A bold decision in the Boardroom leads Trump to fire two celebrities just for the hell of it
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Celebrity Apprentice
Credit: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC

Ladies and gentlemen, our long national nightmare is over. No longer will you have to stare at your television screen in the direction of the slightly stocky gentleman with the goatee and the vaguely familiar last name and ask yourself, “Who the hell is that?” No longer will you wonder why he never talks or does anything even remotely interesting. No longer will you have to listen to people referring to him as a “legend” even though you are relatively confident that those same people aren’t even quite sure of what his accomplishments actually are. Because race car diver Michael Andretti — the son of more famous race car driver Mario, and father of even less famous race car driver Marco — has finally run out of gas. (To be honest, he seemed to be running on empty the entire time.)

That’s right, Michael was fired alongside Adam Carolla. He seemed like a perfectly nice individual. Only one problem: WE DON’T WANT PERFECTLY NICE INDIVIDUALS ON THIS SHOW! I’m just going to come right out and say it: Michael Andretti is the worst Celebrity Apprentice contestant ever. Let me be clear: I don’t mean the most ineffective person to ever appear on the show. After all, I watched Darryl Strawberry sleep through half a season two years ago. And Gary Busey might just be the most frightening faux-businessman on the face of the planet. But at least Strawberry was amusing in his lethargy and Busey was entertaining in his insanity.

Andretti, on the other hand, just might be the most charisma-free individual in the history of television. Again, I am sure he is a fine, upstanding man. Which is exactly why he had no business being here. Yes, son Marco was supposed to show up instead before a friend died in a crash just before filming, but producers should have just scrapped the Andretti family entirely at that point and signed up…I don’t know, say one of the guys from Right Said Fred instead. To his credit, Trump realized this, and after a three episode grace period, NO WAY was Andretti crossing the finish line of episode four. So when Project Manager Adam refused to bring anyone in the Boardroom after losing, Trump decided Oh, what the hell — I’ll just fire them both!

Personally, I would have been happier if he had just fired Andretti twice instead. I mean, how, as a professional driver, do you refuse to be Project Manager on a task dealing entirely with cars! That may just be the most bizarre thing I have ever seen on this show, and that includes Clint Black attempting to masturbate with Tide detergent. When they were first given the task to do a Buick presentation, Trump practically ordered Michael to be the PM. So what did Michael do? He immediately turned to the group and proclaimed, “I say Adam.” What?!? That’s like Lisa Lampanelli turning down a task on roasting, or Penn Jillette turning down a task on magic, or Lou Ferrigno turning down a task about reminding people about how much you have to offer while offering nothing whatsoever.

NEXT: I’m not done talking about how bad Michael Andretti was

My favorite part of the entire episode was when Ivanka visited the men’s team later and expressed surprise that Michael was not Project Manager. When he attempted to explain that it wasn’t as much up his alley as it seemed, she replied, “You know about the cars.” To which he said: “I’m not a mechanic or anything, but I know pretty much how they operate.” Pretty much? You know “pretty much” how they operate? If you don’t know cars like the back of your hand then what the hell do you know? “This is more a marketing thing, not a driving thing,” he added. Yes the marketing of CARS! As in, what you do for a living!

“I’m not a salesman,” he later told Trump in the Boardroom. All Michael Andretti did this entire episode was tell us about all the things he can’t do. The Boardroom Dominatrix was right: If you can’t handle a car project, then there is pretty much nothing you can handle. “Is there a task that you could have been better for though?” she asked incredulously. “I don’t think you’re ever going to get anything closer to your wheelhouse than this.” Which gets back to my point: Why was he even on the show? Worst. Celebrity Apprentice casting. Ever.

Sure, I could talk about what a horrible addition Michael Andretti was all day — just ask my poor wife who doesn’t even watch the show and still has to listen to all my bitching — but there’s other ground to cover from this latest episode, so let’s get covering. Here are my five other favorite things from the two-hour spectacle.

