OK, boys and girls! A very, very important lesson has been learned here today.
When you are on Trump's show, you do what Trump says. You do exactly what he says, and you do it exactly the way he wants you to do it. If you do not, this egotistical blowhard will defy all logic, suspend all concept of fairness and screw up the schedule for the rest of the season just to teach you a lesson. I swear, if Clay Aiken were not a contestant on this thing, I'd be done with it after this trainwreck. Remind me never to buy anything Trump endorses.
Just the Facts, Ma'am: We open with heartwarming video of Dayana meeting with some AIDS patients from her home country of Venezuela. She's all verklempt, and it's nice to be reminded that this show does actually end up benefiting some people. Then we move on to the task: Each team must come up with a presentation for the new 2012 Buick Verano. There will be 10 minutes of presentation, and 10 minutes for a Q&A session.
Who will be Project Manager for the men's team? Well, they have here Michael Andretti, a professional race car driver from a family of race car drivers. Will he do it? No, Michael doesn't want to do it. He wants Adam to do it.
But remember, when you are on Trump's show, you do what Trump says - OR ELSE. Trump wants Andretti to be project manager. Adam steps up instead. At this point, the show is actually already over, and everything else for the next two hours will be a complete waste of time. We just don't know it yet.
Debbie Gibson steps up for the women. They could have given the job to a puppy and gotten the same result.
On the men's side, Adam goes into the war room, both barrels blazing, raring to create a funny presentation with a lot of shtick. Unfortunately, the execs have told them that they don't really want a funny presentation. They want a classy, professional presentation that will be all about the car. Dee, Clay, and Penn in particular all think it would be a very good idea to heed this guideline, but Adam ignores them. However, that's not what's important here. What's important is that Adam is not Michael Andretti. Remember, when you are on Trump's show, you do what Trump says - OR ELSE.
On the women's side, a bunch of women who should be grownups by now divide their group into the Cool Van and the Leftovers. The women in the Cool Van make all the decisions: They are Debbie, Lisa, and Aubrey, whose ego is twice the size of the Cool Van before this episode is all over. I am just about over her. Tia, Dayana, and Teresa get marginalized, and they are not happy about it. But that doesn't matter, because at least they did not sideline Michael Andretti during a challenge about cars.
The men start working on their presentation, and Lou goes into a two hour whine about how he's not being used enough. He wants to be the Incredible Hulk again. Lou is working the last nerve of every person on his team, and mine too. Michael Andretti gets to test drive the car, and he rounds those little pylons like the car boss he is. Adam has created a presentation in which a series of hecklers give him the opportunity to discuss the merits of the car; all Lou has to do is pretend to be a security guard and bounce Paul, whose entire contribution to the show is to shout "YOU SUCK" at Adam Corolla. Adam does ask Michael to discuss the car near the beginning of the presentation. However, Michael Andretti is not the main speaker, and he's not the project manager. As Penn points out, why on earth is Adam Carolla talking during 19 minutes of a 20 minute presentation about cars? Remember, when you are on Trump's show, you do what Trump says - OR ELSE.
On the women's side... the women don't know what they are doing. Debbie test-drives the car. They can't buckle down and write the script. They can't do a clean run-through of the thing. Debbie Gibson wants to sing. Aubrey wants to put her on mute. I don't like either of these people very much. Actually, the only women I don't want to throttle are all in the Not Cool Van. I am beginning to think the Not Cool Van is filled with people who have their egos under control. The women have not mastered the material and they don't really know much about the Buick Verano. At last, the women go home, exhausted, and Debbie actually hopes that magic fairy dust will make it all better. And actually, magic fairy dust WILL fix it for them. They have already won, because at least they did not sideline Michael Andretti during a challenge about cars.
By the way, I don't ever want to get into a
car with Debbie Gibson at the helm. She would probably sing to me, off
key, while crashing into the curb every fifteen seconds. Did she do this drunk?
It's the day of the actual presentation: The women present what appears, to me, to be a shallow, glib, silly, and technically very childish presentation of the car. Debbie gets to sing one line of her song and goes off key. Aubrey repeatedly gets the name of the car wrong - that, in and of itself, should have been enough to lose this for them. Then Aubrey makes up a sob story about her mother's terrible car accident, and I want to throw things at her for this nprofessional, manipulative garbage. Teresa provides the only good segment of the presentation by arriving with her Real Housewives family, including charming children and a very entertaining dog. They all cram themselves into the car and it's all just adorable . I don't even know who the heck this woman is and she's becoming my favorite female. Finally, they get to the Q and A. One person wants to know about the safety rating, and the women are completely unprepared to answer the question. That should have lost the challenge for them, for sure... but at least they did not sideline Michael Andretti during a challenge about cars.
Then, the men are up. About a minute and a half into the presentation, I think they've got this thing cold, because Adam actually knows what he's doing. It turns out that he has a TV program about cars on some cable channel I never watch. Who knew? In some future time, everybody will have their own cable TV show, and I think Clay ought to figure out how to start his talk/variety show on cable somewhere. Then we can all watch him all the time without having to listen to Trump. But I digress.
