The Celebrity Apprentice
Okay… okay… before anyone starts going all Trump all over my dupa for blogging this show this season… Let me quickly offer you my own convoluted rationale… And mindsets I have while watching this highly entertaining show. (By the way – The genius who thought we could handle watching 4 hours of “Celebrity Apprentice” within 24 hours – Needs to be fired… Seriously…)
I, like so many of you, vowed never to watch another “Trump” event because quite frankly his ego and outlandish arrogance sucks the life out of me every single time. But as a reality show fan, I have a problem because I really like the premise of the show. Honestly, I had to completely suspend my preconceived notion that the show might actually be about finding a celebrity who can operate in a business environment in a managerial role – Or someone who could actually become somewhat of an “apprentice” to Donald Trump – Even though the name of the show would suggest otherwise. The show often seems like it’s less to do about a “celebrity’s” ability to skillfully lead a complicated task to its successful completion, and instead is often about a celebrities being able to extract money quickly from their rich friends. Many of the monetary donations are clearly prearranged before the season even begins.
The show is basically a one (or two) hour infomercial for the weekly sponsor of choice – BUT it also raises a massive amount of money for a charity. Stir in some celebrity drama and an opportunity to watch celebrities flail around in a business environment like fish out of water – and you have recipe for disaster – I’m all in.
Oh, and then there’s also watching Trump’s massive ego that floats around the streets of New York like a balloon head in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – And Trump’s face is just as expressive. Sometimes I wish I had a pin to toss at Trump’s highly inflated ego so I could watch it deflate… Trump surrounds himself with people who seem committed to continually pump up his immense ego and it’s amusing to watch. Unfortunately, many of those who accompany him in the Boardroom are reduced to glorified “Yes-Man” bobbleheads…But that’s also entertaining.
I have also made peace with the fact that I rarely agree with Trump’s nonsensical and seemingly fickle whims on who he fires each week. But again, love him or hate him – He and his wonky hair are laughing all the way to the bank while most of us are just watching him on TV.
I guess the bottom line for me is that I am all for charities benefitting from a TV show (Over 13 million has been raised thus far) – Whether Trump also benefits from it or not. Plus, I actually don’t know that it benefits Trump all that much because much of the show just exposes his truly bizarre treatment of various types of people, his mind-bending thought processes, and his depth and breadth of his supreme ego.
Join us weekly as we point and laugh at the show and its participants together! The following are the teams – Yes, Trump is STILL unoriginally and archaically arranging teams by gender. Seriously? Give me a break… I feel like we’re picking teams on a child’s playground in 1904 or something. I’ve combined information gleaned and combined from the www.NBC.com site and from the episode itself to show you the teams, the snipped of how NBC chose to introduce each celebrity, and info about each celebrity’s charity of choice, as follows:
GERALDO RIVERA – “Award winning journalist, war correspondent, and talk show host” playing for: Life’s WORC [Mission is to facilitate an independent and productive life experience for individuals with developmental disabilities and autism.] – http://www.lifesworc.org/
GILBERT GOTTFRIED – “Actor and Legendary Comedian” playing for: Autism Speaks [Dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.] – http://www.autismspeaks.org/
IAN ZIERING – “Television icon and shark slayer” playing for: Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation [Is dedicated to helping medical scientists learn more about EB, its causes, treatments and, hopefully, its cure.] – http://www.ebkids.org/
JOHNNY DAMON – “2-time world series champion” playing for: The Johnny Damon Foundation [Raises and donates funds to many charitable organizations, including local and national programs that provide leadership and growth opportunities for disadvantaged children at risk.] – http://johnnydamon.com/
KEVIN JONAS – “Grammy nominated and multi-platinum musician” playing for: Convoy of Hope [An international humanitarian-relief organization that works through churches, businesses, government agencies and other nonprofits to help the impoverished, hungry and hurting.] – http://www.convoyofhope.org/
LORENZO LAMAS – “Golden Globe nominated actor” playing for: Boot Campaign [Helps soldiers adjust to civilian life by assisting with jobs, housing, wellness, urgent assistance and family support.] –http://www.bootcampaign.com/
