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'Celebrity Apprentice' Recap: Sweet Smell of Success

And what's the fragrance of failure?

Donald Trump Jr., Donald Trump, and Ivanka Trump on 'The Celebrity Apprentice.'
Douglas Gorenstein/NBC
April 23, 2012 9:10 AM ET

With last week's dismissal of thy-man-of-brilliant-lip-rug, Paul Teutul Sr., and now only seven contestants remaining, it's safe to say we've entered the home stretch of this season's edition of Celebrity Apprentice. Is this a good or bad thing? We'll hold our thoughts.

Comedian Lisa Lampanelli, who has made a habit of berating model Dayana Mendoza all season – and seemingly deriving much pleasure from it – makes a bold and frankly quite surprising proclamation to start this week's episode. Lampanelli says she's "just gonna be nice" to Mendoza. Aubrey O'Day, on the other hand, isn't about to change her course: she's consistently been out for herself – and making a slew of enemies along the way – and this week is no different. "I don't have anyone's back," says the woman most famous for pissing off Diddy. Of course, before we officially get the episode underway, the project manager for last week's winning team – in this case, Lampanelli – must deliver her charity, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, its check. Lampanelli is happy. The organization is happy. We're all happy. Smiles and hugs all around!

The remaining contestants gather in Donald Trump's apartment for seemingly no other reason than for him to show off his obscene wealth – seriously, that place has more gold than Lil Wayne's dopest grill. While at Trump’s apartment the teams do receive their next task: they learn they’ll be designing an in-store display for Macy's that promotes Trump's latest venture, a men's fragrance entitled Success by Trump. (Hard to believe that's going to be a sweet smell.) The project managers for this week are Clay Aiken and O'Day.

The teams break off and Mendoza instantly throws out the idea that she, or some other hot woman, should get naked for a picture to be featured on the display. Go on, Dayana. Unfortunately, Clay Aiken isn't feeling this idea (Damn you, Clay!) "This is not a porno cover," the singer says, to the disgust of men across the country. Instead, the team decides to go with a skyscraper-themed display featuring a large-scale picture of Mendoza snuggled up against a male model's chest. The male model will be wearing a Trump-brand tie. Despite deferring project-manager duties to Aiken, team member Penn Jillette takes an authoritative role, much to Aiken's disgust. Jillette also comes up with their slogan for the fragrance: “You Earned It.”

The other team meanwhile, is having issues of its own. O'Day, per usual, is taking her usual "my way or the highway" attitude. "Sometimes Aubrey forgets that we're a team," says her nemesis, Arsenio Hall. Like their opponents, O'Day's team also decides to go with a skyline theme. But instead of a picture they go with a silhouette of a young Trump. To accomplish this they take a picture of their project advisor, Trump's son Eric. Their brand slogan? "Trust Your Instincts."

Before both teams go full-force on building their displays, O'Day's team decides it's best to take a picture of the city so they can render an accurate depiction of the NYC skyline for their display. Being short in stature, O’Day has to get up on Hall's shoulders to snap a good picture of the city. "Aubrey had a great idea," Hall explains. "She said, 'Let me put my vagina on the back of your neck.’ My neck is the warmest it's ever been!"

Once their displays are complete, the teams present them to two executives, one from Macy's and another who works for Trump. Both teams have their own respective flaws. O'Day's team's display looks tacky, and Aiken stumbles through his team’s presentation, running out of things to say far too quickly and causing palpable awkwardness.

In the boardroom, things appear to be happy-go-lucky for both teams – each thinks they did a great job. That is, until Trump presses O'Day about her team's slogan, "Trust Your Instincts," which the executives love. Both O'Day and Hall want to take credit for the idea which, not surprisingly, leads to some classic bickering between the two enemies. On the contrary, the executives hate Aiken's team's slogan: They feel "You Earned It" comes across as far too pompous.

In the end, O'Day's team notches the victory. Working against Aiken’s team was a massive photo of Mendoza on the display, which the executives felt was a distraction from the product.

Aiken must bring back two of his teammates to the boardroom and spare the other. He decides to bring back Jillette – because the magician came up with the team’s horrible slogan – and Mendoza for, well, just being her. Lampanelli escapes. "I want to fire Dayana," Trump says, thinking aloud, citing the fact that the model has now been brought back to the boardroom more than any contestant in history. "But I can't." He says that he also wants to fire Aiken for being the losing team’s project manager. "But I won't," Trump says. Why? Well, in the end Trump says he has to fire Jillette, because dude came up with the slogan that the executive despised. So sad. Bye bye, Mr. Magic Man.

Next Week: The teams must come up with a catchy jingle. Dayana Mendoza is hated again, per usual. Aiken loses his mind, and so does Lampanelli.

Last episode: I'm Your Puppet

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