We begin with an extensive reminder of how bleeping loud and rude Arsenio got towards the Troll Doll after the last task. Aubrey is off somewhere either sulking in anger or shaking in fear, and I am not sure which because Arsenio really was out of line here. You can't combat a self-serving know-it-all with aggressive and violent speech. That's how you lose the moral high ground. Arsenio gets bleeped three times in the first scene.
Teresa hopes aloud that Aubrey will come back as Penn and Lisa come in to survey the damage. Lisa decides that Aubrey is justified in her disappearing act because she has to deal with people who are threatened because Aubrey is so much more talented than they are... she's referring to those big bullies, Clay and Arsenio. Clay's a bully now. OK. See, it's OK for Lisa and Aubrey to gang up on Dayana, but if Clay and Arsenio both have problems with Aubrey.... OK, we've got that clear. MM Hmm. Lisa gets bleeped twice.
Arsenio gives the camera a deep heart-to-heart discussion about his feelings and proceeds to bleep himself six times. Lisa decides that several of the digs, which really were misogynistic, were unacceptable and she begins cursing at Arsenio, because the best way to combat grossly inappropriate behavior is with grossly inappropriate behavior. Arsenio bleeps himself to attack Aubrey, and Lisa bleeps herself seven times to point out - correctly - that talking like that about a woman will damage his career. Of course, Lisa does not understand that she is also burning her professional bridges with her behavior. This is even before she realizes that Dee has been fired while Lou and Dayana are still on the show. After that, she bleeps herself nine more times as she informs whomever would listen that she and Penn have all the brainpower on their team. Yes, I said nine. Penn's demeanor says, "Leave me out of this, you crazy woman."
Arsenio moves away from this carnage to contact Magic Johnson on Skype. He's earned $50,000 to fight AIDS, and there's no cursing at all. This is nice. It feels so good Arsenio decides to make up with Aubrey - who, despite all grandstanding drama queen behavior, actually has no intention of leaving when she can still
As Trump makes his entrance, Lou's face is twitching. This happens every time he's uncomfortable. Lou's face will be dancing the quickstep the entire episode. It's about damned time. The task this week comes from the good people at Entertainment.com: our eight remaining has-beens must create a commercial celebrating the wonderful deals a thrifty conspicuous consumer can find through their fabulous on-line coupons. (I looked at the deals available in my area. I'll stick with Groupon, thanks.) They even have a mobile app! (Is there anybody who doesn't? Anybody who wants to stay in business, I mean?)
"Who's going to be project man..."
"I AM!" chirps Dayana with the determined intensity of a cornered animal about to turn and fight.
No debate, no discussion, no asking for permission... she's got this. When you think about it, it makes sense. Lou just led, and Penn's about to go running off again, so the PM is either Lisa or Dayana, and Dayana just isn't going to be squashed under that bleeping woman's thumb again. I really didn't expect the obscure beauty queen from Venezuela to be one of my favorite people on this show, but she's got the spirit. She's also got Lisa's goat. Lisa starts blathering racist garbage about Evita and Argentina, and I have a deep need to remind her that Dayana is from Venezuela. Then I want to show her a map of South America and explain how the distance between the capitol cities of these two countries is over 3000 miles. Maybe Trump should have Rand McNally sponsor a task to teach these people some basic world geography, or they could plan South American travel itineraries for Expedia.com.
Meanwhile, Unanimous is in a kind, congenial huddle, and we hear Clay making gentle, encouraging noises at Teresa, who is about to take another stab at being Project Manger. Clay... wait a minute? Aren't you a bully? Teresa wants to try again because she failed as Project Manager the last time she tried. That's OK, Teresa. All the remaining women who have tried to be Project Manager have failed so far, all except... oh, yes... Dayana Mendoza. However, Teresa's quite concerned that Arsenio and Aubrey might just overturn her table. Rightly so. Winner gets $60,000. Not bad for one day's work.
Aubrey and Arsenio have a very surprising conversation in which they seem to make a genuine attempt to work through their fight. Arsenio openly admits that his language was unnecessary. I notice that he does not apologize for being mad - just for behaving inappropriately. Arsenio thinks the conflict is solved. Aubrey coldly informs the cameras that she still does not like him, and spends much of her time in the war room sulking.
Dayana announces to her staff that the resident magician is about to pull his second disappearing act in two episodes. Penn once again has a gig that's more important to him than this one, and I am beginning to look at him a bit askance. Um... Penn? You signed up for this, right? You did know that it was going to involve doing a lot of pretty intensive tasks that would require a lot of work, right? It's like appearing on an edition of Celebrity Survivor and leaving every other day to go do your job at some place that has food. I think somebody ought to bring that up in a Board Room pretty soon, because this is becoming a habit. Granted, now that the show is over for most of these guys - they filmed months ago, during the winter - Penn has been saying some things to the press that indicate he doesn't really think much of Trump or the whole show. I understand why he feels this way, but his behavior feels like cheating to me. However, the fact that Penn is leaving again does have a delightful side effect; Lisa looks like she's about melt into the floor in despair. It's fun to watch her face crash to the ground.
