Three celebrities are fired, as the final two contestants begin their race to the finish line

By Dalton Ross
Updated May 18, 2010 at 01:10 AM EDT
Ali Goldstein/NBC

The Celebrity Apprentice

S9 E10
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Donald Trump hates Bret Michaels. Yes, it’s true, he has put the Poison frontman through to the finals, but look at the evidence! He tried like hell to fire Bret after the Harry Potter challenge, but was foiled when his reality TV goldmine Rod ”Your Technology Scares and Confuses Me” Blagojevich refused to bring Bret back into the Boardroom. Then, last week when Cyndi and Holly were attacking each other in the Boardroom and Bret did what Trump always tells people to do when two other people are arguing — stay quiet! — The Donald all of sudden attacked Bret as being weak and not as strong as the women.

But the clearest evidence of Trump’s outright hatred of the rock & roller was revealed in this latest episode. After putting Holly and Bret through to the finals and setting them off on their task to create a new flavor and corresponding ad campaign for Snapple, Trump presented the finalists with their support teams of former players. I always liked in previous Apprenticeseasons where contestants would fight over or draft the former contestants they wanted on their team, but now Trump just assigns as he sits fit. Whom did Holly get? She got two of the final five, Maria and Curtis. (Sharon was no doubt still off sobbing on Adrian the elevator operator’s shoulder.) Very strong supporting cast for Holly. Okay, and whom did Bret get? He got Summer, who’s a diligent worker. Good selection. And then he got…Darryl Strawberry?!? The worst Celebrity Apprentice contestant ever? And I mean that, too. Sure, Blago may have been an ineffectual joke, but at least the dude was AWAKE! All Strawberry did on each task was sleep or talk about wanting to go to sleep, before finally quitting because he simply missed sleep too much.

Sorry, Donald, but I have to call you out as a… SABOTEUR! Why else put Darryl back in the game (other than the fact that he was already in New York so they didn’t have to spend the cash to fly someone back in)? True, lame players have been brought back before to help out with the final challenge, but never this lame, and those ones were usually brought back because they added some element of drama, tension, or inadvertent comedy to the proceedings. Strawberry adds nothing. I don’t know if The Donald is getting back at Bret for performing the Tour Bus Thrust with Ivanka after a Poison show or what, but it just seemed like cruel and unusual punishment to give a guy who is already so scatterbrained a zero like Strawberry as a helper.

Of course, the irony is that with all of Bret’s real life medical issues that have come up after the show stopped taping, he is the one that everyone is rooting for, and he is the guy that would make the great story as the winner. But has Trump now crippled Bret’s chances by giving him a dude that can’t even stop the other team from stealing his Snapple flavor because he was too busy taking photos with fans at the mall? SABOTEUR!!!

NEXT: You stay classy, Celebrity Apprentice

Okay, let’s go back to the beginning of the episode to run down all the crazy. And no, I have not been cloned. A big thank you to the producers and NBC for getting me this episode early so that I was able to provide recaps of both this and the Survivor finale, which aired at the exact same time. Who says I can’t be in two places at once?

We may have joked about how absurd it was for Sharon Osbourne to keep getting free passes every week as she missed challenge after challenge with a cough, but it was obvious that Trump was keeping her around for a reason. And that reason was so that we could watch her croon Rod Stewart’s ”Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” while flashing her bra and violently shoving an imaginary head into her crotch. Honestly, I never thought that song could become any more horrifying that it already was, but somehow Sharon found a way. But that party-pooping receptionist Amanda (not to be confused with Curtis-obsessed prop house employee Amanda) put a stop to all the shenanigans by ordering everyone back to the Boardroom. This led Bret to yell out to a bathroom-occupying Curtis, ”Don’t do a deuce!” And that, ladies and gentlemen, is called foreshadowing.

When the final five arrived back in the Boardroom, Trump informed them, ”Great job. That being said, I’m gonna fire somebody right now.” Why he didn’t just fire that somebody along with Cyndi at the Boardroom that had just finished a few minutes ago was entirely unclear. But had he done that we would have been robbed of another priceless Apprentice gem. After being called out by Curtis as being weak for running her mouth and saying how arrogant he was, Maria came up with a defense for the ages: ”The reason why I said you were so arrogant is because you came into our dressing room and took a crap and left the stench in the room.” And there you have it: one Celebrity Apprentice contestant criticizing another not fortalking crap, but for taking an actual crap. Amazing. Yet not the most amazing thing about this exchange. No, that would be Curtis’ response: ”That’s not exactly true.” Not exactly true? Not exactly? That’s a pretty weak defense, my man. Apparently, Curtis is not denying that he went into their dressing room to defecate, but is challenging Maria’s claim as to the power of the stench left in the room. Either way The Apprentice has never been classier. Sensing that the whole situation was starting to stink, Trump fired Maria, explaining via an overdub that, ”This is my Boardroom. It’s not a locker room.” Perhaps, but putting next season’s Boardroom in an actual locker room with random people toweling off behind the contestants would be kind of genius.