1. Def Trump Comedy Jam

We all know Don Jr. can sling the zings when he feels like it, so him responding to Adam’s claim that “I lost my virginity in a Regal” with “Last weekend, right?” was none too surprising. However, check out Papa Trump giving Junior a run for his money! He got warmed up in Grand Army Plaza by dissing and dismissing his wealthy buddies: ”All of my friends right now are watching me. They’re rich. Some are good people, and some are scum. Believe me — scum.” But, of course, The Donald always saves his best material for The Boardroom. Whether complimenting Arsenio’s close-cropped dome (“You look good. Sometimes I think I’m gonna just shave my hair and say to hell with it.”) or responding to Lou’s assertion that his voice was not an impediment to being heard (“By the way I didn’t understand a word you just said.”) DT was in fine form.

Of course, the Trump comedy stylings pretty much stop right there with those two. I am relatively confident that Ivanka has never cracked a joke in her entire life. But her job is not to crack jokes. It is to deliver an icy glare that immediately freezes the entire neurological system of any suit and tie clad man that happens to cross its deadly path. And Eric Trump? He’s too busy applying hair gel to work on his stand-up routine. So we’re left with the dueling Donalds to tickle our funny bone. Although the thought of being tickled by Donald Trump has now made me slightly nauseous.

NEXT: Debbie Gibson tries to remind people who Debbie Gibson is

2. The Aubrey & Debbie (Deb? Deborah?) Show

Hey! I want to be in the cool van! Isn’t that where they do all the drugs, make fun of the geeky geometry teacher, and play old Grateful Dead bootlegs? Ugh, never mind. I hate the Grateful Dead. Dirty hippies. Besides, high school cliques are exclusionary and destructive to youngsters still grasping for a simple shred of self-esteem. I want no part of them! On this show? Totally different story. STOP YOUR BITCHING, TIA CARRERE! I completely support tossing the uninteresting people into a secondary vehicle where they can be increasingly marginalized and ignored. Hell, if I had my way Michael Andretti would have been in his own van equipped with child safety locks so that he could not attempt to exit until it drove him all the way back to…I don’t know, wherever that guy is from (Daytona? Don’t they race cars down there?).

So, yes, we got the four power players in the “cool van” and the other three in the “leftovers” vehicle. But for the women, this episode was all about Aubrey and Debbie. Aubrey O’Day has been a fabulous addition to the Celebrity Apprentice galaxy. Call her the anti-Andretti. She is this bizarre mix of snippy, self-obsessed, and yet — shockingly — smart. “I don’t think that any of them would have a creative bone in their body to continue on without me,” she preened while coming up with concepts for the task. And she has been the most creative person on the team thus far, saving Dayana’s skin last week in the living window display challenge (although we actually know the women stood no chance of losing no matter what they put in there).

No doubt still smarting over having to share the mic with Debbie Gibson during a Wyclef Jean jam session back in week one, attention-grabbing Aubrey unloaded on Debbie’s plan to commence crooning during their Buick presentation. “We have Debbie Gibson having her comeback tour,” sneered Aubrey. “I think Debbie should just go on stage and sing ‘In Her Dreams’ or whatever the f—song she says is so amazing. I honestly wasn’t into any of her stuff. I was more of a Tiffany fan. But whether you bought a ticket or not, you’re going to hear her sing.”

This entire rant is like a masterstroke of bitchy behavior. First off, Aubrey not only abstains from picking a clearly superior Gibson track like “Foolish Beat,” but then purposefully butchers the name of the song she does choose to skewer — turning “Only in My Dreams” into “In Her Dreams.” But she’s not done. Not by a longshot. As the cherry on top of her sassy sundae, she then chooses to align herself with Gibson’s bitter eighties teen steam rival — Tiffany. Sacré bleu! Zut alors!

But who knows? Maybe Aubrey was on to something. In a fantastic and illustrative moment of a former star’s current place in the pop culture universe, Ms. Electric Youth bounded out of her chair during the Buick presentation. “Hi, everyone, I’m Debbie Gibson!” Silence. “Yes, the Debbie Gibson.” A smattering of polite, awkward applause. Then things got even more uncomfortable as Gibson starting belting out “Shake Your Love” to a clearly confused audience. It is only fair to point out here that I rewound and rewatched this entire sequence 17 times to digest its full impact. Brilliant. Almost as brilliant as messing up the name of the car you are supposed to be promoting.

NEXT: Clay has a hard time during the presentation

After making up a sob story about her mother getting into a car accident — which seemed like an odd tonal choice for an otherwise upbeat presentation — Aubrey called the Buick Verano the Buick Verona. Twice. Honestly, I’m not sure how you win after doing that. I mean, that’s about as bad a mistake as you can make. Maybe it’s because Aubrey didn’t have someone yelling “You suck!” at her over and over for no apparent reason.

