'The Celebrity Apprentice' Episode 2 – There's No Crying In Baseball Or Apprentice!
Penn uses his team's strengths, casting the strong men as … strong men, and Twisted Sister Singer Dee Snyder as the ‘fair maiden.’ He wants to have American Idol star Clay Aiken sing, and let the Star Trek fans get a good look at George Takei. He and Arsenio will co-host, as Arsenio has his own fans to bring in, and is easy to work with. Paul offers the use of a saddled motorcycle. I’m not sure what role Indy Car racer Michael Andretti will play. I’m not even sure that Michael speaks during this episode at all! Once again, the men are working together like a well-oiled machine – at least for now.
As the ladies raid the costume room, chattering and opining, Lisa loses her temper, again asking that they behave like grownups. Patricia interviews that Lisa is running the show like a tyrannical school teacher. The fun does seem to go out of the room when Lisa takes over heavy handedly.
Tia and Teresa make a good team, especially since Tia’s got an action hero background. When Don Jr drops by to check on their progress, Lisa and Aubrey take the opportunity to ask if the Donald will get offended at Lisa impersonating him in a wig. Darling Junior tells them that the challenge will be determined by which team wins, so even if the Board Room gets tense, they can’t get fired for the joke. He thinks the women have a great concept but worries that the audience wants action. If they can combine the humor with action, Forte could take the win. But he does pick up on the tension between Lisa and Victoria.
James Lipton joins the guys for an update, and thinks it might be risky for the team to be relying solely on comedy for their entertainment. I’m more worried when Lou ‘Hulk’ Ferrigno gets his hands on the weapons available for sword play … the weapons are real, and they are sharp. And there are no stand-ins to take the punches. Lou and Paul partner, as the two most macho of the group. Clay, as time keeper, has to drag a reluctant Lou away from practice so that they can get on to the next step of their task.
Aubrey tries to pull Victoria into the group, by deferring to her as the Director. Victoria’s not buying it, and says it’s not her strong point, giving Lisa another opportunity to push Victoria back out of the group. Lisa’s also angry that Victoria is wearing her Louis Vuitton messenger bag purse while learning to use a sword. Even when Lisa does try to use Victoria’s talents, asking her to help with computer research, Victoria falls drastically short of competent.
Day Two, and Victoria’s had enough. She can’t sleep, and wonders how, in a group of eight women, she’s been given absolutely no role. She’s even called Lisa, and floated the idea of getting permission to be put on the men’s team. Lisa tells Victoria that her job as the person in charge of cues, sound and lights, is incredibly important. The men have Penn in that position, and he’s not going to screw it up for them – Victoria needs to be as good for the women.
The guys drool over Paul’s Medieval style chopper, complete with saddle. George arrives for the morning meeting already in costume, insisting he’ll be wearing it all day. He thinks they all should be getting used to their costumes, especially Dee, who will be dressed as a woman, and riding sidesaddle. I have a feeling George has never seen a Twisted Sister video.
In dress rehearsal, Victoria, in the control booth, is having trouble with her script, only to discover that she’s working with the wrong version. Lisa worries that their production will be ruined by bad timing. Dayana’s getting increasingly frustrated with Lisa and Aubrey, feeling that her opinions are not being heard.
The men’s rehearsal starts off cheerier, with Lou making a formidable entrance as Sir Lou of Hulk. However George is adlibbing, rather than sticking to the script, which contains specific cues for lights and sound. Clay can barely contain his frustration at George. But things get really crazy when Dee breaks his finger and needs medical attention. With show time near, Dee decides he’ll deal with the finger later – he’s not leaving the show.
Penn and Arsenio begin Unanimous’ offering with jokes and fire eating, while George reads flawlessly from his script. Lou is enthusiastically received, but Paul Sr.’s entry on the chopper brings the house down. Clay sings a few notes when introduced as Lady Dee’s troubadour. There’s really no plot to the show, but Penn hopes trading off on their celebrity will net them the win.
