Previously on Celebrity Apprentice: Both teams made a four-page spread for Cosmopolitan. Ian Ziering wrote a lengthy treatise on poledancing, Geraldo Rivera took it off, and still the men won. Jamie Anderson seemed confused about her own choices while she was making them and thus, was an easy choice for firing. She disappeared into the mountains, never to be seen again.
We get off to a heck of a start in the suite. Geraldo is questioning Brandi Glanville about the nature of reality. “This is your real life? When you say you don’t like someone, you really don’t like them?” He’s probably just confused about reality TV (though how is that possible in 2015?), but I like to think that he can’t imagine somebody accurately speaking their feelings. Kate Gosselin and Kenya Moore come back from the Boardroom, and Vivica A. Fox greets them with “Well, you’re still here.” Ha! Terrell Owens asks Kenya if her booty is real, and she offers to let him touch it. And, yes, he does. What, like we’re going to start keeping things classy all of a sudden? Kenya interviews that she’s really in charge, so clearly she’s going to step up as Project Manager this week, right? Right?
Trump meets both teams in the Central Park Boathouse and starts talking about weddings. 2.5 million per year in the U.S., and that’s just Liz Taylor! (Sorry. My standup set from 1985 got mixed in to my Apprentice notes somehow.) Trump asks Geraldo “how many divorces”, and he answers “four”. But Trump meant how many throughout the country and everybody laughs, but how was Geraldo supposed to have that number? Trump just guesses that it’s fifty percent, so even he’s not prepared for his own pop quiz.
This is all setup for them to sell wedding dresses. We’ve seen this before – it’s a fundraising task and nothing matters but total money raised. This week’s wingmen are Don Jr. and Pete White…. Oh, wait. That’s just Eric Trump. Hi, Eric! Anyway, because the teams are kind of boring this year aside from Brandi v. Kenya and Geraldo v. Decency, Trump just switches up the teams without explanation.
As a result, the new Infinity is Ian, Brandi, Kenya, Terrell, Johnny Damon, and Leeza Gibbons. Over at Vortex we now have Geraldo, Kate, Vivica, Sig Hansen, Shawn Johnson, and Lorenzo Lamas. I will be getting the team named mixed up, so I’ll just warn you now. Ian steps up as PM for his team, and Geraldo returns for his. He’s going to grab all the fundraisers, isn’t he? Geraldo thinks that he’s the only one who can beat Ian, and Ian decrees “failure is not an option”. He’s going into full Sharknado mode this week. He will cut Geraldo open from the inside if he has to!
Vortex splits up into their two vans and Geraldo calls to tell the other half of his team that they have to raise money. Leadership! Kate thinks she can bring $50,000 and that’s $50,000 more than she raised a couple of weeks ago. Then Vortex arrives and learns that the two teams will have storefronts right next to one another. So we’re not even pretending that this is anything other than “who has the richest friends”.
Ian gets super intense as he explains the importance of raising money. Hey, if you can’t get enough of dudes explaining the concept of fundraising, this is the episode for you! In his interviews, Ian is wearing a plaid suit. It looks incredibly weird to me, but both Paul F. Tompkins and Jesse Thorn do that, too. PFT is, per Tim Gunn, the best-dressed person in comedy. Jesse is a style blogger. Both of them know more than I do, so apparently this is OK and I shouldn’t bring it up. By contrast, at this very moment I’m wearing a hoodie with a picture of the Greendale logo that looks like a butthole.
Ian talks about his charity, and it’s all about kids with rare diseases so no jokes. Except that Ian very seriously says “skin care has always been part of my wheelhouse” and I can’t not giggle. Also, he keeps talking and goes into inspirational speech mode and it starts to sound like when he encouraged the people of New York to take up arms against the Sharknado. He ends with “Let’s have church in here tonight!” That’s a weird battle cry. Brandi says he’s giving her anxiety. (This explains a lot about how Ian approaches Sharknado as if he’s doing Shakespeare. As a major 90210 fan, I love the guy, but he takes himself way too seriously for a guy who moonlights with the Chippendales and stars in SyFy Channel movies.–Myndi)
Ian announces that he has almost $200,000 locked in. Kenya says she can get maybe ten thousand, and Ian promises her a seat “that much closer to God”. But, like twenty times farther than Ian’s seat. Also, can he give people celestial seating assignments? And is it just him, or can any 90210 cast member determine where you sit in Heaven? I feel like Gabrielle Carteris would probably be the softest touch and just keeps moving people to the front of the line. You don’t want to reach out to Doherty, though. Trust me. Anyway, Ian says that Geraldo isn’t “the cock of the roost”, mostly because that’s not the expression. He says “failure is not an option” again. I think that’s his catchphrase. If he were a Street Fighter 2 character, that’s what it would say on his win screen. Oh man, and his stage would be the Peach Pit! Suddenly, I’m sad that there isn’t an old-school fighting game based on Celebrity Apprentice. Like, Gary Busey would have Blanka’s move set and everything. Call me, people who know how to make games and also people who can keep us from getting sued when we try to sell this game! (My contribution will be knowing a lot about Celebrity Apprentice and ’90s fighting games.)
