The Celebrity Apprentice’ kicked off their All-Stars season last night with a returning winner, some of our favorites, some celebrities we love to hate, and a task apparently designed to make people say ‘balls’ a lot on TV. Here we go for another round of guilty pleasure. Except we don’t need to feel guilty anymore abot loving this show: it’s gone legit with an All-Stars season!
But are the cast of returnees the real stars of this show? By the end of show one I was missing Aubrey O’Day and Clay Aiken to name but two. Surely one of those two should have been there instead of Claudia Jordan, the lady who holds a briefcase in ‘Deal or no Deal.’ I had to check to find that out. She appeared back in Season 2 of ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’
“Last time I was here I was not able to raise one cent for my charity” she said in last night’s premiere episode. Great! So a real star of the show, then.
The season kicked off with contestants arriving at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for Donald Trump’s completely useless pep talk that was mainly about the size of Lisa Rinna’s lips (“Lisa, those lips went down, Lisa. Way down. I like it so much better. I have to be honest with you. I respect that choice.”).
He also informed Bret Michaels that he made a “terrible mistake” coming back to play again, especially considering how strong the competition was. Really? What competition? Pushing at an open door, my friend; pushing at an open door…in any fair competition, which clearly this is not.
This couldn’t be the usual battle of the sexes as there were eight men and six women, so Donald Trump made Bret and Trace draft players one at a time for their teams. Trace picked Penn Jillette first. Good choice. The same can not be said, though, for Bret selecting Omarosa.
As for the remaining team members, Michaels picked the yelling rapper Lil Jon, Rodman, former political consultant and reality-TV villain Omarosa, Playboy Playmate Brande Roderick, La Toya Jackson, and model Claudia Jordan. Adkins, meanwhile, chose magician Penn Jillette, Snider, actors Stephen Baldwin and Gary Busey, and actresses Marilu Henner and Lisa Rinna. The teams are dubbed “Power” and “Plan B,” respectively.
Playboy Playmate Brande Roderick got down on her knees to beg Bret for something while bragging that “I have such big donors.” That would have gone down as one of my all-star favorite ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ moments if Bret had not immediately topped it with “I think, Brande, that you are really jonesing for this.”
The project this week seemed to be mostly about seeing who could come up with the most sexually suggestive way to incorporate the word “balls” into a sentence. “Can you tell me about your balls?” was good from some random woman at the Team Power restaurant, but Trace Adkin takes the prize, surely, with “I don’t care if you taste my meatballs and throw up.” Just…great.
I don’t know what Plan B Project Manager Trace Adkins was doing pretty much forbidding anyone from entering his store. He even put a sign on the front door saying “Closed for a private function.” Why would Trace do such a thing? Because he wanted to focus all his efforts on bringing in big hitters like Amy Grant, Valerie Bertinelli, and Celebrity Apprentice alum Niki Taylor. He didn’t want to deal with your average Joe (or Jane.)
“There’s nobody here. And I couldn’t be happier,” Trace said.
Heading to the boardroom, I was worried for him.
But first we saw a rematch between Piers and Omarosa. Piers asked out loud, “Is she the biggest loser in the history of the show?” “She’s a big winner,” said Trump to which Piers replied, “Really?” It’s not always difficult to side with Piers.
This time Omarosa was gunning for good guy Bret Michaels, saying he “perpetrated one of the biggest frauds in the history of this game.” Claudia stepped in to defend Omarosa and got scolded for her sexism by Ivanka. Well, she had just told Piers, “You came to our shop bitching and moaning like a woman.”
One woman certainly can’t do math though. But she’s a Playmate raking in loads of cash so maybe that’s OK. Brande told a visiting Piers Morgan that they had made 5,000 meatballs but Claudia later corrected that it was closer to 650. Her team lost by $170,000 but when the individual amounts were added up, $80,000 was unaccounted for. Omarosa refused to confirm any of the numbers because she is Omarosa, leading Brande to blindly pick two people to come back to the Boardroom with her as her two lowest donors (Bret ad LaToya) even though she had no real clue as to who her two lowest donors were.
That choice sealed Bret’s fate. Trump had been gunning for him all along. Just minutes into the episode, he was already telling Michaels that he made a “terrible mistake” by coming back as a winner, and just before firing him Trump admitted that, “Psychologically, it’s awfully hard for me to pick you again.” This show of outrageous favouritism (or the lack of it) came right after Brande admitted she didn’t bring Omarosa back to the Boardroom because she was worried Trump wouldn’t fire her. And Donald Trump’s answer was: “To be honest, I have to go by credibility, because without credibility this show wouldn’t have been the tremendous success it’s been.” Seriously now, when has ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ ever had any credibility? Like…never? Isn’t that secretly why we love it?
So it’s goodbye to Bret Michaels, sadly. He’s likeable and funny and Trump was never going to let him win again.