Are you becoming more and more curious to see what Lil John looks like without those stupid glasses? If so, click through. There’s a pic at the end of this recap.
With each passing week of this season’s Celebrity Apprentice, I’m finding myself more and more in love with Nene Leakes and less and less bothered by the standard BS she’s been endlessly delivering on the talk show circuit where she never misses an opportunity to more or less crucify fellow ASAP team member Star Jones under the guise of “keeping it real.”
I have never seen an episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta, but I’m guessing that Ms. Leakes is more than capable of serving up a platter full of bitch martinis whenever necessary. But so far on Apprentice, aside from the occasional remark that tends to be exceeded in its snarkiness by the fact it’s simply RIGHT ON THE MONEY (are you listening, Dionne Warwick?), Nene Leakes is far outshining Gary Busey as the most interesting member of this season’s candidates.
And now that the women have lost two in a row – inexplicably, I might add – to a team of men that never seem to come together during a task but are always primed and ready to cover each other’s butts in the board room, I think it’s safe to say that having Gary Busey on your team is a sure advantage to avoiding even having to worry about heading to the final boardroom. Had the men ended up there tonight, or either of the last two weeks, Trump would have looked like an absolute kiss-ass shill for not throwing Busey’s butt to the pavement.
But Gary Busey is the over-the-top, whacked out slap-crackers personality the producers of Celebrity Apprentice are counting on to keep viewers coming back week after week. So no matter what he does or doesn’t do, no matter how many meaningless acronyms he throws out in an effort to inspire team spirit, no matter how many times he accidentally displays his junk on camera, there’s really nothing Gary Busey can do to guarantee a firing before May sweeps, or at least long enough to ensure he’ll be one of the candidates axed late enough to be brought back to help the final two in the ultimate pre-hiring challenge.
So until they lose enough members to mandate team merging, the women had better expect their herd to continue to thin in the weeks ahead.
This week, Teams Backbone and ASAP were challenged to write and produce a promotional video for ACN video phones. Leading the pack for the ladies was NeNe Leakes, and Lil John was pulling the train for the men. At stake was a $40,000 check for the winning project manager’s charity.
I don’t know about you, but I felt that the reps for ACN with their Brooks Brothers-esque suits and they’re preppy boy haircuts were begging the teams to be conservative with their commercials. Though they claimed to be hands-off in whatever direction the teams chose to take, their faces seemed to be screaming, “Hey, you flat-headed gaggle of D, C and one or two B-listers, DO NOT FUCK WITH OUR BRAND!”
Despite this very obvious unspoken note, Lil John immediately declared that it was important for the men to deliver a “hip” and “out of the box” video that ultimately relied on Gary Busey playing a grandfather with a Nick Nolte “mugshot hairdo” glowing lovingly as their Argentina-based son introduced Jose Canseco as his gay lover over ACN video phone lines.
I thought dressing up the men as prissy schoolgirls was bad. I thought watching Busey and Canseco sitting on their asses during the entirety of last week’s RV challenge was bad. But this was downright stupid. I normally might call out country star John Rich’s hesitance to go along with this decision as an effort to preserve what could be considered a more conservative fan base, but he had it all-over correct that this was “hardly a traditional pitch.”
More on track from the get-go seemed to be the women, who landed on a theme of a child and a deaf mother (Marlee Matlin) being able to see and sign with one another across the Atlantic Ocean thanks to the wonder that is ACN (by the way, had YOU ever heard of ACN before tonight? Me neither. I actually had to scroll back up to where I’d typed their name before just to remember what it was).
And I know you’re just dying to know… did Dionne Warwick actually contribute anything this week? The answer… about as much as she delivered in the weeks past, which amounted to her once again roaming aimlessly down rows of props that needed to be purchased as her team waited anxiously, waving her hand in the air when someone dared to talk over her, and generally growling and moaning unintelligibly the way I do after I’ve eaten a few too many ravioli and have to unsnap the top button on my jeans and lie back on my couch as I suffer through the uncomfortable bloat of “pasta cramp.”
But the diva took it one step beyond this week, by telling team leader Nene that if she wasn’t gonna be needed at the team’s late night marathon editing session, she was gonna go home and turn in for the night. As the case for retaining the elderly in the American work force is set back twenty years, Ms. Warwick elects to forgo the cover of next month’s AARP Magazine, but at least she got some shut-eye!
A couple other moments of note during the execution of both team’s challenges:
- Playmate Hope Dworaczyk reveals she’s super good at shopping for props, but super bad at being in charge of the Power Point presentation, but ultimately proves that she sucks equally at both. Star’s little ankle-biting dog got more air time than she did.
- It was hot watching Mark McGrath utter the line, “We’re going for a gay angle!” Creepy and hot, but more hot than creepy. Sigh.
- Latoya claiming she was unable to function at the top of her game because she forgot her Lasik eyedrops. My boyfriend had Lasik and I will attest to the fact that those drops are very important. He’s never without them and his surgery was several years ago. Latoya claimed hers was only a few weeks before the start of production. But those drops are available everywhere, over the counter, at the nearest drug store, grocery store or Quik-E-Mart in town. We are in New York City, are we not?
