Celebrity Apprentice Recap: Star Wars!

Donald Trump’s yellow-orange hair thatch turned bright red this weekend after President Obama embarrassed him at the White House Correspondents Dinner. It was poetry in Prismacolor! Obama made crafty Celebrity Apprentice jokes (and namedropped Gary Busey and Meat Loaf), Trump scowled with the lifeless stoicism of Richard Hatch, and America cackled with the fire of almost two Dionne Warwicks. Is Ivanka’s dad finally through with his Obama diatribes? Trump’s not telling yet. He’s keeping it under his thatch! Adding insult to injury for The Donald, last night’s Celeb Apprentice was partially pre-empted on the East Coast with news that Osama bin Laden had been killed. D’oh!

In addition to that insanity, the real Celebrity Apprentice television show happened last night. NeNe Leakes and her large leather jacket threatened to envelop Star Jones and her smaller leather jacket. Simple math, really. Marlee Matlin pretended not to notice NeNe’s rooster dance of intimidation, and Hope Dwhatnow stared deep into the floor. Good ole lady melodrama. The Joyless Luck Club! Let’s revisit.

THE CHALLENGE: Trump tells both teams they’ll be putting on a “hair show” for the Farouk company and their marvelous straighteners. Boo. Yet another uber-corporate challenge with virtually no room for spectacular failure. Upsetting. Lil Jon and Meat Loaf, who act like they don’t care to keep living at this point, play rock-paper-scissors to pick a team leader. Lil Jon loses, stammers a regretful, “Aw, skee-skee” (not really), snaps, and accepts the task. NeNe Leakes, who is cajoled into team leadership by the sinister and panther-eyelidded Star Jones, doesn’t accept her role so easily.

(I’m abbreviating NeNe’s harsh takedown of Star, but you’ll notice it packs all the frightening anger, immaturity, and middle-school seriousness of an average P!nk song.)

“Who are you to step in and [pick a] project manager?” NeNe caws at Star. “Who are you? Who are you? I will take you down while the rest of these girls will look at you and be scared. I’m the girl that’s not scared of you. You pressed the last button in me, Miss Star Jones, and I will ‘do you’ when the rest of the girls will not. You talked a good game; now bring your street game, ‘cuz that’s what I’m bringing. Now, where’s Barbara Walters, Ms. I’m-So-Educated? How educated are you on the street?”

Before Star can respond wirh, “I took street classes at Vassar!” NeNe adds, “Punk-ass b-tch.” Again, she only speaks in potential P!nk and/or Limp Bizkit lyrics. After NeNe hushes up, Ivanka giggles and says, “The men are feeling much better about their chances at this juncture!” Which is cruel, because Meat Loaf hasn’t felt anything since 1977. Not cool, ‘Vank.

The teams disperse, but the Donald delays the proceedings by holding a secret caucus with last week’s eliminated dragonfly La Toya Jackson. I know. This should strike you as both completely unnecessary and a television triumph comparable to the moon landing. Wonder what LaToya could want?

“I don’t think there were any grounds at the time [for my elimination],” LaToya squeaks, rubbing her wings together to produce 1/9 of a voice. Trump nods and adds that it probably wasn’t “fair” to eliminate La Toya because she had laryngitis and couldn’t properly defend herself last week. Trump loves fairness, see. Apropos of nothing, he says that he’ll consider reinstalling her in the competition — even though “in eleven seasons of The Apprentice,” he’s never made such an exception. Mmkay. I’m sure this has nothing to do with the fact that Jose Canseco dropped out of the competition weeks ago, and now the show needs to keep La Toya to maintain the season’s episode count. No way. But whatever: This is an awesomely senseless idea, and the sight of La Toya strapping on her bandleader jacket for another week of “work” is inspiring. Bring on the epaulets and Nerf-like cheekbones!

TEAM BACKBONE: The three-person male team has no ideas for a “hair show.” Lil Jon tosses his dreadlocks over his face like a maddeningly camera-shy Tracy Chapman and tries suggesting some celebrities he can ring up to attend the event. “Julia Roberts!” calls out Meat Loaf, who has definitely never met that person. “What about Niki Taylor?” chirps John Rich. The dudes exchange crooked, C-list glances. Niki’s a good idea for a cameo because 1) she was a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice this year, 2) she played on Team A.S.A.P., which makes her inclusion on Team Backbone a sly move, and 3) this is all a stunt, and Niki Taylor’s waiting backstage for this scripted moment to occur. So it all works out for them.

