The Celebrity Apprentice recap: Checkmate
PARRRRRRRRR-TAAAAAAAAY! What up, everybody? Sorry to scream at you with the all caps there, but I wasn’t sure you’d be able to hear me otherwise because I am at a full-on rager at Marilu Henner’s house. Let me tell you, stuff is getting CRAZY in here! We got Adrian the elevator operator working the keg, Amanda the receptionist dancing in a cage in the back, and even a mechanical dog fighting ring in the basement. It’s totally off the hook!
But all of that is tame and lame compared to the main event here in the living room. Because that’s where you’ll find…CHESS! Hell, yeah! I hope nobody’s planning on going to work tomorrow because this game is getting completely out of control. And I’m not just saying that because Farouk Shami is playing in his red cowboy boots…and nothing else! OH, SNAP! CLAUDIA JORDAN JUST TOOK SHAMI’S ROOK! INSANE! Who needs sex, drugs, and rock & roll when you have the intricacies of castling and pawn-on-pawn warfare?!?
Oh my God, watching this is just too much. I think I may have overdone it. This chess stuff is hardcore. I’m going to be sick in the morning if I don’t pace myself. No wonder those clowns from Foxwoods resort named Marilu the losing Project Manager for her Barclays party suite. They simply were too scared to handle the heat emanating from that chess board. Perhaps they were just worried they’d get sucked in and never want to leave. C’mon, try it. You’ll like it. Everybody’s doing it. You totally won’t be cool unless you play. Oh, and first game’s free!
Okay, the Deal or No Deal girl seems to have this match pretty much in hand. Let me get out of this Marilu-induced mayhem — especially before Dennis Rodman takes on Deep Blue in the next contest — and go find a quiet bedroom upstairs where I can finish up this recap and present the 7 most magical moments of this week’s All-Star Celebrity Apprentice.
1. Getting Foxy with Foxwoods
The episode began with the teams meeting at Brooklyn’s new Barclays Center with Trump and advisors Don Jr. and John Rich, as well as two executives from Foxwoods resort and casino. I have to pause for the cause here and say how brave I think it is for Foxwoods to appoint a Conehead from the planet Remulak as their CEO. Diversity has always been a major initiative for the Mashantucket Pequot tribe, and they proved it once again here. And let me say, after closely examining Mr. Scott Butera, I think it is clear that his ethnicity as a Conehead in no way, shape, or form impairs his ability to manage the finances and accounts for the Connecticut casino.
The teams were told they needed to transform a suite at the arena into a party room that would best represent the Foxwoods brand. At least I think that’s what the instructions were. Honestly, I was too distracted wondering if Donald Trump and Marilu Henner were concocting another bizarre card-counting scheme to go rob the resort blind. (Considering he owns a casino of his own in Atlantic City, is card-counting really something Donald Trump wants to be promoting? It’s like me suggesting that people go out and start administering humungous wedgies to all reality show recappers. It’s a form of self-mutilation. Once you start the movement, no one is immune.)
NEXT: Trace Adkins agrees to have sex with Dolly Parton
Trying to get as close to the operation she plans to rip-off as possible, Marilu agreed to be Project Manager for Power while Lisa Rinna took on P.M. duties for Plan B. But there was one more big decision to make: Which of the five Foxwoods characters (based on cards) would they choose to build their theme around? Marilu and Lisa went to negotiate their card assignments, but their negotiating session instead turned into a game of “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.” The girl-on-girl action basically amounted to them both revealing their picks on three, but it turned out there was no conflict as Power selected the King while Plan B took the Joker, Smoker, and Midnight Toker. The curious decision to allow professional jokester Penn Jillette to have the Joker theme would come back to haunt Marilu.
2. The Return of the Mechanical Dog
Not that performance actually matters on this show, but if it did, you would have to say that Penn Jillette has been by far the most consistent player this season. He was at it again this week, locking up celebrity chef David Burke. (At least he claimed it was David Burke. It looked more like Newman from Seinfeld if you ask me.) He also found a Native American flautist to provide some ambient music and add to the Foxwoods theme. And then he had one more other A-list guest to offer. “You know what I got for you?” he said to Lisa. “Mechanical Dog!”