Infinity starts making calls, each of them using speakerphones and thus looking important. Some guy on Ian’s phone makes a joke about Al Capone’s vault, and Kenya just stares at him, blank as a fart. I was going to make a joke about her being too young to know about things that happened, but she’s actually older than I am. Wow. Ian is concerned that Brandi is off by herself. She’s still there. She’s making phone calls, she’s just sitting far away from everybody. Possibly because everybody is using speakerphone at once. He tells her to come sit with the group, which is ridiculous. This isn’t a task where you have to build teamwork or really even cooperate. Just get some checks. Brandi says she can’t concentrate when everybody else is talking. She also knows she’s going to have issues with Kenya, so it’s better not to be near her. That’s both logical and mature.
This whole time, Terrell is eating a hamburger. And he’s eating it over his lap, all hunched over like he’s afraid he’ll get caught. It’s pretty funny, actually. Clearly, he doesn’t know that on Team Infinity, they work through lunch! Or at least until Kate yells at them for not eating. But now Kate’s on Vortex and Brandi and Leeza never have to eat lunch again! Then he kicks back for a nap, telling everybody he has “calls in”. He’s got the hustle of a champion!
Over at Vortex, Geraldo says the phrase “dialing for dollars” for the third time in seven minutes. Is he angling to host a reboot of the old game show? Is this all just buzz marketing? Lorenzo says “I am sourcing all of my contacts” as if that’s a sentence that means something. If you know Lorenzo Lamas, rest assured that you have been sourced. Geraldo interviews about his new team, which is to say he names all of them. (I think “sourcing my contacts” could be the new “think outside the box.”–Myndi)
Kate brings in some celebrity hairstylists to give consultations. That doesn’t seem at all useful when it comes to raising money, but she’s trying harder than Terrell. Also, she thinks she and Geraldo should dress as a bride and groom and stand out front. Try and imagine what would make you less likely to go into a store than Geraldo and Kate Gosselin standing out front. Here are the only things that would be a bigger deterrent than that particular tableau.
- A big sign that said “Caution: Spider Infestation”
- Somebody in full clown costume furiously masturbating.
And that’s it. I’d rather go into a store that had somebody standing out front and quoting Family Guy than go into the Geraldo and Kate shop. Unsurprisingly, Geraldo is on board and compliments Kate on her “enterprise”. She does not know what that word means. Geraldo doesn’t help when he tells her it means “You’re thinkin’.” Also, I have just now noticed that sometimes Kate sounds a lot like Paget Brewster. This is distressing because they are at complete opposite ends of the spectrum for me and I don’t want anybody that I like connected to any Gosselin.
Wedding dresses arrive and Sig says that he’s becoming a woman just by being near dresses. There’s a reason we don’t see much of him.
Ian gets really focused on “creating an experience”, even though that’s not part of the criteria. He also expresses approval by saying “bomb dot yeah”. There’s no part of that phrase that’s OK. I don’t even think that’s a valid web address! That actually sounds like something Gina would say on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. No, wait – it’s something Amy would say to make Gina think she was cool! Myndi and I are going to get to work on that spec script immediately.
Ian’s really excited about his “uplit birch trees” and then he notices that Brandi is missing. Do you think somebody took her? As he looks, Terrell eats spaghetti out of a take-out container. Ha! There’s that hustle again. I also like to imagine that this is all the same meal and he ordered a hamburger with a side of spaghetti. Brandi calls in to let Ian know that she had to leave because of a panic attack but she’s sending email and still trying to raise money. Kenya gets on her case for it and assumes that it’s because Brandi “is intimidated by my present”. No, not “presence”. Ian complains to Terrell, who’s sitting down with his arms crossed, no phone in sight. Terrell’s not buying it, which is hilarious. How could she possibly be overwhelmed? After that hamburger and spaghetti lunch, she should be in a great mood! Heck, Terrell lost his phone three days ago and you don’t see him stressing out about it!
