'The Celebrity Apprentice' Recap- Oh My! George Takei Falls On His Own Sword

March 5th, 2012 2:04pm EST

Celebrity Apprentice Last week, the Celebrities worked a Medieval Times angle. Lou Ferrigno hulked out when Penn Jillette mentioned his lack of focus, but it was Victoria Gotti who got the axe. Can the ladies of Forte pull it together, now that Victoria is gone, or will the men of Unanimous carry on their winning streak?

After the firing, Lisa Lampanelli swore she’d never Project Manage again, but she’s more determined than ever that Forte kick some Unanimous butt. Penn Jillette had the pleasure to present his team’s win of $40,000.00 to Linda Smith for his charity “Opportunity Village”.

This week, Ivanka Trump’s back, and hey! So is Adam Corolla, who had something better to do last week! Apparently Ivanka needs sales, as we start in the Trump Tower, in front of a display of her Fine Jewelry. The celebrities are to design and build ‘living window’ displays in the venerable Lord & Taylor store in downtown New York City for Ivanka’s spring line of fashion and accessories. Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump will act as advisors, while Ivanka herself will judge, based on creativity, brand messaging and overall presentation. The most compelling window display will be the winner.

Teresa Giudice offers to be Project Manager, but Dayana Mendoza insists it’s her turn. With Debbie Gibson and Patricia Velasquez behind her, Dayana gets the job, but Teresa is not pleased. The men turn their attention to the two gay men on their team, Clay Aiken and George Takei, but go for George. Adam says their top 3 reasons for choosing George were that 1) he’s gay, 2) he’s gay and 3) he’s gay. George says he’ll “boldly go where the men have not gone before.” What else could he say?

Aubrey O’Day comes up with a neat idea – a clock showing what a woman would be wearing at any given time of day. When the ladies agree, Aubrey gets overly enthusiastic. Debbie says it’s becoming “The Aubrey Show.”

The men get off to a slower start. George thinks they have to make four, not two, windows, and Clay wonders if George’s slower processing time will be a problem. Penn comes up with an idea using twins as their models. Adam asks George to roughly sketch out his idea of the window’s look, but he’s reluctant without seeing the actual window space. Adam wonders when George will get into the game.

Ivanka and Scott Devine, creative director for Lord & Taylor’s displays, drop by to hear what the men have so far. Ivanka describes her customer as being a “sophisticated, working, and aspirational woman.” To the women, she adds that the core demographic is a woman of 25-35, who chooses clothing that can go from day to night, or weekday to weekend. Oh, and coral is the key color for her collection, and is found on all of the packaging as well.

The men decide to go with twins; one in each window with one being the ‘Day’ or office version and the other the ‘Night,’ perhaps showing a red carpet premiere. They choose Arsenio Hall to be in the ‘night’ window, and Clay Aiken for the ‘day.’ Adam and Paul Teutel Sr. will do the set design. Paul says he has sophisticated equipment at his shop for their use. George gives Paul a sample box to replicate as an example of what they need.

Dee Snider has to leave for a doctor’s appointment, follow up on his broken finger from last week’s challenge. He worries that his team will think he’s not being a 100% team member. (Well, especially since we know that Lou is always giving 110%) And, indeed, Arsenio has his doubts about Dee continuing in the game. Arsenio’s proven right when Dee discovers he needs immediate surgery to repair the bad break.

Forte choose Dayana and Aubrey to be the celebs in their windows. Debbie is not happy to be rejected as a choice, due to her age. Dayana assigns Debbie to photograph the fashions, and Aubrey, Tia and Lisa to Brooklyn to begin working on their sets.

Paul, Lou, Michael Andretti and Adam also head to Brooklyn. Adam’s earlier career as a carpenter stands him in good stead, and he quickly sorts out the basics of their sets. Lou worries that Adam is making decisions without consulting George.

