'All-Star Celebrity Apprentice': Should Have Gone With The Ferris Wheel, Claudia
March 25th, 2013 1:33pm EDT
Last week, LaToya Jackson learned the hard way that trying to outwit Omarosa and Donald Trump by avoiding Board Room confrontation was her fast track to being fired. Omarosa gloated over her rival’s termination, and plotted revenge against Claudia Jordan. Gary Busey was again called out by his team for being a distraction, and the weakest member of Plan B. A little bit of power went to Stephen Baldwin’s head, and he was able to give his win of $50k to his mother’s charity, The Carol Baldwin Breast Cancer Foundation. Carol Baldwin threatened the ‘very sexy’ Donald Trump with a good time. “I think he’s so sexy. Ahhhhhhh, if I were younger — and let me tell you I was very thin and I had a great figure — I would give his wife a run for her money.”
How can you top an opening like that? Lil Jon knows, the minute he sees the red cowboy boots that can only mean one thing … tiny beauty mogul Farouk Shami is back! And he’s brought his son, the president of Farouk Systems, Basim Shami with him.
The Trumpster is thrilled to describe this week’s assignment; the teams will be creating interactive marketing campaigns using glass trucks to promote Farouk Systems. This week’s advisors are Donald Junior, and Arsenio Hall.
Farouk explains that each team will have a product to promote, either Chi or BioSilk. Basim stammers that the teams will present an interactive and social marketing event to the public in the Flat Iron district. The events will be judged on creativity, brand messaging, and the overall experience. The winning team will get $20k from the Donald, while Farouk Systems will add $30k, and an additional $1.00 for every Facebook ‘like.’
Choosing the project managers is easy for Team Power, as Omarosa essentially bullies Claudia into taking the job. Could it be that Omarosa’s revenge is already being put into place? But on Plan B, confusion reigns … no one has a clue as to what Farouk Systems is. Marilu Henner decides she’ll take on the position.
Claudia’s team discovers that they will be promoting Chi, a product that Claudia says she uses every day. Farouk and Basim arrive, hugging and kissing the celebrities. Lil Jon thinks they might have a little advantage, as his team won the last time Farouk Systems sponsored a challenge. Farouk tosses a hair dryer to the ground, and says that his brand message is simple; beautiful, and American. He’s open to what marketing plan the celebs want to go with.
Claudia has friends in the modeling business, so she’s thinking they should bring in beautiful girls, with great hair. Dennis Rodman thinks they should have homeless women on a Ferris wheel. Or drag queens! Or dogs! Dennis concedes that Claudia might have the better idea. Omarosa basically lays back, contributing nothing, and zings that Claudia is a follower, not a leader.
During an impromptu rap brainstorming session, Lil Jon comes up with a concept … the traditional Uncle Sam recruiting poster, but featuring “Chi Wants You” as the slogan, and Lil Jon as the Uncle. Done, and done!
Over at Plan B headquarters, Marilu is enthusiastic about the task and the Biosilk product. She puts the littlest Baldwin in charge of Marketing; Penn Jillette’s the guy for ‘big ideas’; Lisa Rinna will head up design; Trace Adkins is the construction guy. And Gary … are you kidding? She assigns Gary to be the team accountant.
Farouk arrives and tells them that God created silk as the best material for hair care, and that’s the secret ingredient in Biosilk. He then sprinkles a white powder over Marilu’s head, which Basim explains will give volume to her hair. She looks less than enthusiastic.
Farouk Systems has used models from Miss Universe and Miss USA in the past, and that gives Marilu an idea. She’s been a judge for the Miss USA pageant. She immediately calls a contact. But as she talks, Stephen injects constantly and loudly that she should mention publicist Matt Rich, whom Stephen has apparently worked with before. Stephen’s success at the previous task has gone to his head, and he now thinks that he is one of the better players on his team.
