OK, every once in awhile, something so slimy happens on Reality TV that it becomes necessary to make sure people know about it. If Clay Aiken were not on this show, I'd definitely be done with this by now, and I will make you a promise: I will never, ever buy a Buick Verano. I also will not be watching any further seasons of The Apprentice. When Clay's gone, I'm gone.
Penn Jillette recently went on Adam Carolla's podcast to explain more of the backstage manipulations that took place during the car challenge that got Adam and Michael Andretti fired. The two men discussed this at some length, and the story they have to tell is really very interesting. The website for the podcast is http://www.adamcarolla.com/penn-jillette-and-captain-sean-parnell/. and the pertinent discussion begins at about 11:59.
- Donald Trump very specifically asked Michael Andretti to lead this project. Michael demurred because Adam, also an accomplished car expert, is a much more confident public speaker. The men lost the challenge because they disobeyed Trump. Period.
- They also lost the challenge because Adam gave what they are calling a "Steven Jobs" type presentation, where one person does most of the talking. Adam based his presentation style on a direct suggestion from a minor producer. He dominated the speaking role because he was told to do so, but he was deliberately set up for failure.
- Adam confronted Trump about the producer's bad direction in the Board Room. They edited that out.
- As I mentioned in my recap, the men were much more knowledgeable about the car then the women were. One Buick exec said that Adam knew the car better than the manufacturer did. The producers cut out most of the Q&A because Adam performed too well on it for the story they were telling to be credible.
- Paul's heckle got a good laugh from the crowd live. They edited it to make it look awkward, because they had to sell the men's loss.
- There's a clip of Ivanka's critique as it aired, and then a DVD of what she actually said, that really must be heard to be believed. Don't just read this. Listen to Adam's podcast.
Here's what's really troubling about this: I am a casual observer with little or no car knowledge, and absolutely no prior enthusiasm at all for Adam Carolla, whom I generally find painfully unfunny. I could tell this situation was screwed up BEFORE I heard Adam's Podcast. Adam discusses at some length the editing tricks they did to make it seem more palatable that the men lost, but it seemed quite clear to me, as a viewer, that the men completely outperformed the women. Because Clay was never in danger, my bias towards him is not an issue here. Adam's command of the material was extremely obvious to me, despite the hatchet job.
I've been watching Reality TV for a long time, and I am no stranger to off-screen manipulation and outright lies about the outcomes. Every Claymate can tell you horror stories about American Idol, and one of them is backed by reporters from Newsweek Magazine. Bottom line: Reality shows are inherently dishonest, and we really can't trust what we are seeing on the screen. If something seems weird and off, it probably is. Keep your salt shaker handy at all times.
Fortunately, Adam Carolla does not NEED Donald Trump in his life, and I am sure he can find another way to get some money for Catholic Big Brothers. It's no real skin off his nose. I do find it interesting that Penn Jillette, who as of right now is still on the show, felt comfortable discussing this with Adam publicly. Draw your own conclusions as to his reasons.