Remember the very first season of The Apprentice… when it was just regular people? Back then, provided you didn’t pay too much attention, you could have convinced yourself that winning the game opened up life-changing career possibilities for hard-working well-educated young business turks looking for a chance to stand out from the crowd and make their way in the world. After all, the final two contenders for that first title were Bill Rancic, an honest to goodness entrepreneur, and Harvard MBA holder, Kwame Jackson. These were people Donald Trump could have actually used in his organization.
What’s he gonna do this year if Meat Loaf wins?
Well, stunt casting is nothing new. Most long-standing but slowly-eroding television shows fall back on it when they want to squeeze out a few more seasons before making their final head first flops into the grave. And hey… at least there’s some camera operators who won’t have to worry about house payments for another few years, and editors that get to send their kids to college without sweating it. And that chick who plays the “receptionist” outside Trump’s “boardroom” may finally get her SAG card!
So, maybe it doesn’t matter that it’s actually impossible to truly root for anyone on Celebrity Apprentice, but is anyone even asking us to? After all, the show is billing LaToya Jackson as an “entertainment icon.” The producers might as well just turn the cameras on themselves and wink directly at us.
It’s men vs. women to start things off, and despite my rooting for Gary Busey’s suggestion of “Sperm Farmers” as team name, the guys voted unanimously on “Team Backbone,” then once again voted unanimously to let former Survivor Richard Hatch lead them on Team Task Number One, which means none of them have yet to show any backbone whatsoever.
But it’s even richer with the ladies. They got super clever with the name “Team ASAP.” You may think that stands for “as soon as possible,” but that’s why you’re not on Celebrity Apprentice, ya big dumb loser! The ladies came up with their own brand spanking new acronym for ASAP. It’s really catchy too. Witness Latoya explain it to The Donald during the very first boardroom meeting.
“It stands for… Actors, Singers, Authors and Performers.. I mean Artists, Singers, Actors.. I mean Authors… Artists, Singers, Authors and Perfomrers… I mean Professionals. (giggle giggle) I keep forgetting we’re professionals!”
Cue the team “snap” at the end. That didn’t rob anyone of credibility, did it?
P.S. Marlee Matlin has an Oscar. And it’s not even for supporting.
Task Number One: Each team will run a pizza parlor… my fantasy job. Team Backbone will be staking out a pie joint near a local college. Team ASAP, led by Star Jones, will be in the high falutin’ theatre district. Trump makes out like this is gonna ultimately make some kind of important difference in the results, but after this it’s never mentioned again.
Let the cheese fly!
As Team Leader, Richard Hatch was exactly what America was waiting to see… cocky, bossy and arrogant. It may be tired, it may be embarrassing, but dammit, he only knows how to do one thing and he’s gonna do it! He insulted Jose Canseco, ignored all suggestions but his own, and threw up the dreaded “talk to the hand” gesture before physically pushing aside David Cassidy. I know, I know. David Cassidy is like five seven and weighs a hundred and forty pounds. Everyone pushes people like that. But this is David Cassidy! The guy’s come back from the brink of career obscurity and is still alive and kicking… and by merely staying out of prison, he’s one up on Richard Hatch.
Unfortunately, whatever entertainment connections David has left in the industry were not willing to contribute any amount of money to the pizza charity, and aside from a contribution from his own daughter (did David’s phone call asking her for money break your heart as much as mine? I think Shirley Jones would have been a much better choice), David’s contribution to the team was meager. His excessive smoking breaks didn’t help. To make matters worse, David was shown up big time by the $15,0000 contribution brought in by John Rich, who’s apparently some kind of country star. (Don’t hate, country lovers! I don’t know who Lil’ John or Hope Dworaczyk are either!)
As for the ladies, former supermodel Niki Taylor volunteered to be chef because… “I’ve been a mom for sixteen years. Being in the kitchen is just part of my job.” Okay, you’ve staked out your show angle, Niki… you’re gonna be the sweet maternal one. Have you never watched this show? The “mommies” are always eaten by their own as soon as it’s convenient. Hell, Lisa Rinna and Real Housewife Nene Leakes would probably already have their sights set on you. Luckily, being forced to slap pizza dough in a kitchen in unflattering light while wearing ugly aprons that hide their cleavage have them instead hating big on Team Leader Star Jones, whose prolonged meeting with the graphic designer discussing the menus kept her from throwing in with her little worker ants.
