Luis Trinh/NBC
Dalton Ross
January 09, 2017 at 10:00 PM EST

The New Celebrity Apprentice

TV Show
run date
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Current Status
In Season

What the hell just happened? I thought I was watching an episode — well, two episodes scrunched together, really — of Celebrity Apprentice, when all of a sudden a dissertation on our 16th president’s Cabinet broke out! Here I was, relaxing and enjoying a bodybuilder-turned-movie star make fun of Jon Lovitz while saying odd things like “This is a boardroom not of sleeping but of action!” when something truly odd happened. The host of one of the most gloriously dumb franchises in television history started dropping legitimate history right in our faces.

Decrying those who like to surround themselves with “yes men,” Arnold Schwarzenegger suddenly morphed into Doris Kearns Goodwin right before our eyes and waxed poetic about how Abraham Lincoln filled his Cabinet with the bodies of those he had vanquished in the primary. I can only assume this has and will be the only time you will hear names like Salmon Chase, Edward Bates, and William Henry Seward (my personal favorite Secretary of State of all time) alluded to in the boardroom.

By the way, I’m not kidding about the Seward thing. That guy was a badass abolitionist well before Lincoln and took a knife to the face and neck five times the same night the president was assassinated. He lived to tell the tale, too, and later bought us Alaska from the Russians… Although the Russians retaliated 139 years later by rigging our presidential election, so there’s that. Holy crap, now what the hell is wrong with me? First Ah-Nold, and now I’m popping off about 19th-century political figures. Black is white! Up is down! Cats and dogs, living together!

I have to imagine getting a history lesson while watching Celebrity Apprentice — or, even worse, reading a Celebrity Apprentice recap — is somewhat akin to watching Bill & Ted’s high-school history report. Speaking of which… SAN DIMAS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL RULES!

Okay, enough of that learnin’ stuff. Let’s get to what went down this week in another double-shot of episodes.

A Public Apology
First off, I would like to publicly apologize to Chael… Wait, what is that dude’s name again? Oh, right, Chael Sonnen. Last week I commented on the fact he seemed to be this season’s Michael Andretti — the guy who is so boring you hardly even realize he is actually on the show. Well, former MMA champ Chael beat down that theory like he was beating down some poor sap in the octagon.

Of course, he started with a magnificent blunder, by asking to be Project Manager for the first task. NOOOOOOOO! It amazes me how little some people know how to play this game, but probably not as much as it amazes you as to why a loser recapper would spend so much time thinking about Celebrity Apprentice Game Theory — and yes, once you have written the words “Celebrity Apprentice Game Theory,” your life is truly over.

Anyhoo, we loyal viewers all know that everything about this show is completely subjective. And because it is subjective, teams can win or lose and players can be fired or not fired based on any criteria the host and producers want to use that particular week to make a better television show. Those who have read my CA stuff before… Well, in that case, I am as sorry for you as I am for me, but you all know I have no problem whatsoever with the show’s often absurd firing practices. In fact, I think it adds to the program’s charm. There is, in fact, a set of rules. You just need to figure out what the rules are in order to play and be successful.

And one of the rules is this: If one team has lost the first two challenges, the other team will definitely, absolutely, without question or hesitation lose the next one. It’s a done deal before the challenge even begins. So, the one thing you do NOT do is ask to be Project Manager, because it means you’re guaranteed to be coming back to the boardroom with a high likelihood of being fired. Everything is about timing, so Chael’s timing of offering to be PM on this third task was downright terrible.

Oh, wait, I said I was going to apologize to Chael, right? And yet here I am, burying the dude again. Well, I stand by my assertion that it was an idiotic move to volunteer for PM after two straight wins by your own team, but let me flip the script and get to that alleged apology of mine. Chael was invisible last week so I assumed he was Andretti-level boring, but man did he come alive tonight, especially after — SHOCKER! — his team lost the task.

Digging into his MMA pre-fight hype bag of tricks, Chael came out guns blazing in the boardroom, announcing things like “Eventually, I’m going to chop both their heads off, but that isn’t going to be today.” He was more than happy to play the role of the aggressive, know-it-all braggart and we were happy to have him (especially because it’s always fun to watch a guy lose after saying things like “I’m not nervous because I’m competing against the girls’ team”). His forceful personality convinced producers to keep him around…and then he promptly disappeared completely (again) for the next task. Easy come, easy go, I guess.

NEXT: The women get drunk (and I do not blame them)

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