Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Celebrity Apprentice Recaps: Episode Seven!: Ding Dong!

Now this is why I watch reality television. After a string of sluggish and uncharacteristically bland episodes, Celebrity Apprentice blasts back with a Tolkien-sized 3 hour episode which sees TWO major players fired, and a THIRD contestant remove themselves from the show in a flurry of emotion!

Thank you.

Aubrey, you are the most awesome, talented, prettiest, smartest person in the universe.
May you never get fat, old and obscure.
Wanna see rage, arrogance, conceit, incompetence? The mighty smited? Evil punished?

Join me after the jump where things (kinda) EXPLODE.

Like I said, this was an epic episode so let’s try to speed through our vegetables and get to the meat as quickly as possible. There may have been some huge twists, but it sure wasn’t 3 hours worth of exciting. By the time the end rolled around I had forgotten the beginning.

First the teams must navigate the screeching rats, pigeons, hobos and mutant turtles of New York to take photographs with a shitty tablet. Then said photographs are compiled into a travel guide to sell to surly gawkers. That’s the fake version. This is really just one of those tasks where the desperate celebrities ring up all their rich friends and beg for them to pay $20,000 for a couple of stapled together bits of paper. Who cares? This is all pre-show to the big game.

Twisted Sister Dee Snider valiantly leads the men who get photographed on rooftops with the distant cityscape behind them. Lou, of course, takes the opportunity to flex his mighty pythons and is then curiously tempted to push the mighty Penn Teller off the roof and to his death. Lou, why do you hate smart people?

They slap a book together. Etc etc... It’s not what you’re here for.

“Led” by real housewife Theresa (i.e. led by Aubrey and Lisa Lampanelli), the women shoot in more personal street locations - like Lampanelli’s favourite bakery or something (“Gimme a wedding cake. Put it in a wheelbarrow”). The women, however, are still a team divided and it’s not long before Miss Universe Dayana frustrates the absolute shit out of them. Again. And for no discernible reason.

Lampanelli is really starting to lose it now and banshee screams at Dayana to, “Shut the fuck up” during the graphic design session. Lampz then cries to the confession camera about the great burden it is to be her and all the unnatural stresses she must endure carrying her idiotic team members. She is such a martyr at this point that I’m amazed she didn’t nail herself to a cross.

They slap a book together. Etc etc.

Selling to a modest NYC crowd the men accost passersby in between accepting huge donations from their wealthy friends. The biggest point of interest is when Penn wrangles the creepy Blue Man Group who arrive with huge balloons filled with thousands of dollars of cash.

The balloons explode all over the stall, showering the street with ten dollar bills and the rat-people of New York go into an inhuman frenzy, stuffing dollars into their sweaty pants and shoes. These unbridled animals care not for charity and poor Clay Aitken is shoved, kicked and probably bitten/touched inappropriately in the ensuing ruckus. Clay gets all sulky and pissed and I’m amazed they didn’t just let Ferrigno hulk out and charge into the crowd, windmilling his fists.

However, the real big score is supposed to be from Arsenio who is expecting a blank cheque from a generous Jay Leno, but a delivery mix-up means the cheque arrives a couple of minutes late and cannot be counted. That’s right - thousands of dollars of charity money is refused thanks to arbitrary game rules.

The women also call in favours and rake in some sizable donations. All except for Aubrey who despite being the self-designated most talented/young/attractive woman in the universe, just doesn’t appear to have the big dollar connections. She is able to make the odd hundred bucks offering kisses to strangers though. This sounds like a great business idea with plenty of room for expansion.

For some bizarre reason the booklets are judged by a hyperactive, jittery, fast-talkin’, wise-crackin’ Regis Philbin. He says that the women’s booklet is certainly more colourful than the men’s. He says this despite the fact that he’s pointing at the black and white photo on their cover.

The booklets aren’t especially important and the winner all comes down to cash. After the women bicker about how put-upon Lampanelli is and what a waste of oxygen they think Dayana is, the men are declared the winner with a margin of $14.

Still, there’s not much to criticize about the women’s performance. Theresa is prompted to bring back Aubrey for raising the least amount of cash but instead brings back pop icon Debbie Gibson for screwing up the branding, and Dayana because everybody hates her Venezuelan guts.

Trump is kinda’ pissed that Aubrey isn’t on the chopping block, but I only say “kinda’” because Don hasn’t shown a lot of emotion or enthusiasm this series. He’s a cartoon character now. They may as well be reporting back to Donald Duck.

His soft spot for Dayana prevails - and let’s be fair, she raised a lot of cash - so Debbie is sacrificed for shitty branding. The great Debbie Gibson is the first to be fired, and I’m kinda’ sad because she was a big personality and I found her quite likeable. Notice I used that word “kinda’” again.

So that was the first tremor. But this episode is only just heating up.

When the women return to the war room Lampanelli and Aubrey are disgusted to see that Dayana has survived. Dayana reveals that Trump was gunning for Aubrey and the usually affable Dee Snider takes a swipe at her for being a selfish bint. Aubrey does her best to fight back, but ends up hiding behind Lou - seriously, if she was sitting any closer to him she would be giving him a lapdance. Arsenio also vents his frustrations about Aubrey to the camera. He’d sure hate to be on a team with her.

