Who else could annoy her own team so much only two weeks into this season’s Celebrity Apprentice than little Lisa Rinna…. bubbly, flighty, flirty, over-enthusiastic, under-confident, wide-eyed, big-lipped, leopard-printed Lisa Rinna. The coven of backstabbers known as TEAM ASAP was nearly united at pushing little deficient Lisa into this week’s Project Manager position and then immediately piling on top her anytime she tried to actually construct a complete declarative sentence. I’m not a fan, so I can’t say I blanched.
This week the teams, still segregated by gender, were required to write an original children’s book and then perform it on stage for a group of kindergartners. Leading Team Backbone this week was Meat Loaf… ‘cuz there’s nothing kids flock to faster than an strange, sixty-something, balding bug-eyed man who starts the kiddie show with the line, “Hello… how are you… AM I SCARRRYY???”
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. First, each team needed to come to a consensus on a story and then actually write it. With the help of country singer John Rich, the men were quick to settle on a rhyming tale about an outcast kid who finds his inner voice and learns the alphabet with the help of rap music. Unfortunately, the women had a tougher time. Lisa seemed to think that a sunny outlook and “go get ’em” attitude would be enough to motivate her team members into cohesion, but Star Jones chose to spend the entire task bullying Lisa into making decisions faster than she was ready to do so, while Dionne Warwick mumbled a lot and seethed at Lisa with a face that seemed to indicate she’d prefer to sew up Lisa’s lips and tie her by her hair to the back of a bus.
As for the rest of ladies, there wasn’t much to report this week. Marlee Matlin expressed unhappiness that Dionne hated the idea of including sign language as a theme in the book. Niki Taylor expressed that they should stay away from using the word “shy” before curling back up into a ball and rolling herself under the rug. And the Playmate half-heartedly said, “Yeah!” a lot like she was auditioning for the role of middle daughter on Full House.
It really came down to a battle of wills between Lisa and Star. Star felt she ended up writing the entire book by herself, and when Lisa asked her to give final approval on the book cover, Star drew the line, insisting that Lisa was just looking to be able to pass the buck if it all blew up in their faces, which from my experience, is exactly what most successful bosses do.
And since there’s nothing uglier than a fight for credit, Star took it a step further and insisted that her name be on the cover separate from the rest of the team, which lead to Dionne immediately demanding an individual credit for the book’s concept as well. “We all came up with this,” claimed Lisa timidly. “No we didn’t. NO WE DID NOT,” growled Dionne with such aggression I thought her teeth might fly right out of her mouth and hit the Playmate in the face!
Latoya begins to cry. Dionne grumbles for her to “suck it up.” Points to Dionne for that.
But let’s take a break from the women for a moment to see what the men are up to.
Playing the role of Miss Crabtree tonight is Jose Canseco. This can’t be good for the printed word in any way, shape or form.
When it came to performance time, I thought the women presented a much more sincere show to the moppets than the men did. It was innocuous and inoffensive. The men came across like one of those surreal sketches on Saturday Night Live they don’t run until five minutes before the end of the show because it doesn’t actually go anywhere but has a couple cast members dressed like idiots and a weak musical number so at least the stoners at home might find it halfway memorable.
And we’re back in the boardroom. Meat Loaf and the men were applauded for their passion and conviction to their story. They should have also been commended for their teamwork. There was not one weak link or mean-spirited finger pointer in the bunch. The same cold not be said for the chicks, who for a second week began hammer-bashing one another the moment they were asked to rate performances. It all proved to be unnecessary however when Lisa, asked by Trump who could have done her job as Project Manger better, brilliantly answered “gosh… any of them!” It’s these moments I wish MG would stoop to watch reality television with me. He would have loved that! He would have loved even more Donald’s exchange with Marlee Matlin after she began explaining why she’d fire the obnoxious and bossy Dionne Warwick if the call were hers:
Marlee (via her signer): “People tell me she’s a legend, and I respect that, but–”
Donald: “What do you mean, people tell you she’s a legend. You don’t know that?”
Marlee: “Well… I’m deaf.”
In the end, the women were criticized for one-dimensional characters, a book font too small for kids to read and an unoriginal idea. The men got props for being age-appropriate with their story, but Trump Junior thought their live performance didn’t take into consideration things that might scare kindergartners, namely confetti canons aimed directly at them, grown men in drag, and Gary Busey as Simple Jack.
Nevertheless, the men squeezed out a win and Little Lisa chose Star and Dionne back for the Final Boardroom Diva Smackdown
In the final boardroom, Trump, Jr. pointed out that two thirds of the task were lost because of the book itself and the team’s choice of theme, so Star and Dionne, who had been shooting their mouths off endlessly about being responsible for those two elements specifically, finally (and wisely) shut their traps for a while and let Lisa sink herself.
Innocent little Lisa tried to make a distinction between fighting and “fighting dirty.” She claimed to have never come across this level of negativity before, even though she also claims to have been an actress in Hollywood for the last twenty years. Star pointed out that, unlike Lisa, she comes ready and equipped to bring her “A game” to any task, while Lisa merely whines and admits she has a lot to learn. Lisa finally lost her cool and started throwing around some expletives, insisting that she didn’t want to be project manager anyway and admitting to crumbling under the pressure. Trump pointed out it’s pretty stupid for her to admit that, while Star simply nodded her head and Dionne clucked her tongue and tried to remember where she was. Lisa continued to take the high ground and complain about being thrown under the bus until the producers were sure they had enough of her sniveling preserved on tape to fill a two-hour episode obligation to NBC, and gave Trump the signal to cut off her head.
Poor Lisa. By continuing to vomit at the mouth, she stepped right into a giant bear trap. And it was too late to try gnawing off her leg. Her teammates had long ago knocked them both out from under her. The only thing that would have made her departure sweeter was if during her exit interview in the fleeing Town Car, she was forced to listen to “That’s What Friends Are For” on the radio. Missed opportunity, Celebrity Apprentice!