The Celebrity Apprentice recap: The Crying Game
To all those naysayers, negative Nancys, and nincompoops that have complained over the past four seasons that Celebrity Apprentice was too drawn out at two hours long, I say this: CONSIDER YOURSELF FACED! That’s right, in your face, non-believers! Three hours of Celebrity Apprentice we got last night and you know what? It still wasn’t enough! The 50% increase in awesomeness merely whetted my appetite for more. Who knew “sweetie” was such a bad word? Who knew Meat Loaf was such an emotional basket case? Who knew the sidewalk squares outside Trump Tower lit up like the “Billie Jean” video whenever a Jackson walked over them? You know who knows these things now? Me! And I want to know more. So much more. Like why doesn’t La Toya Jackson like leaving messages? And do the celebrities have any famous friends wiling to help them on a task that don’t happen to work for NBC? And does Marlee Matlin’s cop husband want to beat the living crap out of Officer Dominic Body or what? Too bad I’m not a mom, because three hours of Celebrity Apprentice is the best Mother’s Day gift anyone could ask for. Here are all the moments that made this extravaganza such a delight.
1. NeNe goes bye-bye
So after realizing that Star and NeNe could not work together, Trump decided to do the humane thing and separate them, switching NeNe to Backbone and Meat Loaf to A.S.A.P. Everyone happy, right? Wrong. Apparently upset that Trump had “accommodated” Star, NeNe simply took off. Left. Gone. Bye-bye. She became an invisible ghost. Much like — you guessed it —Casper! (Oh, the irony is delicious.) Later, Trump called her, trying to convince the hothead to stay, but it was no use.
We’ve seen tons of people quit Celebrity Apprentice out of the blue before, and Trump always sends them off with a handshake and a compliment that more often than not makes no sense. (New Celebrity Apprentice drinking game: chug every time Trump says the word “fantastic” — you’ll be lucky to make it out of an episode alive.) But this time was different. Maybe it’s because he legitimately thought she was tougher than that. Maybe it’s because she did not come to his office, kiss the ring, and bow out officially on his turf. Or maybe he simply confused her with a Kardashian since he has a habit of randomly going off on them for no reason. Whatever it was, it led to this verbal shot at the next Boardroom: “The fact is she left, she quit, she gave up. To you, NeNe, I say, you’re fired. And you’re a quitter. And Star Jones kicked your ass whether you like it or not.”
Those just may be the harshest words Trump has ever uttered to any Celebrity Apprentice contestant. I mean, I just re-read that quote over six more times and the word fantastic is simply nowhere to be found. This is some Obama birth certificate type anger we’re talking about here from The Donald.
NEXT: Can someone get Meat Loaf a tissue?
2. Yay, corporate synergy!
How convenient that both teams just happened to be buddies with current NBC stars that they could lure in to help them for the challenge of producing and selling tickets for a comedy show. John Rich called up NBC star Jimmy Fallon, who not only dropped some coin, but came on to sing an original composition titled “Yer Fired.” This was quite possibly the best song ever if for no other reason than he rhymed “mimosa” with “Omarosa.” On the other team, Star Jones just happened to get a little time with NBC star Tracy Morgan — a little time to produce what may have just been the most unfunny video Tracy Morgan has ever been a part of, and that’s saying something considering the man has appeared on Saturday Night Live 143 times.
3. Meat Loaf melts down
The most amazing thing about the whole NeNe situation is that she was actually not the most emotionally unstable person this season. That honor would go to Meat Loaf, whose incessant sobbing during the first task enabled him to overtake Sugar Kiper from Survivor: Gabon in total tear output for the title of Biggest Reality Crybaby. (This title comes with a lifetime supply of Puffs Ultra Soft & Strong. That’s right, Puffs Ultra Soft & Strong — a nose in need deserves Puffs indeed.) The waterworks started when Meat realized that all the money he was raising for his charity, Painted Turtle, would actually go to La Toya’s charity instead if she won. “I cannot gamble that money,” he cried while reduced to a quivering mess. Star tried to calm the situation — and how absurd a string of words is that? — by calling Trump to see if he would allow both teams to keep the money they earned. And immediately defuse the drama? Fat chance! “That’s not the premise,” responded Donald. “It takes the incentive away from winning. And this show is to a large extent about charity but to an even larger extent, it’s about winning.” Well, and also about seeing Gary Busey attempting to talk like a pirate, but, yes, winning too.
The weeping continued in the Boardroom, as team Backbone was now officially invited to Meat Loaf’s pity party. John Rich even agreed to match whatever Meat Loaf raised and give it to Painted Turtle if they lost the task, however, this simply made Meat cry even more. And then he made an emotional speech to the Trumpster: “This show has made me a better person. And it has taught me things that I didn’t know I knew. And I have to look you right in the eye and I have to say to you personally, thank you very, very much, Mr. Trump. I really from my heart to you mean that more than you can ever imagine. And I thank you.”
