Thursday, April 26, 2012

Celebrity Apprentice LSD Recap - Ep 10 - Winning by a Nose

I couldn't help thinking last Sunday as I flipped channels between Celebrity Apprentice and Mad Men (after watching Amazing Race and two minutes of Once Upon A Time at my mom's insistence that the boy in it looks like my boy—he does), that Sunday night TV is trippin,' man. As if in response, Roger Stirling in Mad Men took therapeutically prescribed LSD this week and experienced the clarity that led to the end of his crappy May-December marriage. So, in the spirit of inner journeys, let us review this episode as if in the throes of an LSD experience. It practically is psychedelic that Teresa Giudice is still in the running over Penn Jillette. But I get ahead of myself. Let us review:

With Paul Teutul, Sr. out of the game, that leaves poor Arsenio with Aubrey and Teresa on Team Unanimous. Clay, Lisa, Dayana and Penn are what's left of Team Forte. Trump begins proceedings by meeting everyone in his lavish suite at Trump Towers. WHOA, HANG ON! THIS IS GOING TO BE A BUMPY RIDE.

Swell place, Mr. Trump but where's the slot machines?
Reps from Macy's are on hand to judge a store display for Trump's new fragrance: Success. Teams must come up with a slogan, a display, some take-away device and the satisfaction that comes from promoting a Trump product on a Trump show while he dangles a potential $100,000 for the winning project manager's charity. Capitalism is far out.

Aubrey is project manager and wants to define success as helping people. Wait. Whut? Arsenio focuses on money but because Aubrey doesn't want to share the creative wealth, he backs off and lets her run the show. Teresa continues to stare into the middle distance, like a lizard on a rock. Aubrey goes with the slogan "Trust Your Instincts" along with a of kind of diorama of New York City. Then she adds the mind-blowing element of a silhouette of Eric Trump, made up to look like his father, staring up at the skyline, like a shadow figure, haunting our very consumer consciousness.

Although Clay is the other project manager, he lets Penn come up with most of their plan even though Penn didn't want to be project manager on this one. Penn's slogan "You've Earned It" will be illustrated by a big photo of Dayana hugging a torso of business-suited man while holding cologne aloft. Dayana wants to get naked for her photo but Clay tells her she can get naked on a challenge—just not this one. Clay is a diplomat.

Highlights of the creative process include Aubrey sitting on Arsenio's shoulders, taking photos of the city skyline. "Aubrey had a great idea!" enthuses Arsenio. "She said, let me put my vagina on the back of your neck!" Then he fantasizes about throwing her off backwards to the ground below. In his newsboy cap, Arsenio is a scamp and a trickster, throwing our perception into a clearer view. Aubrey flirts shamelessly with Eric during his brief photo shoot, causing him to wonder if she's looking for "brownie points." Every time he enunciates "brownie points," he sounds like a substitute fourth-grade teacher, causing my concept of reality to shatter. Aubrey then trash-talks her team to Eric while Arsenio and Teresa are out buying vinyl for her diorama. And reality is firmly in place again.

Presentation time: Aubrey's diorama looks like a stage set for a middle-school production of "Guys and Dolls."  A sillouette of Eric Trump as Donald gazes upward in rapt foamboard attention. There are pamphlets. There are cardboard sticks that smell of perfume. Aubrey and her team are thrilled to present this new celebrity smell on the horizon.

Clay's giant photo of Dayana is lovely and the surrounding Gotham City-like display looks like something you would see in a department store. But he hasn't worked up a sizable presentation, and realistically, what can you say about Trump perfume? (No one used my slogan: Success - You Reek Of It. Now where's my $100,000 for charity?) Clay must awkwardly stand before the Macy's reps while they await his endorsement of useless garbage. I mean, SUCCESS, by Trump. There are no cardboards to hand out.

In the boardroom, Trump gives the win to Aubrey but just barely. Both displays were hit-and-miss. The execs liked the cardboards and presentation by Aubrey's team, but didn't like the faux Trump cut-out. They liked Dayana's photo but hated the phrase "You Earned It," perhaps fearing some tie-in with prostitution. Clay should have made use of cardboard smell sticks. His presentation needed enhancement. Aubrey's team wins. Trump doles out $40,000 to Aubrey's charity, Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network—good deal! And then he gives $10,000 to everyone's charities, which probably adds up to less than he would have paid an ad agency to come up with two promotions for his perfume. But still—good deal all around!

Lisa has had an epiphany and thinks Dayana did a good job on this task. She has nothing but good things to say about her usual arch enemy. Right on, Lisa Lampanelli—you are a child of the universe. Clay excuses her from the boardroom because she is so groovy. That leaves Dayana, who did a good job, Penn who had all the ideas, and Clay who ruled by consensus. "It's fun to brainstorm when you have good ideas and I have good ideas," Penn had opined earlier. This is a man who named his children Zolten and Moxie CrimeFighter, so don't be so sure. Trump wants to fire Dayana because she's been called back to the boardroom six times now, but he can't because she excelled this time.

Trump ping-pongs between Clay and Penn in eeny-meeny-miny-moe fashion. Clay has flop sweat. Penn just keeps agreeing with Trump that he did indeed came up with the hated slogan. This is a trick from the "How to Deal with Difficult People" handbook. Finally Penn is fired and tells us in the town car of purgatory that he can tell us the rules of chess, but he can't tell us the rules of Celebrity Apprentice.

Well, Penn, when the ...white knight is talking backwards, and the red queen's off with her head; remember what the dormouse said: feed your head... And now Celebrity Apprentice on LSD.

Teresa Giudice doesn't get a portrait this time around. But know this: she is chiefly famous for flipping a table over. Are you trippin' yet? I'm trippin'...

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Clay Aiken will be our guide because he seems fairly reasonable and kind-hearted. Warning: whatever you do—don't trip with Aubrey O'Day. Because she appears to be the opposite of that.

Farewell, Penn Jillette—back to Penn & Teller in Las Vegas for you, perhaps the trippiest city in America.

Lisa Lampanelli's sense of self is melting into the ether. Is she nice, is she mean, or somewhere in between?

Dayana Mendoza is like a beautiful dream vision that is best handled while clean and sober so as to not be a babbling idiot in her presence.

Arsenio Halllllllll! would be fun to trip with.

Good GOD! I WARNED YOU not to trip with Aubrey! Sorry for this demented portrait. She really is a lovely girl...

Fantasy of Trump having an earth-shattering philosophical shift in mindfulness. Instead of "You're fired!" which he actually tried to trademark once, his new catch-phrase will be, "You're hired!" The recession is officially over as soon as this monumental development takes place.

"You're hired" because you're all terrific!

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