So for those of you on the edges of your seats wondering what happened with my Clogged Sink Saga, here’s the thrilling conclusion. The plumber came and was completely hornswaggled until a little investigation revealed the problem: nails and pieces of wood in our pipes. How did our pipes come to possess nails and pieces of wood, you might ask? I have no idea. Perhaps our house is just trying to self-destruct rather than live with us.
Anyway, there’s that. Here’s Celebrity Apprentice.So we pick up where we left off last week: in the boardroom, with four schmucks sitting in front of The Donald, two of whom are about to be fired. I’m wondering how this is going to happen, as in the past couple of seasons we’ve dispensed with the HARD-HITTING interview pleasantries and just fired folks depending on what color socks they happen to be wearing. But since this is Celebrity Apprentice, Trump is pulling out all the stops. The interviews WILL happen, and will be conducted by my favorite little finance imp, Jim Cramer, and some woman. Oh, it’s an anchor from CNBC. Hey, where are the HARD-HITTING corporate monkeys? I demand the CEO of Mr. Clean or some other random product to come grill these candidates. Who better to judge celebrities and their business tactics than the Director of Creative Development of Chia Pets?
Oh well. Let the sweaty excitement begin! Time to cue up the ole Interview Montage. Piers, Trace, and Carol all outline their charities nicely, although the shots of them and the interviewer keep changing from Jim to the CNBC girl while the candidate is talking, causing me to conclude that there is in fact only one CNBC employee, and it is a shapeshifter. Lennox attempts to describe his charity by forming sentences, and fails on both accounts. There is also much bashing of Piers and his ruthless strategies. But, as always, I am far too distracted by the hilarious antics of little Jimmy Cramer. He squawks at everyone and bugs his eyes out of his head and does his little imp dance, and I am delighted.
“Bring me The Precious!”
“Why is that garden gnome talking?”
Afterwards, The Donald meets with the interviewers, who have come to the following conclusions about the candidates: Piers is a dick, Carol is gorgeous (“a KNOCKOUT!” Jim imps), Lennox is boring, and Trace is an adorable teddy bear. Groundbreaking insights you’ve made there, kids. Jim recommends Carol and Trace, and we are left hanging as Trump asks Erin for her recommendations. But this is all pointless anyway. We already know he’s going with Piers and Trace. Is there any question at this point?
Well, apparently there is, because we are forced to go through yet another boardroom session. Lennox incorrectly claims to have done a great job, Trace decries the feral raccoon qualities of one Jim Cramer, and Piers is yet again bashed for being ruthless and coming across as an overall mean guy. He makes a good case for himself, though, eloquently stating that he’s just playing the game, you can’t argue with his record, and that if he’s fired by a man like Donald Trump for being a tough businessman, then this whole thing is just a bloody friggin’ sham anyway. I’m paraphrasing a bit, but you get the picture.
We then turn back to Lennox. Piers argues that there’s no way Lennox would have won as much as he did without Piers as the driving force behind him, and Lennox agrees. Well, that’s that. Trump fires him, and he happily goes, saying that he joined this show to raise money for his charity and he did just that. Once again, this is the problem with this version of the show. They just don’t CARE that they get fired. Where’s the crying, the begging, the wailing and gnashing of teeth? I want to see some snippy little MBAs get down on their knees in their $1,000 suits and curse the heavens as they’re dragged out the door and into a taxi!
Farewell, Lennox. Try not to fart on the way out.
Back in the boardroom, Trump says that it’s nearly impossible for him to fire Piers since he’s won so much money, even though he’s not a nice guy. Piers, in rare state of idiocy, contradicts this and insists that he’s not mean at all. Trump gets a little irked and tells him to calm down, so he does, but he gets a Look.
“I CAN HAVE YOU DEPORTED TO THE MOON.”
The Donald asks Piers whom he would fire, and Piers responds by saying that he would beat Trace with more ease than he would beat Carol. Trump then turns back to Trace, practically begging for a good enough reason to keep him around. Trace sings the daughter’s charity song again, but he may as well just state the real reason he should stay: it would be good television. Of COURSE a Piers vs. Trace showdown is more watchable than Piers vs. Carol. I wouldn’t want to watch that, and I’ve watched every episode of this accursed season twice. I’m barely alive. I’m checking into a mental facility immediately after the finale.
Trump even admits this himself, asking Carol how he’s supposed to get over the fact that he really wants to see those two guys fight, and pointing out that Jim Cramer and Erin both recommended that Piers be fired and that Trace and Carol be the final two. In the end, he fires Carol, freely admitting that it’s because he wants to see the guys go at it. Carol seems fine with this, and leaves with grace and dignity, or however much is left after appearing on this show.
