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'Celebrity Apprentice' recap: A sweep for Empresario

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Apprenticebaldwin_lWoe is me, PopWatchers. It’s a sad, sad day in Celebrity Apprentice world (and yes, I understand that every day in that self-absorbed, delusional world is a little bit sad). At first, I believed that The Donald was ready to fire Piers for sweating — hey, the mogul has done stranger things. Instead, he opted to fire one of the only two likable contestants left. Yes, our dear Marilu was told to vamonos, taking with her almost every shred of desire I have to tune in next week. (Thank goodness Trace is still around.)

Serious props to Hydra’s project manager, though, because she had one strong adversary this week. As quick-witted and clever as Marilu was, she was no match for Empresario’s biggest ally: God. Seems the Man was on the side of Stephen Baldwin (pictured) this week. (The Lord must be a fan of Bio-Dome.) The team’s coin toss, which they lost, turned out to work in their favor after all — anyone should know that a sweeper is a far more attractive QVC product than a ladder (assuming, of course, one can’t pimp the latest Marie Osmond doll) — and Stevie B’s seemingly unwise decision not to allow Trace a run-through didn’t seem to matter in the end. And as much as it surprises me to see Stevie B emerging as a front-runner, I can honestly say that the dude may have more redeeming qualities than just a batch of famous, lookalike brothers. (Plus, you know that Jack Donaghy would find a way to market that sweeper GE-style on TGS with Tracy Jordan.)

addCredit(“Celebrity Apprentice: Tommy Baynard”)

In the words of Maria von Trapp, let’s start at the very beginning(I hear it’s a very good place to start). Of course, last week’s warm’n’ fuzzy episode left all of our remaining eight celebrities stillstanding and introduced yet another team switch-up. Empresario tradedMarilu for Omarosa, who seemed surprised that she was continuing tothrive on a show where she has yet to find a shred of success, and whohad her own personal Sally Field moment by claiming that Trump “really,really likes me” (uh, no, dearie, those are Apprentice‘s drama-loving producers you’re referring to).

This week, our celebrities were instructed to film a live segmentfor QVC for a product of their choice (Just thinking of QVC made mewonder how much better Celebrity Apprentice would have been ifthe cast included Suzanne Somers and her ThighMaster. Or Marie Osmondand her aforementioned crazy-scary dolls. But I hear there is a Celebrity Apprentice 2on its way… you listening, Donald?). Hydra opted to award Marilu thechance to be project manager — an odd choice, considering Carol workedfor QVC for five years. Stevie B volunteered to head team Empresario —and, of course, continued in his quest to become “Stevie B: SeriousFilmmaker.” The dude does have a knack for the behind-the-camera gig,at least compared to his inept compatriots, but I couldn’t help but diejust a little inside when the actor once again justified his existenceby claiming, “I’m a really good director.”

While the switch to Empresario transformed Omarosa from venomoussnake to snuggly kitten in the course of one episode (Lennox has gottalove that), Hydra was still toiling away in negativity, thanks toPiers, who found it necessary to berate Lennox for feeling fatigued.Though I completely backed Piers last weekafter his spat with Omarosa, this week, I couldn’t help but notice thatthe tabloid king was faltering in his ways. Not only did he introducesuch unnecessary negativity, but he also recommended using Lennox forstar power again (my God, could you imagine the lug trying toimprovise on QVC? I don’t think any joke I can conjure up would benearly as hysterical as the image of him trying to hawk a vacuum forten minutes). Lennox, however, had other plans. Though I could havesworn Lennox was kidding when he said, “I’m a world-champion boxer, butwhat I really want to do is direct,” turns out the heavyweight doesindeed have big Hollywood dreams. Oh boy.

Stevie B’s latest cinematic masterpiece, meanwhile, was a hit withTrump (though I’m not sure if moviegoers will be drawn to a marqueelisting of “Trace Adkins with a Sweeper”). Trace was surprisinglyefficient at spewing the mindless drivel that the home shopping stationis known for. And ultimately, it seems The Donald is more in favor ofthe low-key stylings of Trace (Is there anything this man can’tsell?!), even though Marilu seems a more ideal fit for a QVC gig. Iguess Trump wouldn’t know that, considering he probably hasn’t spentmuch time in front of the TV watching QVC like the rest of us peons(though one could argue that his tacky, gold-plated Trump Tower couldhave easily been a QVC product — three easy payments of $35 million!).

Marilu might have been a pro on air, but in the boardroom, shecompletely flopped. I’m not sure why the project manager — or any otherHydra member, for that matter — didn’t fault QVC alum Carol for notinforming the team of the channel’s Easy Pay system. Nevertheless,Carol remains on board in Apprentice land, and the Taxi alumna is left to hail her own cabs.

Thoughts, PopWatchers? Do you think Carol should have gotten theboot over Marilu? Do you, like me, find that “Sleepy Boy” is really notthe least bit offensive? Are you surprised that Lennox has managed tolast this long? And, finally, would you be more willing to pay $10 tosee a Lennox “I Like Cats” Lewis production or a Stevie B production?