The gents also settle on a theme: “Feeling Good in America.” They’ll dress up hair models in various “American” outfits (a country belle outfit, a California pageant queen, and a Mardi Gras strumpet) and use patriotism to sell the brand. Maybe they’ll wave some flags! Maybe they’ll perform a magnificent color guard routine! Maybe they’ll stand nearby as haircare professionals do all of the presentation, rendering this whole challenge meaningless! (Spoiler!)

TEAM A.S.A.P.: Since NeNe ruined the team’s morale by headbutting Star Jones into a deader-eyed coma, Hope Dwhoagain is quite upset. “I have no respect for [NeNe],” she deadpans. Now, this would be an important statement if anyone cared what Hope Dwoorstop thought, which is sadly not the case. Her qualms are brushed aside anyway when all the women enjoy a quick danceathon to rebuild camaraderie. There’s Marlee Matlin gyrating like a frisky eel! There’s Hope Dwoodblock thrusting her hips like a Playmate of the Yawn! There’s Star glowering like the downtrodden Komodo Dragon that she is. But dancing a little!

You can tell Team A.S.A.P. is in trouble because they don’t come up with a single awesome gimmick for their presentation. While the dudes are arranging celebrity appearances and smutty patriotism, the ladies think of a concept called “Shake Your Beauty.” That means… nothing, really. Hope is assigned to act as a model for the presentation, and she complains that she’s “sick of being the model again.” Well, Hope, would you like to offer any other skills? Would you like to decoupage a coffee mug? Fix a fire alarm? Hula-hoop in a kiddy pool? Card tricks? What about modeling, because you are a frigging model?

Though the tension between NeNe and Star has lessened, NeNe reminds us before the boardroom that she still has it out for the former Viewmaster.

“You may have lost weight on the outside,” NeNe spews in a confessional. “But your weight is still very fat and something is still going on on the inside.” That makes about as much sense as any other revelation this episode, so whatever! I agree, I think! Or I’m offended! I’m fat on the inside too, probably! We’re all fat on the fun side! Fun fat fun.

THE BOARDROOM: The two teams conduct their “presentations” (in fact, they simply “presented” the Farouk hairstylists — so daunting!), and Trump spends no time at all declaring a winner: It’s the gents! Niki Taylor’s cameo was charming, their American theme was a masterstroke, and Lil Jon was a showstopping emcee. In addition to $40,000 for Lil Jon’s charity, Team Backbone also receives La Toya Jackson as a team member. Twist! She appears in the back of the boardroom like Casper the Friendly Ghost (jinx, NeNe!), and vows to add her, uh, charm to the guy’s team.

When the gents leave, NeNe and Star start up another fight that involves words like “backstabber,” “manipulative,” and “street.” It’s a minor and brief battle, because they decide to settle their differences in an ingenious way: by claiming that Hope should be eliminated due to her clinical uselessness. She can’t even do runway modeling, it turns out. Trump agrees, sends her feathered hide to the street, and tells her not to let the door hit her on the way out. She is Hope Dwoorstop after all, and she’s used to that sort of thing.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Could you handle Hope’s terrible runway modeling? What about this dubious challenge? And can we expect La Toya to earn an elimination again next week? Air your praises and frustrations in the comments, find me on Twitter at @louisvirtel, and read me regularly at TVLine’s sister site Movieline.com!

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24 Comments
  1. Weave says:

    BOGUS!!
    Trump makes decisions that defy reason and are based purely on ratings.
    Can U imagine him making decisions in this way as President?
    Expeditious. Pompous.
    Will Ivanka be Secretary Of State?

  2. blingedup.susan says:

    They preempted the show here in the Central Time Zone right as Trump was deciding whom to fire. I was thinking they could have waited the extra 5 minutes, but glad to read your recap this morning. I am loving this season.

  3. What!? says:

    The headline should have said, “The East Coast Hopes to find out who was fired last night.”

