'Celebrity Apprentice' Recap: The Battle at Barclays - Rolling Stone
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‘Celebrity Apprentice’ Recap: The Battle at Barclays

Teams host a party at luxurious Brooklyn arena

'Celebrity Apprentice'

Penn Jillette and Lisa Rinna on 'Celebrity Apprentice'

Douglas Gorenstein/NBC

With Gary Busey out of the picture, his former Plan B teammates Lisa Rinna and Penn Jillette are now breathing easy. “It was an exhausting ordeal to deal with Gary,” says Rinna. Jillette, meanwhile, is just happy to have survived his time with Busey and come out still loving the maniacal actor. With five players left, the all-stars are feeling even more self-congratulatory than normal. “It’s powerhouse people now,” says Marilu Henner. “Bring it on!”

The remaining celebrities are tasked this week with hosting a party in one of the luxury suites at the newly built Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The party will promote Foxwoods Resorts. Owned by the Mashantucket Pequot tribe and located in southeast Connecticut, Foxwoods is a full-service resort and casino that, as the celebs learn, fancies itself serving one of five categories of customers. These include the King, Queen and Joker. Each team must choose one such category and theme their party around it. Former Celebrity Apprentice winner and country star John Rich is an advisor for the task.

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Rinna and Henner are the project managers for their respective teams. “We have a lot of the same skills,” Henner says of her competitor, “but I think I have a few more than she does.”

Henner’s team chooses the “King” category; Rinna’s opts for the “Joker.” From the get-go, Henner is a whirling dervish of manic energy. Her teammates, Trace Adkins and Lil Jon, find her presence nothing short of unnerving. Adkins goes so far as to refer to her as the “Mayor of Stresstown” and “the party-planner from hell.”

Rinna and her only remaining Plan B teammate, Jillette, are working splendidly together. “Lisa is just a pleasure to be around,” the magician proclaims. The duo decide it’s highly important they bring in top-notch entertainment for their party – and more specifically, acts that regularly perform at Foxwoods. To that end, Jillette recruits his partner, Teller, as well as comedian and former Celebrity Apprentice contestant Lisa Lampanelli to make appearances at his team’s party. Additionally, Team Plan B recruits chef David Burke, who has his own restaurant at Foxwoods, to cater the festivities. Lastly, they bring in a traditional Native American flautist to play some soothing background music during the party because, as Rich agrees, “It’s not a party without a flautist.”

Team Power is hitting a rough patch. Henner is firing on all cylinders, but Adkins is moving at a comparative snail’s pace. This is due in large part because he feels Henner is taking the “King” theme too literally, and he doesn’t feel motivated to execute her vision. “You operate at a notch above death,” Henner tells the country singer, adding that he’s been quite “curmudgeonly” the past few tasks. She even goes so far as to tell him he’s “turned into Gary [Busey].”

Lil Jon, meanwhile, feels he’s being underutilized on the task. “I think I’m one of the best party muthafuckers on the planet,” he says. Another major problem for the team is attracting entertainment. Eventually, Adkins is able to wrangle up-and-coming country star Hunter Hayes to come and perform at Team Power’s party.

Come the day of the parties, Team Plan B couldn’t be more confident. “If [the Foxwoods executives] don’t like this entertainment, they should burn their resort down,” Jillette says. Plan B’s party goes off without a hitch. Jillette does wonder however, if Lampanelli’s comedy was perhaps a bit too raunchy for the Foxwoods executives’ tastes.

In contrast, Team Power’s party is quite bland and uneventful. Henner recruited a chess master and a professional masseuse to make guests feel kingly, but it seems no one in attendance particularly understands either of their purpose. The lone highlight of Power’s party? Hunter Hayes unspools a killer acoustic performance, eliciting fist-bumps from Adkins, Rich and the Foxwoods executives.

Heading to the board room, all signs point to a Plan B victory. “I don’t think there’s much chance we’re gonna lose,” Jillette says. Donald Trump wastes little time before proclaiming Rinna’s team the one with far better entertainment at their party. Add in-team bickering among the members of Team Power – “I don’t think we’ve had a strong idea on the last three tasks,” Adkins says – and a dark cloud is looming over Henner’s squad.

The overwhelming consensus in the room is that Henner should not have let Jillette’s team have the “Joker” category; she also should have made better use of Lil Jon’s reputation as “The King of Crunk.” With little surprise, Trump announces Plan B as the winner for the task.

Henner, though, isn’t going down without a fight. “You should fire Trace,” she instructs Trump. Why? “Because he dropped out three tasks ago,” she says. But the Donald, per usual, says the ultimate responsibility falls on the project manager’s shoulders. Henner must take the blame for her team’s loss. “You’re the project manager, you lost, and most of [the party] was picked by you,” he tells her. “Marilu, you’re fired!”

After many grueling weeks, it’s now a two-on-two matchup, with Adkins and Lil Jon set to square off next week against Rinna and Jillette. Game on, indeed. 

Last week: Busey Goes Batty

In This Article: The Celebrity Apprentice


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