Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Celebrity Apprentice Recaps Episode Eleven: Lampanelli Loses It More!

Being a celebrity must be incredibly taxing. Under pressure many prove to be delicate creatures whose giant egos shield a fragile, seething mass of issues and insecurities. Never has this been clearer than when watching loud-mouthed comedienne Lisa Lampanelli who spews so much evil out of her maw this episode that they needed to get the boardroom fumigated. 

To hear about the next farcical task and Lisa’s greatest meltdown, join me after the jump!

Back in the war room everyone is pretty flabbergasted about Penn’s arbitrary firing at the paws of sour reverse-raccoon Donald Trump. It hopefully sends a clear message to everyone that they have now descended into the surreal wilds where rules and logic no longer apply. Now anything can happen.

Good Sam, a roadside assistance service with the universe’s creepiest man-suit mascot wants the teams to each write and perform a jingle extolling their virtues. Teams will be judged on the song itself, brand messaging, and their willingness to humiliate themselves. Naturally the contestants will glady sing the praises of absolutely any product a rich, white man tells them to, and all scramble to dispense with their dignity.

Singer/performer Clay Aiken is the natural choice to project manage but he did it last time, so Miss Universe Dayana steps up to lead Clay and attempt to tame the monstrous Lampanelli. Bless Lisa because she really does seem to have two distinct Jekyll and Hyde-esque personalities which manifest on alternate episodes. She was sugar sweet last week but this time the monster is fully unleashed. She will spit more venom than that thing from Jurassic Park.

Singer, faux-fire crotch, and the most creative being on the planet, Aubrey O’Day is the natural choice to lead Arsenio and Theresa but she also did it last time. So it is Arsenio that decides to project manage the task. Trump does a total condescending dick move and says to Aubrey, “Oh right... you’re a singer too. Most people just think of you as a Playboy cover”. OUCH. But I still googled the images.

To say that Dayana has a plan would be very generous. I’ve grown to be a big Dayana fan but even I have to admit that she has no idea what she is doing on this task and becomes a reasonable catalyst for Lampanelli’s rage. Dayana thinks that jingles are linked to Christmas, than “man” and “track” rhyme, and is only really familiar with the music of Duran Duran. An increasingly frustrated Clay and Lisa do their best to press on but the inevitable cracks are starting to show. Dayana remains determined to be involved, “Let’s think of rhymes for ‘wheels’ and ‘oil’” and “how about I start a beat” (clicks fingers randomly) but she is continually pushed to the side. Lisa refuses to let her write lyrics with her and Dayana becomes detached and despondent.

But it all goes to crap when Donald’s dopey son, Don Jr. shows up to check in on the task. Now, it might seem unnecessary to call the poor guy “dopey” and for all I know he’s razor sharp, but for me he offers nothing when he turns up to these things. He says little of merit and barely rouses and emotion. He mostly just nods and listens with a completely blank face. I will give Don Jr. due credit though for finally cutting off the duck-ass flip at the back of his hair. He is now neatly groomed back there instead of the raucous duck pond we’ve been treated to previously. I wonder if he read my recap and got a team of animators to CGI his duck-ass out of every frame. He can certainly afford it.


So Don Jr. turns up and asks what the score is. A deadpan Dayana says that Clay has been brilliant and Lisa has been loud. Now, let’s be fair to Lisa who has struggled with her patience but hasn’t been particularly loud up until this point. But wow, she sure makes up for it now.

Lisa manages to straddle the gulf between crying and yelling. There are tears, punctuated by screams, coupled with the huffy erratic body movements of a toddler mid-tantrum. She also keeps the censors busy by rattling out some colourful descriptions of Dayana. At some points Lisa’s mouth is so pixellated that she looks like Ms. Pacman.

It all culminates with Lisa spewing the sure-to-be-classic, somewhat nonsensical line: “You’re out of line. As usual. Again!” and storming out of the room. It’s an A-grade hissyfit and small children everywhere could learn from it. Dignity rises to its feet and says, “See you later, folks. There’s no place for me here.”

The problem is that they still haven’t even finished their song. Lisa has no choice but to come loping back and refuses to speak to Dayana until she apologises which doesn’t really happen. What I love about Dayana is that she really seems to light up when chaos and angst starts whirling around her. It’s like she’s being fuelled by Lisa’s anger. That said, it’s a no win situation for Dayana in this task. If she withdraws to the background and lets them get on with it then she will be crucified in the boardroom, and if she continues to interject her ideas Lisa is going to burst a blood vessel.

They settle on a sixties style croon but it’s Clay’s turn to have a tantrum when Dayana makes some suggestions about his stagecraft. Goddammit, Dayana, don’t tell singing superstar Clay Aiken what to do! He makes his LIVING from this stuff and cannot possibly benefit from your suggestions! Why is everyone so sensitive about the abilities that they make their living from?Is it maybe because they are on the Celebrity Apprentice instead of using said abilities? Clay is a delicate flower.

