and sounds exactly like Cartman.

More arguing, with Omarosa being bleeped constantly, including “Welcome to my <bleep>.” I can’t imagine how that sentence ended. Lennox tries to keep the peace, and to his credit, Piers limits his arguments to the show-specific awfulness of Omarosa, rather than bringing any of her other awfulness into it. Piers and Lennox get out of the van and walk, and Piers actually has his arm around him at one point. See, Omarosa? That’s the kind of thing you can attack!

Empresario is walking to their task, in order of height. They look like a cell phone’s signal indicator. Marilu once again talks about how much she likes her team. It must be nice to have the two most drama-free people on the show on your side. And Stephen seems to basically be a nice guy who’s enthusiastic, so really that does seem like a good team. They buy roses and champagne. Cases of champagne, actually. A passerby reaches for one of the bottles that Stephen is holding, and you just know that guy found it hilarious. He had a big party to watch the show with his friends, and when his hand appeared in frame, everybody cheered and started making phone calls.

Both teams set up, and it turns out they’re working out of the same location. Stephen asks some man in a top hat if each team has specific carriages, while in the background, each carriage is emblazoned with a team name. I’m not sure how Top Hat Man resisted the urge to simply point. Of course, he may have been a passing magician who was not involved with the task. Trace says that “nobody works the streets better than” Tito, Marilu, and Stephen. “Works the streets?” Is Trace their pimp? We see Tito making a “Celebrity Carriage Rides” sign with magic marker. It’s nice that they give him something to do.

In a scene that appears to have happened before the previous one, Empresario has reached their location, and they’re arguing again. Piers has apparently fired Omarosa, which of course doesn’t matter at all. While neither of them come off particularly well this week, Omarosa is really just awful. Mean and trashy and disruptive – she really is hard to watch. Piers is mostly just kind of childish. I think Omarosa has gone beyond the “reality show villain” thing to simply being a crappy human being. Lennox and Carol try to keep focused, and Piers actually does try to walk away from her, but Omarosa won’t get out of his face. I’m actually kind of upset watching this, because it’s clear that nothing he can do will put an end to the hostility. He can’t even back down, because that won’t stop her. She’s actively committed to ruining the task, which is just stupid on her part. Carol and Lennox separate them, and Piers complains that Omarosa is sabotaging the task. Ordinarily, this would be crazy ranting, but he’s actually right about it.

Empresario is selling their carriage rides. We see Stephen hugging a random guy, and at one point, the entire team approaches a couple about buying one. Clearly, they’re just going for intimidation. William Baldwin shows up, and Stephen again calls him “Billy Baldwin”. The onscreen text also identifies him as “Billy Baldwin”. Should the editors use his nickname like that? Shouldn’t they use the actual name that he works under? Stephen calls over to Trace that his brother Billy has arrived. Trace, without even looking up from what he’s doing, says “Never heard of him”. Ha! It wasn’t mean or anything, Trace just flat-out doesn’t care about who’s famous and who isn’t. And William does have a series now, so it’s not like they’re taking shots at a failed Baldwin. Of course, were Dirty Sexy Money an NBC show, all of Empresario would have to stop to greet their visitor. William, for his part, is not as hilarious as Alec was, but he’s clearly amused by his brother. Stephen totally sits at the kid’s table at Baldwin Thanksgiving. On the other team, Piers is very impressed with the first-tier Baldwin arrival. Stephen refers to William as “The second Baldwin brother bomb.” Oh, they’ve had more bombs than that. Let’s just hope he doesn’t have to bring in Daniel for a future episode, unless the task is somehow crack-related.

Stephen assigns Marilu to walk around with his brother and look for donors. William really is a good sport about this, and it’s nice of him to come out and shill for his dopey brother. Still, if I were walking around and William Baldwin and Marilu Henner tried to sell me a carriage ride, I think my brain would explode. William goes on a ride with the two highest bidders, which is kind of sweet. We don’t hear that much from him, which is probably because he’s an ABC star. In fact, that’s probably why they identify him as “Billy” onscreen. Classy, NBC.

