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NeNe goes at it with both La Toya Jackson and Star Jones in an episode big on talk, but short on results

By Dalton Ross
Updated April 25, 2011 at 06:00 AM EDT
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For four seasons now, people have scoffed at me when I proclaimed Celebrity Apprentice to be the most entertaining show on television. Mad Men? A stylish and sexy look at a bygone era. Modern Family? A fantastic sitcom with hilarious characters in relatable situations. 30 Rock? Alec Baldwin still makes me laugh every time he opens his mouth. Those shows are all good. But let me ask you this: Do any of those programs feature in depth discussions about women “crawling up” Star Jones’ ass? And what a discussion it was! It all started innocently enough, with NeNe complaining in the Boardroom that, “I felt like a couple of these girls were crawling up Star’s ass.” That’s not a remarkable statement in the dissing and dismissing vernacular of reality TV. But check out the follow-up by the man who may or may not be running for President of the United States, Donald Trump: “By the way, much nicer now that she lost all the weight.” WHAT?!? Hold on, is Donald Trump saying what I think he’s saying — that because Star Jones underwent weight-loss surgery, that therefore her “ass” is more appealing and a place where other women may, in fact, want to crawl into? Can you even say that on network television? Can I even write that on this web site?

But then, because this is Celebrity Apprentice, things got even more bizarre. Star took it upon herself to comment on the hypothetical situation of her teammates crawling into her ass pre-weight loss. “It would not have been very comfortable for you back then,” she noted. See, now that I just don’t get. If women are indeed going to be crawling up in your caboose, wouldn’t a bigger bottom provide a little more living space? I’m merely concerned things might get a bit crowded is all. This is where a little more “junk in the trunk” could actually work to your advantage.

Now even Trump seemed confused. And yet he felt the need to weigh in even more. “The other way, it wouldn’t have been acceptable,” he agreed. Again, isn’t space at a premium here? I mean, this whole business seems like a tight squeeze to begin with, but given the choice, I’d take my chances with 300-pound Star any day, thank you very much. The fact that Donald Trump sought fit to conduct a nationally televised debate on the perfect weight of Star Jones’ ass for cramming women into is bizarre enough. But it reaches levels of epic proportion when you consider that it all took place on a show devoted to raising money for charity! Brilliant. Simply brilliant. As are our other Five Awesomely Absurd Celebrity Apprentice Moments of the Week.

NEXT: Would you vote for this man?

1. Trump for Prez!

Donald Trump is nothing short of amazing when he begins taking about how awesome Donald Trump is. Tonight was a fantastic example as he provided one of history’s all time ultimate non sequiturs. After having the teams meet him to learn about their next task, he decided against giving them instructions, instead opting to discuss…himself! “Everybody is saying I should run for president,” he began, completely out of nowhere. “Let me ask you a question: Meat Loaf, should I run for president?”

Trashing every ounce of street cred he ever obtained over the past 40 years with a single word, Meat Loaf responded enthusiastically, “Absolutely.” Not only that, but Mr. Loaf also offered to help him with his campaign! Never one to miss out on something she can potentially take credit for, Star Jones also offered up her services: “I’m right here now, ready to roll.”

Of course, Trump had to take it to the next level, inquiring of the contestants, “Who will not vote for me?” Choosing wisdom over honestly, the entire crowd kept their arms down. A good thing, too. “Anybody that raised their hand would immediately be fired because they’re stupid,” announced The Donald. As, I suppose, anyone would be for not voting for him in 2012.

Once Trump was done talking about himself, he decided to dramatically alter the conversation landscape and instead talk about…his awesome hotels! He began with the Trump Soho: “The tallest building in Soho!’ he proclaimed. “It’s a spectacular place! We have views that are absolutely unbelievable!” Of course you do. The teams were tasked with creating a four-page ad spread for the Trump Hotel Collection, which was incredible because it meant we were treated to not one, not two, but three Trump spawn: Ivanka, Don Jr., and Eric. I kept waiting for five-year-old Barron to show up and poop all over team Backbone’s “Live the Life” catalog. Either way, this episode was all Trump, all the time.

2. A Falling Star

Kudos to Star Jones for setting new standards in insufferability. How many people wanted to vomit all over the television screen when Star proclaimed that, “I’ve had the opportunity to walk the streets of Paris and London and Morocco and San Tropez, and sail the Mediterranean — I know as much about luxury as I know about living”? The scariest thing about that statement is that she is not purposely trying to be over the top to make good television. That’s just who she really is. As she said a bit later, “I think I can be a bit pretentious.” Of course, after Don Jr’s quip that “I’d say that yes, that would not be a stretch at times,” Star claimed that “for the first time in my life, being pretentious doesn’t hurt me.”

