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'Celebrity Apprentice' recap: Hydra On a Roll

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Stephenbaldwin_l

Stephenbaldwin_lI guess Omarosa is the trans fat of Apprentice, because ever since her ouster last week, NBC has been advertising the show as an “Omarosa-free Celebrity Apprentice.” But unlike a box of low-fat cookies, a healthy downgrading of a harmful substance didn’t make things any less tasty. In fact, last night’s Celebrity Apprentice was, as our dearly departed friend would say, just as “yummy, dude” as previous shows. (Especially with that Stevie B cherry on top). Luckily for us, though last night’s episode was low on drama — thanks to Omarosa’s firing — there were had plenty of quotables to keep viewers at home entertained. (And I give a big thank you to the lovely Lindsay Soll, who kept you all entertained during my absence last week).

So in honor of our dear departed Stevie B (pictured), I’ll start us off with a quote that so fits our preaching Hollywood mogul-wannabe to a T, it was only fitting that he said it on the night of his ouster (in response to Trace’s remark that Stevie B had crabs in his pants): “Those days are over.”

Funny, reformed and delusional (with just a little bit of desperation thrown in for good measure), our Stevie B was made up of the perfect ingredients for a reality show contestant. (Can you tell this challenge made me hungry?). I have to say, as much as I’ve ribbed the guy in previous weeks for his tendency to reveal himself as a has-been actor desperate for a comeback, I’m really going to miss the Flea. Good thing we won’t have to wait long to see him again — in an Apprentice twist, Trump announced that he would fire two more celebrities within minutes of re-entering the boardroom, and the two finalists will reunite with previously ousted contestants to fight for the win. (And certainly it will be a win that will “Knock you out,” right Piers?). And though we have yet to discover who those two finalists will be, I will say it’s a pretty safe bet to assume that Carol and Trace will make up the final two. Unless Trump wants to turn the finals into a battle between good vs. not-so-good — I’ll reserve the “evil” stamp for our ousted Omarosa — in which case Piers might make the cut alongside Trace.

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Excited as we might be for the final showdown, we must focus on lastnight’s episode. After the madness that was last week’s boardroom,Piers spent the majority of the show’s first few minutes celebrating”the biggest slaughter in the history of The Apprentice.” anevent that he apparently enjoyed almost as much as the birth of hischildren (hmm… I’ll let Omarosa judge that one). He did, however, takesome time out from his gloating to apologize to Trace for surprisinghim with a kiss in last week’s boardroom. Of course, Lennox delightedin the whole spectacle, and used it as an opportunity to try his handat comedy by remarking: “This is Brokeback Boardroom.” Thiscomment, of course, begged two questions: 1. Did Lennox not get thememo that it’s no longer 2005? And 2. Since Lennox is an aspiringfilmmaker, as we’ve learned in previous episodes, does this mean we’llhave to one day sit through a viewing of Brokeback Boardroom? (In all fairness, it would probably be better than Meet the Spartans).

Either way, Lennox had to put his Hollywood dreams on hold for thetime being to focus on the challenge at hand. This week, the two teamswere instructed to create and sell a Quizno’s sandwich, but with arefreshing catch: Trump put a cap on the price of each hero, thuseliminating our celebs’ ability to cash in by simply utilizing theirRolodexes. (Plus, I’m guessing producers felt it just wasn’t worth itto watch celebrities shove food into their mouths if Jenna Jamesonwasn’t going to make an appearance.)

Right away, Empresario seemed on a roll. Master marketer TraceAtkins created a clever name for their sandwich — the Cowboy Club —while Stevie B roamed the streets like a madman handing out fliers topromote both his heroes (“I am crazy… for Jesus!”). Hydra, on the otherhand, struggled to obtain their leaflets and Piers, ever the teamplayer, blamed Carol for the delay.

Here’s where the unfair advantage comes in. Some people, includingTrump, might say that Hydra had a better chance at winning to beginwith since they outnumbered Empresario 3 to 2. But let’s face it — thereal reason Hydra coasted to victory is because of the location oftheir Quizno’s. Now, I’ve lived in New York long enough to recognizenearly every crevice of Manhattan, but I can honestly say, I have noidea where Empresario were forced to sell their sandwiches. Not that I’mmaking excuses for Trace and Stevie B (well, I kind of am), but theirlocation seemed far less advantageous than Hydra’s Midtown East spot, a site that’s surrounded every day by hungry office workers on theirlunch breaks. As a real estate mogul, Trump should have known thatthis challenge really came down to location, location, location, butalas, such logic wasn’t in the cards for dear ol’ Stevie B. (Though itcertainly wouldn’t have hurt had Stevie B broken a wee littlecommandment and worn a shirt that read, “I’m Alec Baldwin.”) So even though Empresario had a better concept, sandwich,and attitude (not to mention the Dude Upstairs on their side), the winwas handed to the very lucky, very obnoxious Hydra, and Stevie B wassent on his way after what was probably the most civil boardroom in Apprentice history.

What did you think, PopWatchers? Were you pulling for Trace orStevie B? Were you laughing as hard as I was when Trace and Stevie Bpredicted that Hydra would create a “knockout” sandwich? Which oustedceleb are you most looking forward to seeing again? And given a choice,what would you rather do: meet Nelson Mandela, meet the Queen or win achallenge on Celebrity Apprentice?