Oh, and this just in: Rod Blagojevich is innocent of all charges. Just ask him; he'll tell you!
Credit: Mitch Haaseth

I’m a broken record. For a few years now I’ve been screaming about how Celebrity Apprenticewas the most wonderfully absurd television show in history. I’ve told friends. I’ve told family. I tweeted Celebrity Apprentice screeds to followers (you can be one too @EWDaltonRoss— nice plug, eh?). It was a long and complex argument — a dissertation, if you will, based on the fact that D-list celebrities were competing for a job they would never actually fill while humiliating themselves on a weekly basis along the way. But I don’t need to recite it again. For anyone that remains unconvinced, all I need to do is point them to the first two minutes of the third Celebrity Apprentice premiere as exhibit A as to why this is the silliest show ever. The moment I’m referring to, of course, took place as Donald Trump was explaining how all the contestants were putting their careers on hold for charity. (It’s true, to a degree. They are competing for the charity of their choice and should be commended for doing so. Of course, I make it a habit of fast forwarding those segments of the program where they present the check they have won to their appropriate charity, because I am a cold hearted bastard who only cares about whore pit vipers and watching Clint Black pretend to use laundry detergent as a lubricant for masturbation, but yes, charity is a significant element of the show). But here’s when things got completely amazing. As Trump was telling us all this, he arrived at his limo. Oh, I guess we’ll just continue this conversation in the car then. GUESS AGAIN, SUCKA! ”You know what? I’m walking,” Trump bellowed to his limo driver, who acted like that was the most normal thing in the world for Donald Trump to say.

Okay, a few things here: 1) My guess is this is the first time Donald Trump has walked more than one block in his entire life. He’s Donald Trump! He takes a limo to the freakin’ bathroom! 2) I guess this was supposed to symbolize that Trump was also doing his part to put his lavish lifestyle aside to help out the little people, but how does Donald Trump not being driven to Grand Central Station help any charitable cause whatsoever? Okay, maybe he lowered his carbon footprint by .000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 percent, but seriously, it’s not exactly Babe Ruth hitting a home run for a dying kid in the hospital. ”You know what? I’m walking.” Hilarious.

And therein lies the genius of Celebrity Apprentice. It doesn’t come close to making sense on any level whatsoever — and that’s precisely why it’s so damn entertaining. Rod Blagojevich taking chicken cutlet orders? Love it! Washed-up comic Sinbad walking around as a human billboard? Bring it on! Some random wrestler woman that I’ve never seen in my life carrying sodas to a table…with her boobs! Can’t get enough! I also adore how the show is always two hours long, because no way could all the ”action” possibly be contained into a single hour each week. You know what? This show could be…three hours a week, and I’d still hang on every scene.

NEXT: The selecting of team names and Project Managers

So let’s get to the long-anticipated (by me, anyway) premiere. After his long haul over to Grand Central, Trump decided he was infected with skake-things-up fever, telling the teams of men (Blagojevich, Sinbad, rocker Bret Michaels, baseball player Darryl Strawberry, chef Curtis Stone, sprinter Michael Johnson, wrestler Bill Goldberg) and women (Cyndi Lauper, Sharon Osbourne, comic Carol Leifer, swimmer Summer Sanders, Holly Robinson Peete, random wrestler chick, even more random Victoria’s Secret model chick) to not only go pick out a team names, but to also select the other team’s Project Manager (which ended up being Bret and Cyndi). The names each came up with were appropriate — perhaps a bit too appropriate. The women chose ”Tenacity” which is about one step away from the Nagging Nags, while the Men selected the ever-so-subtle ”Rock Solid” which could either be a reference to Goldberg’s muscles (which I am sure are allcompletely natural) or, more likely, the team’s collective Johnson (and I don’t mean Michael). The next big decision came after Trump told them their task — to make the most money possible running a diner for three hours — and they had to each pick a location. Of course, this process was completely overshadowed by Trump’s awesomely awkward small talk with Darryl Strawberry, as the mogul began joking about how the former drug user knew every nook and cranny of New York — ”even those places the ladies wouldn’t want to know about.” I would give every last cent in my bank account (which is, like, five) to see the unedited footage of this conversation that did not make the final broadcast. I imagine the deleted material looks a little something like this:

Trump: “Seriously, Darryl, you did a lot of cocaine in your day. Either of these locations good for scoring some coke?

Strawberry: “Ummm…I’m not really sure how to….”

Trump: ”Oh, come on, Darryl. If you were me, where would you go to score some snow? Not that I would, but I’m just curious. I’m a curious guy. And I like to know everything about this city, including the best cocaine hot spots.”

Strawberry: ”Well, you’re really putting me on the spot, sir. I…”

Trump: ”For crissakes, answer the question, Darryl! Which location is better for scoring some freakin’ nose candy? It’s a simple question!”

Strawberry: ”Um, 53rd and Madison, I guess?”

Trump: ”There you go. Finally! Good man, Darryl Strawberry. Let me tell you, Don Jr., this guy used to hit the s— out of the ball. Isn’t that right, Darryl?”

Strawberry: ”Yes, sir. I hit the s— out of the ball.”

