The contestants must create a live segment showcasing grape juice and produce viral videos for a new product. Rocco DiSpirito and Justin Ezarik serve as guest boardroom advisers.

By Dalton Ross
January 09, 2017 at 10:00 PM EST
Luis Trinh/NBC
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What the hell just happened? I thought I was watching an episode — well, two episodes scrunched together, really — of Celebrity Apprentice, when all of a sudden a dissertation on our 16th president’s Cabinet broke out! Here I was, relaxing and enjoying a bodybuilder-turned-movie star make fun of Jon Lovitz while saying odd things like “This is a boardroom not of sleeping but of action!” when something truly odd happened. The host of one of the most gloriously dumb franchises in television history started dropping legitimate history right in our faces.

Decrying those who like to surround themselves with “yes men,” Arnold Schwarzenegger suddenly morphed into Doris Kearns Goodwin right before our eyes and waxed poetic about how Abraham Lincoln filled his Cabinet with the bodies of those he had vanquished in the primary. I can only assume this has and will be the only time you will hear names like Salmon Chase, Edward Bates, and William Henry Seward (my personal favorite Secretary of State of all time) alluded to in the boardroom.

By the way, I’m not kidding about the Seward thing. That guy was a badass abolitionist well before Lincoln and took a knife to the face and neck five times the same night the president was assassinated. He lived to tell the tale, too, and later bought us Alaska from the Russians… Although the Russians retaliated 139 years later by rigging our presidential election, so there’s that. Holy crap, now what the hell is wrong with me? First Ah-Nold, and now I’m popping off about 19th-century political figures. Black is white! Up is down! Cats and dogs, living together!

I have to imagine getting a history lesson while watching Celebrity Apprentice — or, even worse, reading a Celebrity Apprentice recap — is somewhat akin to watching Bill & Ted’s high-school history report. Speaking of which… SAN DIMAS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL RULES!

Okay, enough of that learnin’ stuff. Let’s get to what went down this week in another double-shot of episodes.

A Public Apology
First off, I would like to publicly apologize to Chael… Wait, what is that dude’s name again? Oh, right, Chael Sonnen. Last week I commented on the fact he seemed to be this season’s Michael Andretti — the guy who is so boring you hardly even realize he is actually on the show. Well, former MMA champ Chael beat down that theory like he was beating down some poor sap in the octagon.

Of course, he started with a magnificent blunder, by asking to be Project Manager for the first task. NOOOOOOOO! It amazes me how little some people know how to play this game, but probably not as much as it amazes you as to why a loser recapper would spend so much time thinking about Celebrity Apprentice Game Theory — and yes, once you have written the words “Celebrity Apprentice Game Theory,” your life is truly over.

Anyhoo, we loyal viewers all know that everything about this show is completely subjective. And because it is subjective, teams can win or lose and players can be fired or not fired based on any criteria the host and producers want to use that particular week to make a better television show. Those who have read my CA stuff before… Well, in that case, I am as sorry for you as I am for me, but you all know I have no problem whatsoever with the show’s often absurd firing practices. In fact, I think it adds to the program’s charm. There is, in fact, a set of rules. You just need to figure out what the rules are in order to play and be successful.

And one of the rules is this: If one team has lost the first two challenges, the other team will definitely, absolutely, without question or hesitation lose the next one. It’s a done deal before the challenge even begins. So, the one thing you do NOT do is ask to be Project Manager, because it means you’re guaranteed to be coming back to the boardroom with a high likelihood of being fired. Everything is about timing, so Chael’s timing of offering to be PM on this third task was downright terrible.

Oh, wait, I said I was going to apologize to Chael, right? And yet here I am, burying the dude again. Well, I stand by my assertion that it was an idiotic move to volunteer for PM after two straight wins by your own team, but let me flip the script and get to that alleged apology of mine. Chael was invisible last week so I assumed he was Andretti-level boring, but man did he come alive tonight, especially after — SHOCKER! — his team lost the task.

