Previously on Celebrity Apprentice: Sig Hansen finally took charge for a task involving boats. Not navigating squalls with one, but rather to entertain people who were standing on one. But if you’re good at one thing with boats, you have to be good at anything that can happen on a boat. It’s also boats. Geraldo Rivera switched quickly from a 9/11-themed cruise to on that was breast-themed and it was such a mess that Brandi Glanville’s team won and Sig was fired.

In the suite, Infinity talks about how Geraldo is the real problem on Vortex. Try as he might, Ian Ziering can not pronounce “destructive” and “disruptive” as two different words. Leeza Gibbons thinks he’s unstoppable. A demoralized Vortex returns and Geraldo toast Sig and his “Lion’s heart”. I think I’ve got it figured out. You know how, on Gotham, Penguin thinks Gordon is his best friend mostly because Gordon didn’t kill him? It’s a similar thing here. Geraldo is the Oswald Cobblepot of this show, only without the charisma.

The baby ducklings assemble for their new task. Trump gives the cameraman the most awkward thumbs-up ever and then he joins the teams outside. Waiting for him are Don, Jr. and Samuel Aboah from that one X-Files episode. Oh, wait. That’s just Eric Trump. Hi, Eric! Trump jokes about it being windy and how that’s proof that he’s not wearing a toupee. He does this bit every year, only this time his hair is not moving at all. Also, nobody thinks he’s wearing a rug – why would you get a toupee with a built-in comb over? Everybody fake laughs, which I think would be the hardest thing about being on this show.

I also like that, on the subject of wigs, Trump says “Geraldo has known that for years”. It makes me think that everybody on FOX News occasionally has to rub Trump’s head for luck.

Trump asks Vivica A. Fox which member of Infinity she’s like to join their team, and she picks Ian. Geraldo picks Leeza. Kate Gosselin doesn’t get a vote because nobody cares. And it doesn’t matter because Trump moves Kenya Moore over to Vortex to even up the teams. Brandi is thrilled to be rid of her nemesis. “I let that woman steal my happy for a hot second”. Those are all English words, I can tell you that!

This week, they’re going to do a project for the Miami-based Trump National Doral. “It’s hot as a pistol. Tiger plays there. Ernie plays there. Phil plays there.” For those of you who don’t know much about golf, that’s Tiger Woods, Ernie Hudson, and Phil Collins. It’s a golf course with a massive hotel that “takes over Miami”. Much like the cocaine business in the 80s. Trump says that the Trumplings will decide who wins and who loses, but he hasn’t actually said what the task is. Maybe they’re going to play a round of golf!

No such luck. They’ll create an “interactive themed environment” and they’ll be judged on “creativity, brand integration, and overall guest experience”. Wow, no “brand messaging” this time. The Trumps are switching it up! Kate volunteers to be Vortex’s project manager and Ian takes it for Infinity. The winner will receive “a lot of money”. How non-specific of you!

The teams head to their rooms, and Kenya explains the task to us again. Did you know Trump’s brand “is synonymous with luxury”? Seriously, is there anybody for whom the Trump name is some kind of seal of quality? Apparently Geraldo has been to the Doral. They have a course called “the blue monster”, and he wants them to come up with a Blue Monster mascot. Kenya and Vivica think that’s tacky but Kate is geeked about the idea of a friendly monster who’s kind of shaggy. Kenya sketches a layout for their display which will include a “honeymoon suite”. Things are about to get sexy at the interactive display!

I have such a hard time understanding this kind of task. It seem like something you’d do for kids like the old Harry Potter task from years ago. I don’t know what this does for adults. Hey, we’re just conveying the idea of a hotel room and a golf course in this confined space. That’s fun, right?

Kate asks Vivica and Kenya to go shopping, and Kenya puts up a little bit of resistance, but it’s all really passive-aggressive. Kenya says that it’s going to take a long time and Kate’s all “Yeah, I know.” It’s so close to turning into a fight, but nobody pulls the trigger.

Over at Infinity, Ian explains his charity. He’s done this before, and you can see his team is trying not to roll their collective eyes at hearing the speech again. And I’m not going to make jokes about charity, but it’s weird that Ian has gotten to give this speech twice and in some cases all we know about the other competitors is the name of the charity that they’re playing for. To me, that’s a little editing hint that Ian is in the final two.

