With all of the hype surrounding this episode of Celebrity Apprentice (i.e. two hours long because The Donald DECREED that it should be so!!) I had no choice but to become mildly interested, if a little irked by the fact that I now have to recap two hours of crap instead of one. And I had to hand it to them – for once the hype was actually appropriate.
For the first thirty minutes. After that, I couldn’t help but scream “MY GOD GET ON WITH IT” at my television every time I saw Piers Morgan’s smirky face.
With that ringing endorsement, join me on a trip down faux-Mafia memory lane!While waiting for the ladies to return to the loft, Ahmarosa blabs on about how she hopes that Cryptkeeper Carol goes home, because she thinks she’s a twit. Then she gives her a big bear hug as she returns. Oh, Ahmarosa! You old softie!
Vinny, as stated last week, is giving his winnings to a pancreatic cancer research charity, in honor of his daughter’s stepfather. He gives the check to his ex-wife, which is in no way awkward.
“Is this supposed to make up for seven years of back child support, VINCENT?”
The next day, amidst a torrent of gloomy rain, Trump meets the candidates at Macy’s. First, The Donald informs us that Tito will not be playing this week, as he is off at a fight. Yeah, yeah. A “fight”. Ten bucks Tito just needed a break from Vinny’s stench. After determining project managers (Carol and Piers), Trump talks up Macy’s, and then Crocs. Ugh. A challenge involving the ugliest shoe known to man. This should be exciting, and painful to my eyes. He introduces the execs, who tell the kids that their task is to create an awareness campaign and a receptacle bin for a program called Soles United, wherein Crocs are recycled to make new Crocs for some poor, unwitting children who have yet to be graced with the luxury of hideous footwear. At least the execs are a lovely couple.
“Honey, you smell like Crocs.”
In the Empresario car, Ahmarosa reminds them all that Crocs really like to brand themselves using the shoe itself. I don’t know if anyone else thought this at this point, but I immediately envisioned a giant Croc as the receptacle itself. It just seemed like a no-brainer. I’m really surprised it took as long as it did for them to come up with it. I guess not everyone is an ad wizard like me! *High fives self*
The teams are led to their war rooms, which are right next to each other and only separated by a flimsy glass partition. The women, unsurprisingly, are appalled. Ahmarosa looks positively scandalized. People please! No fighting in the war rooms!
Piers says that they should focus yet again on Lennox for the campaign, while Vinny, loving his new Crocs, can’t help breaking out into a tap dance:
“Don’t encourage him, guys.”
Trace sits in the corner and quietly comes up with a brilliant slogan: Wear Them, Share Them. Haha. I really like Trace. I want him to narrate my life in that dulcet voice of his. “What’s in the mail today? Bills, bills. A birthday card from Mom. Hallmark: For the moments that touch your life.”
The guys go apeshit over the slogan, but the party is brought to a halt when they notice some shadowy figures listening outside their doors. And so begins the biggest and silliest war ever to grace the hallowed history books of The Apprentice.
Piers instructs Vinny to go outside and spy on the women, in the first of roughly fifty-seven Luca Brasi references of the evening. They then stage a little fight between them, which ends in a lot of swearing and schoolgirlish giggling from Stephen Baldwin. Vinny goes out into the hall, where he yells some more and inhales a baker’s dozen of donuts. Eventually he knocks on the door of the ladies’ war room and tells them that since he can no longer work for “that English bastard”, he would be happy to offer them some help. The girls caucus for a moment, decide they need the resources, and, obliviously convinced that this is not a set-up, happily welcome Vinny onto the team.
Piers instructs Vinny to infiltrate their camp and bring back information. Stephen continues to giggle like a hyena, while Lennox and Trace pretty much ignore the entire thing. Can we just hand the trophy to these two? They seem like the only ones who can be entrusted not to spend their charity money on potato guns and party hats.
Vinny and the Ladies (cabaret act coming soon to a lounge near you!) come up with a slogan of their own: Share The Love. Eh, not as good as the men’s. Whatever. Vinny goes on to suggest that since they have not used their celebrity status yet, they should use Carol in the campaign. Because who wouldn’t want to hand over their shoes to an ancient Botoxed supermodel?