At Hydra, Trace’s big donors are showing up. Apparently, they can’t collect money from anybody who doesn’t actually go on a ride, so Piers decides to limit the seats that are available for the regular people. That’s actually a good idea. I’m still really conflicted about Piers and his actual attitude toward this show, but he brings a lot to the table in terms of ideas and execution. Omarosa doesn’t listen, and keeps hitting up the crowd. Whether or not you agree with the PM, you probably shouldn’t openly disobey them. Especially while wearing a hat that appears to be an overturned bucket. Piers explains his decision to her again, and she instantly brings up his children. You know what’s worse than being awful? Being boring and repetitive about it. In an interview, Lennox says that Omarosa “crossed the line”, and calls her “ghetto and nasty”. I am unable to disagree. The two of them continue to fight in front of the crowd, which would be really awkward if either of them were recognizable.

George shows up at Empresario and admires their hustle. Tito’s girlfriend, porn star Jenna Jameson, shows up and pays $1000 for a carriage ride. She is wearing all black, including giant sunglasses. There’s something a little disturbing here. Then again, Tito is wearing a t-shirt that says “Punishment”, which is probably not what you want to wear when you’re trying to sell things to the public. Anyway, she goes on a ride with Tito, and there’s a cute moment where Stephen tells the camera “She must really like that fella”.

Of course, they ruin the whole thing by showing us the carriage ride, where Jenna makes it clear that winning is slightly more important than charity. Also, she wonders aloud which park they’re in, which would indicate that Tito just might be the brains of the relationship. I know. I’m scared too, pumpkin.

Lennox, Carol, and Piers are all shown accepting donations from the people they called. I wonder who was missing from that montage… Ivanka drops by, and Omarosa, who is now not participating at all, complains to her about Piers. Suddenly, everybody’s talking to Ivanka, and she’s kind of horrified. Piers states that Omarosa hasn’t raised a single dollar, and Omarosa doesn’t even try to contradict him. Now, keep in mind that Ivanka is Donald Trump’s daughter. She has seen crazy at levels the rest of us can barely comprehend. And still, even she is amazed at the following statement from Piers: “I literally wanted somebody to strangle her slowly and pour sulfuric acid over her horrible, diseased little torso.” Awesome. Ordinarily, that kind of talk would be worrisome, but he’s just so florid in his descriptions, that he’s obviously just going for shock value. It’s not as if he’s actually threatened her in any way. You know, almost everything Piers says in this episode belongs on a t-shirt.

Back at Empresario, we see Tito making yet another sign. Trace chats up the tourists, and as Marilu explains Trace’s comfort with horses and being a cowboy, there’s a bunch of shots of Trace spitting on the ground. Seriously? We haven’t seen him do that before, and now I’m retroactively grossed out. Trace talks about how slow one of the horses is, and it’s kind of funny. A country star named John Rich shows up with a lot of money. OK, so those guys are called “Big and Rich” because those are their actual names? If Big ever leaves the band, Rich would do well to seek out one William Hung. John Rich donates five thousand dollars, which is very cool of him. Then he talks about how much money he has, and his cool points are all revoked.

Scenes of happy Empresario working together are contrasted with the freaking war zone that is Hydra. Lennox and Piers are trying to hustle their last pledges in, and Omarosa is on Piers about being a failure as a father. Give it a rest, for cry Pete! Lennox announces to the crowd “Celebrity argument”, which makes me laugh. I’m starting to get Stockholm Syndrome here, I think. Carol has a big pledge coming yet, but he’s still in New Jersey. Piers is going after his last pledge. Say what you want about the guy, but he delivers on the donors.

Commercials. Has anybody ever worn out their welcome as fast as Frank Caliendo?

Boardroom Time! With the Retarded Baby Ducklings seated, Trump enters. He’s wearing yet another pink tie. Is he a cartoon character, where he only has the one outfit? Right away, Piers lights into Omarosa. He weakens his whole argument by leading off with how she misspelled his name. Lennox compares them to his fight with Mike Tyson, which gets the Ernie laugh from Stephen. Piers then makes his strong point, about Omarosa’s references to his family. He quotes her, and it’s pretty heavily bleeped. We can’t get the specifics or even tell if it’s something she actually said, but given the foul language she was throwing out there, it’s not impossible. Piers hasn’t really been shown to swear on his own, so he’s probably pretty accurate. At one point, Ivanka flinches visibly. She was OK with the first three bleeps, but number four actually shocked her. Damn, that had to be filthy.