Both teams visit the depot where their glass trucks await. Marilu has a ton of ideas for Plan B; bring in two hair dresser chairs, silk, a rug … Stephen interviews that she’s ping ponging all over the place. He’s got a few ideas, mainly a catchphrase of “Live Life Luscious.” Trace hates it. Stephen says that Trace is from Tennessee and washes his hair with lard, but he himself is in the business and knows better. Trace, Grumpy Cat of the year, proposes “Experience Silk,” but then is dismayed when Marilu loves his words. “Ah, now you’re gonna blame me for it all. I just pulled my pecker out and showed it to everybody.”
Gary wants to be the Angel of Silk, so they’re gonna need some costumes. Penn thinks that having Gary run around in his usual crazy way will get the crowd talking. Gary, Trace and Lisa head off to buy props and fabric. Gary takes his accounting job very seriously … and then loses the bag with the money. The bag is found on the floor of their van. On the way back to the garage, Gary accuses Lina of releasing a symphony of farts.
Stephen’s publicity contact assures Marilu that she’ll have all the pageant winners at her event, including the current Miss USA.
Team Power’s Claudia is certain that her past as Miss Rhode Island will be an advantage. Since the current Miss RI – who is also Miss USA - recently won the pageant, she’ll ask her to be their model! She has no idea that Marilu’s already scooped her. Omarosa continues to be a drain on the team, so it’s no surprise that the atmosphere lightens when she and Dennis are sent out for props and costumes. Dennis buys a foam head of Donald Trump. Four hours later, they return with only 4 of the items on Claudia’s very long list.
Claudia’s plan is to stage a photo shoot within the truck; the client has her hair done, then enters the truck for the shoot, before coming out the other side and being given products to take home. A photographer arrives, and the celebs all have their photo taken with the Chi product.
When Marilu discovers that Miss USA is now on Plan B’s team, they have to rethink their project. What famous celebrities have horrible hair, they wonder? Well gee... there’s Donald Trump! Brande Roderick finds an agency that specializes in impersonators, including a Trump lookalike, but as she and the agent talk over speakerphone, she is told that Donald Trump has died. No, not the real one, the imposter! But the celebs who overhear the conversation go into a panic. Could be a bad omen, says Lil Jon, but we’ll just keep pushing.
It’s the morning of the event, and Plan B begins setting up. Gary is everywhere, getting in the way, and occasionally yelling that he is the “Angel of Silk.” Team Power is nowhere in sight. By the time Claudia and her team arrive, Plan B is ready to go, and already assuming that Power had a complete meltdown.
Despite Dennis and Omarosa taking their sweet time picking up items they failed to get the previous day, Claudia gets her project set up, and is feeling good about the presentation. Omarosa bursts Claudia’s bubble when she tells her that the other team has an actual stylist inside their glass truck, doing hair. Too little, too late, they have to go with what they’ve got.
Meanwhile Plan B are up and running, with Gary and Penn rousing the crowd, Trace on top of their truck, performing, and the pageant beauties milling about. It’s a spectacle, and just the sort of thing Farouk likes to see.
Team Power has their own crowd. Claudia is veering between terrified and confidant with her presentation. They have their own pageant lovelies, a stylist beautifying passersby’s who have their glamor shots done, and finish the experience by being interviewed by a Joan Rivers impersonator. It’s fun! And Omarosa can’t stop finding things wrong with everything.
Dennis wanders over to the enemy camp, posing with the beauties, to Trace’s joy. “He’s their biggest draw!” Don Junior and Arsenio check out both events. Arsenio is delighted with Lil Jon’s Uncle Sam costume. Claudia tells Junior that Omarosa and Dennis are her weakest team members. When Farouk pops by, Claudia shows him her integrated marketing of scan able bar codes that take the scanner directly to the Farouk web and Facebook pages.
As Farouk arrives at Plan B’s site, Stephen tells Marilu she should be prepared for him to intercede and explain their marketing. Farouk’s delighted to see the spectacle, and beams as he hugs the beauties. He later tells Junior and Arsenio that Marilu’s presentation wins for creativity, energy and teamwork, but Claudia had superior branding and messaging.
And so, to the Board Room. Claudia, in full beauty pageant mode, tells the Donald that her team definitely won – they had the best event, and the best branding. Omarosa agrees, as does Brande, and both give Claudia kudos for her management. Claudia calls Brande her star, and Dennis as her weakest player.
