Celebrity Apprentice Recap: Jingle All the Way
Unanimous sits in their waiting room, sipping champagne, and patting themselves on the back. Aubrey, in particular. Big surprise, huh? Gee, it sucks to be the only capable person in the world, doesn't it? Only Aubrey can make creatives. (Yes, apparently, this is a genuine marketing term.) Only Aubrey has ever done anything of value.
And it's really interesting... We Clay fans were all sweating bullets, and Clay was too, but everybody seems to be certain the victim is either Penn or Dayana. I want to know what really goes on in the editing room, and why we were so much more worried about Clay than Unanimous was.
Clay and Dayana come through the door, and Clay looks like he's just witnessed a wrongful execution. Lisa ignores Dayana and asks Clay what happened... it was the slogan. Trump only focused on the single weekly task today. Lisa gently says "It was hard for you" and I think these editors don't tell us what the real dynamics of these people are.
Clay knows how to play Survivor. He tells the camera about his mixed emotions. In terms of being the stronger player, he's sorry Penn is gone. Penn deserved to stay... but in terms of being the stronger player, well... Clay just cut a very large, deep notch in his warrior's stick Penn was smart, talented and dangerous. Dayana ain't winning this thing unless a Trump wants to sleep with her and has not already succeeded. He jokes with the others that while the all-male team won virtually every task, there are now only two men left on the show. When the teams went co-ed, the men dropped like flies. Apparently, having a single male teammate does wunders fer dem here wimmins. Clay is chatting pleasantly with everybody else, but Dayana stands apart. She knows Clay and Lisa are not happy she is still around at Penn's expense. She's going to have to watch her back.
Aubrey gives money to GLSEN. I approve of anti-bullying organizations, I am glad they got some money out of her and I hope they do great things with it, but I simply will not discuss her if I don't have to. She is not representing them well.
The Task: Good Sam Roadside Service for RVs wants these celebrities to write and perform a 90 second jingle; they will be judged on the jingle, the brand messaging, and the performance itself. Hmm. It's... a singing contest. There are two teams. Surely Clay Aiken won't place second in a singing contest? Simon Cowell is nowhere in sight. Yes, the other team has Aubrey O'Day, but she seems to be better known for her Playboy cover. God, this woman just oozes class. doesn't she?
Time to choose project managers. Now I am REALLY sorry Penn tried to run from the fragrance challenge, because this was Clay's wheelhouse and he should have been all over this. But nope, it's not his turn, so the project manager will be... a woman who has no musical background or ability at all. Arsenio will be in charge for Forte, and he amiably tells the camera that he already knows Aubrey is going to steal his thunder and try to take charge. Yes, and the sun will rise.
Trump is surprised that Dayana is project manager; he was expecting Clay to do it. Apparently it's not actually against the rules to go twice in a row. Yes, Donald, he will sing. Well... we hope. Will he sing? Dayana informs the camera that she's decided she has to be more aggressive this task. She's going to have to assert her authority more. On a musical task. On a team that includes Clay Aiken. Uh. Oh. Trump will give the winners $20,000, and Good Sams will offer $25,000. In addition, they will offer all the proceeds of Good Sam mascot sales to the winning charity. That's hardly even fair. That's millions of dollars. Most PMs get tens of thousands. The Grand Prize is only $250,000. Trump wishes them all luck... especially Dayana. Is it because he knows she's the wrong leader for this task?
In the Unanimous van, Clay is discussing the jingle. It needs to have a lot of repetition, and because Clay is what Lisa calls a "Frankie Valli" type singer, they think it should have an early 60s flavor. Uh, yes, Clay. YOU have to sing. YOU have to do that. And then we get quite a little bombshell. Dayana does not know what a jingle is. She thinks it's a Christmas carol. Lisa and Clay both look like they want to shoot her right there, and then Clay very patiently tries to explain what a jingle is. Then Dayana decides they need to write lyrics - start throwing out rhymes right off the bat. Clay more icily tells her that the melody usually comes first. Yes. His family includes David Foster. Clay would know this. Then Dayana suggests that they just call Debbie Gibson, because Clay and Lisa can't get this task done. At least, not if she's making any important decisions.
Over on Forte, Aubrey is churning out idea after idea, demanding that Arsenio rubber stamp them. She wants them to be cheerleaders. However, Arsenio doesn't like this. He wants to remain in control of the task, he wants to choose images that will fit the demographic well, and he does NOT want to tap dance, because it evokes some very grim racial stereotypes. Aubrey gives the most offensive confessional of her career by sneering that Arsenio is the biggest girl on the show and he ought to love tap dancing and cheerleading outfits. Given that she is trying to earn money for gay kids who have been bullied, her comment is inexcusable. GLSEN appears to agree with me.
