'Celebrity Apprentice' Recap: The Hair Model Wars - Rolling Stone
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‘Celebrity Apprentice’ Recap: The Hair Model Wars

Two teams battle for a place in the finale

celebrity apprentice

Aubrey O'Day participates in a photo shoot on 'The Celebrity Apprentice.'

Douglas Gorenstein/NBC

Entering this week’s episode of Celebrity Apprentice, with model Dayana Mendoza at last departed, there’s a palpable sense that the remaining contestants – Lisa Lampanelli, Arsenio Hall, Aubrey O’Day, Clay Aiken and Teresa Giudice – are the cream of the crop. (Trust us, we are ashamed that we just had to write that.) It’s true: the five still in contention for the title of “Celebrity Apprentice” have clawed their way to this point in the game. Quite simply, they’ve earned it.

After Lampanelli returns from the boardroom and proceeds to pull a fast one, joking that Trump had also fired Aiken, the redheaded American Idol crooner bursts into the room to signify that only Mendoza had been let go. No charity check is presented this week, so we’re immediately thrust into this week’s task: the remaining two teams will each make a four-page print ad campaign for Chi hair care products to be featured in Elle. Specifically, the ads will promote Chi’s new touchscreen hairdryer that, according to the company’s red-shoe-wearing founder, Farouq, was developed with “NASA technology.” (Ahh, so this is where our tax dollars are going.) Lampanelli and Giudice step up as project managers.

After meeting with Farouq and Elle’s editor-in-chief, the teams start conceiving their concept for the ads. O’Day, making her voice heard loud and clear as per usual, suggests a yoga-themed idea whereby the ads will promote being both “at peace with your hair” and the futuristic technology the device utilizes. “Be at peace with the future of your hair” reads their slogan. Lampanelli and Aiken, meanwhile, hope to emphasize the hairdryer’s beneath-the-surface potential; to that end, their ad campaign will display women who are “more than just a pretty face.”

The real battle begins, however, when the teams have to choose their models for the photo shoot. Lampanelli and Giudice sit down together to negotiate. Being the cunning, sly player we’ve grown to love, Lampanelli proceeds to toy with Giudice despite not really caring which models her team ends up with. “She’s a shady, shifty two-faced blank,” Giudice says. “You can fill in the blank.” Naturally, Lampanelli ends up winning the negotiation; she forces Giudice to settle for two male models, one of which has virtually no hair at all.

As always, O’Day steps up and fixes the problem; she calls some of her modeling contacts and obtains new models. (O’Day also ends up stepping in as a model at the photo shoot.) Speaking of the shoot, both teams go full-force behind the lens. And who knew Hall was a photographer? “I’m getting my Annie Leibovitz on,” the late-night legend says. Later, in a classic TV moment, O’Day sits with her breasts fully exposed while being prepped for her photos. “Do you have any morals?” Giudice says. O’Day however, can only think about her innate abilities. “I’m so good as a hair model,” she says. “My talent is undeniable. My hair is just so fierce. Hello!?”

Lampanelli and Aiken’s photo shoot is a bit less exciting; the only drama revolves around Aiken feeling that Lampanelli isn’t doing much of anything, considering she’s the project manager. With their ads complete, both teams present their finished product to the Chi executives and the Elle editor-in-chief. Giudice, visibly nervous, stumbles through her team’s presentation. Lampanelli and Aiken are successful, but the executives feel they lack enthusiasm.

So, only an hour has gone by in this week’s episode now and we’re already in the boardroom. Something must be up! After Trump reveals quickly that Lampanelli’s team has won, Hall and Giudice go to war. Both feel the other contributed next to nothing on the task. “I did things you’re not capable of doing,” Hall says to the Real Housewife. “Don’t throw me under the bus ’cause I’ll back it up and hit you with it,” he adds. It quickly becomes apparent to Trump that Giudice was a poor leader on this task and can, quite simply, no longer hang with these heavy hitters. Unsurprisingly, Giudice is fired.

But wait? There’s still a half hour of TV left. What gives? Ahh yes: last week, we were promised that last season’s finalists, John Rich and Marlee Matlin, would return to interview the current contestants. Trump informs the Final Four that after their interviews with Rich and Matlin, two more will be fired. “This place blows,” Lampanelli says.

The interviews are rather bland – although Rich does show a never-before-revealed mean streak as he nearly makes O’Day cry and tells Aiken that he’s weak. The breakdown of the interviews is simple: Rich and Matlin both feel O’Day is fake, Aiken isn’t tough, Hall is too temperamental and Lampanelli is an emotional wreck.

The contestants return to the boardroom to talk to Trump and explain why they should be in the finale, but Trump doesn’t waste time. He explains that Rich and Matlin thought Lampanelli was far too emotional. And so, with his signature fist flick, Trump fires the loud-mouthed female comedian.

But then, the three most dreaded words of television flash across the screen: To Be Continued.

NEXT WEEK: One more contestant is fired… within the first 10 minutes! Plus, this season’s entire cast is back to help the final two stage a live charity event.

Last Episode: Jingle All the Way


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