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The Celebrity Apprentice recap: Zulu Dancers

The teams create interactive South African experiences. Lil Jon demands a shark, while Gary Busey goes over the moon

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Celebrity Apprentice
Douglas Gorenstein/NBC

The Celebrity Apprentice

TV Show
Current Status:
On Hiatus
Reality TV

Roll with me for a second, because I have a theory: Gary Busey is Don Draper. I don’t mean that he is the Don Draper of Celebrity Apprentice, or that he is a metaphorical Don Draper figure who represents the post-apocalyptic state of modern-day America in the same manner that Don Draper represents the pre-apocalyptic state of mid-century America. I mean that Gary Busey is literally Don Draper. Like, Gary Busey was raised on a farm, fought in Korea, stole another man’s identity, and spent the 1960s as a well-dressed cocktail-swilling advertising man; then, sometime in the late ’60s, he created the identity “Gary Busey” and began a new life as an Oscar Nominated Actor slash musician slash reality TV demi-god.

This theory explains everything about Gary Busey, if you think about it for a second and then stop thinking about it immediately. Like Don Draper, Gary has a way with words; like Don Draper, Gary is an incurable romantic; like Don, Gary has a tendency to sum up all the themes of an episode in a breathtaking soliloquy. On the latest episode of Celebrity Apprentice, we saw Gary tackle one of the greatest themes in all of humanity: Romance. “Romance,” he explained to us, “stands for Relying on Magnificent and Necessary Compatible Energy. Put that on the poster.” Later, he clarified: “The moon represents the power of love a woman carries. When the moon in the South African skies becomes the heart of the birth mother of love…” I understand now! Romance is the moon, and the moon is the heart of the birth mother! It’s not a wheel; it’s a carousel.

Gary’s teammates were angry. They thought that he was slacking off, as they struggled to put together an “Interactive Experience” based on the South African vision of “romance.” But don’t they realize that Gary Busy is the ultimate Interactive Experience? They tried to express romance; Gary simply became romance, became the wild. He found a dark corner, far away from his teammates, and suddenly announced to the cameras: “This is Gary Busey’s one-woman show on Broadway! You know the most deadly thing in the world? Shark fart.” Truer words have never been spoken, probably.

Your usual recapper/Trump Whisperer Dalton Ross is on vacation this week. (Or at least, we think he’s on vacation. It’s entirely possible that Gary Busey kidnapped Dalton and is currently serenading him with a tuba solo on a catamaran sailing to Tierra del Fuego.) Thus, it’s my cruel honor to guide you through the seven wackiest things that happened on last night’s Celebrity Apprentice.

1. The Talking Shark

The task was simple. Actually, the task was bizarre and incredibly abstract. The teams had to create an Interactive Experience Marketing Exhibition Thingamabob in an effort to assist the South African tourist industry. Pause to imagine the South African Tourist Board meeting in mid-2012, trying to figure out how to make their lovely country more attractive to travelers. “Should we run some magazine advertisements?” asks one Boardmember. “Or build a theme park?” suggests another. “What if we get the biggest stars in America to create two interactive experiences, based on the concepts of Adventure and Romance?” Everyone agrees that it’s a great idea. (Little-known fact: Lisa Rinna is to South Africa as David Hasselhoff is to Germany. No she isn’t.)

Team Power wanted Adventure. Lil Jon positively insisted, on the theory that it’s easier to sell Adventure than Romance. Lil Jon, it turns out, was actually the South Africa expert — “expert,” in this context, meaning “person who has been to South Africa.” Lil Jon took ownership of the Interactive Experience’s centerpiece: An actual shark cage, complete with an actual person in an actual sharksuit. Lil Jon hired a “comedic person” to play the shark. Not a comedian. A comedian would have been too fake. Lil Jon demanded authenticity! He coached the comedic person in his shark performance. “Really corny. Dry. ‘I’m swimming over. I’m gonna get you.’ Faster. More intense.” The comedic person looked confused. Trace Adkins deadpanned, “It’s a little juvenile.” (The best thing about Trace Adkins is that he looks and sounds exactly like a cowboy from a Sam Peckinpah movie who fell through a wormhole and wound up in a dark future universe where people have names like Brande.)

I was hoping that Lil Jon would make an executive decision and just play the shark himself. To be honest, I was hoping that Lil Jon would reassemble the East Side Boyz, put them all in shark suits, and lead the cast of Celebrity Apprentice in a stirring rendition of “Get Low.” But no. Instead, Team Power created an Interactive Experience based on the Big Five: Golfing, Surfing, Zip-lining, Glamping, and Shark-Cage Diving. “Zip-lining” was represented by Marilu Henner tying people to an office chair and pushing them around while yelling, “Woooooo!” Tonally, they were going for “Neighborhood Haunted House Being Hosted By The Neighbor You Hate.”

Trace tried to class things up. He wanted to locate Ernie Els and Trevor Immelman, two genuine South African golfers. He picked up the phone. On the phone, someone told him: “None of them are in the country right now.” Who the hell was he talking to? Is there a phone number you can call for updates on the whereabouts of South African Golfers? I feel like if you want to describe the brilliance of Celebrity Apprentice to non-viewers, you have to say this: This is a show set in a world where people pick up their cell phone and say “Hey, can you get me Ernie Els or Trevor Immelman?” and this show is also set in a world where Ernie Els and Trevor Immelman are never available.

NEXT: Penn saves the day