SIG HANSEN – “Star of ‘Deadliest Catch’ and Captain of the ‘Northwestern’” playing for: Coast Guard Foundation [Is dedicated to enhancing the lives of the men and women of the Coast Guard, as well as their families.]– http://www.coastguardfoundation.org/
TERRELL OWENS – “NFL wide receiver and 5-time probowler” playing for: Boys & Girls Clubs of America[Gives kids a positive place to hang out after school and offers programs and services to promote and enhance the development of kids by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence.] – http://www.bgca.org/
BRANDI GLANVILLE – “Bestselling author and reality mega-star” playing for: Make-a-Wish [Dedicated to enriching the lives of children suffering from life-threatening medical conditions by granting them a wish.] –http://wish.org/
JAMIE ANDERSON – “Olympic gold medal snowboarder” playing for: Protect Our Winters [Mission is to mobilize the winter sports community in leading the fight against climate change.] – http://protectourwinters.org/
KATE GOSSELIN – “TV personality and famous mother of 8” playing for: Camp Barnabas [A Christian camp for kids with life-threatening illnesses and disabilities and their siblings.] – http://www.campbarnabas.org/
KEISHA KNIGHT PULLIAM – “America’s Sweetheart and Television icon” playing for: Kamp Kizzy Foundation [A summer camp that brings kids together from the ages of 11-16 to work on their self-esteem and empowerment, and to encourage them to dream big and accomplish big.] – http://kampkizzy.org/
KENYA MOORE – “Former ‘Miss USA’ and Star of the ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’” playing for: Detroit Public Schools Foundation [The foundation raises, manages and stewards funds and other resources to support value-added programs and activities for the benefit of the Detroit Public Schools. ] – http://detroitpsfoundation.org/
LEEZA GIBBONS – “Journalist, News Personality, and Best-selling Author” playing for: Leeza’s Care Connection[“A Place for Caregivers” is a community gathering place, resource center and support system for family caregivers of someone with a memory disorder, a chronic illness and/or a progressive illness.] – http://www.leezascareconnection.org/
SHAWN JOHNSON – “Gold Medal Olympian and world class gymnast” playing for: Character Counts in Iowa[Promotes civility and helps Iowans practice and recognize good character.] – www.charactercountsiniowa.org
VIVICA A. FOX – “Movie Star” playing for: Best Buddies International [Consists of volunteers who create opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.] – http://www.bestbuddies.org/
“MAY THE GODS OF GOOD PIES BE WITH US”
The first episode of the season begins with the contestants shivering to death as they stand outside at Rockefeller Center, Gilbert dares to ask the question about why they are standing outside in the freezing cold when they could be easily inside in a warm office. Trump, because he is, after all, Trump – Couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make a political jab about global warming. I don’t know how cold it was… but the fur on top of Trump’s head was wearing a Burberry coat.
Okay, this is a physical comic’s dream – The celebrities will be working with Pie Face Shops to sell pies (No, not pizza – Actual normal pies…lol). The teams must create 2 original types of pie (One savory and one sweet) to sell to raise money for their charity. There is a bonus – The Cake Boss, Buddy Valastro, will magically show up and judge each team’s pies and will determine which team’s pies are the tastiest. An undisclosed amount of money will be awarded to the winning team’s total. As usual, the winning team will not only win the money their team makes for the Project Manager’s charity of choice – but they will also win the losing team’s money as well.
Ivanka Trump – Trump’s daughter who I like very much but I also feel sorry for her for some inexplicable reason
Piers (I wish he would take a long walk off a short one) Morgan – A previous Celebrity Apprentice winner whose arrogance is superseded only by Trump’s
As the teams warm up in their respective offices, it only takes about 3.8 seconds for Brandi and Kenya to clash about their team name. Kenya brought up, “Team Infinity” and Brandi wants “Team Gold.” I dunno… one is already the name of a type of car and the other is pretty danged unimaginative. Kenya gets her way and can’t resist rubbing it in Brandi’s face. No one wants to be Project Manager (PM) for the task… and Keisha says that she’s open to whatever the other women want. Vivica nominates Keisha, who is looking forward to making money for her charity, and Jamie seconds the nomination and so a PM is born. Piers (I wish he would take a long walk off a short one) visits, cautions them that they need to focus on the goal of the task, and questions Keisha being the first PM. Keisha replies, “No risk – No reward.”