Oh man, he even talks about getting a seat closer to God again. Is this a repeat? Did the season loop back around on itself? Is Terrell Owens eating lunch just off-camera?

Leeza stresses the importance of making their display interactive. She wants to give them something to do. Here’s my pitch – the only thing in the display is a pedestal, dead center. Setting on that pedestal is Bop-It. Which would you prefer? A tiny putting green or a hearty game of Bop-It? No contest!

Johnny Damon speaks! He thinks they should focus on golf and he’s friends with “the best guy”. He’s Tiger’s guy! This is all very non-specific, frankly. Ian is excited about getting access to the best guy and then interviews that he’s running the team as a meritocracy. He said the same thing last time he was Project Manager! And in the interviews, he went from his plaid suit to the gray-and-purple one, leading me to believe that Ian was actually sick during this task and they’ve assembled his appearances in this episode out of clips from previous episodes. If he starts talking about pie, we’ll know for sure that’s what happened.

Infinity gets to their presentation space and Ian explains the task again. Sadly, he doesn’t mention selling wedding dresses so my theory may be incorrect after all. Then he talks about his schooling and how he’d have made straight As if only they’d taught imagination and creativity. I’m not sure what he’s talking about anymore, and he has his third suit in as many interview segments. He’ll have a nurse outfit by the end of the episode if he keeps burning through his wardrobe at this rate.

Ian tries to explain everything to his team but he forgets words and at one point he says that they’re going have a wall that’s “permanent but movable”. Leeza repeats that just to make sure she’s not the one who’s lost her mind. He also says “and over here… we’ve got that” without indicating what “that” is. The only thing they really determine is that he wants “some kind of pole structure”. You mean like what they use for… poledancing? I was joking at first, and now I’m legitimately starting to think they’re using Ian clips from previous episodes. He’s going to suddenly get twenty years younger when they need to pull a 90210 clip.

The other three members of the teams just start laughing as Ian walks around pointing out the occasional “gold pole opportunity”. Leeza loses it at that phrase and then interview that Ian’s vision is “playing out on a screen somewhere in Ian’s head”. Ian sends Brandi and Johnny shopping but first he asks Johnny if he managed to get the pro golfer and Johnny is noncommittal. That sounds like a guy who’s definitely going to deliver, right? While they’re in the van, he calls the guy again and has to keep leaving voicemails. He actually starts calling multiple golf instructors because the one he talked about before totally isn’t real and he just needs somebody with plaid pants and a working knowledge of backswing.

At Vortex, Kate talks to a set designer who’s worried that the Kid’s Corner will be the same size as the ballroom. They should just put up a sign that says “Not to Scale” and solve all their problems. Geraldo and the graphic artist create the Blue Monster. It’s cute, but it’s also exactly what you’re expecting when you hear those words. Then Kate is also sitting by the computer even though she’s talking to the designer in another part of the room. She’s bilocating! I’ve made fun of her for all these years and now I fear her power!

Vivica and Kenya ride out on their shopping trip and Kenya is still griping about not being called upon to use her expertise in the field of luxury. Yeah, one episode ago, she was humping the deck of a boat. If she knew luxury, she’d at least have humped a yacht. Also? Super weird that they’re buying furniture to create the feel of the resort without actually matching it to the resort. It’s like they’re trying to say “Like these tables? Well, the Doral also features tables of some sort. They may not look the same, but they’re just as good at serving as an elevated flat surface. Tables.” Vivica is already over Kenya and interviews that she’s keeping her “good eye” on Kenya? Is the other one made of glass?

By the way, I’m like 80% sure that Inspector Spacetime’s phone booth is in the prop house.

Back at Infinity, people who know what they’re doing are making things for the display. Ian says it’s coming together like a “German train station”. That’s not a phrase. There’s no way that’s a phrase. If you wanted to make a super weird analogy, at least say “Italian” because of the old saying about how Mussolini made the trains run on time. What’s happening to you this week, Ian? I don’t understand you!

A friend of his recreates the Doral logo in flowers, and another friend made a drawing of Donald Trump. Who in Heaven’s name sets out to sketch Trump? From whom is he a muse? Leeza interviews that it was a nice peaceful day without Kenya.

