The Celebrity Apprentice recap: Bat Out of Hell
Okay, the last thing I want to do is oversell something I just watched on a reality television program, but before we go any further, can I just say one thing? FIGHT OF THE CENTURY!!! I know, I know, the century is only 11 years old, but still, does it get any better that Meat Loaf completely and freakishly losing it to Gary Busey? Yes, the “whore pit vipers” throwdown in season 2 was similarly epic (“You’re a poker playa. A poker playaaaaaa.”), but all you need to do is go to the score sheet to see that Meat Loaf vs. Busey has it beat. In approximately two minutes, Mr. Loaf (Meat to friends and family) let fly with 1 s—, 1 bulls—, 6 motherf—– or motherf——s and 16 — yes, 16! — good ol’ fashion f— or f—ings. That’s 24 expletives. 24! (Yes, I counted.) It was truly an explosion of Rex Ryan proportions.
But the greatness of this outburst cannot be relayed solely by statistics. You have to look deeper at the subtleties and nuances at play here that make it a complete masterstroke. Start with Meat Loaf — I mean honestly, where else are you gonna start? What was so amazing about the situation was the way it came from seemingly nowhere. After returning from the art supplies store to begin working on their artwork to be sold for charity, Meat Loaf could not find his bag of paints. He started looking around the room, calmly asking if anyone had seen his bag while contemplating whether Gary Busey could have possibly usurped his supplies. And then, like Dr. Bruce Banner turning into The Hulk, he just exploded.
Meat Loaf: “OKAY, F—!”
A very confused Mark McGrath: “What’s wrong?”
Meat Loaf: “MOTHERF—–!’
Mark McGrath, still confused : “What’s wrong?”
“I BOUGHT THOSE MOTHERF—— SPONGES! PART OF THAT PAINT IS MINE! I AM SICK AND TIRED…”
Here’s where things got really good as we hit our first genius point of the ordeal. As Busey took a step forward in the least-confrontational manner possible, Meat charged in a full rage “F— YOU, MOTHERF—–!” But my eyes were neither on Meat Loaf nor Busey at this point, but rather on Richard Hatch, who was right in between the pair. Unlike everyone else in the room—and, likely, the entire west side of Manhattan — Richard was not completely transfixed by what was transpiring. In fact, he refused to even look up! So while Armageddon rained down on Team Backbone, there was Richard Hatch neatly assembling his art supplies and just hoping by the grace of God he did not get floored by an errant Meat Loaf knuckle-sandwich (and yes, I believe I am the first person in the past 30 years to use the phrase “knuckle sandwich”). Maybe Hatch is used to seeing this kind of activity going down in prison so didn’t pay it any mind. I have no idea, but it was pretty damn amusing.
NEXT: Meat Loaf isn’t even close to being done
After Busey insisted that “Hey, that was all mine in the basket,” Meat Loaf went even more ballistic. “YOU DON’T WANT TO F—— START WITH ME! MOTHERF—–, YOU DO NOT WANT TO F— WITH ME! YOU LOOK IN MY EYE! I AM THE LAST PERSON IN THE F—— WORLD YOU EVER WANT T O F— WITH! DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?”
Okay: Here’s genius point #2. After this open diary of a madman was fully unleashed, the show went to a commercial break. Obviously the producers had already milked every single word and camera angle out of this delicious diatribe and now we would see what was happening over on Team A.S.A.P, right? WRONG! Mr. Loaf was only getting warmed up! That’s right, this wasn’t any normal freak-out. This was turning into the extended 12″ dance remix of freak-outs. “YOU F—— MOTHERF—–, YOU LITTLE F—!” yelled Meat Loaf while throwing down a can of spray paint. “YOU’LL BE IN THE HOSPITAL IN ABOUT FOUR MINUTES!” (Not to quibble, but I’m not sure how accurate a time estimate that is given the New York City traffic problems we witnessed later in the episode, but I digress.)
At this point, Mark McGrath and Lil Jon formed a wall in front of Meat Loaf to keep him from pulverizing Busey, who looked even more perplexed than usual as John Rich led him out of the room. “It was just mine,” whispered Busey. “IT IS NOT YOURS, YOU F—— PIECE OF S—!” yelled Meat Loaf. At around this point, it hit me. I’ve seen this a million times before: They’re like two preschoolers arguing over a toy. “Mine” “No, it’s mine!” “Gimme!” “No, you gimme!” “WAAAAAAAAAAAA!” Of course, throughout all of this, Richard is off to the side still working on his art as if nothing is going on.