“I EAT BABIES.”
Ahmarosa finally suggests that a giant Croc replica be the receptacle. To which I say, duh. *Double high five*
Piers defends his decision to use Lennox as the campaign mascot yet again by saying that it’s a different company each week, so no one knows except for them and the Trumps. If anything, says Piers, this task is even more Lennox-appropriate than the others. More appropriate than printer ink? Are you mad?? So it’s Lennox’s contented lolcat face in front of the camera, yet again.
Vinny the Idea Factory continues to spew forth. He suggests that they set up a cutout of Carol dropping her shoes into the receptacle. The ladies love it, because it’s the idea of a supermodel giving away her shoes! Who wants to give away her shoes? No one! “I don’t want to give away my shoes!” they all cry. Selfish, greedy women. That’s the demographic we’re reaching for here, kids.
Vinny and Marilu are to head out to the warehouse to work on construction. Stephen is on the phone out in the lobby, so before Marilu emerges, Vinny throws some crumpled pieces of paper at Stephen’s feet. Stephen scampers back into the men’s war room to make Lennox pick it up, because all of a sudden he wants nothing to do with it. Piers laughs at the girls’ ideas and slogan while Stephen whines about it in the corner, saying in interview that he was going along with it while it was a practical joke, but it has now turned into cheating. Certainly this has nothing to do with the fact that you just remembered you’re a Born-Again Christian and are the actual head of a ministry. Oh, dear St. Stephen. If only all of us could be as conveniently pious as thee.
Vinny, meanwhile, has come to an epiphany on the way to the warehouse. He starts to like the women, and really wants to help them get a win. So he tells Marilu all about the stupid plan in the car on the way, and that he sent some info to the guys. “I’m a rat!” he screams at us in interview as accordian Godfather-esque music wafts in the background, “But I’m not a rat no more!” Luckily for us, the whole nasty business prompts this face from Marilu:
“My stars, I think I may have just swallowed a junebug.”
As Lennox and Trace, a.k.a. the Sane Ones, head off to the warehouse to work on construction, the rest of the men are paid a visit by Ivanka, entering against a smattering of sexy music and a disgustingly gratuitous close-up of her legs. Looks like The Donald’s been sneaking into the editing room again.
“CHECK OUT THE GAMS ON THAT BROAD!!”
Piers reveals his grandiose scheme to Ivanka, who is sort of in awe of the plan, as she admits to being just fine with a bit of sabotage. Ooh! Down, kitten! But she’s more shocked that the girls didn’t pick up on it, as the entire thing is “straight out of the Ahmarosa playbook”. Also out of Ahmarosa’s playbook: “Correct everyone on pronunciation of name, no matter how accurate they may be,” and “Always wear broken hats.”
DonJr arrives to check on the ladies’ progress. He begins by feigning shock at Vinny’s presence, exclaiming, “You are the ugliest woman I’ve ever seen!” Wow. It’s clearly time for DonJr to throw off the shackles of corporate life and begin a new career in stand-up comedy. After listening to their concept, he pulls Vinny aside and asks him straight out if he’s playing some sort of sabotage game. Vinny comes clean and tells him the whole story, insisting that he is in it to win it with the girls. DonJr, meanwhile, is outrageously pleased with himself for uncovering the plan. Yeah, nice work, Nancy Drew.
Right about now is when the action starts to get a little thin. Trace complains about the stupid sabotage plan at the warehouse to Lennox, then they decide they are no longer needed there so they leave to return to the war room. Piers brags about how great he is. Stephen dances to his cell phone ring.
To distract a Baldwin, simply: do anything.
Piers and Stephen are shooting the shit about how they work so well together and that between the two of them, they could win any challenge. In fact, Stephen has a challenge in mind already: “Give your life to Jesus,” he says to Piers. Well. That was a fun little turnaround. Even stranger is that Piers told him he already has, that he’s been a Catholic his whole life. Stephen looks disappointed for some reason, perhaps because he’s now going to have to find a place for all of his “Give your life to Jesus” mugs and bumper stickers.