Farewell, Carol. Your competence is not welcome here.
She thanks everyone and leaves, and as she does there is a shot of The Donald that reminds me of why I started loving this show in the first place. He could fire the Dalai Lama for all I care, as long as he keeps making faces like this one:
“NONSENSICAL DECISIONS MAKE MY HEART SMILE.”
The next day, The Donald meets with Piers and Trace to give them their final task, setting up the battle as Good vs. Evil and US vs. UK, as if he’s attempting to start World War III or something. Then it’s time for the classic bringing-back-of-fired-candidates to help with the final task, as Carol, Lennox, Stevie B, and Marilu all enter the room, fresh from their Broadway run of A Chorus Line.
Mediocrity: The Musical!
Trump tells them that they are to pick their teammates, and first pick will be decided by a coin toss. He throws the coin and it lands in Trace’s favor, and by gum, for a few seconds I start to think that it’s a Trump coin. It sort of looks like him! Upon further inspection, it is in fact a Thomas Jefferson dollar. But one can dream…
“MINTING MY OWN COINAGE IS A THIRTY BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY.”
Trace smartly chooses Lennox in order to take away Piers’ security blanket. Piers, now clearly cranky, picks Stevie B, who starts praying to the Lord in an interview for strength and asking what Jesus would do. I’m pretty sure Jesus wouldn’t be caught dead wearing that suit, that’s for sure.
Jesus: “I died for THIS?”
So Trace picks Marilu and Piers gets Carol. Great. Trump blares that their final task is to create a charity event in the hall that they’re standing in. Contrary to all previous seasons of The Apprentice, they will both be working on the same event, but will be responsible for different aspects of it. Hmm. I don’t know how I feel about that. It’s always a good time to watch one event succeed and the other go up in flames.
Anyway, one team will handle catering and produce a live auction, and the other will be responsible for the decor and the entertainment, which is…the Backstreet Boys!! I shriek. Loudly. I loathed this “band” back when it was popular, but as of late I have come to embrace the delicious cheese that is their ridiculous revelry and odd, epileptic dancing. (Remember that weird little hand flicky move? What was that all about?) And the whole thing gets even better when it is decided that Trace’s team will take that responsibility. Seeing Trace interacting with the Backstreet Boys just might make my…Millennium!
(See, that’s a joke because it’s the name of their second and most successful album. To my credit, I did not know this off the top of my head. Where would we be without Wikipedia? We wouldn’t know that Howie D guest-starred on an episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, that’s for sure!)
(Of note, my self-respect is dwindling by the minute.)
The teams will be judged on three criteria: tickets sold, money raised, and how well they run their part of the event. They’ll get some auction items to start off, which they must negotiate for, and then they are free to add any of their own. Both teams then prance off to negotiate, which, again, really just means taking turns picking items. So what have we learned about celebrities? They don’t know what negotiate means. Also, one of the auction items is a shopping trip with Ivanka Trump, and I can’t imagine a more awkward situation that one could get oneself into. I myself wouldn’t have the slightest clue what to do with a girl’s day out with Ivanka. I’d probably end up spilling something on her gold-plated clothing and end up arrested, somehow.
We then get a brief glimpse into the finalists’ respective war rooms. Piers, as always, is gunning for the most money. Stevie B gives us all a little bit of his insight, insisting that The Donald isn’t going to be looking for who raises the most funds. Okay, Stevie B. Thanks for the tip. Now go back to your basket weaving. Trace, meanwhile, already knows that Piers is going to beat him in the money game, so he’s aiming to win the other aspects. He’s going to get as many country stars as he can, and how is he planning on doing this? He’s chartering two private jets. I’m not so sure that’ll work, Trace. Cowboys don’t believe in airplanes. They’re like the Amish.
So Trace gets on the horn and starts calling people, listing a bunch of country stars that I’ve never heard of. Lennox and Marilu head off to the props place to get stuff for the room, where Marilu happily chirps “I love planning parties!” No WAY, Marilu! And here I was this whole time thinking you were a mortician. Then we spend a few minutes on yet another Marilu-sure-is-a-crazy-meerkat-on-speed montage that ends with her lingering around the doorway and poor Lennox yelling “We’re DONE!”
“Lennox, are miniature interior decorators in our budget? Look how cute he is!”
Carol and Stevie B, meanwhile, head over to the catering office to sample some of the hors d’ouerves. Stevie B yet again makes frequent use of the word “yummy” (causing a return of my dry heaves) and also continues to makes a spectacle of himself, even though there are only two other people in the room. How does he DO that?