Forte gets off to a rough start. After Dayana enters, in her flesh colored body stocking, Lisa waits in vain for the trumpet sound that should start her speech. No trumpet sounds. Victoria’s oblivious in the control booth. The audience wonders what’s going on. Lisa begins without the cue, but the audience is getting restless. They perk up when the New Jersey aspect is pointed out, and Debbie Gibson launches into a song. A couple of ‘wardrobe malfunctions’ perk up the men in the audience, as the women swordfight. But the crowd goes nuts when Teresa flips the Board Room table, and when Aubrey, dressed as Jersey Shore’s Snookie, arrives. It’s iconic New Jersey fare. Could this be the win the ladies need?
Oh no, it’s going to be another 45 minute wrangle in the Board Room. Something’s got to give! Cut the show to an hour, if necessary; the bull in the bull pen is stripping the celebrities of everything that made them celebrities! With James Lipton in Ivanka’s usual chair, the contestants file in quietly.
Trump, who was not present at Medieval Times, asks Lisa for a rundown of her presentation, jumping to the key question – was there nudity? Dayana cops to being nude, and Teresa throws in that they all showed boobies. Lisa thinks Forte must have won, but won’t underestimate what Team Unanimous might have done. She’s confident, but not cocky.
Victoria answers Trumps question of Lisa’s leadership by saying that Lisa was strict, and agreeing that she was a good leader, but waffles when asked if she agreed with Lisa’s ideas. Lisa defends her assignment of the roles, but Victoria says she didn’t feel part of the production, and that being pushed aside set a bad precedent. Nonetheless, Lisa did a good job.
James Lipton notes that he’s always thought that the Celebrity Apprentice was a fun game that celebrities did in their spare time, and he’s impressed to see that they all take this very seriously.
Trump references Dee’s injury. Apparently Clay’s tambourine spooked the horse that threw Dee. His finger is fractured severely, and he’ll need to have a pin put in. Everyone agrees that Penn was a phenomenal project manager, and the star of the team overall. When pushed, Penn admits that his weakest links would be Lou and George, based on their both being such recognizable stars, and thus likely to be typecast. The Hulk gets angry, saying that he gave 110 per cent, and has done so all of his life. He’s insulted. Penn apologizes. Lou goes on, saying that Penn pulls power trips on all the team, especially the actors, and he thinks Penn is wrong. Penn agrees, saying that any choice would be wrong, but he won’t change his decision. He hopes that they won’t lose the challenge and that both George and Lou will forgive him and continue to play as a team. Lou’s still angry.
George takes a different tack, saying that his admiration for Penn is growing, as it was a difficult job, and he did it superbly. He’s confident that their team won, and the question is hypothetical. Trump agrees, saying that Penn was brave to answer honestly, knowing his answer could get him fired. Penn reiterates that no one did anything wrong.
Best moment? Don Jr catches The Donald calling Lou “The Incredible Hunk.” Which team is Trump really playing for, hmmm? Oh, don’t worry, in a minute he’ll start hitting on the babes on Team Forte.
Lisa chooses her two potential losers – Victoria for letting her emotions run wild and threatening to quit the team, and Dayana for not being a team player, with few skills. Dayana defends herself by saying that her ideas were not being listened to, and Patricia leaps to Dayana’s defense, citing Lisa and Aubrey’s concept as being the weakest part of their presentation. The team dissolves into anarchy as each woman begins talking over the other, ending when Victoria tells Lisa that she doesn’t need a mother, and Lisa retorting that she did this week. Ouch!
Trump brings it back to business, asking James what he thought about the teams’ performances. James doesn’t disappoint – he’s got his famous blue cards ready with his critique. He loved the energy of the men’s team, and that they played to the strengths of their skills. The audience agreed, according to the comment cards at MT, and Unanimous received 558 votes.
Don Jr sums up the audience’s notes on Team Forte – they loved the incorporation of the New Jersey Housewife theme, especially Teresa’s table flipping. But in spite of the girls’ hotness, they received only 363 votes. The men win again. They’re sent back to their suite, where they can spend the next half hour watching the ladies scream at each other. And listen to Lou tell them that no one better ever put him forward as the weakest player ever again. Oh my, as George Takei would say.