Arsenio’s plan is to let super genius Aubrey do all the thinking. Sure, he shoots down her ideas at first but she then effortlessly manipulates him until he settles on her very first idea. Aubrey wants to dress up as a sexy cheerleader and nobody is stupid enough to stop her.

Arsenio subtly struggles for control throughout the process as Aubrey manages to put her stamp on everything, wheedling her way into even the back-up singers booth and giving them direction. By the end of it though, Arsenio is surprised to tell the confession cam that he thinks Aubrey has done really well this task. Aubrey then tells confession cam that Arsenio is an idiot who doesn’t know what he is doing. When the de-duckassed Don Jr. arrives to yawn and shuffle awkwardly Aubrey pulls him aside to tell him that her team are dead weights and that she is the only creative entity in New York.

Aubrey proudly let’s us know that she can “literally write a song with zero effort.” That’s why I’m going to literally make zero effort to track down or pay for her music.

It’s as cheesy as you’d expect but the performance is pretty solid. Although for someone who prides themselves on their comedy, Lisa’s writing is abominable. She introduces herself as “Amanda Hugandkiss” (yes, Lisa, we all watched the Simpsons in the early nineties) and her lyrics to the song are like my cat took a shit on a rhyming dictionary. I think they might have done better with Dayana’s lyrics. They were avante garde.

Speaking of Dayana she shuffles onto the stage as the song ends like a lost soul in a nursing home and mumbles quietly to the crowd without a microphone. Oh, and did I tell you about the crowd?

This nonsense is taking place in a cabaret style club where well dressed couples have come for a relaxing evening of listening to jingles for a roadside assistance company. I love you, Capitalism!

Arsenio’s performance begins with an awkward skit between Theresa and himself. Whenever we see any of the contestants “act” it is always of late night infomercial quality. Aubrey sums it up best by telling the backstage camera, “It’s hard when nobody else is as good at things as you are.”

Aubrey then leaps on stage to perform a relatively terrible and repetitive song but it doesn’t matter because she’s a sexy cheerleader and the whole world is mesmerized by her siren-like beauty. The executive later says that she was “a little too sexy” but I think this was just because his wife saw the drool pooling out of his mouth.

Trump is so lethargic during these proceedings that I’m convinced that he’s experimenting with a life-like robot. Not that he needs to do much. Arsenio’s team are chilled and well-behaved while Dayana and Lisa immediately start going at it like dogs. Except the always calm Dayana keeps her dignity whereas Lampanelli has the dignity of a farting clown.

It’s all a rehash of the previous fight with an ever erratic Lisa bellowing with abandon. It reminds me of the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark and I’m surprised that when Lisa opens her mouth, evil spirits don’t fly around the room. Dayana’s face could have melted.

Dayana’s stance is that Lisa is difficult, disrespectful, loud and obnoxious. Lisa’s stance is that Dayana is braindead. Donald even takes a casual swat at Lisa by saying that she’s not as strong as he thought she was. Lisa’s messily rebuts, “I have feelings! I’m not going to apologise for that!”. Then at least apologise for covering the entire boardroom table with tears and spit.

Aubrey’s team - sorry... Arsenio’s team - win and get to relax while the fireworks on Dayana’s team continue. We’re at a crossroads now. I’d love for Trump to have the balls to get rid of Lisa for having continual toddler temper tantrums, but the truth is that Dayana did the least on the task. Now 90% of the time Trump’s judgements ignore business skills completely, but not this time. After escaping for weeks, Dayana is fired. Will this make Lisa happy? Will it finally sate the beast? I hope not.

So now we are down to five and two will be fired next week. At this point in time I am going to wager that the final two will be Aubrey and Clay. I was kind of a fool to think that Penn would win because on American Reality TV smart people are just as dangerous as dumb people. Generally they aim somewhere in the middle. Not too dumb, but not too smart either. Someone that can hold their own but won’t make too many waves. With that in mind, I think that Clay will win and Aubrey will be brought along for the drama and because she’s hot.

Now here’s my controversial statement. Aubrey is my favourite now. She began as an irredeemable monster - and she still is - but I’ve grown to accept her as a comically twisted evil character. I can root for a villain. I will embrace the chaos of an Aubrey win.

1 comment:

  1. Lampanelli in the boardroom was the most revolting thing. I don't think I've ever watched ANYONE say so many horrible things to a person. It was completely out of line and uncomfortable. Total respect to Dayana, I would have been in tears 30 seconds in.

    Would also like to mention that Lampanelli made repeated "don't cry for me argentina" references in regards to Dayana - who is from Venezuela. and the Venezuelan did not ONCE make any disparaging and ill informed insults regarding Lampanelli's cultural heritage. Ugh.