NEXT: And then there were two…

Too bad. I liked Maria, precisely for reasons like this. With our final four now in place it was time for the interviews with Apprentice winner #1 Bill Rancic and Celebrity Apprentice winner #2 Joan Rivers that would filter out two more losers. SHOCKER! Joan loved Sharon, even as Sharon was halfway through her complete emotional breakdown, going from ”Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” to ”Do You Think I’m a Complete Basket Case?” (Answer: No, and yes.) And although I am still deeply bitter that the undeserving Joan beat Annie Duke last season, she did provide the quip of the night after Sharon wept that, ”Nobody gives a s— about the colon because it’s up your ass. It’s not sexy. I couldn’t even think of a color for the ribbon, Joan.” Joan’s response? ”Unfortunately, you could.” Well played, Rivers!

Oh, here’s another shocker. Joan loved Holly too and wanted the two women to battle it out for the title. (I found it quite curious that Joan ”didn’t see the fire” in Bret yet had no qualms about Sharon admitting that she wouldn’t feel right about beating Holly in the finals. Wow. Now there’s some spunk! Some zip! Some good ol’ fashioned moxie!) Trump finally brought everyone back in the Boardroom and announced, ”There are no losers here” before informing two more people they were about to be crowned losers. The first to go was Curtis, with Trump saying, ”You’re fired. I have no choice.” What are you talking about? You have all the choice! It’s your damn show!

Sharon then continued her breakdown, sobbing that ”I don’t want to be a loser” while Trump mulled over whom to let go. The entire Boardroom was somewhat infuriating actually in that all the arguments over who should stay centered around who was more ”connected” to their charity instead of how well they had actually done on the show. Holly’s a great mom who has dealt with a lot of adversity! Bret has to give himself injections every day! That’s commendable and all, and I’m not trying to sound cold hearted or make light of their life stories, but when did that become the criteria for advancing in the game? If that’s the case then why not name one of them the winner at the very beginning and scrap the whole season? Of course, the mistake I am making is assuming that anything remotely associated with Celebrity Apprentice makes sense in the least. My bad. Trump finally put Sharon out of misery and fired her. Only that didn’t put her out of her misery as she kept sobbing all the way into the elevator.

NEXT: Like taking candy from a baby, if that baby had gaping cold sores

And we have our finalists: Holly vs. Bret! Bret got the party started by announcing to Holly that ”I’m gonna get you drunk and hungover so you can’t win nothing,” and then proceeed to bust out a little running man dance move (”I can’t do it. I won’t do it. I just did it.”). If that wasn’t reason enough to love Bret Michaels, then the fact that he called out the fact that he was rocking a cold sore certainly was. ”It’s just from stress,” he promised Summer while insisting that it did not come from a result of any unskinny bopping with groupies. Bret? Dude? Who are you kidding? We all saw Rock of Love, man! We know you are a sexual sensei! You showed off the Tour Bus Thrust, for crissakes! Not from groupies? C’mon. Take pride in those groupies, my friend. Wear that cold sore like the badge of honor that it is.

The other big incident of note was the ”negotiation” between Curtis and Bret for the Snapple flavor choices. This was kinda like watching a horror movie because Curtis knew Bret was going to get killed in the negotiation, producers knew Bret was going to get killed in the negotiation, and we all knew Bret was going to get killed in the negotiation. But poor Bret had no idea whatsoever. And we were powerless to stop it, forced to sit there screaming at the television, ”NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” Curtis said it was like taking candy from a baby when he returned with all his top flavors, but I never really understood that because don’t babies love candy? And don’t babies start screaming like banshees when you takeanything from them? I’m just sayin’…

The episode ended with two major cliffhangers. Would Bret get his elusive dolly shot for the Snapple ad? And how many of the hot chick actresses would Bret be able to share his cold sore with before the challenge ended? We’ll have to wait until next week’s finale to find out! I’ve offered to give my opinion on who should win directly to Mr. Trump at the live finale, but so far the invitation from his camp has not been extended. (Which is mildly frustrating when you consider all the people Trump does ask for advice at that thing. Seriously, I think even the custodian, on-call NBC page, and any stray peacocks that may be roaming the halls at 30 Rockefeller Plaza even get to have a say. Oh well.) But what about you? Whom are you rooting for to be crowned the next Celebrity Apprentice — Holly or Bret? And, more importantly, would you let Curtis use your bathroom? Hit the the comments section and let us know. And for moreCelebrity Apprentice news, views, and random ramblings, follow me on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss. Until next week’s finale: cluck, cluck…splash!

Episode Recaps

The Celebrity Apprentice

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