Penn, helpful as always, opens up his handy computer and talks business to the Project Manager. This is a coupon. You can use it to help you buy things. This is a coupon book. It has lots of coupons in it. You can buy many different things with many different coupons. See Dick and Jane use their coupon book. Apparently they don't have coupon books in Venezuela, or Dayana never bothered to use them. OK, they are off to a great start. Dayana is getting a crash course in coupons, Penn is leaving, Lisa is melting, and Lou is twitching.
In a confessional, Dayana explains that she agreed to be Project Manager on a task involving an object she's never seen because the mouth on Lisa goes bleep bleep bleep, racist comment bleep, insulting garbage bleep. She gave me an idea for this blog, actually... Dayana bleeps herself four times, but she's actually saying the word "bleep." Dayana's vocabulary in English appears to be bigger than Lisa's. Back in the war room, Dayana actually gets to state aloud her own idea for the task - a couple uses the coupons in different ways through the course of their romance. Penn agrees to it, and they are on their way.
Over at Unanimous, all the group members are working together on the task as they dream up an old-school coupon cutter who needs to be brought into the modern age. Everybody starts looking at Paul as ideas begin to churn. He's got a reputation for being cranky. (Arsenio gets bleeped again just attempting to explain the crankiness that is Paul) All of a sudden, before the poor old Chopper man even knows what hit him, the makeover is on. Cover the tattoos! Lose the earring! Dye your hair! Paul amiably mumbles, "It ain't no problem" as they decide to transform him into Ward Cleaver, and earns the MVP award for this week.
In the Cool Kids Van, which now holds the entire Forte team, thank goodness, Penn and Lisa work out the whole story for their commercial. Their epic vision of romance via coupons will take a couple from love to marriage to the baby carriage. Penn decides which of the two young actors he would like to see come in and play the parts, but Lou pouts. Lou wants to play the boyfriend.
Lou Ferrigno is sixty years old. He's also a bit delusional.
Dayana, in an effort to draw him in and delegate a task to him, asks him to create some banners for their team using computers. She is also delusional. Lou does not have any computer skills. Maybe they could ask him to dance with a mop again. He was really good at that. Is there a coupon for biceps flexing?
Unanimous gets to the loft and begins dreaming up
As Penn and Lisa continue to work on the script for their commercial, Lisa decides it's OK for Dayana to be in charge as long as she doesn't get any funny ideas about having ideas. Penn notices that the two women aren't at each other's throats anymore, and this loudly self-proclaimed atheist declares it a miracle. Dayana shoots a scene as the young couple gets engaged in a restaurant (surely featured in the coupon book by Entertainment.com) and everybody thinks it's precious... except for Lou. Lou thinks they should shoot from different angles. Dayana ignores him. Lou's face twitches. He has nothing useful to do. By that I mean, even less so than usual.
Over at Unanimous, the actors and the photography director have arrived. So has the makeup artist. Paul prepares to meet his doom. There's dye in the hair and the beard, a buttoned-down shirt, a sweater vest, and all of a sudden the tough elderly motorcycle guy with an earring and tattoos is a middle-aged goober. Teresa throws him kisses and Clay almost collapses with laughter, but they are right. He looks great. The whole vibe from the entire team is so cooperative and positive and pleasant, you just know it's going to work.
Teresa directs a scene that shows Paul and the woman playing his wife as they cut paper coupons out of a book. Paul specifically asks Teresa to say "Action" so he knows when he's supposed to start pretending. (I wouldn't call it acting, exactly) Teresa promises to do that, and Paul gets one little bleep. ACTION! Paul, the protective dad, realizes something is amiss... He rises to his feet...
And Aubrey sneers, because Teresa's directing talents are painfully bad. No, they aren't, really, but Aubrey's game strategy is very clearly to put down absolutely everything that everybody else does, and insist she's the only capable person in the group. Remember though: she's not a bully. She just thinks Teresa is a muppet baby who needs a puppeteer to run her. I notice that Aubrey does not really point out exactly what Teresa is doing that's supposedly so bad, although she is kind of squeaky. As the commercial continues, Teresa teases Paul, Paul bleeps, and Arsenio creates the loud noise that sends Paul to see what ruckus is in his daughter's bedroom. A hysterical time is being gleefully had by all. Clay is behaving as if he were seriously on happy pills and may need valium to calm down.
