Star Jones and Lisa Rinna butt heads when asked to write a children’s book…thereby setting a great example for children

By Dalton Ross
March 14, 2011 at 05:00 AM EDT
Image Credit: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC
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“We all decided to a woman that we wanted to show America that women could work together, not be catty, and accomplish that goal.” —Star Jones on episode 1 of The Celebrity Apprentice

Star Jones, you are truly an inspiration. Women all over the country no doubt overlooked your petty squabbles with Lisa Rinna and Dionne Warwick last week, confident in the fact that your humble, forgiving, and compassionate nature would lead the women of Celebrity Apprentice to not only a victory in the task this week, but also a victory of the human spirit. Yes, women can work well together without turning on each other. It can be done! This is not “I am woman (or lion) hear me roar,” but rather “I am woman, watch me not undermine my female coworker in a desperate bid for power and camera time.” Lead the way, Star Jones! Lead the way! And lead the way straight into my list of the Five Celebrity Apprentice Absurdities of the Week.

1. Women on The Celebrity Apprentice acting exactly like women on The Celebrity Apprentice

I don’t know what it is about this show, but man do the claws come out. Remember the “whore pit vipers” of season 2, one of the most excellent scenes in reality TV history? But surely that wouldn’t happen this year, especially after Star Jones gave us such assurances how well they would all work together. HA! This week the train wrecked before it even left the station, as the women forced Lisa Rinna to be Project Manager against her will. “We chose Lisa because we knew she wouldn’t be able to handle it,” revealed NeNe. Let’s hear it for girl power, everybody! The sisters are doing it for themselves! Only in this case, all they’re doing is sabotaging one another. What is this, throwing a challenge like on Survivor?

From beginning to end, everybody on the women’s team seemed to be arguing with everybody else, except Hope Dworaczyk, although that may be due to the fact that I am not yet convinced she actually knows how to speak. La Toya was worried that the team appeared “discombobulated,” and yes, I was as shocked as you were that she not only knew such a big word, but even went so far as to use it correctly. “Lisa truly did not know what she was doing,” opined La Toya, and you know it’s bad when La Toya Jackson is criticizing your ability to function properly.

And then Dionne and Marlee started going at it. Marlee kept trying to make the children’s book they were tasked with creating be about deafness, but Dionne wasn’t having it. She thought that made the story sad and that little kids were “not ready for that kind of diversity.” Yeah, diversity sucks! You tell her, Dionne! Naturally, Marlee took offense at this. “Marlee was ready to attack,” NeNe noted. “She was like, ‘I’m about to lose it right now.’ It was like, ‘Girl, I will take out my ear plugs and we need to fight.'” Now, I know what you’re thinking: Why the hell would a deaf person be wearing ear plugs? I have no idea, but like Bluto and the Germans bombing Pearl Harbor in Animal House, when someone’s on a roll, you don’t pause for mere technicalities. Facts schmacts!

NEXT: The best comeback in Celebrity Apprentice history

Of course, the best moment of this feud — and the entire episode — occurred when Marlee was asked about Dionne in the Boardroom. “She intimidates me as a person,” answered Marlee through her aggressively enthusiastic interpreter. “She has a very strong personality. She’s very blunt. People tell me she is a legend, and I respect that, but…”

“What do you mean people tell you she is a legend?” interrupted Trump. “You don’t know that she’s a legend?’

And here it is, people: The best comeback in Celebrity Apprentice — and perhaps all of reality television — history: “Well, I’m deaf.” Sorry, Donald, that I’m not busy blaring “I’ll Never Love This Way Again” on my iPod because, you know, I CAN’T HEAR!!! Just amazing, amazing stuff.

As for Lisa, by the time she was finally fired by Trump, she had been thoroughly torn apart by teammates, leading her to yell at Star, “You threw me under the f—ing bus and you know it.” Nothing like watching women work well together!

2. Star and Dionne demanding individual credits on the cover of a Celebrity Apprentice children’s book

Speaking of idiotic arguments, I can’t imagine anything stupider than insisting on a sole printed credit for a book created for a Celebrity Apprentice task. Really? You want everyone to know you were the mastermind behind a story about a La Toya Jackson-inspired lion? Are times that tough, Star Jones and Dionne Warwick? Because let me tell you — you don’t want your name anywhere close to that thing. Trust me, that’s not exactly the height of artistic achievement. I’m telling you this, Dionne, because, well, according to Elton John, Stevie Wonder, and Burt Bacharach, that’s what friends are for.