Adam starts out seeming, or pretending to be, nervous about how spectacular the car is, and then they call in Michael to discuss it further. At this point, we figure out why Michael did not want to be front and center. He has the on-stage charisma of a bowl of oatmeal. In the most effective part of the presentation, Penn stands up and challenges Adam to prove that the car is big enough for him to fit inside it. Penn Jillette is a mountain of a man, and I can say this with
confidence because I have actually met him; he towered over my husband, a
volunteer during the Penn and Teller magic show about sixteen years
ago. He's really imposing in person. We should all just be grateful that he does not have Lou's tendency towards aggressiveness, or his general carelessness, because somebody would get seriously hurt. Penn ended up fitting
in the trunk of the car, and that was easily the most entertaining
moment of the entire episode. In another noteworthy moment, Paul shows up to bellow "You suck, you suck, you suck!" at Adam over and over again, and.... crickets. Lou missed his cue. In one of Clay's very few on-screen moments during the actual presentation, we see him making some kind of hand signal or cue, and Lou FINALLY remembers to pretend to pull Paul out of there. Not good. I wonder if Lou simply could not hear Paul talking; he is, after all, severely hearing impaired. I wonder if the others ever forget this. Towards the end, Adam does invite Michael back up to help with the Q and A, because he's finally figured out that it does not make sense for him to have a segment about cars and talk more than a guy named Andretti. On the whole, they are MUCH funnier, MUCH more polished, and MUCH more knowledgeable about the car than the women are... but that does not matter in the slightest. Both Donald and Ivanka had warned the men that Michael needed to helm this project, and he did not do it. When you are on Trump's show, you do what Trump says - OR ELSE.
In the board room, the die is already cast, but this second hour of the episode is the Donald Trump Ego-Stroking Hour, and it was so dull and Donald-licious I actually fast-forwarded through a lot of it. The women argue heatedly because Debbie is a Mean Girl and stuck half her committee in the Leftovers Van. The men argue heatedly because Lou is a complete waste of space and everybody wants him to go home, already. Then Donald (no, I will NOT refer to this egotistical windbag as Mr. Trump) begins grilling the men about the refusal to name Michael Andretti as project manager. It appears that the good people at Buick were really, really, really, really, really, really, really hoping to have the name Andretti associated a little more with their precious car than it was. When you are on Trump's show, you do what Trump says - OR ELSE.
And that's the kicker. The men had a much better presentation, but they also had Michael Andretti and did not use him. The women win. One part of me thinks this is garbage - Adam Carolla's stony face clearly agrees with me, and I bet he threw things at his television last night when he saw the grade school skit the women presented to beat him. However, Adam deliberately disobeyed The Trump, and he does it again when he absolutely refuses to name two people to go to the Board Room with him. You might say he was quite adamant about it. Well, in most places of business, that's insubordination, and you can indeed get written up for it or fired for it. So... Donald decides he's going to fire two people, just to show who is boss.
Now, if the show schedule is set up so that one person goes each week, what does this mean for the show schedule? Did they just cancel an episode, or will there be a non-elimination week now? Or did Trump always intend to do this once, and decided that now was as good a time as any?
Donald fires Adam quickly, and Adam does not even seem to mind all that much. Then, he turns his full fury on Michael Andretti, who looks like a deer caught in the headlights. Since there was no official "bottom three" for this, several of the men suggest that Lou should go home, and they are thinking what I am thinking; they've already lost the talented, intelligent, and productive Adam Corolla. They can't really afford to lose Michael and keep deadweight like Lou around, too. However, Trump is hell-bent to punish Michael for not stepping up, and he goes home. He's pretty mad about it, too. Now the men have, for all practical purposes, only four viable players left: Penn, Clay, Dee, and Arsenio. And Lou. They still get to deal with Lou and his 110%. And Lou is Project Manager next week. This should be as much fun as watching cars crash at the Indianapolis 500. Maybe Michael should enter, and drive a 2012 Buick Verano.
How did Clay Do? - Honestly, this week Clay did not do that much on-camera except stand around and look charming, and that was probably fortunate. Given that the men were doomed from the first gunshot for choosing the wrong project manager, face time was a dangerous thing this week of double elimination, and Clay was never even close to the chopping block. As far as I can tell, he was doing technical stuff on the men's side, like Dee was. I notice that the men did not moan and complain about that like Victoria Gotti did. Clay did express considerable concern that Adam's comedic presentation style was going to be a major problem for the men, but by the end of it he agreed that Adam actually did very well. Clay looked really happy at the conclusion of the presentation, because he was looking at it objectively and grading it on the actual merits of what they really did; he was not grading it on a curve set by the hypothetical presentation that would have been led by Michael Andretti in an alternative universe where everybody did exactly what Trump wanted. Clay did warn Lou openly that he was going to have contribute more next week if he survived. Since Lou has survived, and he's PM next week, it will be interesting to see what happens. We do know that somebody (Lou, maybe?) is going to "frustrate the hell" out of Clay, so next week may be more fun for us Claymates.
Clay's biggest contributions this week actually come online: he's got a great blog at http://www.nbc.com/the-apprentice/clays-take/ for anybody who does not already know, and his twitter feed gives us some other information at https://twitter.com/#!/clayaiken. We learn that Clay and Dee worked together on a UnanimousVerona brochure, and that he also did a heckle during the presentation. He also, said, rather famously now, that Adam's presentation went so well, he got an erection! Uh.... thanks for sharing, sweetie. Heh. At any rate, Clay is asking his fans and twitter followers to text CLAY at 50555 to make a $10 donation to the National Inclusion Project. My own son has Asperger's Syndrome, so I support his efforts on multiple levels. Good luck, Clay!