Junior tattles that Claudia called both Omarosa and Dennis her weakest players when he spoke to her at the event. She agrees, but clearly doesn’t want to be torn apart by Omarosa. Omarosa jumps in, saying that the work she and Dennis did has as much value as the work the rest of the team did.
Marilu stumbles over her words when asked who was her weakest player, but finally admits to it being Gary again, although he worked 10 times harder than on previous tasks. He just has a different skill set, she says. Penn is exuberant about their work, and says that Trace, on top of their truck, could see both events clearly. Theirs was better attended. Trace says, “nobody jugglin’ fire. Wasn’t the same.”
The littlest Baldwin grudgingly concedes that Marilu was a good project manager, although she sometimes got distracted. He compares her to Gary, saying it’s a personality thing. Marilu defends herself saying that it has to do with how fast her brain works, which is not at all about distraction.
Junior tells them how pleased Farouk was with Marilu’s presentation, but that he wasn’t impressed with the “Experience Silk” catchphrase. Stephen smirks. Marilu reluctantly says that she’d bring back Gary and Trace should her team lose, because the only negative was Trace’s slogan.
Arsenio discusses the pros and cons of Claudia’s team, in Farouk’s eyes. He loved Lil Jon, the slogan, and the American branding. But they felt the glass truck was underused. The Donald adds that the execs liked both team’s efforts, but they liked one teams much more than the other … and that was Marilu’s.
Plan B are delighted, Marilu cries, and they all practically skip from the room. Claudia’s devastated. She hates this part, knowing that someone’s going to be leaving, and it might well be her. She feels that she made the product the star, but Farouk preferred how the other team used their glass truck. Anyway, they lost.
So – pick two people to come back in to the Board Room, Claudia. Unbelievably, she picks Dennis … and Lil Jon. Everyone – especially Omarosa – is surprised. And Trump says it’s the second most shocking pick ever in the history of the show. Arsenio again says that people are afraid to battle Omarosa in the Board Room. Omarosa defends herself, saying she worked her butt off during the challenge. Claudia asks if she can change her mind, but is told no.
In Reception, Claudia asks Lil Jon to help her get rid of Dennis, the team’s dead weight. He says they can try. Dennis, standing a few feet away, does not try to kill them. Now THAT is far more shocking, Mr. Trump.
Back in the Board Room, Claudia explains her choice. Lil Jon is the marketing genius of the group, but he lost the challenge for them. Don Junior disagrees, saying that Lil Jon’s branding was the one aspect their team excelled in.
Dennis says he’s used to being in the hot seat, and it could go either way. Lil Jon says that each of their team brought what they could to the group, Dennis maybe brought just a little less, but he was always willing. Lil Jon would have brought back Omarosa and Dennis. He feels he was brought back in because Claudia is afraid of Omarosa.
Claudia disagrees. She brought Dennis back because he didn’t participate in their rap brainstorming session. Dennis can’t even remember that moment. He blames Claudia for having the salon outside the glass truck, and says he didn’t contribute more because she had him and Omarosa driving all around town getting props.
Trump is surprised to hear that the Trump impersonator passed away, and wonders if he should go to the fellow’s funeral. But doesn’t Claudia understand that, as project manager, she’s in danger? Dennis tries to come to Claudia’s defense, but Trump just says that the onus falls on Claudia as project manager. Claudia, you’re fired.
Claudia’s exit interview: “I wasn’t afraid of going up against Omarosa in the Board Room. That’s not the issue. I do think she probably played a little Jedi mind trick on me as well, but … I won today. I won. We made people happy today and feel beautiful and there’s no way you can feel sorrow about that. So, I’m in a good place.“
Next time on, Celebrity Apprentice: Piers is back, with an axe to grind. And he wants to use it on Omarosa. “You’ve got to work out who’s going to be the Fall Guy in the Board Room.” But if you mess with Oma, expect the unexpected. “I have a knack of coming out of tough situations.” Then, you’ve seen nasty Board Rooms before, but nothing quite like this.
Photo Credits: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC