Well, guess what, folks. This week, how Clay did WAS the episode! And how did he do? He did GREAT! And he made a nasty little troll doll cry. Hee hee. What a wonderful week. No need to divide this! And I'll be snarking full throttle, I'm so happy. So let's go!
As last week's board room ends, the boys are scratching their heads because Tia did not fight harder for the continued privilege of working with Aubrey and Lisa. Spoken like men who have not had to work with Aubrey and Lisa and do not fear losing their souls. Aubrey complains bitterly that the divisive Board Room has fractured their team, and we get to listen to the women talk about how much they hate each other.
Teresa would like to make this clear: they. called. her. slow. Teresa is not slow. Teresa is, uh, not slow, not slow, she's, uh, the opposite of slow. Is there a word for that?
And, of course, uh... um... not... slow. Also not very articulate.
Lisa actively suggests that they really want to exterminate Venezuela. "I'm gonna get rid of both Patricia and Dayana!" I can't help wondering if that unspoken desire did not linger in their unconscious minds the entire episode. Funny how it all worked out, huh?
So, let's pause for a moment to celebrate one of the few positives of the show. Lou Ferrigno gave a precious little girl a big old check to benefit Muscular Dystrophy, and we can all get our hearts warmed until the carnage begins. Maybe all the charities help children; it seems to put soul in this cruel little reality show.
At any rate, for the next task Trump brings them all to the top of a skyscraper so he can push one of them off of it... no, he's saving that for the finale. He's really just here to inform America that Crystal Light has now created two new flavors that like to pretend they are cocktails. Therefore, these people who are pretending to be celebrities (especially on the women's side) must throw events that pretend to be fabulous parties to celebrate these two new pretend cocktails. It just stands to reason that they end up making a pretend beach and a pretend Garden of Eden.
Criteria: Creativity, party atmosphere and BRAND MESSAGING. Make sure there is LOTS of BRAND MESSAGING. Don't forget the BRAND MESSAGING. It's CRYSTAL LIGHT. Tattoo it on your foreheads if you need to. This will be on the exam.
Don't forget... it's CRISTAL LITE. KRYSTIL LATE. CRUSTUL LOOT. Got that? Yeah, I'm not drinking it. If I want a cocktail, I will order a cocktail, and if I want a diet drink, I will drink water. Unless Clay Aiken serves it to me and then sings. Crystal Light has a weird aftertaste.
So, who is going to put their necks on the line this week as Project Manager? Well, on the men's side... We've been waiting forever for this, this is his night. Clay takes charge with words to inspire great confidence: "Uh, I'm not a partier person..." while on the women's side, the hateful little troll doll with hair even worse than Clay's decides to seize power. And she'd like to tell her sponsors how wonderful she thinks their product is, so don't mind the sickening brown-nosing that has already begun.
So we've got this project led by a self-proclaimed goober and a major party fiend. In a confessional Clay cheerfully informs us that Aubrey came out of her mamma's chotch and grabbed the stripper pole. Holy cow, Clay. You've developed a very colorful way of looking at the world since I first saw you nine years ago. Got a bit of sass there. It suits you. Yes, you can say that. You could not have a insulted a classier broad. 50 grand to the winner. 50 grand for the National Inclusion Project. Go, Clay! Go! Send them kids to camp!
As the guys travel in the van, they grimly inform us that nobody in their group ever parties. At all. Clay can't even remember all the fundraisers he's done, apparently. And of course, Unanimous seems to have gotten the only sober rock and roll star in the history of music on their team.
The women get into their war room and start heavily overthinking it. One they've begun to develop a badly over cerebral concept for their party, the execs show up to tell them it's supposed to be fun and sassy. Aubrey realizes that their concept about the Garden of Eden really isn't right, but decides to do ahead anyway just because she's so awesomely wonderful and wise and all-knowing she's doesn't need to follow no stinking advice.
Clay listens to the executives talk about their brand and decides the party needs to be fun. So he spends the next hour working on making a fun party. See, this is how you win a task, Aubrey. They decide that life's a beach, and that's a peach of a plan, and Penn is afraid to say anything because he doesn't want to be condescending. Clay Aiken has completely intimidated Penn Jillette. I can't believe I just typed that.