While Busey was out in the hallway being babysat by John Rich and laughed at by lots of women in the background, Meat was taking all the items off of Gary’s table that he said belonged to him. “Don’t come back in there yet,” warned John Rich. “I’ll come get you.” So, who, of course, comes shuffling back in not even two seconds later? Busey! And he was just in time for the piece de resistance. You see, up till this point the whole affair had just been a fascinating display of unbridled rage. But now came the punchline. And what a fabulous punchline it was. That bag of supplies that Busey stole, causing Mr. Loaf to fly into a rage? Not stolen at all! It seems John Rich found a little something on the floor. “Meat, is this your bag? I might have just found your bag. It was under a corner.”
Watching Meat Loaf at this point was priceless beyond belief. How does one react when it is just starting to dawn on him that he may have just made an even BIGGER ass of himself that he thought? That the person he was just threatening to send to the hospital had, in fact, done nothing wrong at all? Would Meat apologize and beg forgiveness for his gross error? Of course not! He just kept cursing, finishing his diatribe with the now classic “DO YOUR F—— ARTWORK AND GET OUT OF MY F—— FACE!” And can I just finish by saying that I have never hit the f—– dash button so many times in my entire f—– life?
NEXT: Look who’s an art critic!
Now, before Meat Loaf starts freaking out again, let’s take time to recognize what a truly incredible episode this was and list all the amazing things I will not able to get into in greater detail: the return of George Ross, Richard Hatch questioning whether Jose Canseco lied about his dad being sick to leave the show, Lil Jon reenacting MTV’s Cribs at the women’s empty art studio, this quote from Gary Busey: “Meat Loaf excelled to the level of dancing on a rainbow with no fear. And no doubt,” Two Foot Fred, and finally, Colin The St. Jude’s Hospital kid who actually made me cry. You heard me! I cried during freakin’ Celebrity Apprentice! What the hell is wrong with me? In any event, let’s move on and enjoy the Five Other Most Awesomely Absurd Moments of this week’s Celebrity Apprentice.
1. When did Don Jr. become such a clown?
I’ll admit it: In past seasons I paid little-to-no attention to Don Jr. I mean, other than being slightly confused when he started slicking his hair back —what is it with Trump men and their hair? — I was either being too amused by his dad or entranced by his Boardroom dominatrix sister to notice Junior. But now the guy has turned into a regular Jackie Mason. This week, Don Jr. thought it would be hilarious to dis the entire modern art movement by pointing out that the women were going to spend but a few hours slapping together some pieces that would go on sell for almost a million dollars. And it was!
But Junior always saves his best material for the Boardroom, like when he asked Jose last week how exactly he found out Richard was gay. This week, daddy acted as his set-up man. After Lil Jon explained how he planned to continue making art, Trump senior responded, “So now you have two great careers. Just remember — I started you. I want 20 percent of everything.” And without missing a beat, Junior jumped right in, “Only 20? What’s going on here?” Now I don’t know if that single comment cost Don Jr. a good $340 million of inheritance money, but even if so, it was worth it. It was sort of laughable when Junior first started appearing on the show as his dad’s “advisor,” but now he’s getting laughs for all the right reasons.
2. This quote:
“Richard’s hat had big roses or something on the hat, and I was like, ‘Damn, Richard, that’s a really gay ass hat!'” —Lil Jon
3. Furio is an art critic?
Poor Tony Soprano. First, one his top money-earning capos, Vito Spatafore, turns out to be gay (apparently a sin itself in the mob world). And now we learn that his main muscle, Furio Giunta, is…an artist? Oh, you mean, like, the art of smashing faces? No, I mean, an actual artist! I see, you mean, like, he’s almost artistic in the way he splatters blood all over the canvas when he’s beating the crap out of someone? No, I mean as in wearing a fancy suit and going to judge the merits of baseball hats painted by the likes of Hope Dworaczyk. If Tony wasn’t, in fact, gunned down while devouring onion rings at Holsten’s, then he’s dying now seeing what’s become of his crew. At least Furio didn’t try and engineer a laughable “rat” scheme like Vincent “Big Pussy” Pastore on season 1 of Celebrity Apprentice. (Or did he…?) Either way, it was unsettling. What’s next? Paulie Walnuts in a Tutu? Fuggedaboutit!