Carol does her photo shoot out in the hall. Piers and Stephen, now fully regressed to the age of eight, run out into the hall and start teasing the girls with the intimate knowledge of their campaign. They start chanting “Share the love!” and Nely, unsurprisingly, freaks out. She and Carol retreat and deal with the aftermath, while Piers and Stephen scamper back into their own war room, then make some smores and tell ghost stories and give each other wedgies.
Carol calls Marilu to inform her that Vinny is a rat. Marilu doesn’t really care. Haha. She says she doesn’t want to deal with any of this high school crap, and she’d much rather focus on this campaign. ‘Atta girl, Marilu. There’s no problem that can’t be solved with a ferocious set of jazz hands.
Just dance those worries away!
Ahmarosa, vowing revenge, calls up Vinny and demands to know if he has betrayed their trust. Vinny, who by now has become vastly confused, mutters a bunch of cryptic remarks into the phone and tells the ladies to stay the course. Ahmarosa isn’t buying it, so she fires him from their team. This displeases Vinny, to say the least. “I’m a man without a country!” he blares, wads of mozzarella spraying the cameraman.
This whole plot is getting really boring and tired. I really don’t care anymore. Vinny returns to the war room and yells at Piers for ratting him out, explaining that in the real world he’d get chopped up and put into suitcases and shipped off to “Kai-wait”. They keep arguing back and forth, but the real gem of this scene comes from Piers, who smarms: “I knew he wasn’t going to get murdered by Marilu Henner.”
The ladies arrive the next morning to find their giant Croc awaiting them. It looks pretty good, or at least as good as a Croc can look. Which is still butt fugly.
“Excuse me, miss?? I said a size 9!”
The guys, meanwhile, arrive to find their giant white box. Fascinating. They scurry to put a bunch of decals all over it, but it’s still just a box covered in Lennox Lewis. This guy is going to be on the face of everything before long. I bet you anything he replaces the Gerber baby.
Vinny is standing around doing nothing. When Piers calls him on it, Vinny confesses to being a double agent. He says that he hopes the girls win so that Piers can get fired.
They scream at each other for five more solid minutes, after which Piers finally kicks him out. Riveting! Edge + Seat = Me!!
The very definition of British fussiness
On the way downstairs, Vinny runs into The Donald himself. He pulls him over and tries to tell him the whole story. But Trump tells him to save it for the boardroom, then mugs for the camera and informs us all that he loves this guy.
Speaking of love, it’s time to share some! The girls unveil their campaign to the execs, demonstrating the mailbox-like qualities of the beast they have dubbed SuperCroc. Somewhere, an infuriated Steve Irwin is shaking a fist and promising a beyond-the-grave lawsuit. Carol demands to know if the execs would be willing to give up their beloved Crocs to a poor kid in Africa. No! Not my Crocs! Without them, I am nothing! Except slightly more attractive!
The ladies continue to shower the men with gifts, including t-shirts, stickers, and a useless one shoe each. And I will say one thing for Ahmarosa: it sure was nice of her to lend Nely one of her clown outfits.
Nely, you have to stop before the bustline. Please refer to the Pants Manual before attempting to don trousers again in the future.
Piers gives his lame-ass presentation. Their box is boring, despite the inclusion of an African child wearing a pair of Crocs as a hat. The execs and The Donald love the slogan, but seem otherwise unimpressed. Though no amount of shitty marketing can stop Trump from doing his Flying Monkey impression!
Trump meets with the execs to talk about the campaigns, but I don’t really listen to anything because I’m having a real problem with taking these two guys seriously. They’re wearing Crocs with their business suits. Please. And lest any of you think that I’m being haphazard with my Croc-bashing, let me just say that I used to work at a museum, and one day I saw an entire family – mother, father, son, daughter – wearing identical red, white and blue Crocs. I instantly vomited everywhere, and ever since I have had a vehement hatred for the damn things. So there.
Anyway. In the boardroom, Vinny tells Trump the whole story. The entire thing is then hashed out for the billionth time, and it is no more exciting this round than it has been for the last hour. Ivanka chastises the women for so readily accepting Vinny’s help, since they should have wanted to prove that they could win a task on their own without any help from the men. More debating. More beating of dead horses. Eventually it comes out that the women were not in fact spying on the men right after the challenge started, which, if you’ll all recall, is the stupid event that prompted this giant pissing contest in the first place.
