Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Celebrity Apprentice Recaps Episode 12: Why is Aubrey Topless?

Wait! Could this really be the penultimate episode of this year’s Celebrity Apprentice? Is this screeching, wild animal filled circus train really crashing to a halt? Or perhaps the lethargic, sour, near-motionless, expressionless, reverse-racoon that is Donald Trump will split the finale into seven sluggish parts? Whichever way you choose to look at it, things are drawing to a close!

This week the format is switched up a bit as the final five is reduced to two! Well... three. Two! Three? You’ll see what I mean when we get there. Will my new personal favourite, Aubrey O’Day (the smartest, most creative and talented, and beautiful being in the universe) survive these huge staffing cuts? 

Join me after the jump and I’ll tell all!

Sadly, nobody really mourns the inevitable firing of Miss Universe Dayana. It should be no surprise that loudmouth Lisa Lampanelli sheds her perpetual grimace and for once is jubilant . She sings and taunts like the obnoxious child that she inexplicably chooses to portray. A wary Theresa correctly surmises that she will become the new object of Lampanelli’s unrelentingly ridicule and frustration. Bring it on!

These tasks are really all the same. A couple of executive husks breeze in and force the celebrities to enthusiastically pimp some product that they’ve never even heard of. This time it’s a print campaign for a touch-screen hair dryer. The teams will be judged on brand messaging (yawn), the actual campaign (yawn), and their willingness to self-destruct in front of millions.

You know, it’s always kind of sad when you see a celebrity on a commercial endorsing some random product. But it’s far sadder still when they don’t even get to choose said product, they just have to smile and nod and try to extract your money for whatever nonsense is put in front of them. Today they are super excited about a future of touch-screen hair dryers.

Lampanelli raises a meaty fist to announce that she will project manage a downtrodden Clay Aiken.

Theresa foolishly thinks she can manage Arsenio Hall and the incredibly talented powerhouse that is Aubrey O’Day. Holy shit. That’s like trying to tame a unicorn!

Describing the tasks seems almost arbitrary at this late stage when we’re far more focused on who will get fired. We’ve come this far and we demand results, dammit! Besides, if your put on your Reality Television Producer hat then it should be blindingly obvious who should get fired next.

Anyway, things start out just as you’d expect. Aubrey comes up with all the brilliant ideas (their print campaign will feature futuristic people in yoga poses) and the other two grin and nod their heads. It’s bland until Project Manager Theresa is sent into a room with Lisa Lampanelli to negotiate for the models they want to use in the shoot. Seriously, this is like sending a peanut to negotiate with an elephant.

The reality is that Lisa doesn’t give a shit which models they get (because she despises anything of beauty) but she decides that it’s a fun game to manipulate and torment Theresa, making her jump through a billion hoops to get what she wants. Theresa is completely outsmarted and flustered and Lampanelli takes stomach-churning delight in her own brazen obnoxiousness. In order to get the redheaded model Theresa wants, she is somehow forced to also take a guy who has barely any hair at all. Theresa leaves, bewildered, and Lisa maniac cackles as though she is convinced that being a total douche is somehow cute and endearing.

In the aftermath, Theresa vows revenge against Lampanelli claiming that she’s going to get that bitch, and “bring it” and so on. Not that Theresa actually follows up any of these claims, nor has the capability to do so.

The only other point of interest occurs during the photoshoot itself. On a (genius) whim Aubrey decides that she should be the redheaded model, so when the real model shows up - the one that Theresa so desperately fought for - she is sent home immediately, unused and pissed off. It’s OK though because it means we get to look at that stunningly attractive Aubrey some more.

But it gets better! To sweeten the deal Aubrey sits in the make-up room topless! Yes! To use her own words her “tits are out”. It’s censored of course, with so many pixels that it looks like someone is projecting world 1-1 of Mario on her chest. At least it would have kept the suicidally bored cameraman happy for a moment. You rock, Aubrey. What an awesome and unexpected business tactic!

When Aubrey does eventually appear in front of the camera, her tiny black hooker dress has so many open gashes in it that she looks like a panther attacked her.

To quote the great John Maclane, Lisa’s plan is to be the fly in the ointment, the monkey in the wrench, the pain in the ass. She and Clay decide to do a chin-scratching campaign about how women are far more under the surface than they might appear. Like you could photograph a tomboy and then be shocked and discovered to find out that they like ballet. This is also inspired by the fact that this hair dryer is more than just a hair dryer under the surface because it... uhhh... has a touchscreen.