Arsenio balks at the idea that Aubrey's idea is by definition the best one possible, and the argument ends in a cold silence that scares Teresa. She is caught in the crosshairs of their personal feud and she does not like it. Arsenio notes that Aubrey basically won't do anything unless she gets to do it her way. Unanimous appears to be in trouble.
When Unanimous arrives at the recording studio, Teresa makes happy, peace-making sounds, but Aubrey growls that all her ideas aren't set in stone already. Arsenio keeps offering up rhymes that I think might sound pretty good, but Aubrey does not like them because she did not write them. Then salvation arrives in the person of the Good Sam executive, who offers up a Bobblehead Mascot of Peace to inspire them to grow up and start working. This guy feels like the brand is the most important thing in the project. So the Bobblehead Mascot is YOUR CHEERLEADER????? snickers Aubrey. Uh, yeah, something like that. Ok, Arsenio, come over here and let Aubrey put her foot on your neck now.
Over on Forte, Clay and Lisa are perking along on their early 1960's theme, but just as the ideas begin to gel, Dayana wants to get Big Hair and switch to 80's. She's mad because they are making decisions without including her, but her contributions today seem very shallow, unfocused and nonsensical Possibly it's been like this all along, and that's why Lisa has completely lost her mind. Editing is an interesting, misleading thing. Then the Bobblehead guy shows up to stress the importance of not playing it safe with this jingle. Clay, whom I love dearly and who is as cutting edge as a pillow, thinks that a Frankie Valli impersonation will be adventurous enough. Sigh. Of course you do, sweetie. Of course you do. That's kind of the problem. Oh, and don't forget that branding is the most important thing. Always. Just tattoo the brand across your foreheads and be done with it.
When the musicians arrive for Unanimous, Aubrey (who is not the project manager) informs them of the Gwen Stefani musical direction she wants them to go. Arsenio has the good sense to suggest that the team's professional singer should sing the jingle, and that's Aubrey's cue to tell us how she can write songs with no effort. Honey, writing always takes effort. Aubrey envisions the epic story of a couple whose car has broken down on the side of the road, and Arsenio agrees to rap, because that's not a stereotype. Well, it is, but it's not a hundred years old. Aubrey begins to write the song, and Arsenio gives her free rein because he thinks he's making her happy.
Clay begs Dayana to stop dawdling and let them choose a musical decade and style before the musicians arrive. No Dayana, the Bobble Head does not look like Duran Duran. He looks like a guy called Walter who is living next door to the Cleavers. Clay tells the confessional that they had a problem... Dayana is Project Manager, but she is clueless and counterproductive, so they have to find a way to keep her from being destructive while Clay and Lisa get the work done. They give Dayana a short lesson... well, a long lesson for which they do not have time...in music styles and genres. How do you like funk , Dayana? No? How about Doowop? Well, what about a Frankie Valli thing? What, you like this? Gee, why didn't we think of that hours ago? Your leadership inspires us, you little twit. Dayana whines in confessional that they are not being fair with her. Given that Clay spent forever trying to let you get on board with the music style, I'd say he's been trying, at least up until now.
Dayana wants to play the song with a little pink added in. I am going to be very kind and suggest that this is the part where she's from Venezuela and the right word failed her at this moment. Clay just thinks she ought to recognize that he knows music better than she does and let him lead this more. Oh, Clay. I just love your voice. It's so... magenta. Except, of course, when you hit the high notes and it goes all polka dots. Clay suggests they add green to the song, and tells us that Dayana does not know her ass from a hole in the ground.
Hee hee. Clay, it's a new you. You are much more interesting now. You are also right. And also yellow. Can you sing a rainbow? I can't wait to see the chorus.
Arsenio is taking charge, getting things done, delegating tasks. He's got Teresa working on the branding and he asks Aubrey to help her. Then he turns Little Drummer Boy and catches a beat while Aubrey turns up her nose. But when Arsenio gives directions to the background singers... Aubrey commits mutiny and abandons Teresa to hang with the singers. Arsenio grumbles, but doesn't make any attempt to reign in that bitch.
Clay's getting his song all worked out. It's mastery! Masterful lyrics, I tell you! Good Sam! (Something else right here) Good Sam! (Something else right here.) Well, we always said he could sing the phone book, and he's just about doing that now. Beautifully, I might add. Then Dayana tries to write some lyrics to replace the Something Else Right Here. Badly, I might add. Lisa then spouts off some pretty good, witty lyrics off the top of her head, and Dayana wants to help, and I agree... it's not really possible to collaborate on song lyric writing with somebody who doesn't have any talent for it at all. No, Dayana, don't look over her shoulder. Yes, I promise you, it is very nerve-wracking and unproductive when people do that.