Speaking of, she and Vivica are running late. Kenya wants to get back but Vivica thinks it’s better to make sure they have everything they need. Back at the space, Kate is starting to stress out from not having props or half her team. Kenya keeps texting here, and it’s mostly her just slamming Vivica. That’s actually pretty funny, but totally obnoxious. Finally, they talk on the phone and Kate asks when they’ll be back. Rather than answering the question, Kenya talks about how she wanted to leave earlier and it wasn’t her decision, and Vivica is sitting right next to her and making a Herculean effort to not strangle her.

Jump forward in time and Vortex is just about done. It’s…. a bunch of posters and a fake hotel room. This is so dumb. Like, not just in the regular way that this show is dumb. It’s a dumb task. Who would go to an event like this and also care? “Oooh, a partial replica of a hotel room that may or may not match up to the actual room since they had to furnish it from a prop store! Marge, I’ve found our next vacation!” (I didn’t intend for that to be Homer Simpson when I started writing that sentence, but it kinda works.)

Geraldo asks “Did anyone find my pants?”, which is terrifying. It implies that not only did he misplace pants, but that it’s somebody else’s responsibility to find them. Also, it leaves open the possibility that Geraldo is pantsless right now Was he doing another selfie?

Kate says it came together better than she anticipated, and I have to assume that she was anticipating London during the Blitz, because this is a hot mess. Tiny bed, tiny bathtub, a little table for kids to sit at and color. Are there actually going to be kids here? Who brings their kids to see a fake hotel room? “Shhh. Daddy’s going to look at a small bed and imagine what a regular bed would look like. You go sit under the monster and color.” And the idea of a Trump property having a “Kid’s Club” is really funny. Imagine the animated version of the Trump family. Trump and Don Jr. would be bullfrogs, Ivanka a magical princess, and Eric would have to be a ghost.

Kate says that “girl drama” hurt the overall presentation, but the edit just makes it seem like Kenya and Vivica came back too late. Was there an actual fight that we didn’t see? I guess we all have to wait for the Director’s Cut. (I kid, but if NBC put out seasons off Celebrity Apprentice on DVD, I would probably buy them Don’t look at me! I’m hideous!)

At Infinity, they have the giant sketch of Trump on their signage, and I remain mystified that such a thing exists. A golf pro shows up, but apparently Johnny dropped the ball and Ian had to contact his pro. Do all these guys know golf instructors? Unless I have a friend who can analyze my swing, can I even call myself a man? The guy talks about the technology he’s going to use, and this made the cut but a fight that they keep alluding to didn’t.

Infinity’s set-up doesn’t look as bad, but it’s still dumb. This one at least has a massage chair, a golf pro, and a sign that spells out “Doral” in marigolds. It doesn’t look as much like it was assembled from pieces of other displays, Battleworld-style, but it’s still just a silly thing to do and expect people to look at. Everybody but Ian thinks that the sign should be out front where people can see it, so Ian gets in an argument with Brandi. Well, not really an “argument”, since he just stands there shaking his head and repeating “Serenity Now” in his head. He’s got this bad habit of acting like everybody else is too stupid to deserve a moment of his time, and he’s so condescending that it looks like he’s constantly fighting back bursts of violent anger. I don’t think he is, but he’s not good at expressing himself. Brandi interviews that Ian is a control freak and that it’ll “be his downfall”. If not on this task, then in life!

People start showing up at Vortex. Kate’s wearing a black jacket and a… porter’s cap? Over her clothes? It looks like she killed a bus driver for a disguise. There’s a montage of the women talking about the Doral and Geraldo slinging booze. Their signature drink is the Blue Monster, which is also the mascot they aimed at kids. That seems like a pretty significant misstep. It’s a character for kids or it has vodka in it. It can’t be both things. But I might just be grumpy because I had too many Super Grovers before I started writing. I might have to do a line of Doc McStuffins to normalize. And if I can’t get to sleep, I’ll pop a Twilight Sparkle.

Geraldo thinks he’s in charge of fun. He’s the Leonard F. Chikarason of Vortex! He’s really pushing the Blue Monster. And is there some legal issue with Geraldo just mixing drinks for people at a corporate event? I feel like there are so many potential issues with that where Trump and NBC could really leave themselves open to a lawsuit. Geraldo even interviews, bragging about how much booze is in the drink and then keeps telling people that he’s drunk already. The NBC Legal Department can’t even realize that this show is on the air.