Teresa is in charge of popsicles and furniture. Aubrey puts Debbie in charge of creating a new jingle for Crystal Light, and uses the assignment as a way to insult her, because Aubrey can't get two sentences out of her mouth without tearing somebody down. Patricia gets put in charge of the posters. By that, I mean the advertising. By that, I mean the branding that tells everybody that the refreshing flavor of aspartame is brought to you by CRISTALLITE. Damn right, I'm doing it on purpose. Watch this point, because it is really important. Patricia is so tired of Lisa's overbearing behavior and Aubrey's attitude, she refuses to let them look at her work. Unfortunately for her, she does not understand that KRYSTAL LART is more important that Pomtini, and Aubrey can't see what she's doing. Cue the horns of doom.
The men have a refreshing concept in mind. No, not the summertime theme in the middle of the winter, although that's pretty nifty, too. They've got this crazy idea that they all ought to be civil with each other, even the folks they aren't getting along with. So Clay makes a strong effort to work with Penn, and Penn goes out of his way to try to make it work with Clay, and it's all so grownup and admirable you wonder that Trump didn't fire them both for being dull television. Clay puts Dee in charge of signage - oh, those damned signs. He HAD the signs! How can you put somebody down for making perfectly good signs that can't be seen because the room is so full of people having fun? Hell, Dee, you should have put it on the damned ceiling.
Aubrey has a crush on Donald Trump's son. This was not something I needed to know. She explains her theme to him and he looks like he smells something bad; apparently he finds the whole concept as dull as I do. They will be putting up lots of photos of plants instead of greenery, so that the photos of plants can compete for attention with the all-important Crystal Light signs. Then Teresa indicates that one of the basic slogans of the party needs work, and Aubrey gets Victoria Gotti to send a hit man after her because OMIGOD a DISSENTING OPINION! Teresa has begun to figure out that... the brain trust of Lisa and Aubrey... loses tasks. A lot. A whole lot. She doesn't even know that the only reason Adam Carolla lost his task was that he was not named Michael Andretti; the women have only won one task outright. Lisa sneers because Teresa does not offer Plan B.
Dayana brings in lovely pictures of flowers to be blown up and hanged in such a way that they will distract from the Crystal Light Logo. Patricia passive-aggressively refuses to let Aubrey see what she's working on. On the men's side, Paul makes some sets and Clay gets his music director to help them practice "Under the Boardwalk". And then Clay sings.... and the entire Clay Nation goes into a swoooooonn...... Then Arsenio swoons too, because he is now officially One of Us. Hee. Yes, Arsenio Hall uses one of his confessionals to remind the music-buying public of how extraordinary Clay's singing voice is. Just in time for Clay's CD release! Thanks, Arsenio!
Debbie Gibson is singing as well - it's her original jingle for Crystal Light. I may be biased, but I think Clay sounded like a gorgeous bell on a classic song. She sings entirely through her nose and the song is dull and inane. If this was supposed to help HER music career, I suggest she take up a new line of work, because she sounded awful, however much Dayana disagrees with me.
On the men's side, Clay makes note of all the stuff they've got carefully lined up and ready to go, and stresses out anyway, because this show thrives on creating drama and suspense whether there's a legitimate problem or not. Hey, Penn's got the surfboards, sweetie. You are good to go.
Morning: Forte. Aubrey suddenly realizes that there's a bajillion flowers and no Crystal Light posters. There's also no carpet. Then there is carpet, but the popsicles look like something that went wrong in a kindergarten class.
Morning: Unanimous. There is sand, there are lots of glasses with little umbrellas, and there are posters that are not quite as big as Clay wanted them to be. Signage! Signage! It's the most important thing in the universe!