Clay directs the photoshoot on his own while Project Manager Lisa sits at a table and shovels large pawfulls of food into her maw, only pausing occasionally to check she still has all her fingers.

Their images look pretty great but they are criticised for not having a lot of product information in the text. When Aubrey’s picture is shown she giggles and loudly announces, “Do you like that one? That’s me!” Good job, Aubrey! Way to go!

However, Theresa’s accompanying verbal presentation is actually pretty terrible, largely because Theresa doesn’t appear to be able to read. Or speak.

Lisa’s pamphlet is pretty bland and a little “too long, didn’t read.” I think I blocked out the rest. Oh yeah - Lisa is criticised for her shitty fashion sense.

So this is what we’ve really been waiting for. We really want to see Donald Trump weigh in, a man who, at this point, is about as lively and appealing as a wax dummy. What pearls of wisdom will he occasionally grunt this time? I’m beginning to suspect that he died earlier in the year and we are witnessing some kind of elaborate Weekend at Bernie’s routine.

Theresa fires the opening shots at Lisa, calling her shifty, shady and two-faced, but Lisa fails to engage into screaming/crying mode. Like I intimated before, is an elephant ever afraid of a peanut? Evil Lisa is only ever triggered by men and attractive people. Trump wastes the allocated amount of time and then arbitrarily announces Lisa’s team to be the winner (I would have personally thought the opposite) and this conveniently puts the producer’s target in the firing line.

Look, nobody - not even the erratic Donald - is going to choose to keep Theresa over Arsenio Hall and Aubrey O’Day. Theresa makes an unsuccessful attempt to finger Arsenio as the least useful but Arsenio is like, “Hey! I’m a photographer! I photographed the hair dryer!” and seriously, who could argue with that?

So the axe falls and Theresa is fired, surprising and upsetting no one. But hold on just a moment! There’s still 25 minutes left and we were promised more firings!

The War Room celebrations are cut short when the enigmatic receptionist Amanda informs the remaining four competitors that they are about to do “job interviews” for their non existent job. They will be interviewed by previous Celebrity Apprentice contestants: winner John Rich and Marlee Matlin. John Rich is a hat-wearin’ country singer who was likeable last season but comes off as a real self-righteous sumbitch this segment, and Marlee is a sharp lady with a lot of class but is a little too straight and bleeding heart for my tastes.

Nobody seriously believes that any of this shoe-horned rigmarole will actually have any impact on the producer’s pre-determined decision, right? It’s just more treading water. John Rich tries far too hard to be a tough guy “WHY DIDN’T YOU EARN MORE FOR YOUR CHARITY YOU LAZY IDIOT!?” and Marless is generally nice but then suddenly judgemental. Lampanelli almosts flirts with Rich and its insincerity will make you queasy.

Okay back to the boardroom and another TWO contestants are supposed to be fired. Donald takes aim and... goodbye Lisa Lampanelli!

Lisa is fired because she cannot control her emotions and acts like a toddler/wild animal/demon (I have embellished that last part with my own opinion). Lisa insists that she IS in control of her emotions and that if she acts like a toddler/wild animal/demon then it is a conscious choice. It’s for a reason, you guys, so just enjoy it. She’s a complete enigma to me. Last week mid tantrum she underlined the skewed value system of The Apprentice by talking about how “successful” she is and the money she makes. She could have all the money in the world but Jesus Christ, would you want to be around her? Would you want to be friends with her? Would you want to be in a room with her - and I mean actually her - not her performing her show, I mean her as a person - for more than a couple of minutes?

Water under the bridge. Lisa smiles and leaves with grace. Good luck, Lisa.

And the next person to go is...


What?!! Are you kidding me?!

So we have to wait a whole more week to find out the final two. But we can use our common sense to at least predict them. I feel pretty confident that Aubrey will be one of them. If you honestly think that the ultra conservative Donald Trump will have a final that stars a black man and a gay man then I find your naivete adorable. Personally I think it will come down to Aubrey and Clay (as I predicted last week) although Arsenio is a strong player and has had conflict with Aubrey before so he could make for the better final.

I wonder if the preview for next week kind of gives it away? Aubrey is shown smiling which makes me think she’s still in, and Clay seems to be getting asked a lot of questions like he has responsibility. Arsenio is briefly seen loping in the background. But it could be misdirection. The good news is that the previous contestants will all be along for the final task, so expect to see all your favourites like Carolla, Penn, Dee Snider and the delightful Debbie Gibson.

We’re getting close now. Hang in there.

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