NEXT: Firings and feuds

Only she was wrong. The judges hated almost everything about her pitch and ad (more on that later) as the women lost to the almost equally uninspiring men. Now, since Mark McGrath was fired instead of Gary Busey for the Australian Gold task because he was responsible for the pirate concept, surely Star would be fired for orchestrating every element of this debacle of a task, right? Of course not, because that would be operating under the assumption that there is even a morsel of logic to Donald Trump’s decision-making process of whom he fires when. He fired McGrath and kept Busey even though everyone on the men’s team fingered Gary as their weakest player, because Trump said Mark was responsible for flubbing that particular task. Yet he fired La Toya and kept Star because he said all the women thought she was weak. Make sense? Not at all! Which is half the fun in watching. The other half? Watching Star suck up to Trump by comparing him to Johnnie Cochran and dubbing him her mentor in the business world.

3. The nonsensical NeNe-La Toya feud

I love arguments that make no sense. The episode began with NeNe still upset that La Toya said that she would be friends with everyone on the team except her. Well, what do you expect, NeNe? You just called her Casper the Freakin Ghost! “I just don’t know what I have done personally to her to say that,” Nene whined. Um…again — Casper the Ghost!

Later when being put on a task with La Toya, NeNe said she didn’t want to work with the Jackson. “It’s very difficult for somebody like me to work with fake women,” she announced. “I’m very real.” (Is “real” just a euphemism for “rude?” I never got that. Act like a complete jerk and then just tell people you’re “real” and it’s okay?) NeNe said her main problem was that La Toya “threw her under the table.” As opposed to calling Don Jr. over while you are in a koala costume to tell him how awful your project manager is? Sorry, NeNe, that’s just me keepin’ it real. Anyhoo, they eventually made up, so then NeNe had to pick someone else to yell at and decided to go with Star instead. Good choice!

4. Meat Loaf trying to morph into the Vince Lombardi of the hotel service industry

As far as I can tell, Meat Loaf had one job on this entire task: to take a picture of a hotel butler. But he didn’t just want to take any picture of a hotel butler. He wanted to take the best picture of the best hotel butler ever! And as a result he subjected the Trump Soho butler to what Meat Loaf must have considered a rousing, inspiring pep talk. “You have incredible pride in your service,” he told the poor guy. “You are the best of the best of the best of the best. No one ever is better than you. Anybody into this hotel, they look at you and know that you are the best.” Dude, he’s a butler! Do butler’s really need pep talks? Is it that much of a struggle to drape a towel over their arm?

NEXT: Everybody stinks

Naturally, the result of all this is that the butler being photographed looked miserable in the final shot. “It looks like an outlaw picture of a guy that got murdered and stood up in a casket in the middle of town and they took a picture of him,” said Project Manager John Rich. After all that, they ended up cutting his face out of the ad. But how could they crop him out? Don’t they realize he’s the best of the best of the best?

5. Bad versus worse

When Marlee Matlin took on John Rich for the art auction, it is was great fun watching two fundraising titans go toe to toe. But it can be equally fun watching a battle of complete ineptitude, and I love that the judges this week didn’t sugar coat it. Team A.S.A.P.’s presentation was perhaps the most laughable, as the women kept barking out random words like “discreet” and “unpretentious” to describe the Trump Hotel Collection. (Not for nothing, but is there anything discreet or unpretentious about Donald Trump?) But James the editor and Jim the Trump hotel executive were just as harsh on their ad. James said it reminded him of “those ads that get placed under your windshield wiper for sleazy clubs.” (How come no one puts those under my wipers?) He then went on to mock the women for putting Hope in a bathtub…with a towel on! And for having her drinking champagne…from an unopened bottle!

Later, when the judges met with Trump, they were equally harsh. “It was more a car wreck than an ad campaign,” said James. And then when asked by his boss for a winner, Jim refused to name one! Instead he told Donald, “This is really a case of the lesser of two evils. There really isn’t a winner. The loser is…” That’s just rock solid television right there. Celebrating ineptitude is always great fun, and there was a lot of ineptitude going on this week. Except, of course, for the butler. Haven’t you heard? He’s the best!

Well, another delicious dish served up by Donald Trump and Co. Sorry to see you go, La Toya, but my sorrow is surpassed by my confusion as to why you were not filmed exiting Trump Tower to enter your car service. I would say you pulled a Casper on us, but, well…you know. For more Celebrity Apprentice news and views, follow me on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss. Thanks to everyone for playing along and I’ll see next week. Cluck, cluck…splash!

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The Celebrity Apprentice

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