The Celebrity Apprentice recap: 'I Wish I Had a Project Manager'
Donald Trump has been robbed, ladies and gentlemen. Robbed! You know it. I know it. And, most importantly, he knows it. And he wanted to make sure everybody else knew it too during this last episode of Celebrity Apprentice. The whole thing went down when it was revealed that Leeza Gibbons had the absolute audacity to have been the recipient of an Emmy award. Honestly, how dare she? Especially in Donald Trump’s Boardroom. Predictably, The Donald was incredulous. “You got an Emmy?” he blurted out. “I got screwed out of an Emmy. Everybody thought I was going to win it! In fact, when they announced the winner I stood up before the winner was announced. And I started walking for the Emmy because… And then they announced the most boring show on television—BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP. Piece of crap. I literally stood up and started walking.”
Okay, so much to get into here. Let’s break this sucker down like the freakin’ Zapruder film. First off, Donald Trump is talking about the actual show The Apprentice being nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Reality Competition category, as opposed to him being nominated for an individual Emmy for hosting. I know this because I once went out to dinner with Donald Trump, in part because he wanted it explained to him why he was not being nominated for Emmys. It was the best dinner of my entire life.
Secondly, you gotta love that they beeped out the name of the “piece of crap” show that beat out The Apprentice and denied him of his producing Emmy that he so clearly thinks he deserves. That piece of crap show, by the way, is The Amazing Race. Race beat out The Apprentice for the Emmy not once, but twice, in 2004 and 2005. It is unclear as to which year Trump is referring, but either way his statement that “everybody thought I was going to win it” is dubious at best. After all, The Amazing Race also won the award in 2003. And then later in 2006. And 2007. And 2008. And 2009. And 2011. And 2012. And 2014. So, yeah, that show has won the trophy 10 out of the 12 times the award has even been in existence, so it’s hard to understand how anyone would be betting against it. Next up, if Donald Trump did, in fact, begin walking toward the stage to accept an award that he did not even win, then I need visual evidence of such an event IMMEDIATELY! Because it sounds like the most fantastic thing ever.
But here’s the thing about all of this: Trump’s right! The show should win the award! Hell, if it were up to me, Celebrity Apprentice would not only win every single reality Emmy, it would start winning other Emmys as well. Outstanding Variety Series? Hey, Celebrity Apprentice is outstanding in every single way, and it has variety. SOLD! Supporting Actress? Let me tell you something, it’s not easy to sit there and pretend to be a receptionist—especially when they don’t even bother to give you a computer yet for some odd reason provide you with multiple pairs of gold scissors. Give Amanda Miller the trophy right now! Top Miniseries? Well, Gilbert Gottfried was kind of small. That’s mini. Hook the show up with some more hardware! And while we’re at it, give the show some Oscars, Grammys, and Tonys, too! (Listen, scoff all you want, but Celebrity Apprentice winning an Oscar is no more ludicrous than The LEGO Movie not even being nominated for Best Animated Feature. #OscarTruthBomb)
By the way, my advice to Trump to start winning Emmys? Cock your eyebrow more like Phil Keoghan and watch the awards come rolling in. Okay, now it’s time to roll into the seven most awesome and absurd moments from this latest double-shot of Celebrity Apprentice.
1. A Rivers Runs Through It
What a delight it was to see the late, great Joan Rivers make an appearance as Trump’s adviser on the first project. (The season was filmed last spring before the legendary comedian passed away.) I was lucky enough to meet Joan last year and talk to her on the radio. Of course, I basically made sure the entire conversation revolved around my favorite Celebrity Apprentice moment ever—when she leveled Annie Duke with equal parts disgust and disdain by telling her “you’re a pokah playa…a pokah playaaaaaaa.” (As much as I love Joan, I still contend Annie deserved to win though.)
Joan didn’t bust out a whole lot of zingers here, but after Trump exclaimed in the Boardroom “That’s my beautiful champ. How good does she look? Everybody talks about Geraldo doing well. She’s blowing you away,” Joan looked at Geraldo and, without missing a beat, replied “I’ll give you the card later.” Ba-dum-bum! R.I.P.
NEXT: Has anyone seen Sig’s penis?