The guys are glad they’re not working with the women. Evidently, Geraldo, singlehandedly has decided their team name should be, “Vortex” and wants to move quickly on to the next order of business. Ian (don’t you DARE mispronounce his mispronounced name, dagnabit) and Kevin are hesitant about moving forward so quickly. Another option, “Velocity” seems to have too many syllables for Geraldo. The guys finally give in to the ass that was Geraldo because the men just don’t want to listen to Geraldo anymore so they, like they do so often, just give in to him. I think it’s appropriate to call the men’s team, “Vortex” because it accurately describes their team as “a mass of whirling air,” no?
As they begin to talk about who should be PM, Terrell nominates Geraldo who insists on a unanimous vote of confidence before accepting the role which only further inflates his overinflated ego. As soon as Ian makes sure Geraldo has the contacts and resources to make money for the challenge (because I’m sure he doesn’t even know who Geraldo is), everyone concedes. Geraldo confirms he has resources when he says, “I know some high rollers.” Geraldo thinks that since he’s survived being a war correspondent… that this challenge will probably not be so daunting. I expect there will be a war or two that will break out during the challenge. Ivanka comes in to check on their progress and is pleased.
Meanwhile, the women are deciding about the types of pies they want to make. Keisha can’t decide between a pear or blueberry pie and Jamie comes up with the idea to combine them into one pie. The savory pie is going to be an enchilada/taco pie. Jamie free-styles (gratuitous snowboarding terminology reference) the ingredients for the sweet pie while Kate took responsibility for the savory. The pressure to make hundreds of pies seems to rest squarely on Jamie and Kate for some inexplicable reason.
Shawn (the youngest player) is in charge of social media and immediately uses terminology that’s seemingly over most of their heads – It’s hilarious. Most of the women are sitting around tables in the front of the store working on social media while Jamie and Kate are left to work on making the actual pies.
The men have yet another meeting that rehashed what they had already decided much to Kevin’s chagrin. Geraldo wants to make sure everyone has done their social media before they get to work… Geraldo announces he will be in a corner making money… Kevin thinks this meeting is a waste of time…
The guys decide to go with Lorenzo’s low calorie version of chicken pot pie. Lorenzo knows he has rich friends but that he can’t possibly compete with the contacts that Geraldo might have so he tries to contribute to the team’s success in other ways. The sweet pie is based on Kevin’s wife’s icebox (chocolate/vanilla) cake recipe. It takes all of like 6.8 minutes for the guys to burn about 600 mini pie crusts…lol. I’ve got to give the men credit – I didn’t hear one complaint about the task being about making pies. However, I think I would be remiss if I didn’t include at least one semi-risqué reference to “cherry pie” during this task – So I offer you this oldie but goodie song selection:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjyZKfdwlng – Watch at your own risk. By the way… this song is 25 years old…Ack!
Execution of the Task
The women seem a little bit all over the place but Keisha is content to stay in one place and just count money. She’s clearly comfortable doing a finite job rather than overseeing the entire project. However, to be fair – earlier the women were complaining that she was too much of a micro-manager. “Gone with the wind fabulous” Kenya is already painting a target on Keisha and criticizes her for not focusing on bringing big donors in the door. Kenya is shocked that Keisha didn’t call Bill Cosby to ask for a donation.
Thanks to Gilbert, the men have created a fun, carnival type of atmosphere in front of the store which included a fire eater, a Howard Stern lookalike, and Joe Piscopo. All of their hard work resulted in huge lines stretching around buildings, etc. and impressed Piers (I wish he would take a long walk on a short one). Huge donations seem to be rolling in and Geraldo gleefully announces each one. To be honest, I kind of glossed over the names – Except that “Hooters” donated $5,000…to the men… on a task involving making pies… (I’m biting my tongue and trying so hard to be good).
Geraldo thinks the men’s team did pretty well. Keisha thinks the women’s team had an amazing turnout and that they worked well together. Trump prompts Keisha, “Do you think you won?” Keisha said that it was their goal to win and that they did their best. So ummm… that’s a, “No, Mr. Trump.” lol.
Trump tries to convince us that he hates to fire people unless they lie, cheat or steal. I suppose that’s probably true in his business environment – but he seems to take a perverse joy in screwing with people in the boardroom…lol. But of course, this is TV, no?
Keisha is asked who the “star” was of her team for the task. Keisha applauds Leeza because she brought in the most money. She also praises Jamie, Kate, and Shawn because they did all of the baking of the pies. Vivica says Keisha did a good job. Shawn copped to thinking they may NOT have won and that there was some chaos during the task. There was talk about how there were strong players on the men’s side who probably brought in big checks and who had more access to better fundraising opportunities. Piers (I wish he would take a long walk on a short one).… says that working hard as a team is fine… but that you have to focus on making money in order to win against someone like Geraldo. He’s right – This task was all about dollars. Kenya identifies Keisha as the weakest on the team because she only brought in $7,000 and that they didn’t have a directive on the timelines, etc. for the task. Shawn thinks they focused more on winning the bonus prize by concentrating on the taste of the pies than on fundraising.
Geraldo starts off talking about how “Vortex” is such, “a powerful name for a powerful team.” Omg… Can you please pump up yourself any more – we ALL know YOU came up with the name. I still think it just means ya’ll are a swirling bunch of air (in this case, a bunch of HOT air).
Gilbert says he thinks their team did a good job unless Trump thinks they did not – then he would change his mind to think that way, too. Geraldo, to his credit, says that Gilbert really stepped up and got people there and got checks in the door. He goes on to say that Gilbert could be easily underestimated. Wow… That was big. I really like that he said that in front of Trump.
Of course, as the PM, Geraldo was asked who brought in the most money, etc. Geraldo doesn’t seem to have a grasp on how much each team member raised. It may be that he just didn’t want to throw anyone under the bus, I don’t know. He was specifically asked about Ian and Lorenzo – and Geraldo can’t answer the question. Ivanka says that Lorenzo raised $100 dollars. Ian (Remember, don’t mispronounce his name, dagnabit) says he thinks he brought in somewhere between $7,000 – $9,000. It also comes out that Terrell raised around $700 – $900.
Talk ensued about how players might be holding back donations for their own PM tasks down the line. Ummm… duh! Of COURSE they are, wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t you want your donors to give to YOUR charity rather than to someone else’s, if possible? Puhleeze.
Geraldo is asked who should be fired if they lose. He says in terms of arithmetic it should be Lorenzo or Ian. Huh? Didn’t we just learn that Terrell only brought in $700 – $900 while Ian brought in $7,000 – $9,000? I mean is this new math or what? Kevin quickly points that it’s surprising that the PM doesn’t know how much money each person brought in. I kind of agree – Of course the PM is going to be asked about this in the Boardroom. Surely they know this, right?
It’s time to find out the final assessments by “The Cake Boss,” Buddy Valastro. The guy’s team savory pie’s dough was good but the low calorie filling lacked salt. The filling of the chocolate/vanilla pie was good but the crust was burnt. Buddy liked the look of the women’s savory pie – but there were just too many flavors going on. However, he LOVED their sweet pear/blueberry pie. The women’s team wins – and the prize is an extra $25,000 to be added to their total. Jamie is rightly credited with the idea for the sweet pie that won them this bonus.
According to Piers (I wish he would take a long walk off a short one), the women’s team, “Infinity” has the $25,000 bonus from Toshiba, plus they raised an additional $68,412 –
Bringing their total to $93,862. Huh, what? Cuz according to my calculations, the two quoted numbers only add up to $93,412, right? I mean am I hallucinating or again, is this new math? I watched and rewatched it several times to make sure I correctly heard the numbers he quoted. I checked the NBC.com site and even tonight as of this moment, they also confirm those numbers in their episode guide. Come on, people! I think Piers (I wish he would take a long walk off a short one) should be fired for this, no?