Did Star’s work pay off? Lisa took a look at the final printed menus and quickly declared them “Great. They’re great! They’re great!” and apologized to Star for her bad behavior, and then revealed to camera, “The printed materials were useless!”
I do not like Lisa Rinna. Be prepared for that now, for in coming weeks I’m going to hit her hard. Not this week… but soon. I do not like this woman. I don’t understand how she manages to continually show up on my television. I don’t even find her convincing as herself in still photographs. Urg!
By the way… Dionne Warwick trying to work a cash register = baby trying to separate a pair of socks. You’re simultaneously delighted and sad that it can’t figure it out.
Star receives a charity order for forty pizzas at one thousand dollars a piece. Star is “over the moon” (Get it? Yeah, thanks. I’ll be using that one a lot this season) until Chef Curtis Stone calls with an order for eight pies to be sent down to the boys at the Chelsea firehouse for a sizable “mystery” donation. Why is Curtis Stone on this show? Because he’s a judge on America’s Next Great Restaurant on NBC just before Celebrity Apprentice, that’s why! Star decides that there’s no way they can get these 48 pizzas done and continue to serve the public, so… say it with me, ya’ll… FUCK THE PUBLIC! She closes the doors on the restaurant, but she’s still got a problem. Delivery gals Lisa and Marlee are stuck in traffic. Big question: Can they make it back in time to pick up the pizzas and get them delivered? Bigger question: Doesn’t anyone else own a vehicle?
The girls make it back in time to secure the $40,000, but fail to make it to the fire house for the Curtis Stone mystery donation. “That’s why you never close the doors… because you never know what will happen at the end, ” cites Latoya, who’s still trying to sort out what the “A” in ASAP stands for.
And how much did the ladies miss out on by not getting to the fire house in time and ringing up the mystery donation? An additional $35,000…. and a bunch of hot firemen who probably don’t get out a lot, but I’m assuming that part wasn’t a mystery
If you’re wondering at this point why this recap is not mentioning Gary Busey, here’s why: they didn’t do anything with him. Why didn’t they do anything with him? Because from the few moments we saw, the lunch meat has apparently completely slipped out of the sandwich, if you know what I’m saying. And if they give him any serious air time at all, Trump not firing him at the end of the episode will rob this show of any shred of credibility it has left.
Back in the boardroom, Trump reveals the winner.
Team Backbone: $54,104 Team ASAP: $115,868.
And suddenly, just like that… all the ladies are all friends again. Dames… you can’t live with ’em… and that’s why I’m a homosexual.
And so… a man with BACKBONE will be sent home tonight. Richard brings Jose and David back into the boardroom with him. Look at the picture below. Who do you think the director is setting up to get the ax?
Jesus Christ, if I was sandwiched between these two lunk heads, I’d fire myself. Also, I wouldn’t wear purple.
Trump Junior doesn’t see a lot of fight in David. Trump asks David if he took a lot of breaks during the task. David says no, but then immediately defers to Jose to back him up. Ivanka and Trump pounce on this… why does he need Canseco to back him up? David has no answer and instead calls Richard “an ego-maniac… a complete control freak… disrespectful.” “Well, he’s disrespectful to you!” Trump interrupts. Damn, Trump! Way to squish a little guy. This is one of pop culture’s most celebrated teens. Don’t you remember “The Puppy Song”?
Sadly, David was just floundering at this point. Trump knew it was over. I knew it was over. Everyone had ganged up on him, and his one ally, Jose Canseco, had smartly clammed up. Even my cat knew it was over. Though Trump declared himself a Cassidy fan, he couldn’t deny that David lacked fight and passion, and our delicate little David got the first boot of the season.
Though you seem to dress well, Mister Cassidy, your whining and excessive smoking breaks did you in. What kind of teen idol would you be today, puffing away like that? It’s back to off-Broadway for you. The amazing technicolor dreamcoat awaits!
I would have preferred to see David stay and Richard be forced to take his walking papers. His schtick is basically transparent at this point. Is he doing anything new? Not as far as I can tell. Nevertheless, I don’t see anyone else on staff this season with the cojones to be “the instigator” that every reality competition show needs to stay controversial. Maybe Dionne Warwick or Mark McGrath will surprise me, but somehow I seriously doubt it.
I miss Omarosa