My love affair with The Celebrity Apprentice began back in season 1. I can even pinpoint the exact moment when I knew we had something truly special in our midst. It was in that inaugural season when Sopranos star Vincent Pastore concocted an elaborate “rat” scheme to go undercover and pretend to be a traitor to learn all of the secrets of the women’s team. But then the rat scheme imploded when the rat in question changed his mind and decided he no longer wanted to be a rat and would rather be on the female team for real—confusing everyone (players, viewers, Donald Trump) in the process. It was quite possibly the dumbest thing I had ever seen on a broadcast network in my entire life. And I loved it.
Since then we have been treated to many more moments of insanity and inanity—country music superstar Clint Black making a commercial insinuating that he uses Tide Detergent to masturbate while reading Donald Trump books, Brett Michaels performing the Tour Bus Thrust, anything involving Rod Blagojevich—but just when you think the show can no longer offer up inexplicable events that boggle the mind, we are stunned anew. Which brings us to gold medal gymnast Shawn Johnson’s menstrual cycle.
Only on Celebrity Apprentice could a woman’s period become a major plot point. But it did. I mean, of course it did—it’s Celebrity Apprentice! I am half surprised the network did not tailor its promos accordingly to the subject matter: “Tonight’s Celebrity Apprentice will have one woman seeing red!” Or “Tonight on Celebrity Apprentice, things are going to get bloody!” Ewww. Gross. I know. But just in case you are unclear on exactly what transpired here, let me lay this out for you in the simplest terms possible: Donald Trump and Vivica Fox just carried on an at-length discussion about Shawn Johnson’s time of the month on national television. Even after writing it, I still don’t believe it.
The hubbub began in the second episode of tonight’s back-to-back extravaganza when Shawn apologized to the rest of her team for not feeling well due to major cramping. Project Manager Vivica did not like it and looked like she was about to get her Kill Bill on: “I had no idea this would turn into a PMS week, and if you want to check out for me, I will remember it.” Then, once in the Boardroom, Vivica was asked if there was anyone on her team she would like to swap out for “News Icon” Geraldo Rivera. The answer: Shawn. “I really don’t think Shawn wants to be here,” said Vivica. “She checked out on me this task, Mr. Trump.” With The Donald needing a bit more clarification, Vivica explained. “She had a monthly problem that was bothering her.”
“She had a monthly woman’s problem,” repeated Trump—a moment that millions of viewers immediately attempted to wipe completely from their minds. And that led to this less-than-subtle response from Vivica:
— Dalton Ross (@DaltonRoss) January 6, 2015
Yep. That happened. But that wasn’t even the best part. The best part is what transpired after. Apparently needing further clarification, Trump asked, “Shawn, what happened?”
Hmmm…how do I best explain this, Mr. Trump? Well, approximately every 28 days women shed their uterine lining and…actually you know what? Just Google it. In any event, how uncomfortable must be it be for a woman to have to explain “that time of the month” to Donald Trump? Anyway—congratulations, Shawn Johnson! Now everyone in America knows you were on your period! Needless to say, the Olympic champion was less than enthused about this development. “How dare you call me out for why,” she said to Vivica after they left the Boardroom. “It just was trashy.” Welcome to Celebrity Apprentice, Shawn.
Okay, enough on Shawn Johnson’s menstrual cycle. Here are the other 8 absurd moments from tonight’s double shot of Celebrity Apprentice. So nice they had to air it twice!
1. The Unintentional Genius of Geraldo Rivera
Geraldo Rivera is an outstanding specimen on this show. Just ask him, he’ll tell you! Easily the least self-aware contestant since the modern marvel that was Aubrey O’Day, Geraldo instantly ascended into the Celebrity Apprentice Ring of Honor tonight by repeatedly referring to himself in the third person—beginning just minutes into the episode. “It is in their vested interest to wiggle away at Geraldo,” he informed us. “But, you know, wiggling away at Mt. Rushmore is not so easy.” Did you see what he did there? He both referred to himself in the third person AND dubbed himself Mt. Rushmore. Amazing. I am now performing a one-man slow clap in his honor.
Later, Mt. Rushmore continued on with the self back-patting after Project Manager Kevin Jonas excluded him from the brain trust he assembled to create an ad for Neat scanner products. “They have to understand that I’m Geraldo. I’m not one to be trifled with.” Damn straight! Lord how I wish all the contestants were required to refer to themselves by their own names at all times. By the way, here was Geraldo’s genius idea for the ad:
— Dalton Ross (@DaltonRoss) January 6, 2015
This was merely the beginning of Geraldo’s testiness. Later, when the Neat executives showed up, Geraldo interrupted the meeting so he could yell nonsense on his cell phone to some unidentified party. “He sued me on that contract” he carried on. “I told them not to take me on.” No idea whom he was talking about, but it seems Geraldo feels like everyone is always taking him on. After Kevin chose Mike Rowe to narrate the ad, Geraldo informed us that, “My voice is as recognizable and would have been more effective in the spot.” And then, for no reason, “If you push me, I’ll push you back.”
NEXT: A contestant goes missing—again