However, no matter how you look at the number, Team “Vortex” SLAYED them because they brought in a whopping $185,322. Holy crap on a cracker! Almost TWICE of what the women brought in and it means that Geraldo’s charity wins around is $278,734! See – This is the whole reason I watch… I LOVE it when charities make money… The men go on their merry way while the women are left to throw each other under the bus.
Keisha is screwed… let’s just be honest. She is way too nice to survive Trump’s grilling. She’s also swimming with sharks on her team who will eat her up and spit her out. Keisha says they did the best they could with the resources they had. She’s kind of right – If you look at the makeup of both teams, it seems to me that the men’s team is stacked to win a challenge like this. The women’s team just doesn’t have the star power. Even if you take all of the women’s twitter followers and add them together they still don’t even come close to the 4.7 million twitter followers that Kevin Jonas alone has…
In addition, the 2 athletes on the women’s team are Olympic athletes in sports (gymnastics and snowboarding) that are generally not designed to bring in weekly viewers. However, the men’s team has 2 well known professional athletes (baseball and football).
Keisha tries to defend herself by saying she focused on the taste of the pies because she knew if they won the bonus that it would for a substantial amount of money. Jamie, Kate and Shawn didn’t have substantial checks…Kate didn’t actually raise any money. Come on… You’re on a show like this and you can’t bring in anything? Wow. Kate throws Keisha under the bus by saying she was never actually given a task to do. Brandi rolls her eyes and disagrees. Brandi says that Kate is “lazy.” Whoa… lol… Rut roh boys and girls – This is a setup for a future war, I think…Jamie and Piers (I wish he would take a long walk off a short one) disagree with Brandi and stick up for Kate.
Vivica tearfully says that she was proud of Keisha and that she put her best foot forward. At some point Trump loudly calls for a box of tissue for Vivica. See, this is what pisses me off about Trump – He pretends to be okay with emotion and then simultaneously humiliates the person who is showing the emotion. Ugh!
Then Kenya, the instigator, points out that if she were “Rudy Huxtable” that she for SURE would have called her TV dad. Keisha says that she has not talked to Bill Cosby for over 5 years – and that it’s not her place to call him. Everyone jumps on and seems to feel the same way about it as Kenya. Puhleeze, that show was on 23 years ago – and who KNOWS what kind of relationship or lack thereof that Keisha has with Cosby now… Why on earth should she be held to that unrealistic standard? That’s just wonky to me… and it makes it even worse in light of the current allegations against said beloved TV dad.
Then they start pounding Keisha for taking on the role of PM on a fundraising task when she didn’t have a lot of donors ready in her pocket. Everyone is conveniently forgetting that NONE of the women wanted to be PM on this first task. They’re right, though – Keisha should have waited to be PM on a task that didn’t require fundraising. The fact is that none of the women were stepping up to be PM on this task at all. And now Keisha is being criticized for it? See – this is what makes my head spin. Sure, call Keisha out on not giving clear directions, her management of the task, or on not having a cohesive plan of attack for the task… but not for stepping up to be PM when no one else would do it. Puhleeze.
Keisha makes the decision to bring in Jamie and Kate back into the Boardroom with her. I think that’s a mistake. She made the decision based on who brought in the least amount of money. This is not looking good for Keisha. The men who are watching think the PM is gonna be fired. I agree.
Trump starts off by saying there are no losers here. That was kind of a nice thing to say just before you’re going to have to fire someone. Trump asks Keisha why she brought in Jaimie when she was responsible for the idea and the execution of the sweet pie that won them the $25,000 bonus. Keisha says that the sweet pie was a group effort and Jamie’s portion of the contribution equaled only about $5,000 of the total. She explains that she took the money and divided it between all of those who participated in the making of the pie. It was pointed out that Keisha was smart to spin it that way – because it brought Jamie’s total contribution lower than Keisha’s.