Digging into his MMA pre-fight hype bag of tricks, Chael came out guns blazing in the boardroom, announcing things like “Eventually, I’m going to chop both their heads off, but that isn’t going to be today.” He was more than happy to play the role of the aggressive, know-it-all braggart and we were happy to have him (especially because it’s always fun to watch a guy lose after saying things like “I’m not nervous because I’m competing against the girls’ team”). His forceful personality convinced producers to keep him around…and then he promptly disappeared completely (again) for the next task. Easy come, easy go, I guess.

NEXT: The women get drunk (and I do not blame them)

Achieving Grapeness
“I’ll make a fool of myself, I don’t care.”

That’s Brooke Burke-Charvet talking, and while she’s referring to dressing up in a onesie as “Miss Grape,” it really could apply to anyone’s decision to appear on this show at all. But yes, back to Miss Grape. The first task forced the teams to create an eight- to 10-minute “live health segment showcase” for Welch’s.

Perhaps knowing they were guaranteed victory by virtue of their two previous losses, Prima’s preparation seemed to consist solely of boozing it up. Here’s Brooke on her work mantra: “We were stressed, the clock was running out. It was definitely time for a little bit of wine.” (To make sure there was absolute clarity on the matter, she followed that up by insisting, “I was definitely having my glass of wine and I think we earned that cocktail.”) The other part of Prima’s strategy appeared to be playing the most impossible game every created: Make Laila Ali Crack Something Even Close to Resembling a Smile.

It didn’t matter their presentation was about as funny as an episode of Work It. Nor did it matter that Lisa had to interrupt Porsha in the middle of her fascinating Q&A with Brooke, or that the entire infomercial made late-night Flowbee ads seem entertaining by comparison. The women were destined to win.

As for the men, it basically all boiled down to this quote by Eric Dickerson: “I put grape juice under each seat in the audience so they could have grape juice, and basically that was it. I don’t feel like I need to do anything more.” At that point, the editors should have just flashed a big neon sign on the screen that read “ERIC IS GETTING FIRED!” because it was just that obvious.

That quote from Eric is great for so many reasons. First off, let’s just take a look at the first part of that again: “I put grape juice under each seat in the audience so they could have grape juice.” Yes, that would be the reason to give people grape juice — so they could have it. Then, the second part: “I don’t feel like I need to do anything more.” The fact that Eric felt putting free 8-ounce bottles of grape juice under four rows of seats translated to a hard day at the office is pretty brilliant. Almost as brilliant as the fact he described this free giveaway idea as “out of the box” thinking, and then you saw the women do the exact same thing!

 Anyway, Eric predictably got the boot after making the cardinal sin of telling Schwarzenegger “I don’t have a problem if I’m fired,” with the only sad thing about his departure being that new reality super-group The Polyphenols did not play him out in his way to da choppa.

Kings For a Day
The second hour seemed to get off to a promising start when the contestants heard Chael and Ricky yelling at each other after departing the boardroom. For a split second I hoped we were returning to the glorious days of “whore pit vipers” and “pokka playas,” but alas, it was not meant to be. By the way, if you have no idea what I’m talking about with that season 2 reference, take a gander at this:

Unfortunately, those jokesters Chael and Ricky were just joshing around. While we have had a few confrontations and choice words between contestants this season, nothing has approached the level of Joan and Melissa Rivers — or my favorite Celebrity Apprentice fight ever, when Meat Loaf LOST HIS $#!& at Gary Busey for stealing his paints…only to then discover they were not, in fact, stolen and were just sitting in a corner. I insist you revisit that gem below. And if you are watching this for the first time, I am so happy for you and what you are about to see. I wish I could unsee the 5,743 times I have watched it just so I could once again experience it for the first time.

God bless Celebrity Apprentice. Anyway, the second task of the night was for each team to make two viral videos for King’s Hawaiian BBQ sauce. Snooki took on Project Manager duties for the ladies, explaining she no longer wanted to be known as Snooki. That may have carried just a tad more weight had there not been a chyron on the screen at that very same time identifying her as “Snooki.”