Don Jr. and Otis B. Driftwood (from the first movie, not the second) to check out the display. Oh, wait. That’s just Eric Trump. Hi, Eric! Vortex tells them things they already know about their hotel, and Eric really seems to like the Blue Monster. Maybe it will be his friend! There’s actually a kid coloring there, and I think maybe they got him from the prop house. They have everything there!

Kenya interviews that the whole thing looks like crap and it’s all because she wasn’t there. Luxury is her strong suit, you guys! But I thought writing was her strong suit! Is everything her strong suit? Is she actually the guy from Catch Me If You Can? Kate complains to the Trumps about the “girl drama”. Why are we not seeing this? Either there was a blow-out or Kate just calls it “girl drama” whenever two women disagree.

Over to Infinity! It’s a lot more personable – the team members are talking to people like they’re human beings rather than reciting talking points. Johnny massages people, which is apparently a big draw. Though we don’t see anybody enjoy it as much as Brandi claimed people enjoyed it. Most of what we see is people who are pleasantly surprised that he didn’t harm them. The Trumplings arrive and there’s more talk about swing analysis. A Doral executive asks a question that Ian can’t answer, and he’s all “maybe somebody else knows”. Leadership! Of course, the guy asking the question already knows since it’s a question about the ballroom. It’s a pop quiz, hotshot.

Brandi is surprised that “Mr. Monologue” doesn’t have all the answers. Look, room dimensions aren’t his wheelhouse. His twin wheelhouses are skin care and poledancing. He can’t know everything! He’s not Kenya! She steps in to answer the question while Ian interviews that he “made magic”. In face, he “pulled the whole magician out of that hat”. But, if the magician was inside the hat, where did the hat come from? How could the magician’s hat be inside itself? Is a tesseract involved?

Boardroom Time! Kate is pretty sure they won and she tells Trump about the Blue Monster. He seems utterly confused, and it’s nice to occasionally be reminded that Trump pays absolutely no attention to the tasks and this is the first he’s hearing of any of this. Kenya says she loves her new team, praising Kate and Geraldo, but noticeably not Vivica. Kate talks about the Vivica/Kenya problems and Vivica says she was disappointed in Kenya as a team member. They talk about this forever, with Kenya and Vivica talking over one another. Kenya makes the hilarious statement that “You don’t get to become Miss USA without being a team player.” I’m not at all convinced that teamwork is a major part of winning a pageant, but I think Kenya needed to remind us all that she won something once. Trump and Geraldo joke about having to listen to women argue. Dames, am I right?

Ian believe his team wins and calls them a “four cylinder engine with 500 horsepower”, and I don’t know enough about cars to know whether that’s good or not. I suspect Ian doesn’t either. Ian gets the name of the place wrong and asks “shall I go again?” and Trump answers “no”. So that happened on our TVs. Brandi says it was a happy day without the dark cloud over their team and Kenya complains “that’s a low blow”. Wait a minute – Kenya made fun of Brandi’s divorce last week, but for Brandi to say she prefers not working with her is a low blow? I don’t know anything about the Real Housewives shows, but I’m willing to say that whatever their issue is, it’s 100% Kenya’s fault. Trump asks if Ian listens to other people, and Brandi says that he listens but she laughs about it. There is no follow-up. Leeza calls him “intense” and says he has a vision but he’s not always able to communicate it. It’s really minor criticism because this team is actually quite functional. Ian says he’d have to nitpick to choose a weak link, but Trump pushes him and he settles on Johnny. That’s a smart choice, if only because I don’t see Johnny putting up much of a fight. Ian alludes to not delivering on the golf pro but it’s really non-specific. Per Trump, the Trumplings decided the winner and it wasn’t even close.

Don Jr. says that Infinity’s experience was luxurious and interactive, but they didn’t have much for the kids. There’s no mention of Ian not knowing answers, so thanks for taking the time to show us that. Eric says that Vortex did a great job with the family aspect and they might actually use the Blue Monster. Which brings us a question – do the sponsors of each task own the work outright? Like, they own the Blue Monster without any kind of recompense? That seems shady to me. But Eric says they missed the mark on the task and it didn’t have the “Trump luxury”. Infinity wins! Again! Trump once again says that Ian is going to get “a lot of money”, and I don’t think a figure has been mentioned this entire time.

