Monday, April 27, 2009

Celebrity Apprentice - More like Celebrity Meltdown!

So how did we get to this?

Good lord I wish I knew.

Last week, I implied things were finally heating up on Celebrity Apprentice. Not enough to forgive the previous episodes, but at least enough to no constantly flip back and forth between it and a repeat of River Monsters. (Quick note: Yes, it's true, I didn't see this particular episode of River Monsters. So why didn't I watch it? Because the description was about searching for some catfish that bottomfeeds in European rivers. Um, I saw a giant catfish episode. How many different giant catfish do I need to see? How many different shows can you base around a giant catfish? Please don't answer that.)

Last week had the Rivers brothers (Melissa & Joan) taking turns suggesting Annie Duke wasn't the nicest person in the world. Well, the seeds they planted then came to bloom this week. But I'm getting ahead of myself because there was plenty of other stupid stuff going on...

Before things get going, Trump has to even out the teams, now that there are 4 people on one team and 2 on the other. So he moves Jesse James over to KOTU with Clint Black and Joan Rivers, leaving Brande Roderick, Annie Duke and Melissa Rivers on Athena. I want to give Trump at least a little bit of credit here since that move does create equal drama for both teams, but I just can't do it, so instead I'll give the credit to some nameless PA who Trump probably overheard at the Craft services table.

This week's challenge: create a 4 page ad for Right Guard that will be run in Sports Illustrated. At both team's disposal...David Lee from the New York Knicks. He is to be used in a photo shoot for the ad. Brande and Clint play the roles of project managers. And the guest judge for this week? Who else better suited critiquing a magazine ad than financial guru Jim Cramer? Whatever.

KOTU first...

Jesse James has not hid his disdain for Clint Black, in fact he reminds the viewers he was the first one way back in week 1 or 2 to suggest he be fired. Going in, I'm pretty sure Jesse's one goal was to get Clint Black fired. Because the challenge was based around a magazine ad, James felt he knew what to do, since he apparently owns a magazine. In the world of Celebrity Apprentice, I guess that is good enough credentials. He hastily sketches out an idea, which Clint took under advisement, and to Clint's credit, took some ideas from. But then forged ahead into a new direction, which set James off. And by set off I mean profanity and uncomfortableness. It got to the point that Joan Rivers looked as though she thought she might have to break up a fight.

They pretty much go into the boardroom thinking they lost. Jesse James repeatedly saying the ad "fucking sucks" and to fix it you should "hit the delete button and start over" will do that to a team.


Melissa feels left out. Her ideas are getting ignored by both Brande and Annie, and Annie is doing the lionshare of the work. So Meliisa confronts Brande about the two of them ganging up on her to get her fired. Brande suggests there's no such thought which...I'm not so sure I believe. Had I been Melissa I think I might have tried to woo Annie and get Brande knocked off. I'm not saying Annie would go for it, but it probably would have been more successful than her pouting strategy.

And here's where I jump in once more and say I don't understand how the contestants on reality shows like Celebrity Apprentice think. Melissa seemed genuinely upset that her other two partners may have been scheming to get her fired. And that doesn't make sense - because THAT'S THE POINT OF THE SHOW. It isn't about who has the best ad, it isn't about beating the other team, it's about becoming Trump's apprentice (figuratively speaking)! So even though she probably only got fired this week for the drama it caused, it is kind of her own fault. She didn't plot, she didn't create an alliance when she needed to (I'm not counting her mom as an alliance because neither really did much to help the other) she just worked hard. Had the show been about becoming a director for a non-profit organization, she would have won going away.

Annie on the other hand, might be playing too good. At least Cramer thinks so. He brought it up numerous times during the episode, even suggesting the other two (Brande and Melissa) should have tried to get her off. How she skated through last night after pretty much creating the entire campaign (something she openly admitted to Cramer when he went to observe their team and then completely denied to Cramer in the boardroom) I'll never understand. I'll never understand why no one called her out on it even, but hey, who am I other than emotionally damaged for watching this much Celebrity Apprentice.


I loved the part when, after Trump showed each team the other's work, Jesse monotoned that his team suddenly had a chance to win. I wonder how much bile he had to choke down. And in the ironic twist, his team did win. I have no idea why. The two Right Guard execs offered pros and cons of each ad none of which went very far in explaining why one was stronger than the other. This only goes back to the idea that without a person with a creative background judging these things, the competition is moot. What it does mean is that Joan, Jesse and Clint are safe, and Jesse has to eat some crow. Which he does. Kinda.

So now we get down to the business of trying to figure out who goes home. And here's where things get nonsensical. Before bringing the three ladies in, Trump asks Cramer who he would fire. Without hesitation, he suggests Brande, because she is the project manager, she lost, the end.

So then the three are brought back in, and Trump does the old song and dance, asking them who should be fired, who should stay...blah blah blah. Pretty sure Trump has used one cue card for every boardroom. Cramer puts his 2 cents in after hearing Brande makes her case, saying he doesn't feel she has shown what it takes and should be fired. Brande takes exception, and whines a little more before Melissa steps in and tries to defend herself.

And then something truly bizarre happens. Trump writes a note, hands it to Cramer, asks what he thinks and then goes on as though nothing happened. Yet the cameras focused on this 10 second exchange as though it were Reagan/Gorbachev in 1989. We never find out what is on the note, but I have come up with some possibilities...

  • "Hey Jim, stop bashing Brande. Have you seen those breasts?"
  • "Hey Jim, stop bashing Brande. I want to see those breasts."
  • "Ever hear how broads all get on the same cycle when they're around each other? huh? huh? Hear what I'm saying?"
  • "Jimmy...I'm not wearing pants."
Whatever the note said, it caused Cramer to make a 180, and now say Melissa should be fired. Melissa pleads her case, first saying she's never missed a day despite two leg injuries, and then suggesting once again Annie and Brande conspired against her, only this time stating that they entered into a "cabal" against her. I immediately envision satanic rituals while giggling. Trump, apparently wanting this all along but wanting Cramer to be his hatchetman so he doesn't look bad, does indeed do this, which sends Melissa into a...I guess the best word would be tizzy. She hurredly limps out (this is the first time - at least for me - seeing she has a boot cast on) spraying a number of obsenities in her wake, geting more and more agitated/emotional. And then comes my favorite quote from her, when she calls both Brande and Annie "whore pit vipers." Pit vipers I get, but "whores?" I guess it's possible Melissa knows something more than me, and Annie did profess her blow job expertise last week, but I still think whore might be a little harsh.

Melissa doesn't seem to care however, repeating the "whore" insult with a number of other obsenities as she stumble/walks out of the boardroom past the remaining players, and communicting with her mother that she's done and not coming back up. Joan, now enraged as her daughter calls Brande a dumb blonde and says that poker players such as Annie "give money with blood on it." Another nazi reference? Because if so, I think Joan needs to work on some new material. The holocaust seems to be a crutch for her.

I will say I think Joan may have overreacted just a smidge here. By now everyone should understand people are playing the game to win. The celebrities who didn't care about this competition got eliminated long before. The people left are ones that are truly invested and ready to do what they need to do to win. Does that mean feelings could be hurt? Absolutely. But at the end of the day is this a competition to win? Absolutely. It seemed like Joan might not have understood this right at that moment.

Joan leaves in the huff Melissa created, and the suspense is created for next week about whether or not Joan will continue in the competition. The way they set up the question would leave me to believe that she will definitely be back, but who knows? Well I guess we will eventually, but we'll have to wait a week.

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