Previously on Celebrity Apprentice: A task that had the teams making a commercial for an ill-defined data management service led to the firing of Kevin Jonas for reasons that weren’t entirely clear. Then they served tasting meals to the Luvo company and Vivica A. Fox wore a mustache and everybody acted like that was the greatest joke of all time. Gilbert Gottfried was actually funny and then got fired but it was OK because he’s actually got stuff to do and now he doesn’t have to hang out with Geraldo Rivera anymore.
Holy smokes, the actual “previously on…” segment reminds us that it was Shawn Johnson’s time of the month. Haven’t we heard enough about that? Is it going to be added to her chyron during the interviews?
Back in the suite, Shawn and Vivica are still arguing about that and Shawn likens it to telling people that Vivica “is going through menopause”. Vivica stares hate daggers at her. In an interview that was apparently shot twenty years in the future, Shawn slams Vivica some more. (Seriously! She’s 45 years old in her interview shots!)
Everybody’s happy to see Terrell Owens come back. The women, who don’t have to work with Geraldo, are happy to see him, too. The people on his team? Not so much.
Opening credits! I love that this show can’t afford to use actual game footage, so Terrell’s scene has him autographing a football. Hee!
They assemble outdoors, which means that Trump’s hair has once again turned completely white. Does he see a ghost right before he goes outside every time? Anyway, health and fitness are getting bigger every year, and that has something to do with Cosmopolitan. Are “Six Simple Tricks to Drive Him WILD in Bed” considered fitness? Liz Plosser, the senior editor, is there to give them the task. They’re going to make a four-page fitness editorial for the “Hot and Healthy” pages of the magazine. They’re going to create the spread then do a presentation. Ivanka and Don Jr. are the wingmen this week because Eric can’t possibly meet them outside. His body hates the sun on, like, a molecular level.
Johnny Damon volunteers to be the Project Manager for Vortex, which means I’ll mention him this week. Jamie Anderson takes over for Infinity, and I keep typing her name as “Jaimie Alexander”, who plays Sif in the Thor movies. Man, I wish Sif was on this show. She wouldn’t put up with this nonsense. Jamie assures us that this is her jam.
In the Infinity suite, Jamie explains the task for any goldfish who’ve forgotten already. Also, she tells us about her charity, which seems like the show announcing that she’s not going to be winning. She suggests that they push “natural beauty” and all the facelifts at the table stare daggers at her. To the extent that they’re expressive enough to do so. Kenya interviews that Cosmo is more focused on sex, so she thinks the theme should be “Touch Me”. Jamie doesn’t like it but goes with it to “keep the peace”. They talk about how to get “the Kenya Moore booty”, and Brandi Glanville says that you can just buy it. First off, it’s a total pot and kettle situation with that. Second, I kind of want to know the backstory as to why these two hate each other. I could just look it up, but I worry it would take the place of useful knowledge, like first appearances of Batman villains.
Over at Vortex, Sig Hansen says something about the gym as foreplay, but he’s actually just reading from an old issue of the magazine. That’s Sig’s contribution for the week. Thanks, Sig! Ian Ziering wants his wife to read the magazine to pick up sex tips. He doesn’t say it in those words, but it’s what he means. Also, it’s not like this is some obscure magazine that she might have missed. Women of America either read Cosmopolitan or have chosen not to do so. They’re not surprised by its existence. Geraldo wants to make it about selfies, and that crazy-ass selfie of Geraldo from a couple of years ago comes up. They don’t show it, but Google it. The guys circle it for a while and end up “Love Your Self(ie) Naked”. Lot going on there.
Johnny says he can bring his wife to model. She’s an actual model named Michelle Mangan, and a Google search confirms I don’t know who that is. I can’t identify as many models as I should be able to, I’m afraid. He says he can “do whatever to her” if they’re going to show “sexy stuff”. I’m a little worried that he’s planning an on-camera trip to the Bone Zone from the way he says it. Geraldo decides they need to set up the shot and announces “I’ll be your wife” and starts caressing Johnny. It’s sort of funny but everybody seems uncomfortable which suggests that Geraldo made it more weird than funny. Also, isn’t this the dude who doesn’t like to be touched? He is grinding his crotch into Johnny’s ass. But don’t try to touch him on the shoulder! Or point at him! Geraldo decides who gets touched and what part of the body does the pointing!