Piers brings up the aforementioned Tyson fight, reminds us that Tyson talked about Lennox’s kids, and then Lennox beat the tar out of him. Good point. If you recall, Mike Tyson threatened to eat Lennox’s children. I’m starting to wonder if all famous people are crazy. Kids, if you see a celebrity on the street, run the hell away. Piers says that he won’t work with Omarosa again, and if they win, he’d like to be moved to the other team or fired. Omarosa compares it to his issues with Vincent Pastore and Stephen, but they really aren’t the same thing. In neither of those cases did one party set out to specifically attack the other’s weak points. It’s not like Piers kept talking about Vincent beating up his girlfriend or anything.

Finally Trump says: “I can’t say I hope your team loses, but to a certain extent, I hope your team loses.” It’s no pineapple line, but it’s still pretty good. He turns to Empresario, and Trace talks about how great a time he had and how well his team did. He’s unable to pick a star of the team, because everybody performed so well. Who’s feeling the love?

George announces that Empresario made just under thirty thousand, which is darn good. And in the first actual surprising result, Hydra made thirty-five thousand. Seriously? Man, Piers really did bring in some big donations. Everybody at the table is disappointed at these results, including Ivanka. Piers wins the money for his charity, the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. As toolish as he can be, I’m glad he’s able to give something to his charity. He was instrumental in most of their wins, and he didn’t get anything for it until now.

Trump tells Omarosa that he’s moving her to Empresario for the next task, and he sends Hydra out of the room, the saddest little winners you’ll ever see. Trump, who’s really having an existential crisis this season, thinks it’s wrong that he has to fire somebody from Empresario. I think he may be overstating it when he says that they “love each other”, but it’s so rare that he expresses something positive that he tends to go overboard.

In the Hydra suite, Piers still seems visibly upset. Lennox is trying to cheer him up, and when Lennox can’t cheer up Piers, you know it’s a dark day.

Back in the Boardroom, Trump is perplexed. Trace can’t pick anybody out as a poor performer. He really just lets loose specific positive things about everybody. He does keep saying “working the streets”, though. Trump asks Stephen if there’s a person who might not be as amazing as the others, and Stephen can’t answer. Marilu won’t name anybody either. She actually suggests firing Piers or Omarosa.

Trump looks mournful as he explains that he wanted to, but the rules won’t let him. You know, reality shows are really the one place where rules don’t actually matter. They can change on a whim, and there’s no recourse. A referee can’t decide in the middle of a football game that touchdowns are now worth a hundred points and every player gets a frying pan to hit people with. On reality TV, that’s exactly what they do. If Probst says that your immunity idol is worthless, it just is. Nothing you can do about it. It’s like the Old West out there. Tito also will not name anybody who should be fired.

George thinks it’s the toughest decision Trump has ever had to face. As much as I love George, I do believe that would be what we in the business call hyperbole. Trump actually asks if any of them will resign, and they all laugh. Only, he’s not joking. None of them want to resign. Trace says that he would if he were for himself, but he’s fighting for somebody else. Specifically, people who can’t eat walnuts. (I am going to Hell when this is over.)

Trump rails at the unfairness of the game he helped develop. He says if they’d called him for a carriage ride, he would have put them over the top so he could fire Piers or Omarosa. And then, rainbows and unicorns appear out of nowhere and there’s a cartoon bluebird singing a song about friendship and Trump fires… NOBODY! Never before has the losing team been rewarded for the winning team’s incredible amount of suckage. Marilu will switch to Hydra next week, and you can just tell how thrilled the guys are with getting Omarosa.

In one of Mark Burnett’s rare funny moments, there’s a shot of the poor limo driver outside, just waiting for the firee. Aw, poor limo driver. Can’t they call him and let him go home. I mean, sure, that scene was probably shot two weeks later in post-production, but I’m sure he had places to be.

Well, I think we all learned an important lesson about business and love, or something. Next week, my heart breaks a little as Piers clashes with Lennox. Unless the editors are lying to us, which would be unheard of. Please note, this paragraph has been edited by Mark Burnett’s editors, removing all references to the other times that they lied within this episode. This sentence will probably be edited by the time you finish reading it.

I’m so excited, I can almost hardly eat my pineapple.

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