Thursday, April 05, 2012

Celebrity Apprentice Etch-A-Sketch Recap - Ep 7 - Walking Papers

Etch-A-Sketch is back and requires no batteries, Wi-Fi, or downloadable apps to work properly. So welcome to the Celebrity Apprentice Etch-A-Sketch recap. This was a double episode—more than three hours of Celebrity Apprentice on a night that also featured Mad Men and for those with premium cable, Game of Thrones. That's a shitload of decent TV. Imagine if Amazing Race had been scheduled as per usual. My head would have exploded. Even so, I could barely sleep later on Sunday night with all that television dancing around in my head.

For all its bulk, this was an entertaining outing for Trump dynasty productions. The first challenge was an NYC guide book sale that was based on how much money the teams could haul in. The best guide book would win a bonus, but fundraising was the main determiner for the winner. Dee Snider and Teresa Giudice stepped up as project managers.

With self-publishing on their minds, the women head into the city to photograph themselves in various locations. The men, figuring the fundraising is the main component of the challenge, head up to the roof of Trump Tower to lordly pose over different NYC neighborhoods. Lou Ferrigno briefly fantasizes about pushing Penn Jillette to the street below. I think he was kidding because he's laughing during this segment, but creative ventures can sometimes have that element of homicidal brainstorming as part of the process.

The women split up into factions with Lisa Lampanelli and Debbie Gibson snapping photos of themselves quickly, then heading back to the workroom to put it all together. Teresa, Dayana Mendoza and Aubrey O'Day are late, getting too caught up in their photos to help out on the editing phase. "GRRRRR!" say Lisa and Debbie, who scramble to complete the task and decorate their kiosk for the sale. Lisa truly despises Dayana at this point, telling her to shut up multiple times when Dayana suggests they write out subway directions for each location. Get some talent and some brains, interviews Lisa, making "yapping" motions with her hands, and maybe you'll amount to something. What kind of put-down is that for an insult comedian? I expect better. The men are moving things along in a jokey manner, as usual. Arsenio Hall gets Jay Leno on the phone and Jay promises to send over a blank check for the next day. That was nice.

Day of sale: the teams desperately hawk guidebooks and call friends and family to obtain more money. Penn has rounded up his partner, Teller, who donates $20,000, right there on the sidewalk. Then Penn leads the Blue Man Group down the street with their puppets and drums and they explode some giant balloons full of cash, causing complete pandemonium on the streets of New York, where celebrities and public alike scramble to gather bills to either donate or stuff down their pants and run away. Clay Aiken is PISSED about this, claiming he was punched in the face a couple of times trying to wrestle cash away from people. Penn shrugs it off as a moment of art meeting commerce. WHO was right? Exploding balloons of cash are fun but they do tend to disrupt the flow of charity a bit. Anyway, Clay and Penn pretty much hate each other.

Regis Philbin shows up to judge the quality of the guidebooks. He decides the women's book is more personal and colorful and so they're rewarded with an extra $35,000 donation. Even so, they lose to the men's team by $14. Looks like Clay taking punches to the head did pay off. Arsenio breathes a sigh of relief as his Leno check was held up in traffic so he brought no in dollars whatsoever. Dee wins $325,000 for his charity, The March of Dimes. He gets to hold a baby who was born prematurely when he presents the check. It's so sweet. Dee is my favorite Republican after Abraham Lincoln. That's the extent of my "favorite Republicans" list. You're in good company, Dee.

The women are left to claw at one another once again. Teresa brings back Dayana (as usual) and Debbie into the boardroom but Dayana is safe because she brought in a large amount of donations. Debbie brought in less and so she is abruptly fired. Just like that—Debbie Gibson is gone! Trump tells Teresa she should have brought back Aubrey because she brought in the least amount of money. So we might have been spared another episode with Aubrey, but that turns out to be OK because...

We pause for some Etch-A-Sketch portraiture.