NEXT: Star busts out a careless whisper
4. Why can’t anyone figure out that Marlee Matlin is deaf?
Just as we’re recovering from Marlee Matlin having to remind Donald Trump that she was unfamiliar with Dionne Warwick’s music because she couldn’t, you know, hear, we had two more faux-pas this weak. The first occurred at the top of the episode just after Dionne’s firing. La Toya, upset at being portrayed as basically brainless by the rest of her team, was busy telling Lil Jon, “I know I’m dealing with sneaky, cunning girls and I’m not used to that.” But I was much more amused and confused by what was happening behind her as you saw Gary Busey yelling random Buseyisms in Marlee’s face, as if that would help her understand what he was saying. Dude, that does absolutely nothing. She can’t hear you! She won’t even be able to hear Meat Loaf when he’s screaming his head off at you later. Yelling is not going to help.
Star Jones, however, tried the opposite approach. Instead of screaming to make herself heard by Marlee in the Boardroom, she apparently went for some sort of reverse psychology angle, whispering into Marlee’s ear in the hopes that somehow that could cure her of her deafness. She’s not a freakin’ horse, Star, and you most certainly are not Star Jones: Deaf Person Whisperer.
And although Marlee handled this situation with both humor and class, my favorite Matlin moment naturally involved Celebrity Apprentice interpreter extraordinaire Jack Jason. After Marlee’s team won, raising an insane $986,000 (to the men’s $626,908), Jack started weeping. Now I will admit to a bit of confusion for a second: Are these his tears? Is he translating for Marlee? Did he just find out about Colin, the St. Jude’s kid? Or is this simply a case of sitting between Donald and Don Jr. and the air conditioning blowing their combined epic amount of hairspray into his eyes? I didn’t know! And I didn’t care! Aggressively animated Jack Jason strikes again!!!
5. The hilarious exercise of watching Trump figure out a way to not fire Gary Busey.
One of my absolute favorite things about Celebrity Apprentice is they way Trump clearly dismisses far more capable candidates that are either less famous or don’t make good TV in favor of keeping celebrity nutjobs that will keep the comedy coming. On other shows like Project Runway, I get holier than thou when the eliminations are based on keeping on the better “character,” but on Celebrity Apprentice, it’s just the opposite. (Except when Annie Duke lost to Joan Rivers. She was robbed.) I totally support these bogus eliminations, if only for the humor they create. In fact, the only thing funnier than watching Trump go out of his way to keep his most looney tunes contestants is when he tries like hell to do so but the person he is dead set against firing forces him to fire them anyway because they refuse to pass the blame or bring back anyone else for him to let go instead (think Gene Simmons and Rod Blagojevich).
NEXT: Gary Busey is a genius? Really?
First, Trump gave Marlee the option of giving the men a stay of execution and she refused — another reason to love Marlee Matlin by the way. She was right. It’s business. Someone had to go. So it looked like Richard Hatch would be going due to the fact that he didn’t meet a lot of celebrity millionaires in prison and couldn’t raise money. (Ironic moment of the night: Hatch telling Trump that “we’re very close to being exonerated,” of his tax charges; he’s now back in prison for not repaying his debt.) But then Donald asked each of the men who the weakest link on the team was, and each of them said Gary Busey. Whoops!
Well, this won’t do. This won’t do at all. Trump’s remedy? To call Busey “genius” about 3,284 times and claim that, “I think he’s very deceptive.” Deceptive? At what? It didn’t matter — the entire thing was pure gold. And then this brilliant back-on-the-right-firing track line: “So, Jon, originally you said Richard Hatch should be fired.” As in, never mind that every single one of you just told me that Gary Busey should go, because that, my friends, ain’t happening. Amazing stuff from the Trumpster. He was so smooth he didn’t even give Hatch a chance to defend himself. That Richard Hatch is too slippery with his words. Best not to risk it.
And with that, one of the most incredible hours — excuse me, two hours —in Celebrity Apprentice history came to a close. We laughed, we cried, we watched a grown man lose his paint and then his marbles. Please hit the message boards and share your favorite CA moment of the week (there are plenty to go around!). (Watch the clip of Meat Loaf’s meltdown here.) And for more reality TV news and views, follow me on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss. Until next week: Cluck, Cluck…Splash!