Back at Forte the cameras are rolling. The couple in the commercial have just decided to get a coupon for a baby carriage, and Dayana is so excited you'd think they were having a real baby. Dayana thanks Penn for a good script, and Lou's face twitches as he pouts. He wants to be in the commercial. He wants to romance the sweet young thing. Lou is still sixty. Penn announces that he's leaving and Lou watches him go with some real growing resentment. Lou has this crazy idea that Penn signed up for this Apprentice gig and he ought to be participating in it. I actually agree with him on that. Gone for two consecutive tasks? Really?
Don Jr. enters, and he notes that Penn is already gone. They explain the commercial concept to Don, who notes that Dayana does seem to be in charge of the task. You know, mostly. Although she sure did delegate a lot of stuff to Lisa and Penn - Penn, who has now run off for the second straight time! Well, if she loses, she can blame somebody else for doing everything wrong! (Watch this point for more developments. What, did I ruin the suspense?)
Clay ponders the fragile relationship between Arsenio and Aubrey. The fight they had seems to have knocked something into alignment, and the whole environment has been quite healthy. Still, she's a loose cannon and he does not know what she will do next. We see that 28 - year old Aubrey is playing the teenaged girl, and I wonder if that's wise because she looks every inch her age and the kid with her looks like a baby. Just as Aubrey begins to spout a particularly dirty piece of dialogue in a really raunchy tone of voice, Ivanka Trump wafts through the door and just loses it with laughter. She finds Paul even funnier, and tells us quite happily in a confessional how much she liked and respected Paul's transformation. Teresa eagerly tells Ms. Trump how much she likes working with the guys, and they all get in a circle and sing Kum-bah-yah... until Aubrey decides that nobody is paying enough attention to her and begins explaining all the concepts that should have been left to the Project Manager. Ivanka has had just about enough of this garbage and tells the camera, quite firmly but nicely, that Aubrey is trying to seize control and she needs to defer to Teresa. I hope this is a major turning point in the series; Aubrey's primary strategy is beginning to backfire badly.
Dayana shoots a scene that shows the couple on their first date. Lou practices his face twitches. Lisa admits to the camera that Dayana was productive, and the sky caves in, crushing her to pieces. Well, no, no such luck. Lisa explains that Dayana was more useful than Lou, and we see why. He has not done the banners. He does not know how. The man does not know how to send an email. Hooboy. Does the commercial need a dancing mop?
Teresa sends Clay and Arsenio off to do the editing for the commercial, and sets Paul to the side as she works with Aubrey. They are getting short on time and they still have much to do. Aubrey trashes Teresa to the camera, since this is what she does best, and I just don't care to listen to this from her anymore. I swear I am about to put her on mute.
Forte edits the commercial together, and the women collaborate effectively. Lou keeps trying to help , but they bat him down until his face twitches. Lisa is beginning to confuse me. She's mad when people have ideas and want to help, and she's mad when they coast. That much anger must require a lot of energy However, Lou does not like the commercial, mostly because he didn't get to play the young lover. Maybe they also did not pay enough attention to the branding. Twitch, twitch, twitch.
Clay and Arsenio are having way too much fun editing their commercial. They are getting a hysterical amount of raunchy milage out of the sound of a zipper, and appear to be much too happy as the rest of the group arrives. Aubrey is quite annoyed that they have not finished the editing and assures the camera that these two big bullies will attack Teresa if their lousy editing loses the challenge for them. Aubrey realizes the word "old-fashioned" may be a problem, and Clay realizes that she's just set up a way to deflect blame from herself and onto them. Teresa tells the camera that Clay and Arsenio are the two going down if the editing loses the challenge. Of course, only one of them can get fired here... This is fake suspense and it will not be a factor at all.
The day of the presentation, Unanimous goes first. We see the older couple clipping paper coupons as they hear the younger couple make seductive sounds about their electronic coupons. By the time Aubrey, using the mobile app, asks about "moving my fingers up and down like this" the execs are chuckling, and Paul really is adorable as he barges into the bedroom in fake fury. When Aubrey calls his coupons "old-fashioned" the execs look a little concerned, but the commercial ends with Paul learning about modern coupon cutting with the kids. As the execs clap, Aubrey coldly informs the camera that when they lose - she is certainly jumping the gun here - Clay and Arsenio will gang-bang Teresa.
Um, Probably not. This show is not on cable, and it's on prime time. Also, Clay is just not that into girls.
What Aubrey really means is that she thinks they will attack Teresa, as Aubrey feels attacked her. Of course, Teresa has not been disrespecting and ignoring the Project Manager, which is the behavior from Aubrey that caused the strife last week. Also, Clay did not curse at Aubrey or call her names. He just stated why she was difficult to work with. Ah, details, details. No, sweetie, if they lose, they are far more likely to go after you, and Ivanka's going to help them. Besides, Clay does not want to gang - bang you. He's gay. You may have read about this somewhere.
