'Celebrity Apprentice' Recap: Let the Mocking Begin - Rolling Stone
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‘Celebrity Apprentice’ Recap: Let the Mocking Begin

Teams throw product launch for non-alcoholic beverages

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Lou Ferrigno in 'Crystal Light Mocktail Party.'

Douglas Gorenstein/NBC

With a healthy number of players on both the men and women’s teams having been fired, we now enter the part of the season we lovingly refer to as the “Everyone’s Just Awesome!” phase. Essentially, both teams now feel as if the bad seeds have been rooted out and only the top players remain. It’s all well and good. But the harsh reality is that every week Trump will still unleash his fiery wrath.

In last week’s board room, women’s project manager Tia Carrere was canned; much to the men’s surprise, she put up a rather weak fight. But the in-team bickering among the females has clearly taken its toll. “The boardroom has divided our team,” says Aubrey O’Day. “Half of us aren’t talking.”

Last week’s winning project manager, Lou Ferrigno, gets all verklempt as he delivers a $50K check to a young girl battling muscular dystrophy. We must say, it never does get less entertaining to watch bulging freaks of nature wear their heart on their sleeve.

So what’s this week’s task? Crystal Light, thy makers of watery, supposedly healthy drinks, has unveiled a new product line of “mocktails,” or cocktail-like drinks that look like the real thing (but presumably don’t lead to violence or infidelity). Each team is to throw a Crystal Light party and unveil one of the brand’s new drinks. They will be judged on creativity, brand messaging and the overall party atmosphere. The winning team’s project manager will get $50K for his or her charity.

O’Day, having thrown many a party during her sorority days, is project manager for the women. Clay Aiken steps up for the men. Aiken, however, in a moment of concern that O’Day is at an advantage for this task, delivers easily the season’s best line to date. “Aubrey popped right out of her mama’s chach and started grabbing onto the stripper pole,” the crooner says of O’Day’s party-girl reputation. There’s not much context to Aiken’s statement, but it’s brilliant nonetheless, if only for his incorporation of the word “chach.” It’s determined the women’s party will promote a Pomtini drink while the men must promote a Peach Bellini flavored drink (we have no idea what a “Bellini” is).

After being told by the Crystal Light executives that the “mocktail” product line is “sassy” and “vibrant,” the women decide to go with a “forbidden fruit” party theme. In their eyes, thanks to the Crystal Light Pomtini, the pomegranate shall now be viewed as the “unforbidden” fruit. Taking a far different approach, the men go with a beach theme – specifically, a “Life’s a Peach” theme.

Both teams, unsurprisingly, are working quite well together. Remember, by this point, everyone thinks each other is AWESOME! Teresa Giudice, who’s been told she has “exquisite taste” (by whom we are never informed) handles the women’s decor, while model Patricia Velasquez is in charge of signage and branding, and fellow model Dayana Mendoza takes pictures of flowers to enact a “Garden of Eden” feel. O’Day and Lisa Lampanelli, per usual, take the lead in terms of creative execution. (Side Note: We were totally psyched when Lampanelli gave Rolling Stone a shout-out when she mentioned she was an RS editor back in the day!) And what is Debbie Gibson doing during all this, you might be asking yourself? Oh, well, that’s simple. Creating a ridiculous custom song for Crystal Light.

The men are similarly also all on the same page, other than some palpable tension between Aiken and Penn Jillette stemming from a tiff last week. They’re lugging sand around, setting up a tiki bar, and assigning their team musclemen, Paul Teutul Sr. and Lou Ferrigno, to execute the hilarious task of delicately arranging mini-drink umbrellas for the party.  “Freaking umbrellas!” Teutul mutters under his breath.

The next day, both parties get underway. While the women’s party jumps off to a quick start – there’s a fun, lively atmosphere, lots of people, and Gibson is belting out her annoying new song – the men’s struggles to gain momentum. However, big-breasted women in bikinis and dudes who look like they belong in front of Abercrombie & Fitch soon arrive to kick off the indoor beach-party festivities. The Limbo is performed; an Arsenio Hall-led soul train snakes its way around the room. Hell, even Kathie Lee Gifford shows up, if for nothing else than to remark that she feels like she’s at a bar mitzvah. To top it off, Aiken leads a group sing-along of the Drifters’ “Under the Boardwalk.”

The Crystal Light executives, who visit both parties, are impressed by both team’s efforts. Their only gripes are that the men didn’t have enough signage and the women’s brand messaging wasn’t spot on. And on to the board room we go!

Lampanelli is “99 percent sure” the women won. Continuing the “Everyone’s Just Awesome” theme, the women are all complimentary of O’Day’s performance as project manager.  The men are equally complimentary of Aiken. “I don’t think the team was ever stronger,” Dee Snider remarks. Of course, Trump, in his devilish ways, demands that both PMs say who they would take back to the boardroom with them if their team lost. Aiken mumbles some feel-good crap before saying he’d bring back Snider and Teutul Sr. . . or perhaps Ferrigno. O’Day would bring back Velasquez and Mendoza, leading Snider to suggest she is biased against Venezuelans.

So who won? “You will break my heart,” O’Day tells Trump when he asks if she thought the women lost. “Well, consider your heart broken,” Trump says. The women are stunned: O’Day is crying, and even Lampanelli gets teary-eyed when Trump offers to donate a consolation prize of $10K to O’Day’s charity. The consensus among the women is that no one did a particularly bad job, but that Mendoza is probably the weakest player. Yet when Donald Trump Jr. reveals that the Crystal Light executes thought the women’s signage was off (the word “Pomtini” was larger than “Crystal Light”), the ax begins to fall upon Velasquez. After all, she was the one who made the signs.

O’Day brings Mendoza and Velasquez back with her to the board room, where there’s the typical catty fighting. “Let us know how you’re a strong player?” O’Day implores Mendoza. “Dayana can only be an executor,” she adds. Ultimately, however, it’s clear that Velasquez, not Mendoza, was responsible for the one flaw that lost this specific challenge for the women: the signage. “The details were done by Patricia,” Trump explains. Without hesitation, he sets her free with a swift “You’re fired!” 

“I hate this game!” O’Day says mid-sniffle as the three ladies exit the board room. Oh Aubrey, keep your chin up, kid! It’ll all be over soon.

Next Week: Oh, snap! The teams are switched up – yup, the men and women will be working together – for a two-task episode. What’s that, you say? Someone walks out? Yes, someone is leaving this madness, without being fired. Who will it be? Stay tuned.

Last episode: Cleanup Duty


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