Hold on a second! Does that mean someone took away Gary Busey’s LG smartphone? Because according to the legend of the mechanical dog, a human can only transform into the robot canine when separated from the incredible hand-held technology. Can someone go check on Gary Busey to make sure he’s okay? (“Okay” being a relative term, of course.) Uh oh, it appears the mechanical dog virus is spreading because now Trace Adkins is barking from across the arena! Just another thing for him to be grumpy about, I suppose.
3. Everyone is Getting Really, Really Horny
I guess spending a month under the curiously orange-colored thumb of Donald Trump can make anyone a little restless. And, it seems, horny. (Just imagine if Bret Michaels were still competing. He would be Tour Bus Thrusting all over the place!) All the contestants seemed to be extra frisky this week. It started with this back and forth between Trace Adkins and Lil Jon on a performer Trace was trying to secure for the party:
Trace: “I got a possible on Dolly Parton. You ever heard of her?”
Lil Jon: “Yeah, I know about her t— very well. Hers are real too, right?
Trace: “I swear, man.”
Lil Jon: “Damn!”
Trace: “Is D as big as it goes? I know what they are — they’re an M. [Makes a giant M gesture across chest.] I’ll probably have to sleep with her, but I’ll take one for the team. I’m just saying I’m that kind of player.”
Sleep with her? Where?!? The chess table is seemingly taking up half the space in the suite, and that throne certainly doesn’t look very comfortable, especially when you consider that there is a whole lot of Dolly to deal with in there, if you know what I’m talking about. (Her breasts. I’m talking about her enormous breasts.)
NEXT: Lisa agrees to put her lips in the line of fire
But Trace and Lil Jon had nothing on Lisa Rinna, who was a sexed-up cougar ready to pounce! Lisa had her prey in her sights, and that prey was none other than guest advisor John Rich. After pointing out to John Rich that their party color theme involved the same colors that John Rich was wearing, the former Celebrity Apprentice champ responded, “Are you hitting on me? Because it’s working.” The cougar set the trap, and John Rich had taken the bait. “Oh, gooooood!” Lisa cooed. “I haven’t seen my husband in a month so watch out. Be careful!”
And Lisa still had the nasty on the mind later when she informed us that, “When you taste David Burke’s food, you’ve died and gone to heaven. And it is almost as good as sex. Almost.” So, to recap: Lisa is dying to do the deed, and if country music superstar John Rich won’t give her the goods, then she is going to have sexual intercourse with a plate of food. That seems about right for this show.
4. Lip Service
There’s been a lot of attention paid to Lisa Rinna’s lips this season. And with good reason. They are alternately frightening and hypnotic. Donald Trump has made his position on her lip size known throughout filming: Lisa Rinna’s lips may be the one thing in the entire world that Donald Trump does not like to be in complete and total excess.
But this week Lisa was ready to put her most famous assets in mortal danger! Witness this discussion that took place between her and Penn after he mentioned that Teller might not be able to make it to do a bit with him in the suite due to the snow:
Lisa: “Is there any way I can look like Teller or dress up like Teller?”
Penn: “We could do a Penn & Teller bit.”
Lisa: “Well, I think we should have that as a backup.”
Penn: “You might get hurt a little.”
Lisa: “Really? Will it disfigure me?”
Penn: “Well, temporarily.”
Penn: “Your lips.”
Lisa: “My lips aren’t real! I’m perfect for it.”
Penn: “Does that make it better or worse?”
Lisa: “It makes it better!”
Penn went on to explain that he would be punching her in the face with an apple, which sounds incredible on pretty much every level. But Lisa wasn’t worried: “My lips are bionic so if I do get punched in the mouth is it really a big deal? Or are they just gonna get bigger? And that’s fine.” Regardless, it has become abundantly clear that Lisa’s lips are completely deserving of their own Celebrity Apprentice spin-off. Working title: Read My Lips.
5. This Just in: Teller Speaks!
Did you catch that? The silent, shorter half of Penn & Teller never, ever opens his mouth. It’s part of his shtick. I guess Penn talks enough that there’s no reason for poor little Teller to ever utter a word. I figured I would die without ever hearing the man speak. Which is not such a big deal until you think about that fact and then start to mildly obsess over it for no reason, and then it becomes a HUGE deal!
