Monday, April 20, 2009

Celebrity Apprentice - Things (FINALLY) Get Interesting

It took a long time, and it was fleeting, but for five minutes last night, Celebrity Apprentice acted like an actual reality television show, with bickering, name calling and tension. It's up to you to determine whether or not that's enjoyable. But after devoting entirely too much time to this stupid show, I have to give it this minor shout out. I was actually interested in the outcome.

That the whole shebang had nothing really to do with who was getting fired is kind of beside the point. At least for now...

We left off last week with a charity auction for Ivanka's jewelry collection (quick aside - of all the people involved in this whole, thing, Ivanka comes off as the most level headed and likable. I don't know how that happened). The teams had to choose specific pieces, models and ensure there were people in the audience with big pockets. Again, it seems the people that know the richest people have an advantage; but in a nice little twist, that was kinda sorta addressed.

Annie Duke started the show crowing how much money she will bring in; Natalie Gulbis set in motion a clever plan to not only raise money, but also to stick it to Annie Duke, by getting one of her rivals to donate some cash.

Annie goes nuts, not so much at Gulbis, rather at the contact that gave Gulbis information. Unfortunately, Duke's call to this person bled through the walls giving everyone a chance to hear her. To be fair, Duke suggested Gulbis' plan was fairly smart, and I at no point thought Duke was particularly uspet with any of that.

Assume there was a lot more drama was involved here as well. This goes far toward what happened in the boardroom.

In fact, let's just skip right to it. For whatever reason, Joan Rivers and Annie Duke get into it. There's been a lot of hinting at this throughout the season and finally we get the blowup. What I think it amounted to was this:

Annie Duke is a strong personality who thinks every idea she was is gold and does not like to back down. She says what's on her mind and doesn't care too much about who she offends on a personal level. She is in it to win it. She will do whatever it takes to make sure she wins.

Joan Rivers is opinionated and passionate as well, she just goes about it a little differently. As a comedienne I believe that while she throws insults around, she is also mindful of what her words do. Probably because she is a comedienne. She wants her team to win as well, but not at the expense of others.

Now, I fully understand everything could be staged and everyone is playing a game, and has alliances, secret deals and strategies that aren't necessarily shown to the audience. So the fight in the boardroom and the exaggerated emotions could be a ruse.

Still, it was entertaining. And it all started (and I can't believe I'm going to say this) with Piers, the first winner of Celebrity Apprentice. Finally, someone in the boardroom starts asking the tough questions and needling the contestants.

Among his gems...

Asks Melissa about the apparent conflict of interest with her and her mother on different teams and how that affects the game
Wonders why Jesse James can't drum up more money, especially with a very famous wife (Sandra Bullock)
Suggests Melissa is not supporting her team by badmouthing Annie

Seriously, finally everything Trump should be doing, Piers does. I can only assume Trump simply doesn't want to offend any of these people and therefore refuses to ask tough questions. Thankfully, Piers does not share the same reservations.

It is also here that Joan offhandedly (and somewhat indirectly I might add) compares Annie to Hitler. Which, perhaps I'm a heartless, callous individual, because had they not made a big deal out of it, I wouldn't have given it a second thought. It was a decent comedic line (though suggesting Hitler was even nice some of the time may have been a little strong) and nothing more.

Annie however, felt otherwise. She continued to harp on it, over and over, to the point that I believe it's more her strategy than anything else. I mean seriously, the Rivers Brothers have to be broken up and I think Annie is subtly trying to plant seeds with everyone else. Was this the time and place? Personally, not for me, but whatever.

Gulbis gets the boot because she picked the wrong jewelry, and because I don't see Trump axing Rivers. He's in love with her. Never a bad word for her. And to be fair, she didn't do anything to get fired for.

Melissa tries to do some damage control, the flareup simply smolders and doesn't ignite and we're off to the next challenge, sadly without Piers. And if the producers didn't see his value after that boardroom, then this show is hopeless.

New challenge - cook stuff and market it for Schwan? Seriously, this is getting way too long already and the product doesn't matter. We see Annie Duke impose her will on the team again, cooking and bragging (seriously, I now know she is very satisfied with her blow job technique) and running the team.

Meanwhile, Clint, Herschel and Joan clash in their kitchen about...stuff. It's all inane and mundane and not worth the words. They lose. Trump wants to keep the Rivers/Clint dynamic alive and gets rid of Herschel.

Next week, we're of course teased that Trump does something crazy again which - I'm not buying. Jim Cramer from Mad Money is on so I do know it will be a lot yellier.

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