Monday, April 6, 2009
Celebrity Apprentice - So now we're doing this?
Trump is officially gone. Whether you want to believe he's truly insane, or simply trying to manipulate us all, it matters not. What he did last night, trying to create a shocking and talked about episode only caused laughter (at least in my house). I'm only going to bring it up today because I've been doing so every Monday after this show. I want to be clear here - if I didn't start these summaries way back at the beginning, I certainly wouldn't have started last night. Because, while that's what Trump obviously wants (this week's viral challenge, the appearance of Perez Hilton, an email I received from the sponsor of this week, asking me to talk about it and some "exclusive" video they would let me see) it all speaks to Trump (or the producers - I'm not sure Trump is savvy enough on the Internet to concoct this scheme) trying to drum up conversation.
It's up to you to decide whether it worked...
Let's dive right in at the beginning. Because the men are really, really bad at Celebrity Apprentice, Trump has to mix up the teams to create a more even playing field. And because it was my grandmother's dying wish for me to never take notes during the show, I will try to recite from memory the new teams. Please don't be offended if I get it wrong. The new teams are:
KOTU (old men's team - remember it stands for Kings Of The Universe. Fantastic.)
This week's challenge: Create a viral marketing video for a laundry detergent. Now, I refuse to name the laundry detergent not because I refuse to sell out (quite the contrary, I will gladly sell out. Please make me an offer), but because of the thinly veiled attempt of them to create an internet buzz by contacting me to see some video they had after the show was on. It also didn't help that they used this line in their email: "...one of the most memorable board rooms in Celebrity Apprentice history," And while they did offer me a "free bottle of [redacted] laundry detergent to experience the freshness and official Trump “You’re Fired!” swag," I just won't do it. Again, I'm not saying I'll never whore myself out, but it's certainly going to take slightly more than laundry detergent for me to do it (though the Trump swag does sound enticing).
Melissa Rivers becomes project manager for her team and seems to buckle down and get the most out of them. For their viral video, they decide to go with Jesse James getting washed down by small people (which they constantly refer to as midgets. More on that in a bit).
Meanwhile Clint Black is project manager for KOTU and at first everything seems good. In brainstorming, he suggest a risque joke about juxtaposing sew with washing clothes. It was mildly clever. Everyone appeared to be on board, until they met the two straitlaced laundry execs. Yeesh. I've seen looser people at a barn raising. Team KOTU floats their risque idea and it is met with church sermon silence.
Clint decides to forge ahead with his idea, leaving everyone else in the dust. Literally. He takes the reins, ignores everyone else and develops...I think something that had to do with adultery? I'm not 100% sure. It was difficult to really follow, and I'm not sure if that was because of Clint or how it was edited for the show. I did enjoy the fact that they too employed a littel person to star in it, only to realize once he got there that he wasn't a great actor. So ho wdo they compensate? Clint Black takes over the role. Of course he does. Joan Rivers was particularly upset at all of this, and even though I was a little annoyed she 180ed on the idea she supported earlier, I was on her side when Black completely shut out her team. For him not to listen to any of their ideas scream meglamania on his part. Remember Tom Green? Seems like he had a point way back when. And when Tom Green has a point that eventually turns out to be prescient, well...let's just say I'm a little more nervous about the North Korea missle launch test.
Judgement time, and who better to judge these two viral marketing videos than a guy who reports celebrity gossip on the internet? That's right, it's Perez Hilton, starring in the worst produced segment of the night (and that includes both viral videos). He says he hates the Clint Black one, loves the Jesse James one and it's here the audience finally gets to see the finished products and...
Good lord are they awful. I'm not sure what the point is supposed to be with either. I really thought leading up to this one that Clint Black's was going to be bad, and don't get me wrong, it really was, but the other one...it just didn't make sense. Jesse James acted like a mental patient, and it had profanity.
Both were offensive in their own ways, which certainly did not please the suits at all. Neither reached their target audience in anyway (25+ women). The Athena one (Jesse James/et al) They were terrible.
And that's where we come to the boardroom. Trump comes in, makes a sleazy comment about hte hot chick in Clint Black's video (one of about 100 during the show's run) and then proceeds to tell everyone neither video was good enough. When Trump brought up that Team Athena's video was even insulting in the name ("Jesse James cleaned by midgets") Rivers' defense was that "midgets" was one of the top words in search queries for videos. And I get that, but that certainly doesn't mean a company can get behind a known derogatory comment like that. They really should have known that, especially since at one point Jesse James went on about how he loves little people.
Trump tells Rivers and Black to bring two others back into the boardroom with them so he can decide who he's going to fire. Clint Black chooses Chloe Kardashian and Natalie Gulbis and then reassures them that he will fall on the sword and tell Trump it was all his idea.
Rivers makes a big production out of saying since everyone on the team felt good about their video and there was no disagreement with them, that Tionne had volunteered to come into the boardroom should they have lost. So it was her and then Rivers chose Brande Roderick. So we have all 6 of them in there.
Now this is where things go off the tracks, and I could write 5,000 words easily on what Trump did, what he was trying to do, and what he failed at doing. Because even on a reality show competition as stupid as this one, there are some things that should either remain behind the scenes or at least be handled in a careful, quieter manner. I think celebrities especially at least think that. Trump apparently enjoys the trapdoor approach of subtlety.
On Athena's side, Trump makes a big point about how Tionne volunteered to come in, recounting a story about a past player (on just the regular Apprentice) going on and on about he was destined to win until he volunteered to come into the boardroom.
Yup, he gives Tionne the axe, telling her to never volunteer to be fired, even if you think there's no chance you will be. Which, ok, I get it - no one is ever safe, and don't think you can pull one over the Donald, but really - he indirectly fired someone because she never saw The Apprentice before. I even loved when he asked her if he had ever heard of (can't remember the loser's name) and she had a blank stare on her face.
He then turns his attention over to Gulbis, Kardashian and Black. He says some words before grilling Kardashian about why she missed the previous week's challenge. The audience learns it was because she had to do some community servcice for a DUI she received.
That doesn't go over well with Trump. Not at all.
Long story short, Kardashian goes bye bye because of her DUI arrest. Take a look...
Now, I'm not one to defend drunk driving (I doubt there are few out there that will) but to me this felt a little like sandbagging on Trump's part. He made a big deal about not knowing where she was and so he went and found out, and when he did, he was disgusted.
All that aside though, isn't this a competition? Aren't the people involved under the impression that they are to be judged on their performance on the show? I know Trump said he was going to donate money to Kardashian's charity, but still - didn't they just lose out because Trump wanted to get rid of a boring contestant?
And that's what it boiled down to and is the biggest injustice of the whole stupid thing. Trump created his own loophole to get rid of two contestants who sat back and didn't have as much personality as the other contestants. Translation: neither Kardashian nor Tionne would grab ratings if either advanced much further.
And that's why Trumps's stupid Celebrity Apprentice show can never be deemed reality television. With him as the judge, he showed the viewers (all 18 of us) he is more concerned with the ratings of the show than with the spirit of the show.
Unfortunately for me, I'm in too deep and will watch next week. But I hope you don't. Just read my recaps. I'll keep you up to date.