Lisa, Tia and Aubrey get a shock when they see how small the windows will be. Their original ideas will seem cramped and junky in a space of this size. Lisa suggests that they change plans – divide one idea up between both windows instead of two separate ideas as planned. Dayana and Debbie are appalled with that idea. After visiting Ivanka’s showroom, Dayana comes back with a new idea; recreate the showroom in one window, and feature handbags and shoes in the other. Debbie also gets the great idea of approaching Ivanka directly to borrow some of her jewelry line for the settings. When Don Jr. asks for an update, Dayana has to tell him that they’re re-working their original theme, but everything’s fine. Don Jr. picks up that they are unable to explain their concept, and are far behind in the execution. He doesn’t think Dayana has a firm grasp of the project.

George, Penn, Arsenio and Clay visit the Lord & Taylor basement, where the sets will actually be built, and then raised to street level by hydraulic lifts. Meanwhile, at the showroom, Arsenio is showing off his sense of fashion and style, choosing clothing and accessories that will give ‘pop’ to their windows. When Eric Trump pops by for an update, George and Penn outline their plan. Eric doesn’t say anything either positively or negatively, but does ask Clay for his take on George’s leadership. Despite Clay saying that the team is ready to pick up the slack, Eric senses a lack of confidence in their Project Manager.

Aha! If you’ve ever wondered what the heck Amanda, receptionist at Trump’s Board Room, does when she’s scribbling away in her notebooks, wonder no more. Apparently, she also works for Ivanka’s clothing line! What a multi-tasker that lady is!

Adam, still slaving away at the set building, isn’t pleased when George calls to ask that the night set background be painted midnight blue, and then says his group are done for the day, and going home. Adam feels that George should have dropped by to see and approve what his group has done. Lou, not happy with the set colors, and Michael, helping with carpentry, agree that George should have been involved.

At Forte, Teresa feels that Dayana has never had a clear vision of their project, and even Patricia Velasquez, her fellow Venezuelan, has to agree that Dayana is having trouble keeping things on track. Dayana herself feels that being Project Manager is a lot of work, and very stressful.

The day of the unveiling dawns. Forte splits into two groups, with Deb and Lisa going to pick up sketches and the photographs taken the previous day, and the other women working on the actual set. Without the props, Aubrey places paper towels in the intended spots. Debbie and Lisa get stuck in traffic, and with the eleven a.m. deadline looming, it’s touch and go whether they’ll get to the store on time. And when they do, disaster strikes – due to a printing error, the photographs have not been included with the sketch pickup.

Unanimous are not too pleased to discover that Paul’s shop crew misinterpreted the size of the signage asked for – it won’t fit the brackets on the set. Adam’s frustrated that his vision isn’t coming together. Adam and Paul figure out a workaround, despite Lou’s constant ‘helpful’ suggestions.

Arsenio, Penn and Clay prepare the three sets of twins for the display, while George stands by idly. Clay interviews that he feels George gave away so much authority that he became superfluous to the project. Arsenio is surprised when Dee arrives to show solidarity, arm in a sling, with his hand bandaged and the news that it took four pins to repair the broken finger. (Ouch!) With minutes to spare, Unanimous send their living display up to be judged.

George’s presentation to the judges isn’t very smooth, as he stumbles over his words, and Clay’s name. But the windows look great. One unanticipated glitch, however, is that the nighttime set is too dark, and hard to see, especially with the glare of the glass windows. George tells Ivanka and Scott that the idea for using twin models was Penn’s, Paul was in charge of the signature banner, and Arsenio was the fashion stylist. He gives ‘props’ to the men, saying that most people were like Lou, not involved in the project. Lou is furious, turns green, and grows four sizes larger …. No, he doesn’t. But that muscle twitching in his cheek tells me that Lou is barely keeping his temper in check.