Lisa’s just glad that her concept was not the losing factor. Don Jr opines that their casting may have been a little lopsided, as at least a quarter of the audience was children, not so impressed with hot babes. Dayana fist pumps – that was what she was trying to tell them from the beginning. She blames Lisa completely for not taking advantage of the skills she offered. Tia tries to play peacemaker, naming each woman’s contributions. Lisa still insists that Victoria was the weakest, especially for missing cues during their presentation. Trump’s surprised to see Victoria tearing up while defending herself. Debbie stirs the soup when she mentions that Lisa might have been overwhelmed by the task. Despite Lisa admitting that Victoria improved her attitude on Day Two, Day One was a disaster.
Everyone rushes to Victoria’s defense, perhaps not realizing that they themselves could be next to go. Lisa says she didn’t have time to babysit eight women all talking over each other, as they did the previous week on Patricia’s watch, and she knew she had to be firm with them. The women continue to talk over each other, and at cross purposes. Imagine my surprise when, asked by Trump who she’d fire, Patricia blathers on about Lisa – and then names Victoria! Aubrey names Dayana as the least utilized.
In the other room, the men watch, and think that Lisa made the wrong choice in bringing back Dayana and Victoria. As Arsenio says, “you’ve got one girl who’ll kill you with her beauty and another that will kill you with her family.” Because, don’t forget, it’s Trump who makes the last call on who leaves.
Don Jr says that Dayana has no business being brought back. The choice is between Victoria and Lisa. Victoria threatened to quit, and Lisa was Project Manager. Brought back in, Lisa and Victoria are both ready to rumble, with Lisa getting angrier until she even brings up Victoria’s misspelling of Medieval. Bottom line being, that despite Victoria trying a little harder on day two, she was pretty much useless. Lisa finally breaks down in angry tears, with Dayana grinning like a cat that got the mouse and the cream. In 21 years she’s never had an employee say “No” to her, and in a man’s world, she’s one of the top three female comedians. She’d take the fall for losing the task if the loss was based on her concept, but it wasn’t. It was due to having a quitter on her team.
Dayana says that the problem was Aubrey, and Lisa’s over reliance on Aubrey’s input. Trump again tries to get the truth about Victoria not wanting the role of stage director, and Don Jr repeats that he heard from all five of the other women that Victoria herself did not want the job, that she wanted to act instead. Trump asks for James’ input. James says that one of the most important words in the English language, which they try to instill in the students of his acting school, is P A S S I O N. Passion, which Lisa displayed in great abundance. The Donald apparently failed spelling, as he has to ask what the heck James was talking about.
Trump and Don Jr say that Lisa would have been better bringing in an advocate than Dayana, who did nothing more than ride on a horse looking pretty, just what they asked her to do. Victoria jumps in, saying that Lisa would never do that. Dayana again expresses that she had more to give, but wasn’t listened to. Okay, then Dayana, between these two women, who’s got the most talent? On the spot, she can only say that Lisa has stepped up more, has more energy, and shown more ability, than Victoria.
Adding up all of Victoria’s transgressions, particularly her threat of quitting the team, Trump fires Victoria. For the first time, Victoria is speechless.
In the exit limo, Victoria says, “What I just witnessed in that Board Room terribly shocked me. To make me take full responsibility for my team losing was such a laugh because I had absolutely no task. What Lisa said in there was absolute, abject lies, so … But you know what, my attitude is, Lisa has to live with that, not me. She may have succeeded now, but it will come back to haunt her.”
Proving once again that the celebrities truly don’t understand that they are being filmed, and that we’re all seeing what they do, when they do it.
My take: I’m glad that the tension around Victoria Gotti’s possible access to Mafia protection, whether alluded to as a joke or as a thinly veiled threat, is gone. But I’m not particularly happy that the new ‘enforcer’ seems to be Lou Ferrigno, insisting that he never again be named as a potential ex-challenger. Both smack of bullying. And it’s clear that the women each think themselves the ideal project manager, and that their own ideas are better than anyone else’s. They participate in the challenges, but seethe when their proposals aren’t chosen, and if they are not in a role that they feel they deserve, they sulk. Forte is not a group of team players – it’s a group of prima donnas. And they’re going to keep losing the challenges unless they learn to work as a team, as the men of Unanimous have done from the beginning.