Trump: ”Damn straight, you did. You’re an American hero. Don’t let anyone tell you different. Darryl Strawberry, ladies and gentlemen!” (Polite smattering of applause.)

So, off to the diners the teams went. Team Tenacity was excited to learn that the random Victoria’s Secret model (whose name I forgot half a second after it was announced) could cook. Hmmm, a Victoria’s Secret model who loves to cook? Are there two high school nerds with bras on their heads in a back room somewhere with jumper cables hooked up to a Barbie doll? Because this is starting to feel a little like creating-the-perfect-woman-from-Weird-Science if you ask me. On the opposite end was Blagojevich, who announced that, ”I didn’t cook at all when I was governor. I was cooking up results for people.” Well, I don’t know about that, but I do suppose it is true that you were in hot water, so to speak, if you really want to continue that culinary comparison.

NEXT: Cyndi talks smack about the boss…and his wife!

Of course, the best moments of the entire competition all came courtesy of Cyndi. Not only did she completely brush off Donald Jr. when he came to see how the women were doing, but she also went all singing waitress on us, busting out ”True Colors.” (Although personally I was hoping for a little ”She Bop,” because nothing goes better with a grilled cheese sandwich than a little ditty espousing the joys of masturbation. Paging Clint Black!!!) Cyndi’s pièce de résistance, however, occurred when she was caught on camera dissing the Donald! Referring to his Richness’ public feud with Lauper pal Rosie O’Donnell, Cyndi was seen opining that, ”He’s just a rat, Donald. He just don’t know. But look at the wife he married.” Whoa! Talking trash about the boss’ wife! Where I come from, that’s a fire-able offense! But here’s the best part: Even after finally noticing the camera, she wasn’t done! ”He called her fat, but he is not a thin man.” Ummmm, excuse me, Cyndi, but didn’t you see Donald Trump walking all the way to Grand Central Terminal?! Clearly the man has a hardcore workout regimen he is following, so lay off, sister! (Getting back to Donald’s little stroll, which I am obviously obsessed with: What do you think Trump’s limo driver does in such a situation — slowly follow behind in the car, waiting for Donald to get over his temporary man-of-the-people insanity and start screaming ”What the f— am I doing? Get that motherf—ing car over here right now!”? Would love to be that guy for a day.)

Basically, what you need to know about the competition is this: Team Nagging Nags went for a lower price point (about $35 a dish) and had lines around the block. Team We’re Obsessed With Our Johnsons, on the other hand, appeared to have a lot less activity, but we’re charging $100 for a Turkey club to the likes of high rollers like — why, look, it’s NBC’s Al Roker! Roker wasn’t the only celebrity to drop by. It seems Ms. Cluck Cluck Splash herself, Joan Rivers, was sent as a non-so-secret spy of Trump’s to deliver $10,000 to the team she liked best. While there was never any doubt in my mind that Rivers would pick the women, Blagojevich certainly didn’t help matters by letting her burger sit there getting cold for nine minutes while he attempted to convince every patron that he was innocent. (And, not for nothing, but was waiter really the right job for Blagojevich? I mean, do you really want this guy handling money? I’m just sayin’….)

NEXT: The walking sound bite that is Donald Trump

So off to the Boardroom it was to find out which team had raised the most money, with Cyndi showing up like she had stuck her hand in an electric socket. ”You’re a big believer in hair, like I am,” observed The Donald. It was just one of his few zingers.

My other favorite Trumpisms:

”And you have Curtis, a great chef loved by women all over the world. Although I bet I’ve done better than he has. I have certain advantages.” —to Team We’re Obsessed With Our Johnsons

”Ugh, she’s disgusting.” —to Cyndi Lauper while discussing Rosie O’Donnell

”I think Ivanka saved your beautiful ass.” —to Random Victoria’s Secret Model Contestant Who Stretches the Term Celebrity Beyond All Logical Boundaries

”They can get their asses fired so fast your head will spin.” —to Cyndi Lauper

Well, turns out Joan liked the women better — SHOCKER! — but even that $10,000 gift left them $20k short of the men, who took in almost $58,000. This led Trump to ask each of the women who they would fire if they were him, to which they all responded with slight variations of ”Oh, little ol’ me? Hmmm, that’s a tough one. I simply couldn’t say because, well, that would just be so gosh darn mean. Can I just stick my breasts out a little bit more instead?” The whole Spanish Inquisition was going nowhere, until finally the women seemed to smell weakness in Carol and all piled on the comedian. (Or is it comedienne? I could never figure that out.) As one of the show’s A-list stars (and I’m clearly grading on a curve here) there was no way Cyndi was going to be fired. But Carol was expendable, and alas, she was given the old heave ho. But look at Leifer, still pimping Trump for 10 large to go to her charity, the North Shore Animal League! Pretty ballsy for a first episode causality. You know what, maybe she shouldn’t have been fired, after all. Oh well, too late. Sorry, loser!

But we’re all winners here as another glorious season of Celebrity Apprentice is successfully under way! I told you what I thought; now it’s your turn. What was your favorite Trumpism? Who looks like the contestant to beat? And could Rod Blagojevich possibly be any skeezier? Post your thoughts on the message boards below. And for other nonsense sent directly to your virtual door, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss. See ya next week. Cluck, cluck…splash!

Episode Recaps

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