Jamie was asked who should be fired. Jamie does not want to say one way or another and suggests a coin flip. Yeah, cuz that defense works so well with Trump…lol. Piers (I know you’re sick of reading it so I won’t tell him to take a long walk off a short pier this time) advises Jamie that she should absolutely destroy and decimate her competitors. He likens it to what her attitude is when she competes in sports. Ummm… Piers – She’s a snowboarder… and they’re all mostly way, WAY too chill to kill… lol.
Trump is giving Kamp Kizzy $25,000 (We all know what this means…) Trump tells Keisha that she didn’t make one important call (To Cosby) – And that even if they hadn’t spoken in years that she should have made the call for charity. He tells her, “You have to take responsibility… and Keisha – You’re fired.”
I think Keisha might have been fired because she is too nice, couldn’t really defend herself, and she doesn’t bring much drama potential and therefore isn’t great TV for a show like this. It also might have helped if she were blonde. But that’s just my opinion…lol.
Amusing Stuff that Happened
~~ Of course, Gilbert provides comedy relief at all turns. At one point, as Gilbert is putting on some rubber gloves, he laughingly asks Geraldo if he’s ready for his prostate exam. Geraldo is so not amused. In fact, Geraldo was very dismissive of Gilbert – And goes so far as to tell him to, “Go supervise the balloons.” Gilbert, because he IS a comedy genius, turns it around and creates an entire comedy shtick about “Supervising Balloons.” Gilbert is the Gary Busey of this season…lol
~~ One of the donors would only give a check if Brandi hit Kenya in the face with a whipped cream pie. But Kenya had her own plans and also hit Brandi with a pie. I think this was supposed to be a dramatic moment – but it wasn’t.
~~ After the Boardroom, when the guys are in a circle and toasting their win by holding up their glasses, Terrell holds up a bowl of nuts. That was just so danged amusing to me. He may or may not have been the only one not drinking – but he was for sure the only one toasting with a bowl of nuts. Cuz, sometimes you feel like a nut – Sometimes you don’t… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bz-p1gH1nGc
~~ Now, I might have been hallucinating or bleaching my eyes from watching 2 hours of Celebrity Apprentice – but I honestly do NOT remember seeing Bravo Andy during the show at all. But I do have a picture… So I wanted to you to see it…lol… Like I said, I may have blinked or something… (I’m sure I did…)
Interesting Things We Learn
~~ When Keisha talks about being on the “Cosby Show” she refers to Bill Cosby as, “Mr. Cosby.”
~~ Geraldo must think he’s the biggest celebrity draw on his team because his marketing materials featured a ginormous picture of himself with a much smaller picture of the rest of the team. Hardee har har har.
~~ There must be a future fight between Brandi and Kate because Brandi openly criticizes her for being “lazy.” Kate was greeting people at the door during the task and even though Kate was 1 of like 2 people who physically made all the pies for the task – She was identified as being “lazy.” While I think Kate appears like she just could be a little bitchy, overbearing, and seems to be a control freak – I’m not sure that I would characterize her as “lazy.” I mean, after all – She has 8 freakin’ kids…
~~ Sig knows that Johnny is a huge hero in this town and says that Johnny, “Could serve salt water from the ocean and the women would drink it.”
~~ Kate, while talking about Keisha’s micromanaging style, says that, “Keisha wanted her hand in every pie – No pun intended.”
~~ While the guys are watching the Boardroom grilling of Keisha by Kenya in the comfort of their plush suite, one of the guys muses, “Imagine being married to Kenya – You’d be sleeping with one eye open.” Another guy agrees and says, “That’s why we’re not.” Lol.
That’s it for this time, guys… I know there were another two Celebrity Apprentice shows aired on Monday night and those blogs will be posted later this week. There was just no way to blog 4 hours of Celebrity Apprentice within 24 hours without losing sanity. In fact, it may already be too late…lol. Whoever thought it was a good idea to air the shows back-to-back like that should be fired. Seriously.
Thanks for reading and until next time, Happy trails!