- It took me until someone on the men’s team made a mention about Richard Hatch being gay that I was forced to remember that this nutsack actually plays for my team.
- We’ve hit about the fiftieth time where a member of the men’s team mentions Gary Busey’s name followed by the phrase, “this could be a disaster waiting to happen.” I’m glad I’m not playing a tequila shot game.
Finally, presentation day arrived, and in front of over 400 ACN representatives, the women came off controlled, composed and serious, while the guys came off like the frat house that is year after year on the verge of being disbanded by the university for disreputable Animal House-styler behavior.
Lil John certainly seemed to get a bigger rise out of the ACN crowd as he pranced across the stage while proclaiming that the men’s commerical would take them to the ultimate “coolness level” and equated it to a Super Bowl ad. That was smart, because there’s always that little bit of extra risk that can be taken during a Super Bowl commercial, right? So why not go SUPER GAY? And I typed this before the “danger element” was praised by Trump fifteen minutes later in the boardroom. Yes, from a viral standpoint, it was great. But it was great from that standpoint only.
In the boardroom, the men predictably praised Lil John as a brilliant task master. Richard Hatch couldn’t say enough. Gary celebrated the gay theme in a way I never want to see Gary Busey ever do again.
The women also unanimously praised Nene as a project manager. Dionne called her “an excellent director… she just did the J-O-B.” Star commended her for putting her heart and soul into the gig. Marlee said Nene was one of the best directors she’d ever worked with. But when asked who the weakest player on the team was, Star claimed to be “surprised” at Latoya and Hope for under-delivering.
Finally, the ACN verdict was revealed. The women were applauded for their theme and their successful brand integration. The men were praised for their creativity and the potential for their video to go viral.
“The vote was very close.” pronounced Trump, ” In fact, the vote was 53 to 47…. in favor of the men.” The Gary Busey factor comes into play yet again!
Aside from the fact that the men’s video was juvenile, appealing only to the gay-friendly, and all-in-all disgustingly lame, I have another question… if there were over 400 ACN members in the theatre watching the two competing videos (the daunting number was touted over and over during the episode), why did the total vote only equal 100?
And predictably, the women immediately turned on one another and reinforced tired old stereotypes about chicks competing in the workplace. This is why you’ve never seen an office comedy with two females in the lead roles.
Latoya got called out for doing nothing more than running after everyone with a stopwatch complaining, “we’ve got to get moving!” Latoya claimed that’s all she was asked to do – but we know she’s not going anywhere until we see her embarrass herself as a project manager, so who cares?
Hope got called out for… well, actually Hope didn’t get called out for much of anything. I think everyone forgot she was in the room. Nene complained that Dionne announced that she was going home early. Dionne countered that she actually asked to be allowed to go home early and got Nene’s permission. Did you see Dionne ask? Have you seen Dionne ask anything this entire season?
Hold the phone. Dionne finally has a question. She asked Trump to fire her. Yes, she just plainly asked to be fired. Before Trump even asked Nene to bring two team members back into the boardroom, Dionne just plain old gave up. “I don’t want to be the cog in a wheel that stops it, so if that’s the way you feel… it’s cool.”
Ugh. I’m not a big Star Jones fan, but thank god she pointed out that the whole point of these people being on this show was to raise money for charities. Just like Niki Taylor bowed out “gracefully” last week, Dionne was basically announcing to the room, “Fuck my charity! I want my night-night!”
What’s a Trump to do? Donald called out Dionne for having a chip on her shoulder, and as Dionne tried to buy it all back after being totally embarrassed by Star’s dead-on comments, Trump told her, “It’s too late. You did the wrong thing.”
And off with the diva’s head!
And not a moment too soon, I say. Dionne, by virtue of age, could have played up the (phony) senility card, and been all kinds of shit-smacking crazy. She could have rivaled Busey as King of the Cuckoos this season. Instead, she simply came off like someone who wasn’t interested in doing anything of interest to the vieweing public… the biggest faux-pas a reality show contestant can commit.
Dionne did gather up enough steam to call out Nene for being a coward at the elevators, which provided us with a taste of boardroom drama we have now missed out on two weeks in a row, and gave that chick who plays the receptionist a camera shot.
Hit the bricks, Miss Warwick. Your project manager called you out for being lazy. Your team members turned on you the first chance they got. The Donald unapologetically dismissed you. You had four weeks to prove your worth as a reality show star, and you blew each and every one of them. The only bigger mis-fire was that the producers of Celebrity Apprentice didn’t underscore your departure with “That’s What Friends Are For.” I’m guessing the cost for the rights was just too prohibitive, but it would have been awesome!
And so as the women, at least as a team, march on to their doom, I look forward to more Nene-isms, more dramatic “pause points” from Star Jones, and next week’s teased “SUPER MEATLOAF MELTDOWN!” And, as promised, here’s what this week’s Team BackBone Project Manager and lover of the gays looks like without those stupid over-sized Jackie O. sunglasses. See you next week!