Hey, I know exactly how Meat Loaf feels. I too feel Celebrity Apprentice has made me a better person. It has taught me things that I didn’t know I knew, like to avoid any and all personal contact with Dionne Warwick. And to ask Jim Cramer if he has any function in life other than nodding overenthusiastically to anything and everything that Donald Trump says. I also have to look Mr. Trump right in the eye and say to him personally, “Thank you very, very much, Mr. Trump. I really from my heart to you mean that more than you can ever imagine. Because ever since Celebrity Apprentice came into my life, my Sunday nights have never been better. And I thank you.”
NEXT: Trump discusses “gayness”
4. Experience matters
And after all that worry, it turned out that Meat Loaf actually won the damn challenge. This, of course, led to the firing of La Toya Jackson, and perhaps the best send-off in Celebrity Apprentice history. I speak not of the sidewalk squares lighting up like the video for “Billie Jean” as La Toya made her walk of shame to the town car. No, I speak of the most brilliant exit line imaginable, as La Toya informed us that, “My experience of being on Celebrity Apprentice was probably one of the best experiences I could have experienced.” Let’s pause for the cause for a moment just to let that sink in. Again: “My experience of being on Celebrity Apprentice was probably one of the best experiences I could have experienced.” Insightful, as always.
5. An arresting character
For the next task, the teams needed to produce a promotional video for an OnStar product to be sold at Best Buy. Honestly, this task wasn’t all that intriguing for me because as the owner of a Ford Focus, I’m not sure anyone would even bother stealing my car, and if they did, I sure as hell wouldn’t want it back. But there still were three things worth mentioning. Number 1 would be the “OnStar Mobile Command Center,” which basically amounted to a bus with a computer. Does that mean if I throw a laptop in the trunk of my Focus, that I suddenly have an “Entertainment Weekly Mobile Command Center?” And, if so, how unhip did Entertainment Weekly just become?
The second thing worth mentioning is Marlee’s description of Meat Loaf as “a tornado on crack.” Love that. I’ve spent most of my time this season heaping praise on flamboyant interpreter Jack Jason (and how could I not?), but Marlee is pretty damn awesome. It sure feels like we’re headed straight toward a Marlee vs. John Rich final, and that’s a dynamite battle. Executive producer Mark Burnett would call it “epic,” but then again he calls everything epic. I’m sure he had an “epic” bowl of Golden Grahams for breakfast this morning.
The third thing of note would have to be the one and only Officer Dominic Body. Boy, was his presence ill conceived — from his very name, to the awkward way he spoke, to the fact that he was obsessed with donuts. And why wasn’t he busy arresting that young whippersnapper skateboarding right through the Blue Bonnet donut shop? That can’t be legal! And 10 to 1 says the skater shoplifted that OnStar device as well. Did you see a bag or a receipt? I sure didn’t. Get off your fat ass and make an arrest for once, Officer Body! You’re an embarrassment to the entire force!
They can have Celebrity Apprentice Boardrooms from now until the end of time — and Lord I hope they do — but nothing will ever be any more confusing and awkward than Trump talking about the perfect weight of Star Jones’ butt for cramming women into. However, allow me still to treat you to Donald Trump complimenting Meat Loaf on his appearance. “You know, I’m not a gay man, okay? I think gaynesss is wonderful, frankly, but I’m not a gay man. But listen, you seem so much better looking. What the f—?” You took the words right out of my mouth, Donald. What the f— indeed.
NEXT: Meat and Star go at it
7. An open and shut case
After A.S.A.P. learned they lost the OnStar challenge, Star and Meat Loaf played a game of hot potato, trying to pass the blame as quick as possible before the timer ran out. The best part of their exchange came outside the Boardroom, a portion of which you would swear came from the mouths of 6-year-olds if you saw it transcribed. So allow me to do that for you here:
STAR: “Case Closed.
MEAT: “No, not case closed!
STAR: “Case closed to me.”
MEAT: “No, it’s not closed to you!”
STAR: “To me, it is.”
MEAT: “Well, I got news for you, it’s not closed to me.
Is not! Is too! Is not! Is too! I would say you couldn’t take your eyes off them, but in fact, I did take my eyes off of them because I was even more fascinated by watching interpreter Jack Jason try like hell to keep up with the rapid fire back and forth. I mean, how does he even interpret that? And has he ever interpreted anything stupider in his entire life? Oh, wait, of course he has! I forgot, he also had to interpret how angry Star got when Meat Loaf called her “sweetie.”
After all was said and done, the case finally was closed — with Star being the third eliminated contestant of the night. “No one wants to get fired,” Star said while driving away in her car. “And I have had the pleasure of being fired by two of my mentors on television.” Oh no, Star — the pleasure was all theirs.
Just four contestants left! As previously mentioned, I’m hoping for a Marlee vs. John Rich final two, but Lil’ Jon could certainly squeak in there as well. (No way Meat Loaf makes the finale.) Whom are you pulling for? How do you feel about NeNe’s disappearing act? And were you excited to finally see high and mighty Star sent packing? Hit the message boards and let us know. And for more Celebrity Apprentice news and views, follow me on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss. Until next week: Cluck, Cluck…Splash!