This is super weird, you guys.
Back at Infinity, it’s way less sensual. Jamie assigns Kate Gosselin to “time management” which really means “stay out of the way”. She asks Kenya about writing the copy. Her response: “I wrote a book. I think I can handle this.” Put as many air quotes in that sentence as you feel are warranted.
Yes, in 2007 she “wrote” the dating guide Game – Get Some. Her Amazon page says it’s “her first literary work”. User reviews call it “straight garbage on every level”, and say “I went to high school with this lady, and she has a huge ego. She also has very pretty natural hair.” Also, “shallow and superficial”. “This book was left behind in an airport”, says one reviewer. A four star review touts: “I ordered the book on Monday and received it by Thursday”.
Anyway, Kenya says she’s really good at writing and editing, so she can both write the copy and edit it. She’s the Roy Thomas of reality TV! If I thought anybody would enjoy it, I’d call her “Rascally” Kenya Moore for the rest of the season, but I can’t double down on a reference that nobody gets.
They look over pictures of models and decide to bring in some dudes and do their own modeling. Brandi says “We want to keep this sexy. So instead of Kenya being the model…” HA! I’m not sure I like either of them, but Brandi is really good at the “death by a thousand cuts” method of passive-aggressive fighting, while Kenya goes more for the blunt object approach. Kenya is shocked that they’d rather have Brandi in the ad, so she gets up and leaves.
Vortex arrives at their studio and I am getting such joy from seeing Geraldo trying to draw a storyboard. It looks like something a kid would draw. Maybe he’s not even doing something for his task and he’s working on separate project. He’s putting together a submission packet! Geraldo’s dream has long been to pencil Green Lantern.
The models arrive. One of them is Johnny’s wife, but regardless, it is not appropriate for Geraldo to call them “gorgeous dames”. Tell me, do they have legs that go all the way up? I’m sorry… gams that go all the way up. Johnny interviews that he’s only comfortable with “rubbing up against” his wife. So they’re taking pictures of the shirtless couple taking pictures of themselves. Also, NBC has to blur out Michelle’s boobs. I don’t think there’s actual nipple on display, but the networks are super weird about showing underboob these days. Anyway, Lorenzo Lamas directs the photographer and tries to make this professional, but it’s really creepy. Not on his part. Lorenzo’s cool. Johnny and his wife are a little too into having all these people watch them simulate sex. It’s a bit much.
At Infinity, Shawn thinks the cover should have her, Jamie, and a male model wrapped in the flag to look naked. Their models show up and these dudes are built. There’s a hilarious shot of Shawn just gaping at them. Her coach doesn’t let her talk to boys! Then she gets super nervous talking to Kenya about what shots are supposed to accentuate. I don’t think Shawn wants to say “butt”. Kenya keeps directing Brandi to have more butt, and there’s more talk of Kenya’s rear being store-bought.
Back at Vortex, Terrell has to come up with an exercise plan, but he also has to shoot photos with his shirt off. Ian says “his back is like a bumpy road of muscles”, and I love that, because it starts as a simile but then gets literal. He’s channeling Edmund Blackadder. They photograph Terrell and a model doing exercises, and then we go back to Infinity where they’re also taking similar pictures. Kenya’s frustrated with everybody and doesn’t like the way the pictures are turning out. She tries to bodyshame Brandi, so Brandi gets down to just a bra and straddles a shirtless dude. Man, I hope Kenya doesn’t tell people that Brandi doesn’t have the guts to try and jump Springfield Gorge, because she will go for it.
Kate and Vivica turn up with the props just in time for the last photos. The Olympians wrap themselves in flags and I’m not sure if that’s OK or not. Leeza Gibbons thinks it’s confusing that they’re doing two separate things – they’re pushing the athletic aspect but also going for sex. Leeza’s really good at this show – you’d think they’d let her be onscreen once in a while.