Forte goes second. The young man begins to ask his girl on a date, but she's already looking up date coupons on her cell phone. The young man begins to propose, but she's already getting out her phone to look up engagement rings. Then they are on their honeymoon, and she's showing him how to get to the discounts on an ipad. Finally, he helps her look up baby carriages on a laptop. As they walk out, Lou tells us in a voiceover that Lisa has two personalities. She's negative AND mean AND abrasive. Hey, that's three! Then Lou tells us, with growing rancor, that he does not like to be called a bleep loser. Twitch. Twitch. Twitch.
The execs meet with Trump and present these pros and cons for each team.
Unanimous: presented as a team, Paul was a star. It was creative, bold, gutsy, and they got their message through. However, they should not have called the dad old-fashioned, and it was too risque. They did not discuss price.
Forte: Creative, great storyline, discussed price. They emphasized a wide variety of savings on different products, with several different devices that could read the website. However, it was less exciting, less interesting, and the cast was too small. Who won?
And now... the Board Room. I hate it here. I won't stay long. Just the basics.
- Dayana admits that Lou was the weak player on the team. She's pleasant and measured about it. Lisa praises Dayana's leadership skill, and agrees that Lou is weak. And then the whole thing goes horribly off the rails as Lou, sensing his impending doom, begins to twitch and threaten and bleep. Lisa goes into orbit. Bleep. Bleep. They could have a bleeping contest. Trump offers to protect Lisa from physical threats, because he's probably bought his own Secret Service men in training just in case he ever makes another Presidential bid. And we'll just let the Hulk and the Queen of Mean bicker for awhile here. Bleep, bleep, bleep.
Trump asks about the fight between Arsenio and Aubrey, and they all suggest that they are getting along better. Clay praises Teresa as Project Manager, so there will be no gang-bang today. Teresa declares that there are no weak links, so the editing flap is a non-issue. Ivanka then saves Teresa from having to choose two people to come back with her. She calls Aubrey out for taking control of the conversation about the task when it was Teresa's turn to do so, and tells her, quite rightfully, that this narcissistic behavior is what's causing all those so-called gang bangs. Aubrey is visibly deflated; her campaign to be seen as the only capable person on the show has just taken a terrible, possibly fatal, turn. Claymates, enjoy this part: Paul declares Clay the star of the team. Really! Even when he's not singing! Now, Clay might not be very productive in Paul's motorcycle shop, but he's pretty well-rounded otherwise. Well, yes. We knew that. We've known it for almost a decade. We are in the Board Room, which is Trash Talk Central, having a Clay Aiken love fest. Heh. Enjoy it while it lasts. We've got some weeks to go yet.
They watch the videos again, since the show is two hours long and they need filler. There's a LOT of filler in this conversation, but the main point is that Forte did not choose to cast their video with people from their team because they did not have team members that would work as these young lovers. (Except possibly Dayana, but she does not mention this.) Penn thinks he's too old. Lou pouts that he did not get cast as a 20 year old lover as his face twitches.
Trump repeatedly and pointedly asks every person from both sides which commercial they preferred until he finally gets one person who walks into his trap. Lou admits that he preferred Unanimous' video, and after that, the vultures begin to circle.
Unanimous has won the task. There will be no gang-bang. Aubrey can shut up now. In a really interesting article that restores my faith in the idea that the sponsors actually choose the winners, Entertainment.com explains their decision. This article also, very honestly and clearly, reminds us that Celebrity Apprentice is basically a really elaborate advertisement for the sponsor's goods and services. We knew that, but it's refreshing for one of them to state so clearly. I wish all the sponsors did this. Now I am actually more inclined to check out their little coupons.
It's no surprise where the axe falls. It is certainly Lou's time to go. He has a dangerous temper, little leadership ability, and limited technical skills. He should have been gone weeks ago. However, Trump ignores all those legitimate issues in favor of this one odd point: he asks Lou a straight question about which commercial he preferred. Lou gives an honest answer, and Trump declares him disloyal. Lou is fired... for giving an honest answer to a direct question that has been asked solely for the purpose of causing strife. Right victim. Terrible reason. Trump is a lousy boss.
Next week, the celebrities realize that they've been puppets all along in Trump's world, and Clay is dragged kicking and screaming away from Arsenio to a team full of unpleasant people he does not like. It's enough to make a man bleep.
Thanks to "Nice Clay Mentions" for their lovely mention of my blog! From now on... link to me, and I will link right back... unless it's, you, know, pornographic, unethical, illegal, or not about either Clay, Glee, or Celebrity Apprentice.