>Well… an interesting thing happened in my life between my recap of last week’s Apprentice and my recap of tonight’s Apprentice. Ready for it… here it comes… I GOT FIRED!
Of course, it didn’t go down nearly as cool in real life as it does on Celebrity Apprentice.
I wasn’t in a fashionable suit sitting in a comfy leather chair on a nicely lit set made to look like a boardroom. And I didn’t get the cobra hand from The Donald.
Even worse, I didn’t even get a chance to go all Nene Leakes on any of my co-workers before it went down. No calling out the camera guys for trying to play all strategic and throw me under the bus. No poking my finger at the college intern shouting, “Who the FUCK MADE YOU in charge of project managers, Ghost Face!” And no marching up to the guy who re-fills the toilet paper holders to scream, “Oh! You pressed the last button on me! And I’m gonna do you in a way the rest of these girls won’t! Now where’s Barbara Walters, bitch!?”
No, it wasn’t nearly as cool as all that. We were collected as a staff onto our stage and told our show was simply no longer going to be in production. I guess technically that means I didn’t actually get fired. I mean, no one said I couldn’t keep showing up to my office if I wanted to. The guy who’s gonna be in there now might not be happy about it, but once he tried my cheesecake marble brownies and saw my killer impression of a life-size marionette, I’m pretty sure he’d be up for working out a time-share.
One thing we did do well at GSN Live immediately after turning the lights out on just over three years in production was indulge in ONE HELL of a wrap party this past Friday, courtesy of our show’s host Bob Guiney. It started at about 4 in the afternoon and finally ran out of gas at about 3 in the morning. I demonstrated the partying abilities of a 19 year old! It was incredible. People were thrown into the pool! An eye-popping amount of those sneaky little blue plastic cups crowded every corner of every room. Plus there was dip! A good time was had by all!
Or at least we think a good time was had by all. Most of us can’t remember. And the rest of us haven’t turned up yet.
But please don’t feel sorry for me. I’ve already started a list of fun and productive things to do with my newly found time off. Tomorrow, I’m going to flip my mattress, and then I’m going to replace my toothbrush. After that I’m off to organize my vitamins and fish out all the food between the cushions of my couch. Also included on my productivity list are the following tasks: “Do a lot of stuff,” “Throw shit out,” “Exercise somehow,” and “Get up before 2 in the afternoon” There’s also something scribbled on there about “finding a silver lining,” but that sounds like its gonna be too much work.
Anyway, enough about me and my perilous career fortunes. You’re clearly here to find out what happened on last night’s Celebrity Apprentice. And I fully intend to report it to you in nauseating detail. After all, what the hell else do I have to do?
Well, we’re down to our Final Four, and of course that means we have to suffer through the requisite “interview session” with former CA winners Brett Michaels, Joan Rivers and Piers Morgan. Piers and Brett took it super seriously to the point of ridiculousness. Joan was the only one who had any fun with it. And why shouldn’t she? I mean, come on… yes they all won Celebrity Apprentice, but if you’ve actually spent any time wondering where these three have been interning for Trump since winning their respective seasons, you’ve clearly got even more time on your hands than a newly unemployed Supervising Producer (Who by the way can furnish a resume upon request. Inquire at TvFoodAndDrink@gmail.com).
The trio’s first interview was John Rich. John has hit home run after home run throughout the season, and you can’t deny he always keeps his charity as his focus. So, he’s definitely played the “Apprentice” side of the show well. But when it comes to “Celebrity,” he’s mostly been a yawn. He’s very fair and very much a straight shooter… to the point of blandness. There’s never any blow-ups with this guy, no verbal slap-downs, just no fun! That labels him with the worst curse of all – Bad Television. So I’m officially bailing out on him. He’s won plenty of money already for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, so he should be very proud. But as far as taking home the title of the next Apprentice I say… new choice!
And that choice won’t be Lil John. The guy said straight up he shouldn’t be one of the last two standing, choosing instead Marlee and John as his favorites for the Final Two. Do we even need to discuss his future anymore? After surviving this long, why would he sabotage himself like that? What a waste. I will say this though… there was one classic exchange during Lil John’s interview when he was asked, aside from raising money for his charity, why else he did the show.
Lil John: “…to show people that not all rappers are not blunt-smoking, crack-selling ignorant people.”
Joan: “Could you give us names?”
Next came Meat Loaf… and you knew he was going to get nailed for being overly emotional. The Meat defended himself as best he could. Between lots of mumblings and false start sentences he professed that none of the other celebrities cared as much about their charities as he did. Luckily, no one pressed him about how he could possibly prove such a statement. Meat was pretty much dismissed by the threesome, though Joan did inquire about his blood pressure.
As for Marlee Matlin, she got generally good reviews, but her ability to continue to raise funds beyond the one million she’d already raised came into question. But here’s a thought: if Marlee can raise ONE MILLION DOLALRS from friends on Celebrity Apprentice, can’t one of them offer to help her pay off the measly fifty grand she owes the IRS? Just asking here.