At Vortex, Geraldo lectures Ian about being concise, but he just wants to write an essay about poledancing. It’s a full page long and includes the phrase “she filled my love tent to the brim” and if they ever invent the Men in Black memory eraser, that’s the first thing I’m going to lose. Ian poses next to a lady who’s doing pole acrobatics. Geraldo hates it, so he takes off all his clothes.
I am not making this up. He strips down to his undies, and yes, he’s in good shape for his age but it’s not anything you want inside your brain. He also has a big blurry tattoo on his arm that’s the color of a bruise, which just makes it that much worse. And he’s walking weird – I think he might be sucking in his gut so he has to take these dainty steps. So there’s Geraldo wearing boxer briefs, socks, and sunglasses, walking around with two little dumbbells. And nobody in the room expected this, so they’re all looking at each other and wondering what just happened to reality. Johnny in particular looks worried that they might all die soon. I don’t blame him. When an old man takes off his clothes and struts around the room in a way that I will always associate with the 1980’s WWF tag team The Bushwhackers, anything can happen. Terrell: “What part of the game is this?”
Geraldo then goes on to take credit for creating the selfie, which is plainly ridiculous. Of course, the only good thing that came out of that trend is, you know, Selfie. He takes pictures of himself for the spread, but Lorenzo is not sure that he will appeal to Cosmo‘s audience of women age 18 to 34. Or, let’s be honest, to anybody. Think back. When have you ever said “Oh, it’s Geraldo” with any kind of enthusiasm?
Vortex presents their spread (which sounds gross now that I think about it) to Liz Plosser, a fitness trainer, and the Trump kids. Geraldo explains the task again and smirks the world’s smuggest smirk. I don’t know how Liz isn’t getting up and punching him in the face. We don’t see much of the presentation, but Johnny is awkward and it looks like, yes, one of their four pages is Ian rhapsodizing about pole dancing. Hilariously, the Geraldo selfie is really small, to the extent that it’ll be maybe postage stamp-sized in the magazine.
Then it’s time for Infinity, and Jamie is as awkward as Johnny. Future Shawn interviews that she thinks they did a really good job. They have this whole “touchable you” concept, but it really doesn’t hold together. They’re putting the athletic stuff right next to the “these people just did it” shots. And while Vortex did a little of that, their spread had a bunch of different things in it, so it seemed like a potpourri. This feels like they had two ideas and couldn’t commit to one or the other. Kenya interviews that it didn’t really come together and snowboarders don’t know anything about putting together a magazine. The oldest stereotype in the book! We see almost none of their presentation.
Boardroom! Trump leads by asking Johnny whose fault it is if they don’t win. This is a ridiculous question to open with, and Johnny answers by saying it would depend on what was wrong with the presentation. He’s exactly right – I think they’re already worried about a lack of tension on Vortex. They’re not a good team, but other than Geraldo they’re all basically getting along and trying to do a good job. We’ll see this in action in the next hour when Trump just switches up the team without giving any kind of reason.
Geraldo takes credit for the idea, and Trump can’t wrap his mind around “Love Your Self(ie) Naked”. Geraldo says “it lost some subtlety in the translation, but I understand it had some pizzazz.” What? What translation? Did he have another idea that somebody misquoted along the way? And the phrasing is so weird – “I understand it had some pizzazz”. Was he talking to people about the presentation and now presenting their secondhand accounts even though he was there? Is he winning a bet by saying “pizzazz” on TV?
He then says that for this team to do a Cosmo spread was like “assigning a pack of apes to do a garden party”. Brimming with support for his team, he is! Ian thinks they won off of “Terrell’s smile and Johnny’s rear”.
Jamie, on the other hand, thinks that her team won. Kenya, and you will not believe this, said that she was the star of the team. Jamie agrees that she did a lot but should probably be fired if they lose. Trump asks Brandi how Kenya did, and she just replies “I think we won”. Don Jr. laughs like a goon, so Trump repeats the question and Brandi repeats her answer. Then she says “I think she’s evil”.