2. Woman’s Work
Unless the next task involves watching football while doing keg stands and selling jockstraps, it will be tough to even out the gender disparity in terms of the projects this year. Last week we got back-to-back challenges dealing with Cosmo magazine and wedding dresses. So how did they follow that up this week? By forcing the players to promote Ivanka Trump’s shoe line. This led to something truly miraculous: a Sig Hansen sighting! “All of our tasks have been so feminine lately I can’t find my penis in the morning,” Sig told The Donald, which was kind of odd, because I’m not sure I would go on national television and proclaim that my penis was so small I was having trouble locating it. But maybe that’s just me.
Ivanka tasks are always great, however, because it kicks the Trump Nepotism Meter into overload. “She done phenomenally well with all of her fashion things,” daddy Trump told the players. “Whether it’s shoes, whether it’s whatever the hell she does, she does a good job.” Amazing. But later, in perhaps the biggest shocker in Celebrity Apprentice history, we saw someone actually one-up the Donald when it comes to over-the-top Ivanka praise. In this instance it was Project Manager Vivica Fox after being informed her team had lost the task for not catering more to Nordstrom in the mobile boutique. “We focused so much on you,” Vivica gestured toward the Boardroom Dominatrix. “You’re beautiful. You’re amazing. And that was what we honed in on.” (No wonder Trump didn’t fire Vivica.)
The only problem about this particular project is that the other thing we usually get on an Ivanka task is bonus footage of phony baloney receptionist Amanda Miller, whose real job is a VP of Marketing dealing with aspects of Ivanka’s “fashion things.” But what’s this? No Amanda! She was nowhere to be found checking out the mobile boutiques and offering her input. Simply unacceptable. (Did she get trapped in Adrian’s elevator or something?)
3. Shawn does not step up so steps out
“I’m definitely shocked I made it this far,” said Shawn Johnson at the outset of the episode. Considering that the only thing of interest she has done so far is have her menstrual cycle be the subject of a lengthy discussion between Vivica Fox and Donald Trump, we’re surprised as well. But once Shawn refused to be Project Manager on a women’s shoe task even though the two other women on her team had already stepped up as PMs, her number was pretty much up. And alas, once her team lost, it was obvious she would be let go. For the very get-go Trump honed in on her refusal to step up. He asked Vivica about it, who responded “I don’t want to be the mean girl,” although I’m pretty sure we passed that point a few weeks ago when she revealed to the entire country that Shawn was on her period. In any event, Shawn was predictably fired, making her the third athlete in a row to get the boot. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Athletes are usually boring as hell on this program. Which brings us to…
4. Johnny Damon
5. Geraldo Rivera Raps… Because, Why Not?
By the way, I left that Johnny Damon entry blank on purpose as a symbol of how much his presence has added to the show—which is absolutely nothing. He definitely wins this year’s Michael Andretti Award for Most Useless Contestant of the Season. I mean, unless Geraldo Rivera is bending him over while pressing his junk into the World Series champion’s back, then what good is he? Speaking of Geraldo, he was up to his usual shenanigans again. There was the usual self-promotion, like when he informed us that, “My mind is like a volcano. It’s constantly spewing. I’m amazed by my own endless creativity. I don’t mean that to be egotistical.” Of course not! (And yes, I will now forever be haunted by the thought of Geraldo Rivera “constantly spewing.”) Once again, there were also odd wardrobe choices, although instead of walking around in his underwear and boots like last week, this time it was a top hat and tails.
But, my friends, you have not truly lived nor died until you have bore witness to the sights and sounds of Geraldo Rivera rapping. And we have now all lived and died… a slow, painful death. There was not only the “heavenly coffee” rap performed by Geraldo and Lorenzo Lamas (the freshest, dopest duo since MC Serch and Prime Minister Pete Nice were tearing it up with “The Gas Face” back in da day) but at one point we were also treated to the Geraldo Rivera Dancers as Vivica and Kate Gosselin shook their moneymakers while Geraldo did something with his mouth that I guess was freestyling? Let’s all take a look.
As unfortunate as that may have been, I can guarantee you one thing: It’s better than “constantly spewing.”
NEXT: Kenya and Brandi go at it… in bed
6. Real Housewife Smackdown
I don’t watch the Real Housewives franchise, so I don’t know anything about why Brandi Glanville and Kenya Moore don’t like each other. Not sure I care either. But there sure was a lot of fighting—both real and fake—going on tonight. They started right at it again when Kenya was PM on the Ivanka task and Brandi didn’t quite understand the concept. Said Kenya: “I just think Brandi is very bothered by the fact that I am really intelligent and creative and I’m focused and she’s not.” Wait, you forgot modest!