Dayana presents bouquets to Ivanka and Scott, while Teresa, Lisa, Tia and Debbie, dressed in Ivanka’s designs, welcome them with a little introductory speech, and applause. It’s just like when the Queen visits! In the windows, Dayana represents the origin of fashion inspiration, and Aubrey is featured as a designer being applauded for her runway show. Forte seems to think Ivanka likes their windows.

Scott of Lord & Taylor tells Ivanka that he thinks both teams did a good job, in the time allotted. The men’s window was very well executed, with impressive detail, as was the brand specific signage. She loved the concept of the twin models, but thought the evening presentation wasn’t as strong as the day.

Crunch time in the Board Room. Hopefully this week’s battle won’t drag on and on. The Donald immediately goes for the jugular, asking Dayana to explain her concept. Uncharacteristically, Dayana stumbles over her words, but eventually spits it out. She thinks they beat George’s team. Teresa says that Dayana was a good Project Manager, while Tia clarifies that the team worked well together, despite the many challenges. But who’s the weakest player, Dayana? When she insists that ‘no one’ was weak, Don Jr. asks her if she’ll be coming back to the Board Room alone, should they lose. They won’t lose, she says, but Trump insists she has to name someone, or she’ll be the one fired.

Trump then asks “very outspoken and very strong” Aubrey whom she’d chose, but Aubrey skillfully dodges the question, as she wasn’t the Project Manager. Despite Adam’s suggestion that they waterboard Aubrey to get an answer, she continues to elude them, citing instead the women that she would keep on the team, rather than the ones she would lose.

Moving the focus to the men, Trump praises the bravery of Dee, who’s come through his surgery and is back for his team. The guys applaud Dee. George feels that Unanimous did an outstanding presentation, and then outlines how each team member contributed. So how was George as a Project Manager? Clay says he thinks George did a perfectly fine job. Eric, however, blows Clay’s cover when he says that when he asked Clay how George was doing, Clay burst into laughter. Clay tries to do damage control, saying that this was their most difficult task so far, with teams at either end of the city. Arsenio says that George was a good manager for his favorite way to work, unsupervised. But was he too lax in management, asks Junior? Penn says that George continued the management style set in place from the first challenge, of assigning a task and expecting it to be completed properly. George defends himself by saying that he recognized people’s strengths, and let them run with what they did well.

So who won? Don Jr. says the women did well in their attention to detail, the use of the logo throughout the presentation, the vibrant and energetic ‘live’ presentation, and a clear understanding of the demographic of the Ivanka customer. But the judges did not like the electric fan being visible in the window, and the shoes were not visible from the street.

Eric tells the men that Paul’s sign was a highlight; in fact, Ivanka would like to use it instore. The judges loved Penn’s twin concept, and thought using Arsenio in the night scene, and Clay in the day, was terrific. The brand messaging, overall, was great. But it was hard to see the second (night) window, the color of the ‘day’ window’s background was a little bland, and the clothing was not appropriate for the sets. There didn’t seem to be any risks taken, with the overall presentation lacking in creativity.

The teams are then shown photos of the opposition’s windows. Patricia – as ‘the first Latino supermodel’ if she does say so herself – says that first off, she didn’t like that the ‘day’ window showed a man giving women orders. Dayana agrees, saying that Ivanka should have been shown as the ‘boss’ in the office scene. Penn says the women misinterpreted the scene, that, in fact, Clay was being given orders by the men. Trump asks why they picked Clay over, say, Lou, to be the model. George says that Clay is the youngest, while Lou is mature, and physically imposing, therefore inappropriate to be shown as the subordinate.

The men find the women’s scenes confusing, and very busy. Adam, appointing himself the ‘second Latino supermodel,’ says it is very colorful, but he can’t figure out what is going on. Michael wonders why the ‘Ivanka’ model was a brunette in one photo, and a redhead in the other. Lou says that the photo makes him want to go on a picnic. No, I can’t figure out why either.

So …. Who won? Turns out, it was the ladies, Team Forte, who caught Ivanka’s eye this week. I completely disagree, but my last name’s not Trump, so … Congratulations, ladies. Now go back to the suite and watch the men fight amongst themselves.