There was some tension on the women’s team after Laila got mad that Lisa said she was “allegedly” directing the video. Somehow the argument ended with Laila telling Lisa, “Let’s not make it bigger than it is” — even though that is exactly what she was doing by focusing so much on the whole “allegedly” thing! There was more sniping later when Lisa and Porsha got into it, while Project Manager Snooki… I’m sorry, Nicole sat there silently humming the Meow Mix jingle to herself hoping it would all just go away or she could magically transform back to the simpler days of GTLing with The Situation. The unrest worried Kyle, who informed us that, “I don’t want my name on a disaster.” Honey, are you aware of what show you are

The unrest worried Kyle, who said: “I don’t want my name on a disaster.” Honey, are you aware of what show you are starring on right now? That ship has SAILED!

NEXT: Snooki fires herself

As for Prima’s two videos, they consisted of a lady ending up with sauce all over her face after being caught double dipping and… Well, honestly, I have no idea what the second one was. It started off as Porsha and Kyle fighting over the sauce, but once they got into the editing room Snooki and Porsha added every single visual and audio effect imaginable, including black-and-white footage, sirens, thunder, a devil voice, pop-up bubbles, possibly a gunshot, and I’m sure it was only a matter of time before they went for the slide whistle and “BOING!” boner sound. Essentially, they threw everything against a wall and hoped something would stick.

As for the men, Jon Lovitz had a hissy fit when people didn’t immediately fall in love with his idea of dudes appearing to drool at the hotness of an attractive woman while actually drooling at the hotness of a food or beverage product. Gee, where have I seen that joke done before? Hmm…

Boy George is apparently not a fan of Lovitz, explaining that “Not all creative people are created equally. I mean, everyone knows the funniest thing about Jon Lovitz is the dog.” Now that’s simply not fair. Has no one seen The Great White Hype? Or his Bruno Kirby replacement work in City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold? Lovitz walked out on the team at one point, and even though they all had doubts and there seemed to be a rising concern that Jon’s dog physically attacking Vince over a bottle of BBQ sauce may not make any sense whatsoever, the comedian appeared to get his way on that one.

The other video was football-themed, and now it was Boy George’s turn to turn diva. “This is the worst experience in my entire life,” he proclaimed after standing out in the heat for an hour in makeup. (Really, worse than that time you starred alongside Mr. T on The A-Team?) That video ended with Carson tackling Ricky Williams and hurting his arm in the process. But his pain was the team’s gain as they won the task.

That left the ladies to go at it. Snooki brought Lisa and Porsha back to the boardroom so those two could battle it out while inevitable firee Nicole just sat there, ensuring her lack of fireworks meant she was not long for the show. “I’m trying to be strong, but I’m not like you guys. I feel like I don’t belong here,” she said, essentially firing herself. She then referred to Arnold Schwarzenegger as both “your Terminatorness,” and her “favorite person ever” — the first of which I do not understand and the second of which I do not believe. But her firing leads me back to this question…

What Exactly is Arnold’s Firing Line?
We’re four boardrooms in and I still don’t know! To recap, he started with “You’re terminated. Now get to da choppa.” Then he went for “You’re terminated. Hasta la vista, baby.” Then he went back to “You’re terminated. Now get to da choppa.” But for his fourth firing, he settled on simply “You’re terminated.”

What is going on here? Why can this man not make a decision? I guess it’s technically just the “you’re terminated” part that is the line. But then if he does not tell you to get to da choppa, how is one supposed to leave? Just jump off the side of the building because you’re faced with the grim fact you are a loser on a reality show hosted by the star of Escape Plan? That seems a bit harsh. Anyway, I would just prefer it if the punishment every person who was fired had to endure was being subjected to every bad cold pun Arnold made as Mr. Freeze in Batman & Robin.

So, that’s it for this week. Thanks again for playing along. The fact I just wrote 2,500 words about Celebrity Apprentice and you read them binds us in a way most people could never and will never understand. I call those people “well-adjusted.” But it is their loss, for they will never know the pure joy of seeing King’s Hawaiian executives sit there stone-faced watching the least-viral viral video of all time. And to them, I say simply: Cluck, Cluck…Splash!

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  • 01/02/17
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