Dayana wonders where the respect for the Project Manager is. I can answer that. This is a task where the Project Manager should be delegating tasks to appropriate personnel and then popping in to say "How's it going?" every so often. Lots of effective supervisors do that. Hey, you are the boss, lady. You get to give orders and make them do the work. Try it. Here, have some low-fat dessert of your choice and live a little. Dayana, the goal of the task is not to please YOU. It's to write a jingle. However, if Dayana has never written anything, she may not understand that it's really a solitary activity. Yes, you can follow up on the task and read the lyrics from time to time, but not over Lisa's shoulder. It just. Doesn't. Work.
Then Clay sings the lyrics of the new jingle, and I hope it's not on his next album as Lisa starts rocking. Lisa hopes it will replace the Debbie Gibson jingle that's still rattling in her head after... how may weeks? Hey, maybe it WAS a good jingle.
And here's Clay Aiken, singing about how Good Sam helps him out of a jam and says "I can" and is his favorite man... Soon he'll sing about spam... Somehow I'm still his fan... Oh, but Dayana wants to take out that whole "He's my favorite man" thing, and now Clay's beginning to go into Pissy! Diva! Clay! mode, because... uh... he knows how to sing and Dayana does not. Then Lisa does the spoken blurb, and Dayana tells her she sounds scary. After that instruction, she looks scary. Clay sums it up. It was the blind leading the seeing.
When Don Jr. comes in to visit the Unanimous team they sing him their song, which is funky and fun and features rapping from Arsenio. Don thinks they are doing pretty well.... and then Aubrey goes into her usual game strategy, which is to trap Don in a corner (again) and tell him that she's the only worthwhile member of her team. (again.) It's like she's tattling about a naughty classmate to the teacher, except, of course, that's she's doing this to set up the groundwork for her own advancement at Arsenio's expense. She thinks she's proving her worth; Don is learning that her backstabbing attitude is an impediment to the team's effectiveness. I hope this turns out to be important.
It's time to decide on costumes for Forte. Dayana wants there to be a hippie. Dayana does not understand the difference between 1963 and 1967. Of course she doesn't. She was born in 1986. Clay, in describing how obtuse Dayana is, tells us that while he has worked with special ed kids, Dayana required more patience. No, he did NOT say she was a Special Ed kid! Lisa and Clay inform Dayana that her ideas are completely inappropriate, and she whines because she's being picked on. She thinks they are evil because they don't think a hippie goes well with Frankie Valli.
I really want to know what the difference is between the sweet, helpful, downtrodden Dayana we've been seeing for weeks and weeks and the obstructive moron we are seeing now. It appears to me that the Celebrity Apprentice have been basically lying to us about her general competency and character after all; Lisa actually has reason to dislike her, because she is really vacuous all of a sudden. I suspect she always has been and they did not show that because it served their narrative to paint Lisa as not only inappropriate in the expression of her evaluation, but arbitrary and unfair, too. I feel a bit like I've been lied to, because I've been on this girl's side and it looks like I should not have been. That's not quite fair to Lisa. Of course, this show is not fair to anybody. Ask Adam Corolla.
When Don arrives, Dayana praises Clay's suggestions and contributions, which means she's still less evil than Aubrey, but Lisa takes offense that a woman with whom she does not get along at all is not praising her as well. Dayana then tells Don that nobody will listen to her ideas. Clay is capable and Lisa is as loud as possible.
Steam is beginning to come out of Lisa's ears, and after some urging, Clay says that Lisa has been writing the song. Dayana says something I am not even sure makes sense about how she's involved with the writing...
And after that, Lisa gets as loud as possible. Screechy, weepy, full-blown harpy. Major mama temper tantrum. And Dayana looks... smug... as if she deliberately pushed some buttons and made the crazy lady go boom in front of a Trump. Uh, how many weeks have you been playing this game, Dayana?
Clay is still trying to be a grownup here. He explains how this all is not in Dayana's wheelhouse, so he and Lisa have to do a lot of the work... well, hey, they ASKED him....
Lisa rants. It's pretty much the same stuff we've been hearing for weeks. Dayana's stupid. Check. Dayana's useless. Check. Once she's raided a big enough stink to evacuate the building, Lisa storns out and Clay looks like he wants to fade into the floor.
When we (and Lisa) come back, Dayana is working on signage because she's certainly no musician. Brand Messaging was the safest task for her - but they are wasting time again. They are cutting it close now. Dayana's dawdling is biting into their rehearsal time.