Trump on the Zooper Sounds Etch-A Sketch, which looks like an 80s toy even though it came out in 1996. I can find very little documentation of the Zooper on the Internet, so I promise to make a film eventually featuring its bizarre array of boops, bleeps, blurps and electronic song snippets. I think of Trump as an 80s phenomenon so this is the Etch-A-Sketch of choice here.

"You're [*boop! beep-blurp! bliddle-bleee!*] fired!

Dee Snider - winner on Celebrity Apprentice, for now
In lieu of a portrait, I'll feature Gibson's epic "Electric Youth." I wish she'd write a sequel called "Acoustic Middle Age." I'd download that.

Onward to part 2—I'll be brief. This was a 'Walk with Walgreens' presentation and graphic photo-cube health event. Trump splits up the teams because the women are such losers. Aubrey and Teresa are with Arsenio, Clay and Paul Teutol, Sr. I forgot about Paul! He's hanging out under the radar. Dayana and Lisa are with Lou, Penn and Dee. Arsenio and Lou are team leaders. I'm sure Lou will flex his arms and give 110% as always.

Arsenio HATES Aubrey. Well, everyone but Lisa does, but Arsenio can barely contain his ire as Aubrey shoots out her multiple plans for Walgreens domination, takes a bad photo of Arsenio and calls him a "diva" when he tries to nix it, interviews that he better learn to like his face, wrinkles and all, because that's what he looks like, and suggests that his walking quote should be about how he walked away from his career. "But I don't mean it in a negative way," she clarifies as Arsenio glares at her with dagger eyes. Fun!

The presentations commence. Penn, on one hour of sleep after flying in from a show, accidentally says "Walmart" instead of Walgreens. "Not good," says Trump later in the boardroom. No truer words have ever been spoken by Donald Trump. Dee finds Dayana helpful, pleasant and intelligent, driving Lisa to a red-faced, pop-eyed fury that has me worried for Dayana's safety. Ultimately Dee is fired for making a lame Walk with Walgreens cube, for equating walking with words like 'scratching' and 'itching,' and for not giving 120% like Lou. One day you're on top and the next...wait, that's another reality show. Anyway, Arsenio holds his team together enough to win the challenge. He will receive a large check for The Magic Johnson Foundation—made more poignant when he breaks down over the recent death of his cousin from AIDS, which is terribly sad.

But I've skipped over the most intense moment (I guess—I never watched this show before) in Apprentice history when Arsenio does a complete take-down of Aubrey in the board room in front of Trump, Trump's offspring, both teams, and whatever is left of America watching after Mad Men and Game of Thrones have started. Perhaps the cloistered existence of reality TV living creates a vacuum where narcissistic personality disorders will not be tolerated by the slightly less narcissistic. Maybe Arsenio's family situation got to him. Maybe Aubrey just had it coming, but everything she says in the boardroom is countered with Arsenio's (correct) notion that "She puts the 'I' in team." Eventually, even Trump turns on her saying he's known people like her and some of them crash and burn. Ouchie! This clip is the aftermath of Arsenio's insistence that he spent the entire challenge just massaging her ego enough to get through to the win.

And so it goes. Portrait of Aubrey, just before she's character-assassinated and stalks off in a huff, claiming she can't take all the negativity. After weeks of her catty bitchery, I must say: that is typical.

Desperately over-achieving, psychotically ambitious young lass (an apt description from Simon Doonan's book, "Gay Men Don't Get Fat" - not specifically about Aubrey, just young overly ambitious interns in general, but it works for me.
Retro Arsenio Hall from the days of his show before he "walked away." Sorry about your hands here, Arsenio. Hands are tough, even when not drawn on an Etch-A-Sketch.

Retro Arseniooooo Haaaaallllllll! - winner on Celebrity Apprentice, for now

1 comment:

Tuckers said...

My god, so much parachute pants thrusting in the Debbie Gibson video, I feel traumatized.