  4. Kim R says:

    Okay..I’m NOT a Star Jones fan whatsoever BUT she did not start any fights with NeNe. I could not believe NeNe’s behavior in front of the client, I could not believe she wasn’t called on the carpet right there by any Trump member & though Hope says very little, I agreed with her as far as what that did to the A.S.A.P. team in trying to go forward with the task. In the end, it was NeNe’s lack of leadership that sunk the women’s team in the client’s estimation so she should have been fired. Period. And I hate to say it, but when Star said she was determined to show America what the difference is between an educated woman vs. an uneducated woman (color does not matter here) she was correct. NeNe is no one I would want working for my company, representing my brand or living next door to me. She is a NO class act. None at all. That’s my humble opinion! :)

  5. paisley quinn says:

    I was hoping Neenee would have been called on her behavior to a larger degree, but I’ll bet even The Donald is ascared of her. Her ghetto rants were amusing a few weeks ago…now they are pathetic reminders that the Housewife is in need of some Lithium. Starr Jones may be a back-stabber and a manipulator, but that’s kinda’ the point of this whole show. I call Marlee and John Rich for the Final Task……agreed?????

    • Kim R says:

      Agreed. :)

    • jp says:

      Remember,Starr set the trap for NeNe to be pm and she commented that she would make that happen. And of course often pm’s go when their team loses a task. Ne Ne figured that out. Star is a big time manipulator and pretty devious. At least with a big mouth like NeNe you know what you’re getting. With Star you never know.

  6. BRETT says:

    Star does things off-camera, people. It’s been said in every episode since the first. She is manipulative. NeNe is right, she does NOT have a good reputation. Everyone I talk to associates her with the word ‘bitch’. Also that educated vs. non-educated talk is garbage. I am educated, but sometimes pompous people need to be brought down a few pegs; that’s all NeNe was doing. I am glad to see Hope go as she WAS useless and never said what she thought up-front, it was always to the cameras. One thing you get with NeNe is the TRUTH.

    • DJ says:

      Thank you!! Star is sneaky & I don’t know who Trump has been talking to but Star has always had a horrible reputation. All the education in the world doesn’t make her a good person.

      Hope was immature at best. She couldn’t work because Nene yelled at her? Grow up. She just wanted an excuse because there weren’t enough people left for her to continue hiding & floating along.

  7. Glamourcat says:

    I love NeNe’s ghetto comments…she’s awesome!

  8. Glamourcat says:

    I sitting here lreading the comments about NeNe going to far, but yet for some reason Meat loaf got a pass for his rage?

    • stoopid says:

      yeah meat went over the score with his rant, but he didnt do it in front of the client. couldnt believe trump didnt fire her ass right there and then

  9. Delivery Matters says:

    I am educated therefore I know that when you scream, holler, make veiled, not so veiled threats, and profanity–YOU lose all credibility. Even if what you are saying is right and based on sound science. Delivery matters!

    • BRETT says:

      Let’s remember this is a reality show. Also, that’s YOUR opinion. As I stated, I am educated, yet in some instances that type of behaviour is exactly what pompous, snobby, know-it-all people deserve. I think people are looking too much into this. As if every educated person in the world never yells…right…

  10. NeNe Leaks is a rage-aholic bully. I don’t understand why someone would want this to be their legacy. Between her temper tantrums on Real Housewives and now this, I think that NeNe’s TV opportunities must be fizzling with each screaming, shouting, threatening rant.

  11. Justin says:

    hahahah I loved NeNe Leakes! Dang…she did not let up from the beginning and then in the boardroom- I loved that she OWNED that boardroom- Donald trump was just watching…haha.

  12. SMYULZ says:

    The one thing that Hope did bring 2 the show was the irony of NeNe’s charity being 4 Domestic Violence and violence is what NeNe thrives at!!!

  13. NeNe is an abuser! says:

    @SMYULZ I agree! Good point!! NeNe’s behavior is extremely abusive. Even though she did not hit Star*, she was extremely abusive. She was very threatening in word and demeanor.
    — *Please note my (*) because NeNe really did threaten Star. It really seemed like she was going to hit her. At least, I heard language that made me think she would hit her. Even Star said what is going to happen to me if I do not perform on this task?!

  14. 4F says:

    NeNe Leakes 2012

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  16. Chris G. says:

    Funny, I saw the picture attached to this story and I thought there was a mud fight involved. Seriously, look at the picture.

  17. carlostillman says:

    Agreed about the info being old news…I remember reading about it a year ago, although at the time the scheduled release date was in October, not September…http://bit.ly/kKlQcL