Trump: “She’s evil? She’s an evil person?” I love that he seems to want to clarify the ‘person’ part. As if the response would be “No, she’s an evil coral reef”. Kenya says that’s consistent with Brandi’s personality. Especially the part of her personality that hates Kenya. Kenya says she’s been nothing but nice, and neither one of them can claim the moral high ground there. Kate takes Kenya’s side, which guarantees that I’ll be on Brandi’s side forever. Jamie brings up the remarks about Kenya’s made-to-order rump, which the guys find hilarious. You know, Infinity might want to stop bringing this personal stuff up in the Boardroom all the time.
Brandi fudges the timeline of that remark, but Trump is fascinated by the idea that “artificial asses” exist. He sort of asks Kenya if hers is real – not quite, but close enough that Human Resources would have an issue with him.
Ivanka says that the executives liked Vortex’s concept and “thought it was particularly relevant with all that’s going on”. You know, like Ferguson and the Paris attacks. They also liked the first-person writing style, so apparently they were on board for Ian’s George Plimpton style ode to poledancing. However, they felt that their presentation lacked specifics.
Per Don, Cosmo liked that Infinity used the buzzwords, and that’s it. They didn’t like the theme or the overall style. But good buzzwords! So it’s not surprise that Vortex won this task.
The guys celebrate back in the suite. Johnny assures us that he’s getting stronger with each task. Is he a Highlander? Does he now possess the power of Keshia Knight-Pulliam, Kevin Jonas, and Gilbert Gottfried? Soon he’ll be unstoppable! And back in the Boardroom, Trump asks Jamie who’s at fault for the disconnected theme. The first words of her answer are “I mean….”, which is how you know you’re dealing with one of the great rhetorical minds of our time. Finally, she blames in on “the Housewifes (that’s how she pronounces it), because they slightly wanted that attention of being the main model”. That doesn’t answer the question, show much grasp of the reason why they lost, or make sense as a series of words.
She goes on about how much she liked the concept, and Ivanka reminds her that Cosmopolitan didn’t. Maybe now is not the time to be taking credit. Trump asks Leeza who he should fire and she says that Kenya had the most to do with the parts that they didn’t like. She continues to say “here’s the thing”, but Trump cuts her off and asks if he should fire Jamie. Leeza starts to say that historically the Project Manager is at risk, and Trump tells her that he’s wrong and doesn’t let her answer the question or finish her initial point. Leeza doesn’t press the issue because she’s smart enough to know that her name isn’t coming up and she can only make enemies at this point.
Trump asks Brandi if he should fire Kenya, but Brandi thinks Kate is the problem. She’s not “present” and she keeps “going shopping”. Technically that’s what she’s been assigned to do, but she seems to take longer than anticipated every time. Also, she’s getting that role because she doesn’t really do anything else. Anyway, Kate wants to fire Brandi for “negativity”. Specifically that negativity toward her thirty seconds ago. So Trump asks Vivica who waffles and then says that Brandi and Kate drive her nuts. He asks about Jamie, and Vivica responds that “she tried her best” in much the same tone that you would use when describing a five-year-old’s attempt to make dinner. In the suite, the men talk about how hard it must be to manage egos. Geraldo talks about this with no sense of irony.
Next, Trumps tells Kate that she’s been laying low. I mean, she was the second Project Manager so that’s not totally fair. But she also doesn’t bring anything to the table. The best she can do is lay low. At worst, she actually blips out of existence. (On The Leftovers, do you think Kate Gosselin survived 10/14?) Kate says it seems like she’s not doing much because other people are good at things and want to do them. Great defense, Oliver Wendell Holmes. Kenya says she’s fire Brandi, because duh. That’s her first response to any question. That was her lunch order.
Leeza steps up to Brandi’s defense and says that she’s worked incredibly hard. In all honesty, I don’t see the problem with her, other than her issues with Kenya. And those are really on both of them. There’s no good guy in that fight. Trump asks Jamie who she’s bringing back to the Boardroom, and she responds by asking him who he thinks she should bring.
Wow. You can see Jamie burying herself, right? She asks Trump if he could just fire one of them now. He offers to fire her. We all know that’s going to happen anyway. Look, even a dope could make this decision. You have two people who hate one another, and one of them was highly involved with the layout that lost the task. Bring in Brandi and Kenya to tear each other apart and you won’t even have to talk. Finally, she settles on Kate and Kenya. Not bad choices, honestly. The guys are baffled about Kate, but she’s been singled out as useless and she’s bad at arguing. Or Jamie just picked two names in a fit of panic. Probably that.
