Monday, March 9, 2009

Celebrity Apprentice - 2 hours again?

(Watch the whole episode if you'd like)

Seriously? 2 more hours for one episode? It's difficult to justify needing two hours when the recap for the previous week's episode borders on 15 minutes. I have no idea whose idea it is to make these things two hours, but when the viewers are suggesting it's a matter of attrition to get through the whole thing, you might want to reconsider the strategy.

But enough complaining about the length of the show...

This week, the teams had to develop a comic book character for - a shoe seller. Zappos apparently prides themselves on customer service (and if I may slightly derail, it's refreshing to hear that. Just wanted to give some props to and wanted a character to embody that concept. Which...yeah I didn't really get what the comic book idea really had to do with this. I understood creating a character, but a comic book? Seems like the producers simply ran out of ideas, realized Watchmen would be opening up around the time this aired and meekly tried to jump on that bandwagon.

But we're going full steam ahead on this one so...The women chose Khloe Kardashian as their project manager, based on her "owning some retail clothing stores." What this has to do with developing a marketing concept for an online retailer I don't know, and in a rare form of intelligent candor, KK says as much. But she still jumps in and does what I can only assume is her best.

The men choose Scott Hamilton, who at the time I thought was a good choice because I thought he could at least motivate the team and deliver something competent (I can only ask for competency from Celebrity Apprentice contestants - anything above that would be a shock).

Boy was I wrong.

While obviously there is going to be bickering on both teams because most of the contestants see themselves as larger than life personalities that everyone should be listening too, the men have really come off looking disinterested, boring and dumb. At least the women attempt to come together and leave their snide comments for each other once the task is finished. The men simply shut down in the face of conflict and it shows.

Scott Hamilton, as project manager, made the crucial mistake of openly pushing key people away (most notably Tom Green), thereby creating conflict during the process. Instead of putting on a good face, pretending to listen and manipulating the group, he immediately made it adversarial. And I'll be honest with you, once you try to out annoy Tom Green, you're going to lose. Even with a Tom Green on his best behavior.

Now, perhaps I'm biased, (not only because I like Tom Green) because I'm in the creative industry, but Tom was attempting to brain storm ideas, and the rest of the team would have none of it. To me, it seemed like he was trying to help (and I didn't understand the vitriol from Herschel Walker, other than TG suggested he be fired last week - but seriously!) and when they wouldn't listen to him, he got frustrated.

Of course, then they pick Green to do the presentation at the end, which sort of undermines Hamilton's argument that Green wasn't helping or doing anything constructive. If I were Scott, I would have not used him and then used that as ammo in the boardroom.

The women's team had some contrived stuff about people being sick and Melissa Rivers stealing ideas, but it paled in comparison to the drama on the men's side. They have spent some time creating tension between Annie Duke and Joan Rivers, which I assume will come to a head in a future episode. I enjoyed how upset Rivers was that she wasn't part of the script team because she wrote Broadway plays. Now, I have no idea what was and wasn't edited, but it never seemed like Annie told Joan she couldn't help with the script like Rivers insinuated in the boardroom. It seemed like Annie was telling Joan that she and some other women were going off to write the script. I think if Joan said let me help, everything would have been ok. But again, maybe they mud wrestled over it off camera and the producers wisely left that out.

The best part of the episode centered around the name the men came up with for their character. Or I should say the one Scott came up with. And if this clip doesn't suggest that Scott Hamilton doesn't get it, then I don't know what will. It shows, in a nutshell, the differences between Green and Scott that went on throughout the episode.

EEE? Really Scott? For The name I thought that would have been perfect and gotten in Scott's bizarre E fascination and get the Z in there was eZe. It works on multiple levels and would have gotten the men the win.

In the end, both teams pretty much developed the same comic book hero - a working woman that Zappos transforms into a superhero. At least that's what I got. They dressed Natalie Gulbis up in an outfit:

And that obviously got Trump's attention. Women win, pretty much because of the name gaffe, and that leaves another boardroom session for the boys. Trump asks Scott to pick two people and himself to come back and Scott slyly chooses Herschel Walker simply so he can come in and defend his actions and badmouth Tom. Which kinda doesn't work, as not only does Herschel keep relatively quiet during the whole thing, he gets mad because Scott technically put him up for elimination. Trump obviously sees through this charade, dismisses Walker and gets back to the task at hand:

So now I'm down two people on my Celebrity Apprentice Fantasy team, but honestly, I'm glad Scott got sent home. I would not have felt good if Tom Green got fired, simply because I feel he was in the right on this one, and took some unnecessary flack from Hamilton, Walke and Clint Black.

Other notes from last night...

  • I'm really not sure I can listen to Erin Burnett's financial advice after seeing her participation on Celebrity Apprentice.
  • Loved hearing the women talking highly of Tom Green. They called him "cerebral." Now that's a compliment. Also loved hearing how they pretty much all pegged Clint Black as a snake. Never dismiss a woman's intuition.
  • Trump loves everyone. Loves Clint Black. Loves Scott Hamilton. I love him.
  • Trump bizarrely admitting he once hit on Brande Roderick and got rejected. He quickly turned the boardroom uncomfortable. Roderick looked visibly shaken after that. Mark it down - Trump will have his revenge.

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