Oh, look, Lisa is yelling at her again. Let's waste some more time. Bleeeeeeeeep! Fight, fight, fight, bleah. Dayana is neither capable nor smart, and Lisa has neither class nor dignity, and neither of them will win this game. Bleep! Insult! Sneer! Screech!
"Dayana!" says Clay. He is ignored. Lisa is girded for battle and Dayana had better hope they don't lose.
Unanimous: Arsenio sends Aubrey and Teresa ahead to the rehearsal hall. Arsenio leaves them with fairly vague instructions, and thinks that Aubrey is being a team player. Aaaaaah that would be a no. As soon as she gets to the venue, Aubrey completely revamps everything Arsenio did. Teresa looks nervous as they begin some unsanctioned marching. Aubrey informs us that she's saving the project single-handedly and the only proper response is "Thank you." I think the only proper response involves a muzzle.
When Arsenio arrives, Aubrey gives him instruction... everything he expected to do has changed. Oddly enough, he objects, and is not inclined to thank her. He also doesn't want to do the drums. Teresa, who is now seriously terrified that they will lose the task over the bickering, offers to drum.
Dress rehearsal for Forte: Clay is singing lead, Lisa is talking, dancers are dancing, mascot is ... uh.... mascotting, and Dayana is scheduled to do nothing. Lisa approves. Except that Dayana doesn't. She begins arguing with Clay about stage directions, and his temper REALLY begins to flare, and suddenly he's a grown ass man driving Miss Daisy. He starts yelling, too. His position... either give him real, coherent instruction, or get out of his way.
Miss Thing can't deal with attitudes. Miss Thing does not understand that he would not have an attitude if she had a clue. She sneers that since he knows what he's doing, she will sit there and clap, and I actually think that's a good idea.
Let me put it this way... if they were dressing models for a runway and Clay was somehow Project Manager instead of her, do you think he would be ordering her to let him choose the outfits and apply the makeup to the models, or would he delegate those tasks to her?
Dayana whines about lack of respect again, and I think... you know what, sweetie? You aren't giving him any respect either, for his knowledge, expertise and talent. It goes both ways, dear.
It's almost showtime, and as Clay puts on an early sixties outfit and an alarming amount of hair gel, he can hear Aubrey rehearsing her jingle on the other side of a partition. He invites Dayana, who appears to be dressed in a white sack with sleeves, to listen in. Clay thinks Forte has the more unique and creative song.
Forte's presentation depicts the team presenting an old style radio commercial. Clay sings lead as a bunch of girls in polka dotted dresses dance around him. Lisa butts in to give rapid fire description of how Good Sam saved the day. It's cute and whimsical... until Dayana wanders onstage, very unprofessionally dressed, and offers very weak, barely heard thanks to the cast and crew. Dayana prays to God that she hopes they win this one. She had better; while the Good Sam exec likes the singing and the writing, he thinks it is too conservative, and Dayana did not dress appropriately to represent the brand.
Right before the Unanimous presentation, Arsenio feels good. He and Teresa are playing a couple lost on a desolate road, wearing t-shirts with the Good Sam logo. Teresa's job is to be lost and scared. Arsenio thinks she's great, I think she's delightfully hammy, and Aubrey thinks it's terrible, and that it is sad that everybody else in the world can't be exactly like her. Arsenio remembers the Good Sam ap on his phone, and suddenly Aubrey as a very skimpily clad cheerleader and her band of helpers are marching in, singing their contemporary jingle. This presentation is funnier and catchier than Forte's. Sorry folks, it is. It also uses the entire team better as Arsenio raps, Aubrey sings and Teresa spouts funny lines. The rap part is really much more effective than Lisa's rapid fire talking. Teresa thinks they delivered. So do I. So does the exec. It's obvious that Unanimous has won this even before the Board Room.
Clay did me a huge favor during this Board Room. He was never in danger, and he didn't talk much, so for a blog written almost entirely for an audience of Clay Aiken fans, there is not much to go over. Obviously, Forte wins the task. Clay mostly sits around watching Lisa and Dayana bicker about respect. Lisa screams and yells a little more, Lisa thinks Dayana was a terrible project manager, because she obstructed talented people from doing the work that they, not Dayana, are qualified to do. Lisa did not need her help writing, Clay did not need her help singing, and there was no job for sitting around looking beautiful this week like there was last week. Aubrey butts into the conversation because everything is always about her. Clay, when he finally gets the chance to talk, agrees that Dayana was a problem... indeed, when Clay points out that Dayana was micromanaging everything to a ludicrous extent, Trump has the excuse he needs.
Dayana Mendoza is obviously one of Trump's favorite contestants this year, but she finally got fired. And they finally showed us the brainless incompetence that Lisa has been screeching about all along. Too bad she can't express her frustrations in a more adult and acceptable manner.