Look. I can’t pretend to know anything about Brandi, but panic attacks are a real thing. If that’s actually what happened, then yeah, it’s better that she got out without making a fuss. Of course, she could be the kind of person who calls every moment of stress a panic attack and every headache a migraine. (I have a friend who gets actual migraines that make her forget how English works. That’s a migraine.)
At Vortex, they speculate as to how much money Ian could raise. Vivica interviews about the situation, and I’m not sure it would be possible for her to sound more drunk. Apparently their hamburger and spaghetti lunch came with a side of gin. (And it’s possible she just had the gin.–Myndi)
Shawn climbs up scaffolding and everybody calls her a monkey. She wonders whether this will help her get ahead in the competition. Wouldn’t it be amazing if she went on the show with no idea of what it actually is and all season she’s been biding her time and waiting for the task that’s judged solely on balance? Brandi’s back with her team and ready to work.
The boutiques open and immediately “the fax machine starts spewing out orders”. Man, they did shoot this a long time ago. Brandi brings in $13,000 right off the bat. Geraldo and Kate stand outside their store, joking about how she doesn’t want men to know she has eight kids. She might want to reconsider the title and premise of her TV series, then. Geraldo calls them “eight potential income sources”, which would be funny if that wasn’t exactly what they are. Now it’s just sad. Sig is wearing a tux, and you’ve never seen anybody look so uncomfortable.
Steve Doocy and the brown-haired guy who’s not Steve Doocy show up to buy a wedding dress. I’m always disappointed when I’m reminded that those two are real people and not just characters played by Taran Killam and Bobby Moynihan. Then Geraldo brings in $100,000 from “Stewie Rahr”, a philanthropist with a hilarious name.
Over at Infinity, Terrell yells at people who walk past the store. Ian brings in some Chippendales guys as “220 pounds of twisted steel and sex appeal”, which is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. It makes them sound like they might be sex robots. Kenya brings in $25,000 and forces a woman into a dress claiming that if you can still breathe, it’s not tight enough. What woman needs oxygen on the most important day of her life?
Sig starts forcing passerby into the Vortex boutique. Like, grabbing them. And he’s not that recognizable, so for these people, they just assume that an ogre is abducting them, possibly to make bread out of their bones.
A woman who looks like a parallel universe Mercedes Ruehl brings Ian a check for $165,000. Then, ’90s Spider-Man villain Tombstone and a woman enter the store… Oh, wait. That’s just Eric Trump. Hi, Eric! That’s actually his fiancee, who has no idea that she’s signing up for a life as the Queen of the Mole People. She’s actually very attractive, and I know the idea of a Trump marrying a woman who’s much better-looking than they are is completely unprecedented. (They’ve actually been married for a couple of months now, and every single article I’ve seen boasts at least one hilarious picture of Eric.) Then suddenly they’re over at Infinity. Eric asks Kate if she brought in money and she says it’s on the way. The task is starting to wind down and her donor hasn’t come in.
Infinity tries for a last-minute push. Well, except Terrell who’s mostly expressing confusion that his zero effort has resulted in no reward. He proclaims that he’s done all he can do and there certainly wouldn’t be any point in, oh, trying some more. If you can’t win instantly, you’re better off not trying. So he sits down and leans back in a folding chair, which is the posture of a winner.
Some unidentified guy pulls up in a douche car at the last minute to give Kate $30,000. No idea who’s going to give Kate that much money, but I bet it’s actually TLC. The channel, not the singing group. T-Boz has already served her time on this show!
The task wraps up and both managers think that their team won. And with that, it’s time for…
…The Boardroom! Trumps asks Ian if he won, and he says yes. He says that everybody had to be a “person of resource or a person of value”, which doesn’t mean much. Brandi talks about her panic attack and Trump is disappointed that he didn’t cause it. Everybody pretends that’s funny. Kenya says that Brandi is intimidated by her, and Ian says she’s fragile. This is the season where we talk about women as if they’re not in the room! Trump asks Brandi about Kenya and I’m so bored with this rivalry.