3. Clay Aiken’s Erection

That racket you heard at approximately 9:58pm was the sound of 100,000 Claymates simultaneously fainting onto hardwood floors upon hearing Clary Aiken boast of having a massive erection. (See what I did there with the “hardwood” thing? Ba-bam! Still got it!) It seems Clay was so aroused by Adam’s presentation that Little Clay decided to stand up and salute the Project Manager for a job well done. Can someone please get Mr. Aiken some Tide detergent ASAP!

4. Lou is Seeing Green…Always

I had a great idea for this week’s column. Lou Ferrigno would show up in green body paint and tear out of his suit. Then I remembered that this is a written column and nobody would be able to see it. And if they could, they’d still be really befuddled. Luckily, I have other ideas. Lou Ferrigno, on the other hand — not so much. If the rest of the team is to be believed, this is the only idea Lou has pitched each and every project, but then he comes into the Boardroom bitching about how nobody is taking advantage of everything he has to offer — all 110 percent of it!

“I’ve done over 40 feature films,” Lou bragged to Trump, and he has a point there. After all, if you can’t trust the man who played “Knife Thrower” in Frank McKlusky, C.I. and “Dog Catcher” in something called Ping!, then whom can you trust? (His work in Frogtown II was especially impressive.) But as much as I adore people that refer to themselves in the third person (“Everybody loves Lou Ferrigno”) Lou’s team seemed to be over his whole act, which culminated with Penn, Arsenio, and a presumably non-erect Clay telling the Hulk in no uncertain terms outside the Boardroom that the learning curve was over. We’ll see next week.

5. Trump Gets Tough

Last week Trump let Dayana off the hook when she refused to name anyone as the weakest link on her team. But when losing Project Manager Adam refused to bring anyone back into the Boardroom this week, Donald dropped the hammer. (Gee, think that could be because Adam is not quite the looker Miss Universe is?) Trump doubled down this time and — clearly needing to rid his show of Michael Andretti — decided to go and fire two people instead. And so we said goodbye to both Adam and Michael. But the person Trump was toughest on was not even in the room or on the show. Nope, it was a certain New York baseball player with a love of steroids, dating celebrity singers, and tanning shirtless in Central Park.

NEXT: Trump does not spare the Rod

The fracas began with Debbie patting herself on the back for being a great team player. “I don’t really care who gets the credit on the team,” insisted Debbie, leading to this response from The Donald. “That’s a very good statement, Deborah. It’s all about winning. That’s a Derek Jeter type statement. Is he great? We love Derek. That’s not an A-Rod statement. That’s a Derek statement.”

I couldn’t help but find it funny that Trump directed his sports comments to the one black man in the room, Arsenio. And I found it even funnier that he went out of his way to blast A-Rod, because…well, it’s hilarious when people blast A-Rod. That’s why everyone does it! The dude just makes it so easy. And because he pockets approximately 5 billion dollars a year for playing baseball, it’s impossible to even feel bad about it. It’s like when LeBron James complained about everyday people blaming all their problems on him, Yes! That’s exactly right! That’s part of the deal. We pay crazy prices to buy tickets to see you play and wear your stupid jersey. That money, in turn, finds its way into your pockets. All we ask for in return is the ability to mock you for even the slightest transgression. Seems like a pretty fair deal. And if you don’t like it, Mr. Fancy Pants Athlete, you can cry yourself to sleep on your pillow stuffed entirely full of $100 bills.

Now, I recognize that this rule should not apply to Trump since he is even richer than the athletes in question being disparaged. But I don’t care! That’s how much fun it is to make fun of Alex Rodriguez! Well, that’ll do it for this week’s trip to Crazytown, USA. Some sad news to report: I will be away next week and therefore ceding my recap duties to the one and only Marc Snetiker. However, I am sure he will do such a great job that Clay Aiken will be achieving multiple erections while reading along. In the meantime, hit the message boards to let us know your favorite moment of last night’s episode and what you thought of the double firings. And for more reality ramblings, follow me on Twitter @DaltonRoss. See you in two weeks. Cluck, Cluck…Splash!

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The Celebrity Apprentice
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