George is on the hot seat, as Trump asks whose idea it was to have the night set so dark that the logos were invisible, and Lou is happy to tattle that he mentioned that during the set building, but Adam was reluctant to call George for a second opinion. Adam says that there was no simulation of what the finished set would look like at street level. He did what George asked him to do. And Arsenio’s clothing choices for the red carpet scenario were not very elegant. George mentions that they chose clothing similar to what they’d seen Ivanka herself wear. Lou agrees that Arsenio could have picked better clothes, so Arsenio should be fired. Paul puts George forward to be fired, as the communication wasn’t very good. Clay praises George as a gay rights activist, but says that he’s not always present as a manager. Jobs weren’t so much delegated, as taken by people who thought they could do a good job on a task. Penn, always the diplomat, says he self-marginalized himself on this one, as he hasn’t a good visual eye, and leaves those decisions to those who have a better grasp of visual concepts. Arsenio, another diplomat, says that if his clothing choices caused the team to fail, then he should be fired, BUT – he didn’t think he could go wrong, since all of Ivanka’s collection is so wonderful. Adam says that everyone did their job, so if someone has to go, It has to be the leader. Respectfully, Penn has to agree with Adam. Dee, who wasn’t around for most of the project, is given a pass, due to his injury.

George is not so diplomatic when he chooses Arsenio, for his fashion choices, and Lou, for misunderstanding directions, as the two that he would bring back to the Board Room. It looks like George is visibly sweating over his decision. If Lou Hulks out, it’s gonna be Sayonara, Takei!

Lou again feels he shouldn’t be in the Board Room, on the firing line. He gave 110% - doesn’t this guy ever get tired? – and just wasn’t given anything to do. He reiterates that he was the one who noticed that the set was too dark, but no one would listen to him. George says that Lou was enthusiastic, but another team member asked George to ask Lou to step back a little, as Lou was in the way. Lou says George was not aggressive enough as a manager, and let Adam take over on the construction site. George should have been stronger throughout the project. Arsenio adds that George couldn’t be in two places at once, but they have the technology, via cell phones with photo and video capability, to circumvent that kind of problem. And there were people who didn’t know what to do with Lou, so he was shuttled around, rather than assigned a role.

Arsenio creatively defends his fashion choices for the red carpet scenario. Junior wonders why they didn’t use Ivanka herself as a consultant on the clothing. George says he wasn’t aware that they had access to Ivanka, but Trump points out that the women did call Ivanka to access both advice and the use of her jewelry line. George says it looks like it’s the leader that will have to take the fall, but wants to say that he’s enjoyed his experience working with the team members on the show, and hopes to stay in contact with some of them in the future.

Both Lou and Arsenio say that they have tremendous respect for George, but Trump trumps them by saying he himself has the most respect of all. Nevertheless, it’s hara-kiri time for George – and he’s fired. George says his only regret is that he couldn’t do more for his charity, the Japanese-American National Museum.

George Takei’s Limo Exit Interview: “Donald Trump is a very rare individual, and to be invited by him to participate was a thrilling experience. Being fired is no fun, it is excruciating, but I was the Project Manager. I held the responsibility for the success or failure of our team. We failed, and I have to make my peace with it.”

Related: Adam Carolla, Arsenio Hall, Aubrey O'Day, Clay Aiken, Dayana Mendoza, Debbie Gibson, Dee Snider, Donald Trump, George Takei, Ivanka Trump, Lisa Lampanelli, Lou Ferrigno, Michael Andretti, Patricia Velasquez, Paul Teutul Sr., Penn Jillette, Teresa Giudice, The Celebrity Apprentice, Tia Carrere, Starpulse Exclusives, Recaps, Television, Celebrity, Reality, Charity & Good Deeds, TV Networks, NBC

© 2012

Photo Credits: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC

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