Anyhoo, Penn called Teller to get an update on whether his partner would be able to make it through the storm to arrive for their party. I figured naturally they would not mic the phone since we’re never supposed to hear the man’s voice. BUT NO! THERE IT WAS! “Hello,” he answered. IT WAS TELLER’S VOICE! FINALLY! AND IT SOUNDED LIKE…LIKE…just some dude talking. Any dude. A dime a dozen. Sounded a bit like my neighbor actually. The whole thing was super anti-climactic.
I don’t know what I expected. Maybe someone who sounded as if he had sucked down 10 helium balloons before talking. Or perhaps an inexplicably low smooth and sexy register a la Barry White. I just figured after all that buildup and mystery that the big reveal would have been worth the wait. To make matters even worse, Teller then went on to talk about…flight delays? Talk about a total conversation killer! This was perhaps the second biggest letdown in the history of Celebrity Apprentice. (The first being when Annie Duke lost to Joan Rivers.)
NEXT: King for a lifetime
6. King Me
So after the parties that featured such luminaries as The Countess from The Real Housewives of New York and a much slimmer Lisa Lampanelli waxing poetic about the color of Susan Boyle’s pubic hair, we were off to the Boardroom to find out which team had won.
Much of the talk in the Boardroom centered on whether Power made a mistake in picking the King theme over the Joker. One person seemed utterly convinced that King was the way to go. “Somehow, for a suite, I like King better than Joker,” said Trump. How shocking! Donald Trump would rather be affiliated with a ruling monarchy than a court jester. I never would have seen that coming.
Even after Trace and John Rich both explained how it was folly to take King, thereby allowing Penn to have the Joker, Trump still protested. “What’s wrong with King?” he snapped. “I would have King personally. What’s wrong with King?” Considering that Trump has fashioned his whole lifestyle after that of a king, he no doubt saw the repudiation of the King theme as a challenge to his entire way of life. Of course being a king is the best! Why would anyone want to live any differently! Joker? You gotta be kidding me! It’s all king all the time, baby!
But as humorous as all of this was, there is nothing funnier in the entire world than hearing Donald Trump ask the following question: “Lil Jon, what is crunk?” If you ever wondered why a show like Celebrity Apprentice needs to exist, it is precisely for moments like this — so Lil Jon can explain to Donald Trump what crunk is.
7. Game Over for Marilu
Considering my enormous boyhood crush on Marilu Henner in the 1980s, it was tough watching this Boardroom knowing that her firing was imminent. I would compare her attempts at not being fired to one desperately moving a bunch of pieces around the board in the futile attempt of avoiding checkmate, but I think we’ve had enough chess for one episode, thank you very much.
I will say this: I do think she had a point when she said it was not her fault that she did not know Lil Jon was the King of Crunk seeing as how he never told her and didn’t even think of using that as an angle himself. And she wasn’t off base when she mentioned that Trace checked out three tasks ago because the grumpysaurus even admitted as much. But there was never really any doubt that Marilu would be fired. I would say she should just forget about the whole experience, but due to Marilu’s superhuman memory powers, she won’t be able to forget it. EVER! And shame on me for once again attempting to keep a score sheet on who was actually to blame for what. Such an exercise is completely futile on this show, and yet I continually insist on banging my head against this clearly nonsensical wall.
Once fired, Marilu did not even bother waiting for Trace and Lil Jon to leave the Boardroom, scurrying off into Adrian’s Elevator of Doom before they could even bid her goodbye. What I want to know is, why put the departing Marilu in a town car? Wouldn’t it have been more appropriate for Miguel the doorman to lead Mrs. Henner to a waiting…taxi?!? And you’re telling me Mark Burnett and Donald Trump could not have shelled out a few extra bucks for the Taxi theme song as she drove off? With Tony Danza doing the driving! That is how you produce a television show, people!
And this is how you end a recap, by letting anyone who may have missed it know about the exclusive joint interview we did this week with Amanda the receptionist and Adrian the elevator operator. It’s a definite must-listen for anyone who ever wondered why Amanda has five pair of gold scissors or her desk or whether Adrian’s elevator actually goes anywhere. We’ll also be talking to the dearly departed Marilu Henner on next week’s edition of the InsideTV Podcast, so keep your eyes and ears open for that. And for more reality ramblings, you can follow me on Twitter @DaltonRoss.
Now it’s your turn. Was Teller’s voice a letdown? Bummed we didn’t get to see Lisa punched in the lips? Feeling a sudden urge to go play chess? Hit the message boards to let us know, and until next week: Cluck, Cluck…Splash!