“I strongly feel my case could be best presented through the magic of musical theatre!”
Vinny goes on to start yelling about all of the racist remarks that Piers made about him, including, as detailed in the commercials for this episode, the “very fat Italian” one. He then goes on to make a bunch of vaguely Mobbish threats that once again remind us that not one person on this show is able to distinguish between fiction and reality. I have a feeling that if the boardroom were to suddenly be invaded by a pack of Care Bears, the candidates would simply continue to argue without missing a beat, perhaps stopping only once to debate over whether or not Professor Coldheart is actually employed by an accredited university.
DonJr asks the other guys on the team who they’d rather see stay, Piers or Vinny. Stephen and Trace want to keep Vinny, while Lennox votes for Piers. Vinny comes to the realization that Piers had been setting him up this whole time with the intention of getting him fired, and tells The Donald that he would rather go back home than have to deal with this. Yay! I scream. Just go! Put us out of this misery! But we haven’t actually found out the results yet. Ugh. Will it never end??
Unsurprisingly, the girls win. You just can’t compete with a giant shoe. Let’s be honest, you can’t really compete with giant replicas of pretty much anything. The only improvement the ladies could have made to their presentation is if they had made some calls with a giant novelty phone, while wearing giant novelty glasses and smoking giant novelty cigars.
Anyway, as a result of the win, Crocs will donate 10,000 pairs of shoes to Africa, and Carol will get a boatload of money for her brother’s charity, which she is too choked up to properly describe. Eventually she gasps that it is the Tony Alt Memorial Fund, and it helps children. It helps children do what? Learn to read? Fly space shuttles? Rob banks? Let’s hope for a little clarification next week.
Vinny tells Trump that he’s had a good run, he collected some nice money for his charity, and that he would like to resign. Fantastic. Roll credits. Oh, but we have two hours to fill. Trump decides to kick the women out so they can discuss this whole thing EVEN FURTHER.
As the ladies get tanked up in the loft, Vinny explains that he just doesn’t care for this environment. He asks Trump if he wakes up in the morning and starts fighting with people. Trump immediately says yes. The Donald employs a trained legion of ninjas to attack at the first crack of dawn. I’ve been suspecting this for years.
Ivanka yells at Vinny for quitting before fighting it out with Piers, who he probably could have beaten. Piers is really sweating now, much to our viewing horror. Vinny admits that he would be happy to stay if Piers got fired. Unfortunately, that’s the wrong thing to say. Trump blares that you’re not allowed to go back on a resignation. Vinny, utterly confused and badly in need of an emergency cannoli, asks in a defeated voice what Trump would like him to do. Just fire him! Or Piers! Who cares at this point? Fire anyone! Fire Annette the secretary! I DON’T CARE!
Trump looks to Stephen the Moral Compass for help. Stephen says that he’d rather have less success than less integrity. He posits a question to Trump: has he been willing to do anything to win, including hurting people he cares about? Trump’s answer: No comment. Ha! I demand to see the bodies.
Trump than blathers on about Lennox Lewis some more (SERIOUSLY?), so Vinny, just as sick of all of this as we are, finally puts a stop to it by repeating that he would like to resign. Trump finally, FINALLY, accepts this, and tells Vinny that he’s a special guy. Aw.
“AND THIS IS A SPECIAL TIE!”
And now for the real reason Vincent Pastore was cast in this show in the first place. As he leaves the building and approaches the waiting limo, “Don’t Stop Believin’” pounds in the background. The driver opens the door, Vinny looks up toward the top of Trump tower, then the song cuts out and the scene cuts to black. The editors cream their pants in ecstasy.
Get it? Get what they did there? It’s just like the end of The Sopranos! Guys? GUYS? ISN’T THAT FUNNY! GUYS?
It’s okay, Vinny. There’s an entire wheel of cheese waiting for you in the car.
So yeah. This episode would have been fantastic if it had just been an hour, as this show was meant to be viewed. Two hours made me want to yank my eyeballs out of my head and cram them into the SuperCroc. Thoughts? Comments?
HA! IT WAS THE SAME SONG!