What was the point of that anyway? Were they actually thinking about potential royalties? Considering that Star Jones tried to sell off every single aspect of her wedding — stay classy, Star! — I suppose that’s not surprising. The best part was when Dionne could not get her “conceived by” credit, she told Lisa she wanted her name off the book. That’s the whole point, Dionne! You’re not getting your name on the book. If you name is not on the book, it’s off the book!

3. Jose Canseco attempting to showcase his creative side

Last week, Trump said Jose looked “like he wants to beat the s— out of Richard.” (Of course, Hatch now has bigger problems: He was just sentenced to nine more months of jail for not paying the back taxes he owed.) This week, Jose was pissed at Meat Loaf for not answering his phone and giving him the wrong address to deliver props, and followed that up by cursing at some poor theater manager over the phone. I have two words for you, ladies and gentlemen: Roid Rage!

However, the most amusing thing about Jose was not his lack of phone etiquette, but rather his hilarious attempts to be creative. During the writing of the book, Jose became very concerned about a line stating that “nobody” paid attention to Lil Jon because “nobody implies teachers” and teachers would never ignore a child. Of course, Jose was being waaaaaay too literal. “I think a lot of people think I’m not creative because I was a professional athlete my whole life,” complained Jose. I tend to side with John Rich, who noted that, “Jose Canseco smashes baseballs. He does not write rhymes.”

But surely Jose could redeem himself with his acting skills! I see why Meat Loaf thought putting Jose Canseco in drag for the performance of the book in front of children would be a pretty irresistible sight gag. I probably would have done the same thing. But giving Jose actual lines of dialogue to deliver to an audience? To paraphrase Meat Loaf himself, I would do anything for laughs, but I won’t do that. Jose’s acting was stiffer than Don Jr.’s hair!

NEXT: Meet Meat

4. This quote

“I like Meat’s management style,” said Richard Hatch in the Boardroom. Meat? Now he’s just Meat? I mean, on the surface, I suppose calling someone Meat is no odder than addressing someone as Meat Loaf. And seeing as how Meat Loaf is two words, I guess that does technically make Meat his first name. The only thing that would have made it any more awkward is if Hatch had referred to him as “Mr. Loaf” instead. Or Mr. Cry Baby In The Bizarre Rainbow Sequined Blazer. Either would do. Oh, I shouldn’t make fun of Meat crying. He was probably just following Russell from Survivor‘s lead. Although he definitely did have Russell beat in the facial quivering department. Hey, Trump was cool with it! “You know what? Nothing wrong with emotion,” said The Donald. “I think it’s beautiful.” You know what else Trump thinks is beautiful? Playboy Playmates. Stacks of $100 bills. Hair spray. People that call him Mr. Trump. The image he sees when he looks in the mirror. Hand sanitizer. The crushed hearts of the people he has obliterated in business deals. More Playboy Playmates. And the original copy of his contract with Satan. Speaking of Trump, that leads us the fifth and final awesome absurdity of the evening…

5. Donald Trump’s thoughts on tattoos and lip injections

We already covered the genius that was Trump asking how Marlee could not know that Dionne was a legend, but equally incredible was Trump’s random non sequitur about Lisa’s lips. “By the way, I like Lisa’s lips better now than I did a year ago. Does that make sense? You did something. There’s a little reduction there, right?” After Lisa confirmed that, yes, there was, in fact, a little reduction there, Trump continued. “I see guys with tattoos. Some of you have tattoos. Why the f— do they do it for? And I see women. I walk into rooms — the most important women you can imagine — and they have lips pumped up like balloons. And I say, what the f— are they doing.”

Making this soliloquy even better was the shot of Marlee’s interpreter translating this entire thing for her, although I’m pretty sure he could have just pointed a finger to the side of his head and twirled it around in a circle as the international symbol for crazy talk and that would have sufficed as well. “You look great. Don’t go back to the other crap,” summed up Trump. I love it when The Donald takes a stand on an important issue.

So, alas, the ladies lost, and Lisa was fired. We won’t be treated to any more Star vs. Lisa fireworks. That’s okay, I’m sure Star will find someone else to bicker with, thereby continuing to embarrass all of womankind while insisting she is setting an shining example of sisterhood. Until then, you can enjoy Annie Barrett and yours truly discussing all the Celebrity Apprentice insanity — including our odd fascination with Marlee Matlin’s interpreter — on the latest edition of the InsideTV Podcast below. Just click on the audio player and enjoy. (Kristen Baldwin also joins in to preview Brad’s big decision on The Bachelor season finale, as well as explain her irrational hatred of American Idol‘s James Durbin.) And for more reality ramblings, follow me on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss. As always, Cluck, Cluck…Splash!

Episode Recaps

Donald Trump, “you’re fired” — you know the drill.
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