Ian mentions his big check, and for the first time we see Geraldo get an “Oh, poop” look on his dumb mug. However, he says that he thinks they won. Kate threatens to marry and divorce Geraldo. Trump tells Shawn that she looks great and she’s “really stepping it up”. Just to max out the creep factor, Trump adds “You know, I watched that Olympics and you have really grown up”. There’s no way I can interpret those words that doesn’t lead to some sort of pervy outcome.
Now, there’s a lot of setup for this. Trump is willing to do something that he’s never done before. The combined total is almost $600,000. Also, the two teams were only $2,500 apart in total earnings. So he’s willing to offer the PM’s the chance to keep their team’s money for their charity regardless of who wins, or they can “go for broke”. It’s the old Spanish Prisoner, only they’re in the same room which means it doesn’t work. This is actually surprisingly decent of Trump – you remember last season when losing a fundraising task basically screwed over Patricia Velazquez’ charity for the year? So hopefully these guys can do the right thing. And I’ll admit, I’m worried… Ian leaves the choice up to Geraldo, which has never once been a wise course of action.
Geraldo says it would be a “reckless ego play” to go for the whole thing, so both of them agree to keep their own money. I’m so relieved and I think that was the right move. Kudos to both of them. Don’t worry, I’ll be back to insulting them soon enough. Don Jr. asks Ian if they won, and he gets mad. “I feel we had a winning effort. I can’t predict the unknown” he says in a tone of voice that suggests he’s mentally adding “dick” to the end of his statement.
Infinity raised $292,000 and some odd dollars. That’s pretty great. And then Vortex edged them out with $294,000. Holy smokes. Trump tosses in some extra to get Geraldo to $300,000 which is actually pretty nice. I mean, it’s a tiny degree of nice, all things considered. But we take what we can get. Fake Secretary Amanda is beaming when they leave. I like to think she was killing time by reading recaps and seeing the nice things I said about her.
Vortex congratulates themselves in the Suite, and then we’re back to the Boardroom. Ian asks Trump if he’ll repeat his generosity and bump his total up to $300,000. Trump agrees, but he jokingly says “no” first and then has to explain that he was joking. Also, the way Ian asks is really stiff and overly formal, and then when Trump agrees he lets out a “Nice!”, which is pretty funny. Trumps asks Johnny what happened, and Johnny explained that the other team raised more money. I’m never going to get tired of completely literal answers to that question.
Ian says that nobody let him down, but Eric says somebody must have. You know, it’s entirely possible that everybody did their best and they just got edged out. Of course, that’s not the case since we know Terrell was busy with a complicated lunch, but we’re talking purely theoretically here. We learn that Brandi raised nearly $40,000 which is pretty impressive. Kenya brought in $35,000. That was better than I expected from both of them. Johnny and Terrell did not raise much money at all. Trump insists that a “John Henry” would have given Johnny all the money he wanted. The steel-drivin’ man? I don’t know that he has money to spare, what with him being busy competing with the steam drill. And that’s completely ignoring the fact that he broke his poor heart and laid down his hammer and died.
Ian agrees that the women all performed really well in all respects, while the guys didn’t bring in money. So Terrell and Johnny are coming back to the Boardroom with him. The guys wait in the lobby and are sad and Ian is trying really hard to make sure they know it isn’t personal, but Johnny and Terrell are well aware that they suck. There’s no drama here. (Also, how do guys who both had multi-million contracts on multiple sports teams with other guys who had the same not know anyone they can ask for a contribution of some kind?–Myndi)
Back in the Boardroom, Terrell indicates that a $5,000 donation didn’t come in, and that would have won them the task. He’s not mad and Trump really, really wants him to be mad. Given that the charity still ends up with the money (and the money that Trump threw in to round it up was more than $5,000 anyway), they don’t lose anything. Really, the only negative consequence to losing is that somebody who probably doesn’t have much interest in being there is going to be fired. Let’s be honest – Terrell is checked out.
Trump says he can’t fire Ian because he did so well. Ian says, “with a heavy heart” that Terrell should be fired. Trump asks Terrell, and he agrees. Well, that clinches it. Trump tells him that he’s done a great job and helped himself “immeasurably”. Sure. Who hasn’t watched this season and come up with a way to incorporate Terrell Owens into their next project? Terrell Owens, you’re fired.
Terrell is totally cool with going home. In fact, he seems more upset about having to plug his Today appearance.
Next week: Joan Rivers! And in case you’re wondering if it’ll be tasteful, it has inspirational music playing while the VO touts her final appearance and then Joan air-kisses Geraldo. This one is gonna be rough.