Infinity celebrates their fourth win in a row. I think Vortex is cursed. Did they desecrate a burial ground and we just didn’t see it? These editors, I swear. And then, back to the Boardroom. Kate is shocked at the loss and tries to blame it on late delivery of the props. That already feels like a losing strategy. Even if Trump acknowledges that Kenya and Vivica were gone for too long, that still amounts to acknowledging that the team needed them to make it good. And Geraldo is bulletproof, so Kate’s only hope is to pick a side in Vivica v. Kenya and make it two against one. Slamming them both is not a smart move.

Trump asks Kate which of the two is better because he wants to see some drama. Kate picks Vivica, which seems accurate. Kenya points out that she beat Vivica as Project Manager, which makes her a better player. Well, it means she had a team that happened to do better that week, which isn’t the same thing at all. Vivica says that having Kenya around makes her uncomfortable and they’re both talking over each other again. Kate dismisses it as “girl drama”, which gets her a dirty look from both. In the suite, Infinity cheers Kate on because none of them like Kenya either. Kate says the team would be better without Kenya. Kenya reminds Trump that Vortex lost three in a row without her, which is true. It doesn’t mean she’s not a problem, though. She thinks she’s too strong. She’s been called “nothing but smart”, which is not true. She hasn’t offended anyone, which is definitely not true. She calls herself “easy to work with”, and that’s not true either. When do the lies end?

Kenya blames both Vivica and Kate for the loss. Vivica talks about how tired she is of hearing Kenya’s resume over and over again. But she has so many stories from the set of Booty Boot Camp!

Kenya calls the Trumps “The First Family of America”. I’m sorry, did you say something? I couldn’t hear you over all the gagging. I can’t decide if it’s worse if she believes that or if it’s just something she says to make points. It’s not good either way, really.

Does anybody like the Trumps? Like, is Donald Trump actually relevant in any way to anybody? I would say that the vast majority of the public has only negative associations with the name “Trump”. Beyond that, America has a First Family. That’s actually where the term comes form. It’s so dumb to say they’re “America’s First Family”, because America is the only country that has a defined First Family. Gahh! But Trump loves it, which makes it even worse. Do you think Trump has ever once in his life picked up on a false compliment? Does he know that flattery exists? Even Eric picks up on the fact that she’s slinging crap, and he learned social interactions from the mole people who raised him in a cavern!

Don tries to call out Kenya because she took credit before she knew they lost and now says the creative was all Kate. Wow, big ups to Don Jr. for actually asking a pertinent and interesting question! Kenya responds by saying that Vivica is intimidated by her. It’s like she didn’t hear the question. Vivica thinks this is pretty hilarious. Trump asks Vivica if Kenya is “attractive or beautiful” because those are the only two options. Vivica says “attractive” and everybody reacts like the gauntlet has been thrown Kenya jumps in to say that she hasn’t had any plastic surgery and Vivica calls her out for having a “badonkadonk” that’s “fake as hell”. HA! Kenya’s low blows really bother me, and I’m glad to see Vivica strike back (For the record, yeah, Vivica has clearly had some work done, but I feel like there’s some kind of facelift in Kenya’s past.)

Trump asks Geraldo if Kate was able to handle Kenya and Vivica and Geraldo’s trying to be diplomatic while also being keenly aware that if Kate gets fired he’s stuck with those two. Kenya jumps in to say “I was concerned when I heard that Kate was Project Manager”. Wait, what? You were there when the team talked about it. You could have volunteered! Don’t act like you only found out about it later, possibly by reading a message that arrived via raven. Then she talks about how much she’s traveled and that Kate doesn’t understand luxury. Man, I’m so tired of Kenya being on TV.

Trump has no interest in sorting any of this out, so he just fires Kate. I thought I’d take more pleasure in that, but it’s oddly hollow. But I’m one step closer to never recapping Kate Gosselin again!

Hey, Kate! Where can we go to hear your side of the story? Some morning show perhaps? Oh, if only there was a way to find out. Oh well.

See you in a couple of days for another task! I look forward to the train wreck that is the Vortex team of Geraldo/Kenya/Vivica. I’m not even sure that team can make it to the Boardroom.

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One Response to Celebrity Apprentice Season 7, Episode 9 – “Gold Pole Opportunity”

  1. Colleen says:

    Wait wait wait. Is Winston from Ghostbusters a big enough draw in golf to be referred to solely by his first name?

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