In the lobby, Kenya yells at Jamie for picking her because “everybody says that Brandi is toxic”. Based on what we saw, only Kenya and Kate said that and Leeza specifically praised her. I know that we can get jacked-up editing in reality shows on a good day, but these one hour episodes are kind of haphazardly assembled. There are a lot of references to things we don’t see, so now we don’t know if Kenya is exaggerating/lying or if everybody else called Brandi out for being a problem. As a recapper and a man who needs sleep, I hate to say it but… the two-hour episodes were better. I’m not wishing on a monkey paw or anything, but at one hour, they’re hard to follow.
Fake receptionist Amanda is not enjoying having to sit and watch this drama when she’s supposed to be at her actual job.
After the commercial, Kenya is still lecturing Jamie. Jamie responds, “I don’t know why I didn’t pick Brandi, trust me”. Which… wow. She got bullied into being mad at her past self from two minutes ago. Jamie will never be described as “resolute”. I’m pretty sure Fake Receptionist Amanda is trying not to laugh. (By the way, Fake Receptionist Amanda is one of the people I would most like to interview for spunkybean. If anybody knows her, hook a brother up!) Kenya wants Jamie to tell Trump that she should have picked Brandi, and Jamie agrees. And she says it in a way where she sounds irritated. Not with Kenya, but with Trump. Like she’s mad at Trump for… sitting there while she picked two names of her own free will.
Back in the Boardroom, she leads with the Jeri Blank “I got somethin’ to say!” She says that she made the wrong choice when she picked two people and that it would have been a no-brainer to pick Brandi. She then immediately says that she hasn’t made any mistakes. Jamie is trying very hard to be the all-time worst at this show. Jamie asks Trump why she didn’t bring Brandi back. Jamie Anderson: Asking the tough questions. Kenya says Jamie can’t blame it on her age because “we have businesses at 22”. Yeah… most people don’t. Checking the ol’ Wikipedia page, I see that Kenya did in fact start her own company… at age 37. And the one thing said company has done is distribute her video, Booty Boot Camp.
But Trump doesn’t bother with facts and says he was “building very big buildings at 20”. Oh, come on. You mean, back when you father was handing you everything? Also, he was twenty-five when he started working for his father. And also also, none of this has anything to do with whether or not another person would be good at making an ad for a magazine. This discussion started out without any relevance to the topic at hand, trudged through some out and out lies, and ended up a thousand miles away from the point.
Ivanka tries to get back to some semblance of reality and asks if she brought back Kate because she could take her. Jamie answers that she though Trump would want her to bring Kate and Brandi, and she’s confused as to why she didn’t. This is Jamie talking about a thing she just did as an outside observer. Life must be tough for her. She knows she’s allergic to sunflower seeds, so why does she keep eating them? She knows where she lives, so why does she keep trying to get into the homes of strangers? If only she knew herself well enough to answer that question!
Jamie continues, if you can believe it. She’s “disheartened” that she didn’t pick Brandi, but it’s not too late to fire her “if that’s what’s right”. She says that last bit in a snotty way, like it’s clearly all Trump’s fault. Look. I blame everything on Donald Trump in general, but this one is all you. Trump puts and end to the misery and fires Jamie. Kate makes a face that’s both sad and bored, and that’s that. Jamie can observe herself making decisions that she’s powerless to affect. I think she’s trapped in a Black Mirror episode.
She says “the mountains are calling, and I gotta go to them”, and for a second I forgot what she does and though maybe she was going to seek enlightenment in a hidden city. Kenya tells Jamie that Brandi “played her”, so I assume that she used some form of telepathic trickery to make Jamie forget she existed for a few moments.
Holy smokes – the only way Jamie’s behavior in the last twenty minutes makes any sense is if Brandi Glanville is actually Professor X!
Jamie reminds us that we can see her on Today. Maybe. She really wants to appear on the show but she might end up not going despite her own best efforts. The heart knows what it wants, unless you’re Jamie Anderson.
I’ll be back in a couple of days with the second half of this episode!