But that could never happen. Could it?

Now Walgreens are forcing the teams to do a live presentation about how awesome and healthy walking is. They also have to design a cardboard box to house some mysterious, never-described walking related items.

But here’s the twist! Trump is switching up the teams to try and counterbalance team Aubrey’s repeated failures. The new teams:

Arsenio, Walrus Paul and Clay are saddled with Aubrey and Theresa. Arsenio is Project Manager and is so distraught he has to babysit Aubrey that he literally throws himself to the ground and rolls around like he’s having a fit.

Lampanelli and Dayana are forced to take on Lou Ferrigno, Dee and the mighty Penn. Because this is about walking, and walking uses muscles, Lou will be the Project Manager. Lou and Aubrey then do some push-ups for some reason.

Despite the fact that he has difficulty speaking, Lou wants to host the presentation instead of the professional speakers like Penn and Lampanelli. Penn decides to go and do a show instead, so after setting them up he leaves the group, promising to return in the morning. This means that the increasingly frustrated and screeching Lampanelli takes on the lion’s share of the work again, covering for the rest of the team.

She hates Dayana so much and seems furious and bitter when Dee praises Dayana’s contributions. What are we learning here? Dumb people hate smart people and smart people hate attractive people.

Arsenio struggles through the entire task, constantly battling with the deceptively chirpy Aubrey who carefully obstructs his decisions and quickly takes control. As self-centred and wretched as Aubrey is, you do have to give her due credit though for coming up with the bulk of the ideas and wanting to work at a brisk pace. However, every time I feel for her she says some awfully pointed jibe at a teammate (she suggests that Arsenio’s quote about walking should be that he has taken a “walk from the industry”) and her cruel machinations become blatantly clear.

Arsenio grins and bears it but he is starting to break.

Blah blah, walking is good for you, Penn accidentally says Walmart instead of Walgreens and everyone acts like they’re in an infomercial. The executives/judges have ridiculous over-the-top reactions to everything that is said - they alternate between: ZOMG THIS IS THE MOST HILARIOUS THING I’VE EVER SEEN to ZOMG HOW SHOCKING! When Penn says “Walmart” the room reacts like he punched a grandma.

Same as above. Except they start with a prayer circle. You’re adorable, America.

Okay. Jesus... this is what we’ve been waiting for.

When quizzed about the success of the task, the once mellow Arsenio instantly arcs up at Aubrey. He calls her out for her selfish nature and how she attempts to twist everything around to be about her. Aubrey fights back but is digging her own grave - everything that comes out of her mouth seems to substantiate Arsenio’s claims. She seems incapable of defending herself without saying how awesome she is. When she attempts to get Theresa on her side she says, “Theresa, haven’t I taught you everything you know” which even wakes up Trump who immediately takes Arsenio’s side. Trumps says he knows people like Aubrey and that some succeed but some crash and burn like dogs. Apparently rich people have flying dogs.

The other men concur, placing Aubrey firmly under fire. Arsenio is even yelling in her face at some points, finally releasing all the hard truths he’s been desperate to say.

Finally Aubrey is silent and the tears begin to flow. She sits and sulks in silence and Trump reveals that despite the obvious friction, Arsenio’s team were triumphant. They are free to go. They graciously exit and head to the war room... Except for Aubrey, who heads for the elevator and TAKES HERSELF OUT OF THE GAME.


If there were munchkins they’d probably be singing that ding dong song, but my feelings are mixed. Like all reality TV fans, I want to see evil punished, and Aubrey has certainly emerged as a key villain of the piece. And she brought it on herself - Arsenio’s assessment wasn’t wrong. But it kinda’ sucks to see her go out like this, defeated with her tail between her legs. I thought she was a lot stronger, and I’d rather see her go out in a blaze of glory like last season’s Star Jones, who was a tyrant but never faltered in her convictions. Notice I used the word “kinda’” again.

Thanks for the entertainment, Aubrey. I hope it all works out.

The war room is now far more engaging that the boardroom. Realising that Aubrey is AWOL, Arsenio continues to scream and rant about her to a point where people are now just getting scared of him. You won, dude. Time to relax. The climax of his rant is when he disses Aubrey’s entire life by announcing that when he googled Theresa he discovered a complex and multi-talented person, but when he googled Aubrey all he found was a picture of her “naked with a gut.” Did you know you can replicate this experiment at home. I’m waving the Aubrey flag now she has been conquered and I personally would have expected Arsenio to have a little more class.

Oh yeah, the boardroom. They’ve got nothing to match this. Dee Snider was responsible for the shitty design of their box so a water-treading Donald gives him the axe. Dee is fired, which is another huge shame because he was an entertaining guy with a lot to offer. It’s probably for the best though, because as things continue they are getting uglier.

Debbie Gibson. Aubrey O’Day. Dee Snider. All removed in one foul swoop.

Next week will have a hard time topping that.

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