It wasn’t hard to guess what was going to happen next. After consulting with his three advisors, Trump sent Lil John and Meat Loaf packing. Lil John was predictably stoic. Meat Loaf erupted into tears yet again before thanking Trump for the opportunity, giving a super cool “calling you out” finger point to the fake receptionist who sits outside, and then asking the fake elevator operator to “Gimme five!” If I ever ask someone to “gimme five!” I hope to God they’ll have the sense to remind me that it’s no longer 1974.
So Marlee Matlin and John Rich are heading to the final task of the season. One of them will become the next Celebrity Apprentice and win a quarter of a million dollars for their charity. Didn’t we all see this coming weeks ago? I mean, come on.. did you really think it we were going to end the season with a Lisa Rinna vs. David Cassidy smackdown?
Trump assigned his two remaining candidates with the task of producing a throwback-campaign and launch party for 7 UP Retro. It’s just like current 7 UP, except instead of artificial sweeteners, it actually has sugar in it. You know, like in the good old days when we didn’t wear seat belts, tanning was considered healthy and the biggest things in television were The Six Million Dollar Man and Rodney Allen Rippy. Ah… good times.
The best part of being down to the final task on Celebrity Apprentice was seeing which of the season’s previous cast-offs got selected to come back and assist the remaining competitors. The lucky phoenixes this season were Meat Loaf, Lil John, Mark McGrath, Star Jones, Latoya Jackson and Richard Hatch. When Marlee and John chose up sides, Latoya ended up being the asthmatic kid who got selected last. I’d like to mock her more, but having been that kid through most of my school years, I happen to know for a fact that when you’re the last person picked up for sides, it’s because your coolness level rocks your peers to the point of complete intimidation. Take that, Brian McCarthy!
Team Marlee quickly clashed over how to go about their 1970s-inspired campaign. From Meat Loaf’s meltdown over the team refusing his idea to incorporate a boombox (where does he get all this energy?) to Latoya Jackson dressing up as Wonder Woman (see top of post), there didn’t seem to be much in the way of cohesion. They did, however, come up with one of the most inspired casting ideas for any 7 UP campaign when they hit up on the idea of bringing back Geoffrey Holder.
Geoffrey Holder, if you don’t remember became a television sensation in the 1970s with his series of commercials for 7 UP (“Crisp and cleeaaaannnn, and nooooo cafeeeeine! Maaaaahvelous!”). He was also a favorite of mine for playing voodoo priest Baron Samedi in the 1971 Bond flick Live and Let Die.
This guy goes down as one of the all-time tv spokesperson greats, alongside Mrs. Olsen, Sara Tucker and that persnickety “Don’t Squeeze the Charmin” dude. High fives to Team Marlee. Problem was (by the way, there’s going to be problems on both sides as neither of these tasks will be completed until next week’s finale), at the last second Holder’s attorney refused to let him sign the contract to make the appearance. This sent Meat Loaf into yet another tizzy. But he was really pissed this time. I’m talking “on hold with AT&T internet support for 45 minutes only to be mysteriously disconnected” pissed. They even had to put a little blobby over his mouth. Someone grab Joan Rivers and a handful of beta blockers!
And that’s where we left Team Marlee and their “I Love the Seventies” ad campaign. They’ve got their bell bottoms. They’ve got their disco ball. All they need now is an imposing six-foot six bald-headed Trinidadian.
Polka dots and new wave zebra stripes were the focus for John Rich’s team, who took on the 1980s. And after cycling through a series of icons from the era, they decided to hire Twisted Sister front man Dee Snyder to amp up their campaign’s star power. Personally, I was pretty damn excited when the names Tiffany and Debbie Gibson were both mentioned first. When are those two gonna take their turns as competitors on The Apprentice anyway? Maybe Trump should base his next season on the idea behind this 7 UP challenge. One team of celebrities from the 70s against another team of celebrities from the 80s. Picture it! Erin Moran takes on Elizabeth Berkeley in a hot dog vending challenge. John Schneider going up against Adrian Zmed to see who can sell more Calvin Klein underwear. And who do you think could come up with the more heartwarming commercial for Kodak film… Dave Coulier or the chimp from BJ and the Bear?
The biggest problem John Rich’s team faced was that in order for Dee Snyder to convincingly morph back into his Twisted persona, he’d have to lose the mustache and beard he’d grown for his role in Rock of Ages on Broadway. Though made into a giant issue through the magic of editing, it proved to not be a problem at all and off the fuzz went, taking Dee back to his heavy metal roots and me back to 1984 and my high school Freshman/Senior welcome dance where I wore creased white pants, a back and white checkered shirt and kept my Ray Bans on all night because I thought the girls might confuse me for Corey Hart.
And that’s where we currently stand in our penultimate episode. Since it seems at this point that John Rich is on the fast track to success and Marlee Matlin is about to go down in flames, you have to assume there is at least one – if not more – reversals of fortunes to come next week. This is, after all, Celebrity Apprentice, and The Donald sill has two more hours of prime time to chew up. I’ll be hoping all week for an appearance by Geoffrey Holder in the finale. That alone would make this entire season worth the time for me. Plus, we’ve also got Def Leppard and the Harlem Globetrotters on the way. And… oh yeah… we find out who wins. Gosh, that’s like the least interesting part of this entire show. I honestly couldn’t care less who wins.
But I hope I get invited to the wrap party. I’m a star at wrap parties.