Later, in the second Boardroom, Kenya got vicious, attacking Brandi pretty much out of nowhere after Trump inquired about the bad blood. After saying that Brandi talked smack about her in the press, Kenya dropped the bomb: “I didn’t bring up LeeAnn Rimes with her when I had my scene. I didn’t bring up that fact that her husband left her for a younger, prettier woman.” Now, as I mentioned, I don’t watch the Real Housewives franchise, but I am relatively confident that pretty much the worst thing you could do to one of the stars of those shows—worse than flipping a table, worse than tossing a drink in the face, worse than hiding their plastic surgeon’s phone number—is talking about being left by a husband for a “younger, prettier woman.” That’s like accelerating directly to DEFCON 1 status. Because to these women, age and looks are everything.
And even when these two weren’t actually fighting, they were fake fighting. In the second hour, after the teams were tasked with creating a viral video for Chock Full O’ Nuts, PM Leeza wanted the two Housewives to engage in a phony catfight for the cameras. It ended up being the worst fake brawl ever as the two basically just whipped their hair back and forth like they were headbanging at a Megadeth concert. Then things just got weird as the two magically ended up in Ian Ziering’s bed for what I guess was supposed to be a foursome with the 90210 star and Johnny Damon. Because why wouldn’t that happen?! But Brandi had another concern as she frolicked with her arch-enemy on the sheets. “I’ve done this before, trust me. But not with someone I hate. I thought she was going to try to smother me with her giant knockers.” DEATH BY KNOCKERS!
The weirdest thing about this orgy film is how seriously director Ian Ziering was taking it. He basically insisted on a “director’s cut” on the ad. It’s, like, dude, this isn’t freakin’ Blade Runner. Leeza Gibbons is not going to force you to add a terrible narration to over-explain everything happening in the ad that you can then remove on the laser disc you put out 15 years later. Just do what the Project Manager wants. Anyhoo, they won, meaning Lorenzo Lamas’ ad featuring Geraldo Rivera looking like a distant cousin of the Planters Peanut mascot (“Mr. Peanut”) while dancing psychotically at Washington Square Park was the big loser. Then, after Lorenzo refused to bring anyone back into the Boardroom with him—because, no doubt, he is, always has been, and always will be a Renegade—the actor was immediately fired by Donald Trump. But the biggest shocker was still to come…
7. Where Art Thou, Adrian?
So Lorenzo basically threw in the white towel. But as the elevator door opened—even though, once again, nobody appeared to press the elevator call button—we were treated to one of the most disturbing sights in Celebrity Apprentice history: no Adrian! That’s right, trusty elevator operator Adrian Acosta had abandoned his post! Had he gotten tired of having his longing gazes toward Amanda the receptionist go painfully unreciprocated? Is Trump considering reassigning him to town car door opening duty? Does he hate Falcon Crest? Whatever the reason, Adrian was suspiciously M.I.A. for Lorenzo, and replaced by some impostor who has yet to earn either my trust or my admiration. I mean, THE GUY DIDN’T EVEN HAVE THE COURTESY TO WEAR WHITE GLOVES, FOR CRISSAKES! That’s just flat-out disrespect for the job, if you ask me.
Look, it takes years to master the art of the subtle head nod to fired celebrities as they enter that chamber of despair. It is foolhardy to think just anyone can jump into that position and handle all the nuances while commanding the immediate esteem of the ousted party. Adrian was a pro’s pro. Will he be back? Is he gone forever? We’ll have to wait until next week to find out. Otherwise, we’ll have to see if this young go-getter has what it takes to fill Adrian’s shoes. The only thing I do know is that the bar—or, in this case, the elevator floor—has been set pretty gosh darn high. And just look at this non-white glove wearing clown!
Okay, that’s going to do it for this week. Now it’s your turn to weigh in. What was your favorite moment? Did the right people get fired? And are we headed toward a Leeza vs. Geraldo final? Hit the message boards to add your two cents, and for more Celebrity Apprentice inanity and insanity follow me on Twitter @DaltonRoss. And once again in honor of tonight’s special guest-star, the late, great Joan Rivers, we end by all saying together: Cluck, Cluck…Splash!