This week on "Celebrity Apprentice," the narrator announced ONLY THREE MORE EPISODES LEFT, causing me to smack my forehead and exclaim, "THREE!?" How could this be when it's obvious this show is endless. ENDLESS! Especially in the boardroom sequences. I noticed a lot of new readers showed up in the last couple weeks: Hello! And welcome to my weird little world.
Speaking of endless, the remaining six celebrities are tasked with writing and performing a 90-second jingle for Good Sam's roadside assistance service. What's the most difficult artform to succeed at on every level, including technically and emotively? That's right—ballet. What's the second most difficult? Music. Watching these mini-teams try to come up with a catchy jingle for a second-run brand is going to be a painful slog. Let's get to it.
First off you should know, Project Manager Arsenio Hall will not be tap dancing for Aubrey O'Day anytime soon, whether she understands why or not. This is a woman who claims to have photos of recent teenage suicides hanging in her bedroom to give her extra inspiration. She says this while smiling. I can't look at photos of these poor young kids without bursting into tears, but that's just me. There could be many studies made of Aubrey O'Day's psychological make-up, but that's not our purpose here. Arsenio's tactics include letting Aubrey have her way as much as possible, to avoid violence and bloodshed, most likely.
Over on Team Forte, Dayana wants to be project manager even though Lisa Lampanelli hates her guts and even reasonable Clay Aiken is losing his patience with her. Dayana knows seemingly nothing about music, and her language barrier makes her confuse "jingle" with "Christmas Carol." Clay and Lisa take a look at the Good Sam mascot, who resembles Mr. Rogers' second cousin from the town of Squaresville, and decide to go with an early 60s theme that Dayana wants to then "take to the 80s" straight on to Duran Duran. She also wants to insert a hippie into the performance. And she tells the musicians to make their first run-through sound more pink. And yellow. And on second thought, perhaps more red, rather than yellow. Lots of Dayana-based music confusion!
Aubrey wants cheerleading. Arsenio does not. So she mentions cheerleading to the Good Sam CEO and he agrees that Good Sam is a mascot, and yes, cheerleaders have mascots. So now there will be cheerleading. She asks Arsenio to rap and he somewhat reluctantly agrees. Since she can write songs with "literally no effort," she does that. Then she choreographs the entire routine while claiming that Arsenio didn't give her any direction. Donald Trump Jr. is her sounding board this time around for how incompetent and useless her team members are. I can imagine the Trump spawn off camera having a conference about Aubrey as potential winner and how they can't wait to work with a backstabbing, trash-talking, megalomaniac. Just like Dad!
Once Trump Jr. visits Forte creative central, all TV-reality hell breaks loose. Dayana claims Clay is doing great but Lisa's being loud as usual. Lisa FREAKS OUT. Again. "I have been very quiet," she screams. There's accusations of passive-aggression and finger pointing and crying while Dayana sits prettily and impassively. I must say, Dayana is a cool cookie, even if she's young and inexperienced. I can imagine the Trump conference regarding potential histrionic winner Lisa. It would go something like this: No. Just—no.
Show time! Where did they find the live audience for this, I wonder, and what a baffling outing for them all. Confession: I have always loved Clay's voice. I just think he sounds wonderful. He does a very good job as a slicked-back retro guy (somebody cast him in "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying"), but the Good Sam CEO finds the old-timey radio-show performance safe and unsurprising. Dayana stage-manages and wears a nice white sweater while thanking the audience. Lisa should have written her a part in the show, either as stranded damsel in distress, or hostess. That would have kept her busy and less apt to micro-manage.
Aubrey also does a good job as a pig-tailed R&B-style singer in a way-too-small cheerleading outfit. Arsenio and Teresa play stranded motorists and Teresa hand-claps cutely. Aubrey finds it difficult to work with people who "aren't as good at things like this" as she is—at a Good Sam jingle contest. Stand tall, Aubrey. The CEO likes their energetic, catchy song (always trusted and a-for-duh-bull!) but finds Aubrey's outfit too revealing for the Good Sam Milquetoast brand. The whole thing looks like a cheerleading cluster-fuck to me but Arsenio is declared the winner, even though it's mostly a win for Aubrey. Arsenio's charity, The Magic Johnson Foundation, will get $20,000 plus an undisclosed amount of donation money from the Good Sam Club. Good deal.
After much boardroom banter from professional shit-stirrer, Donald Trump, and Crying Lisa (I made up that name for her—clever), Dayana is fired. Way over-due, but to be fair, English is her second language and she appears to be in her 20s (I'm guessing). When I was in my 20s, I would have been pretty useless on this show as well. I could draw rough comics (some things never change) and write some satire perhaps. My sole song-writing credit at that time would have been for a tune entitled Everything Smells Like Russell, based on a series of true-life events. None of these dubious talents are very useful business skills. So let's give a hand to Dayana, who survived six potential boardroom firings before this one. In the town car of purgatory, she reminds us in so many words that the celebrities are here for charity and shouldn't be such assholes about it. It's hard to argue with that.
I want to draw some Celebrity Apprentice muses as per usual, but last week's Celebrity Apprentice on LSD recap gave me neck and hand cramps, so I'm taking the easy way out this week and providing you with some commercial jingles that have been stuck in my head for the past few decades. I'm sorry if they will now be stuck in YOUR head, but that's the purpose of a good jingle, isn't it? Play at your own risk.
The Gensler Lee Diamonds radio spot. I grew up with this on radio station KFRC in the Bay Area and it's never left my consciousness ever since. That's a successful jingle.
If you don't look good, we don't look good—Vidal Sassoon! R.I.P., Vidal Sassoon, hair innovator.
The Mattress Discounters jingle is still in use, but just the chorus as far as I can tell. Still, even that is extremely catchy and annoying. I find myself bursting into this song every time I pass a Mattress Discounter store. That's the power of music.
Good God. Does anyone remember this Joey Heatherton Serta Mattress commercial? The 70s were cracked and that's a fact.
And now let us celebrate the great jingle maestro, Barry Manilow. The man is a master of the branding ear worm.