Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Celebrity Apprentice Recaps: Episode Ten. Bullshit.

It’s another infuriating episode of the Celebrity Apprentice this week, with an outcome that will make your eyes roll so far backwards that you’ll be able to wink at your brain. 

Seriously, if the reasons for firing contestants were any more random, Donald Trump would just close his eyes, spin around, and point somewhere across the table. The show once again proves that it’s not about business, it’s not about ability, it’s not even really about personality... it’s just a jumbled farce where an old rich guy pokes randomly at celebrities, trying to elicit some sort of reaction or drama, like a raccoon rummaging through the trash. (A reverse raccoon, of course, because Donald is completely tanned except for around his eyes).

To find out what made my blood boil and buttocks clench, join me after the jump!

Okay, let’s just cut to the chase.

So apparently Donald Trump has his own cologne called “Success” because apparently there are men in the world that look at Donald Trump and think, “Wow. I want to smell like that guy!”. What does Donald Trump smell like anyway? I’m guessing hair products and beef jerky.

The teams will have to build a store display to entice innocent people to smell like Trump. Not that the display will actually appear in a store - instead it will be showcased in a small room where two dry-husk executives will sneer at it. It’s a pretty dull task, and what’s worse is that I’m going to watch it and then write a thousand words about it.

Faux fire-crotch Aubrey O’Day (the smartest, most talented, attractive being in the known universe) will project manage a small team of Arsenio Hall and real housewife Theresa.

Opposing them is spritely Clay Aiken in charge of loud-mouth Lampanelli, Miss Universe Dayana, and harnessing the mighty mind of Mr. Penn Jillette.

Naturally Aubrey is so smart and talented that she comes up with all the ideas and concepts. Theresa dutifully follows her commands and even the occasionally fiery Arsenio has learned that it’s easier to just smile and nod and go along with Empress Aubrey’s brilliant, infallible plans.

Underneath, Arsenio is fed up with her but even he sparks back to life when Aubrey spontaneously climbs up onto his shoulders to take a photo from a higher vantage point. Arsenio enthusiastically tells the camera: “Aubrey had the brilliant idea of putting her vagina on the back of my neck.” I think that this was perhaps the highlight of the series. It definitely was for Arsenio. He’s so excited by it that I’m surprised he didn’t try to swivel her around to the front.

In the workshop, Aubrey gets planning with the fabricators and sends those stupid idiots Theresa and Arsenio on a shopping errand with her simple instructions. And those stupid idiots even struggle with that. God! Poor Aubrey! Always surrounded by stupid idiots!

Trump’s goofball son Eric checks in and Aubrey races to tell him how everyone else is a non-creative asshole and that she is a one man team. With boobs. She then pretends to seduce the easily duped Eric by taking a photo of him to use in her display, telling him that he is a good-looking man, even though we can all clearly see him with our eyes.

The plan is to build a display that looks like a silver cityscape, watched over by the image of a young Donald Trump (played by Eric). This is a real nail-biter, right?

Despite being project manager, Clay has no choice but to defer to the superior intellect of powerhouse Penn. Penn has all the great ideas: a display that looks like a silver cityscape (whoa... did you just deja vu too?), a large picture of the sexy Dayana holding the cologne bottle against the chest of a suited man (Dayana wants to do this nude but they bewilderingly dissuade her) and the slogan, “You’ve earned it.” Because we all deserve success. Especially the mighty Penn.

Clay’s a little disgruntled that Penn is clearly better than everyone, but he finds it easier to let things happen as nature intended them. Manic Lampanelli’s Lawful Good personality has taken over from her Chaotic Evil personality and she behaves herself, even complimenting Dayana. Although Lampanelli does have one brief moment of evil where she spies on the other teams plans - only to discover that they’re pretty much doing the exact same thing as they are.

It’s as you’d expect, but a little bit crappier. The biggest issue the executives seem to have is with the image of Eric Trump. We never get to see the actual photos (I’m assuming they were unflattering) so instead they’ve gone with a black silhouette and apparently “altered the hairline” to make it look a bit more like the rat nest that adorns Donald’s dome. Except the executives “don’t get it” and claim that it doesn’t look like Trump at all. ARE YOU FRIGGING KIDDING ME? Who else has a swirling shitstorm of hair at the front and a dirty little duck-ass at the back?! These execs are taking the piss!

Clay stumbles a little bit on his presentation, but the display itself looks a lot more professional than Aubrey’s. The executives hate the slogan “You’ve earned it” though. They think it sounds pompous because.... well they just do. Executives don’t have to justify their comments. This will prove important later.

Now we must endure the inexplicably long 35 minute boardroom session where Trump will listlessly needle the competitors, trying to upset them. He has no focus or direction and will change topics at the drop of a hat and talk over anyone who starts to make sense. It’s the most drawn-out, frustrating piece of misdirection imaginable and seems to follow no logical plan.

It’s very much like the Adam Carolla firing where both teams did pretty well so the producers have decided to pin something minor on one of the competitors and use that to justify the firing. In this case it’s Penn’s slogan. The executives didn’t like it and Trump comes back to this point so many times that we begin to sense the inevitable, especially when Aubrey’s team arbitrarily wins and Clay, Penn, Lisa and Dayana are put in the firing line. Clay gives Lisa a stay of execution and brings Penn and Dayana back into the boardroom.

Trump pokes around like a rabid badger but the pompous slogan is becoming an obsession. Now, bear in mind that Penn came up with all the ideas, many of which the executives absolutely loved. In fact Penn came up with the entire concept including taking the photograph of Dayana that was their central focus. So it would be absolutely ludicrous to fire Penn. Right? RIGHT?!

But after a full 35 minutes of needless flailing, Trump does the very thing that he’s been signposting since the beginning. He fires Penn. Now, why would he do that?

Well, it’s certainly not about ability. It has nothing to do with business, and I don’t think it was even remotely about the slogan or the task. It’s because Penn’s too smart - way smarter than Donald Trump - and far too smart to become embroiled in all the stupid drama and bickering that makes the show. The Celebrity Apprentice doesn’t favour smart people, and certainly doesn’t favour people who don’t create drama, so like Carolla before him, Penn has to go. I’d love to know what was edited out because I am 100% convinced that Penn could destroy Donald Trump in any kind of debate, and was fully aware of how random and ludicrous this whole thing was.

In his exit interview, Penn remains wise. He says that he knows the rules of chess but couldn’t tell you the rules of the Celebrity Apprentice. I guess you’d need some sort of chaos theorist for that. He muses that being fired for the slogan is “as good as reason as any” and that definitely captures the random and trivial nature of their tasks. Why not fire Aubrey for the unsuccessful Trump silhouette? Or Clay for the way he parts his hair? Or Arsenio for wearing a hat? It’s become a bizarre show where the first half tries desperately to convince you that the activities are meaningful, and the second half invariably proves that the activities have been meaningless.

Apparently Lisa loses it again next episode though, so that’s something at least...

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