Piers decides to pay a visit to his old friend, Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York. Amidst a soundtrack of blaring trumpets, they hammer out the details of her contribution to the auction, which will be a tea party date with her, Mary Poppins, and Harry Potter. Cheerio!
“How did you get into my flat?”
Trace and his team then begin the most massive undertaking in the history of The Apprentice: preparing to accommodate the Backstreet Boys. Or the Backstreet Old Guys, as Trace likes to call them. They receive the list of things that they need in their dressing room, or as they say in the industry, their rider, and I must say it’s quite a demanding list. Including but not limited to: 24 bottles of water (NO EVIAN ALLOWED), 2 bottles of Red Wine, 12 cans of Red Bull, and…this can’t be right…2 bags of Racial cough drops? What the hell are Racial cough drops? Anyone?
Are they separated by color or something?
Trace calmly explains that he deals with this stuff a lot, and that he’s going to talk to their tour manager as soon as he can to find out exactly how much of the list is necessary, and what items they can forget about. Well, it’s a nice plan and all, but as it turns out, the Backstreet Boys’ tour manager doesn’t know how to operate a telephone. Trace attempts to hammer out some plans, but the guy’s first language must not be English, so they end up just barking at each other for a few minutes and deciding to figure everything out in the morning when they arrive. Because last minute plans are the bestest!
Piers heads off to another props department of sorts, a meeting with the representative of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. He decides to give away twenty tickets to wounded veterans so that they can come to the event and, just by being there in uniform, encourage people to give more money. Nice thing to do for the troops and all, but also a clever strategic move. Makes him look like a nice guy, since those are tickets that they could have sold, and also something that Trump’ll eat right up. With a gold-plated, diamond-encrusted spoon. He’s rich!
But these antics are nothing compared to the shenanigans that are about to unfold. Trace meets up with the Backstreet Boys (!!!) for the first time. They’ve…seen better days.
Behold the ravages of time!
Free orange juice though, right guys? That’s something! Maybe they’re just depressed because their resident boy band ogre Kevin Richardson has been replaced by this bored bald dude.
“I’ve just about lost count of how many wrong turns my life has taken.”
I guess it’s maybe the brain-damaged tour manager, but no matter. It’s time to get down to business: the nature of their dressing rooms. Trace delivers the bad news: due to the small size of the venue there will only be one dressing room, not two. As such, there will be no need to have two of everything on the list. And oh man. Those poor kids’ faces fall as if he just told them there’s no Santa Claus, or that open-buttoned shirts have been forever banned. We’re talking utter devastation here, folks. There are many terrified glances, crazy intense camera close-ups of the shock and disgust, and overall an explosion of general panic. Howie D and Nick Carter can barely speak. Brian Litrell looks just about ready to cry.
“This is the worst day of my life.”
“What reason have I to go on?”
Nick Carter (rocking a bitchin’ neck beard, by the way) is somehow able to break free from the grips of trauma to ask Trace if it’s possible to get him some wheatgrass. Trace looks at him as if he’s just asked for the severed head of Pat Sajak. Nick then attempts to define wheatgrass to Trace, and Brian tries to help by throwing in “It looks like a sod of turf!” Then Nick busts out the best expression (complete with girly hand gesture) I’ve EVER SEEN.
My new wallpaper
And Trace adds to the whole thing by saying in interview that he feels like he’s being punked, and that that hour he spent talking to the Backstreet Boys is an hour out of his life that he’s never going to get back. This was seriously one of the most hilarious Apprentice moments of all time. I’ve watched it several times now and it hasn’t gotten old, and I suspect it never will.
I wish the episode had ended on this high note, but unfortunately we get one more cut over to Piers’ team, where it’s business as usual with Stevie B.
It’s his job to get the celebrities to come to the event, but he makes a lot of calls and yells a lot into the phone but ultimately is not able to secure any real guests. He suggests in interview that there might be a bit of sabotage in play here, but we all know Stevie B isn’t remotely intelligent to be able to pull anything like that off. He’d try, sure, but he’d just end up confused, disoriented, stranded out in the middle of nowhere, and soaking wet for some reason.
So that’s it until the big TWO HOUR (groan) finale. Any bets on winners? I really like Trace, he seems like an outstanding guy, and I want him to win some money for his daughter, but…I’m pulling for Piers to win. He’s played the best, and in the end this is a game, or at least a farce of what used to be a game. What do you all think? A big bag of Racial cough drops to anyone who correctly calls the winner!