The women's party begins, and they congratulate themselves on how classy their party is. They have white walls and red drinks, and everywhere you look you see signs for the
Crystal Light Pomtini.The men begin their party, and they are ready to par....tay.... Despite Dee's worry warting, the party guests file in by the dozens, including a handful of extremely lucky Claymates who have got to be thrilled out of their skulls that they could help Clay out like this. Arsenio spotted them in a heartbeat. Before you know it, there are half-naked people milling around, and Arsenio's got them making a Soul Train. Then we get lots of great boob shots with the limbo game. Semi-clothed people doing the Limbo? This is not the Garden of Eden? Clay even got Kathy Lee to party with him. (Will they have him on their show?) By the time Penn starts juggling peaches, you know a good time is being had by all, and the Crystal Light execs wander in near the very end. They are just in time for an absolutely wonderful singalong of Under the Boardwalk! This will now be part of Clay Aiken's live show for the rest of his career! I will now have happy connotations with this song forever!
On the women's side, Lisa cannot offer a wonderful limbo game. She will, however, be happy to make fun of your comment cards and call it entertainment. Sweet little Dayana tries to keep her teammates from hating her by offering up lots of her pretty friends as party guests. Hey, it's got beauty queens! It has to be the better party! Then Debbie sings that awful jingle, and the execs love it. Apparently, it's an earworm. I just hope it does not stay in MY head. Quick, let's listen to Under the Boardwalk again.
Aubrey informs us that if they lose, she will make sure somebody else on her team goes down in flames for wanting to stab her in the back. I guess the trend of losing PMs taking responsibility for their actions is over now.
I am not a big fan of the hour-long Board Room, and I will not be recapping that with the detail I did the actual tasks. The important thing to notice is that when the executives meet with Trump, they discuss the women's signage. Pomtimi is in much bigger lettering than Crystal Light is. The women think they have won. They are sure they have won. There's no way they lost... but if they lose, Aubrey is taking Dayana and Patricia back to the board room with her. Apparently, Venezuela is still under fire, even if the women are pretending to like each other today.
Clay praises his team, and every member of his team praises him. Dee's gotten a smaller cast for his hand. Dee says the team has never been stronger than it was this week, and Dee admits he did not expect Clay to perform as well as he did. Penn praises Clay as well. Then, somehow, we get a kind critique of Clay's singing from Lou, the guy who can't hear. They talk about the party atmosphere, and then Donald tries to make Clay feel insulted that Dee did not realize what to expect from him. Clay chooses to see Dee's praise in a positive light, because it does not matter how Dee evaluated Clay before he got a chance to see him; what matters is how they feel now that Clay has shown his ability to the world. Clay attempts to return the favor and accidentally calls Dee old.
This actually reminds me of Clay's very first audition for American Idol; he didn't look like much of anything until he opened his mouth and blew the room away.
Donald Trump then asks Clay to name the two people he will take back with him to the board room if he loses the task. Clay hems and haws and stalls and attempts to melt into the wall, but ultimately he blurts out not one, not two, but THREE names - Dee AND Lou AND Paul. Basically, everybody except Penn and Arsenio.
Fortunately, he doesn't have to pay the price for that, because the guys won this task, and the moment Trump says this, every Clay fan on every board is just jumping through the ceiling and yelling like an overjoyed fool. It's been a long time since we've had an event like this to celebrate for him.
How did Clay do?
He designed a clear, appropriate task. He followed through with good props that worked. He used every member of his team to their best advantage. He presented acceptable, if not outstanding, branding. He gave all his guests a really wonderful time... and he gave us a new song.
Mark this one, folks. It's one to remember.
Oh, yeah, and Aubrey cried so hard when she lost her challenge, The Donald gave her $10,000 for her charity anyway. Maybe The Donald has a crush on HER. Oh, and Patricia went home, because
Crystal Light Pomtini.Note to all future apprentices, celebrity or otherwise. All these guys really want you to do is plaster their brand name all over everything, including your own butt if necessary. And Aubrey, you managed to make Patricia take the blame, but YOU lost YOUR challenge. See, this is what happens when you piss off your coworkers so much they don't want to talk to you.
Clay completed his recap right before I did, and you can see it here: http://www.nbc.com/the-apprentice/clays-take/
Also check out his new album, in stores tomorrow. http://www.amazon.com/Steadfast-Clay-Aiken/dp/B0071WQ8JW/