It’s all for charity. It’s all for charity. It’s all for charity.That’s got to be the mantra for any (ahem) self-respecting contestanton The Celebrity Apprentice. Why else would anyone endure thehumiliation of such a schlockfest? The egos, the idiocy…the egos. Itmakes for train-wreck TV that truly puts to the test the motto thatthere’s no such thing as bad publicity. That’s why it was so easy to settle into last night’s show: The firstsegment didn’t deal with the contestants and their personalities. Itshadowed Joan Rivers as she delivered the check from last week’s win toher charity, God’s Love We Deliver. Even a clearly manipulatedgoodwill tour such as this was a welcome counterbalance to the rest ofthe show.
All too quickly it was on to the challenge, which this time didn’t involve hawking a product…at least not in the same hands-on way they normally do. Our celebs had to get creative and come up with a comic-book character, costume, and four-page comic to promote Zappos.com, known for shoes, handbags, and apparel — a fact which was repeated at least twice in this two-hour-long commercial. Khloe Kardashian (who owns a clothing store) was a little confused as to why her team picked her as project manager for this because she’s “not really familiar with online.” (Er, she’s a twentysomething in 2009. How exactly do you get to be unfamiliar with online?) But after a timid start, she took the reins and led her team to victory with a well-executed concept of a superhero named Miss Z who comes to the rescue of a frustrated housewife who wants customer service help. Deal or No Deal model Claudia Jordan came up with the initial idea (despite Melissa Rivers’ assertion that she did), deftly laying it out for her team, but she later failed to nail the final presentation, flubbing several lines. That kind of bothered the Zappos CEO, but team Athena was more concerned about the fact that golf champ Natalie Gulbis showed utter disdain for the superhero getup she wore to the presentation and clearly couldn’t wait to get out of it.
The women were pretty straightforward in achieving their task (sure, poker player Annie Duke tried to take over the script writing, much to Joan Rivers’ chagrin, but that didn’t really impede anything). The real drama existed over on the men’s KOTU team. Project manager Scott Hamilton acted more like an exasperated kindergarten teacher trying to ignore/teach a lesson to a hyperactive child than a project manager. Of course he had to contend with “off-the-beaten path” Dennis Rodman’s enthusiastic attempt to make their superhero a transvestite. (So a guy who transforms into a woman might not be appropriate for a family brand? Good call, Scott.) And his buddy Clint Black kept talking over everyone. But the real problem child was Tom Green. There’s no denying that Tom was annoying as all get out — bouncing around, bogarting discussions, and once even literally flapping his arms for attention — but in at least one instance, he had a good point: What the hell kind of name was EEE for a superhero??? “That’s a bra size,” Green joked about Scott’s misguided creation. With so much of the loss predicated on that choice, poor Scott got the boot. And I kind of feel relieved for him. He seems like far too nice a man to feel good about having been so publicly riled by that kooky monkey Tom Green, and now he can go on and pretend like it never happened. How about you, PopWatchers? Will you be back to watch the remaining contestants sell wedding dresses next week?