Funny thing about a super-sized, April Fool's edition of the Greediest show on earth... It means I get to wallow a llittle deeper in the mud with a second Celebrity Apprentice Recap for the week. And it's getting ugly, folks. Sometimes I really wonder how a person can go on this show to improve his or her career.
As you recall, the last board room ended with Trump telling the women that Teresa should have brought Aubrey, not Debbie Gibson, back into the Board Room because she made the least amount of money. By the time this mess was over, I suspect a lot of other people besides Debbie wished that Teresa had brought the Ugly Troll Doll to the Board Room.
The first person to endorse that idea is Dee, who tell Aubrey to her face that he thinks Trump will fire Teresa for not choosing Aubrey. Aubrey then accuses him not only of saying ugly things... which she never, ever does, of course... but of then being a backstabber... because he told her exactly what he thought of her to her face. Lisa, that bastion of sweetness and light, moans "Let's not fight with the MEN, too!" but they still don't understand where all the strife is coming from. Arsenio delights in the fact that he does not have to work with this hateful little troublemaker, which is a sure sign that his own little Aubrey-free heaven is about to come crashing down around his ears. Dee suggests that age and ruthlessness will win out over youth and enthusiasm, because he does not understand the danger.
When Teresa and Debbie enter the boardroom, the Ugly Troll Doll first squeaks with joy that Teresa is OK, and then gasps when she realizes that Venezuela has not been completely conquered. Yeah, yeah, Dayana's still standing, better than she ever did... wanna make us root for her? Keep being mean to her, kid. Lisa's reaction to seeing that Debbie is fired, of course, is to assume that God has it in for her-not Debbie, but Lisa. This may be true, and I can see why it would be, but it's nice to know that Debbie's firing is about Lisa's sins. Maybe it is. Dayana acidly informs the entire room that Debbie went home because she brought in less money than Dayana did, and she thinks Aubrey's exclusion from the Board Room was not a good idea for the project manager. She's getting kind of fed up, I think. Teresa gets out the claws, Clay gleefully starts handing out popcorn. Lisa feels sorry for the women's team, now in a tiny, decimated shambles.
Then we have, of course, the required Heartwarming Moment which saves this program, and this is a pretty big one. It's kind of cute to watch the Twisted Sister rock and roll star coo over the beauty of a premature baby before he hands the March of Dimes $300,000 dollars. Of course, I suppose we must assume it's meaningless because the envelope did not come with an epic work of art by the Blue Man Group, so of course it was not worth doing. Bah. These scenes with the charities are actually the only thing in this show genuinely worth doing or watching, although Clay did throw a really fun fake beach party.
Trump begins the next segment by telling the women that they suck. It only took him seven weeks to figure this out. They've lost five of the seven challenges, and as I've pointed out elsewhere, one of their two "wins" was a big fat lie about Michael Andretti not living up to the family name the way Trump wanted him to. And the other win was on a project led by... who? Why, I do believe it was Dayana Mendoza. Trump announces that he's switching up the teams, and Aubrey looks like she's going to leap for joy - until Trump insists that he's breaking up the Aubrey/Lisa Braintrust of Failure. Arsenio looks heavenward as his world crumbles: Teresa and Aubrey are joining the men on Unanimous. Lou, Penn and Dee are moving to Forte. Clay's probably pretty happy, since he gets to keep working with his best buddy Arsenio and he no longer has to deal with Penn.
Then, two men from Walgreen's introduce the next task, and I brighten up. I like this one. Their new program is Walk with Walgreens, and they are encouraging people to walk for 30 minutes a day. I've participated in Walk Across Texas for the past two years, and my personal goal while doing this was the same as the one being promoted here. I might just have to check this one out, because they aren't actually selling garbage; they are communicating a very important idea. And hey, who doesn't want a free pedometer?
The celebrities must come up with an interactive live presentation promoting the benefits of walking. They will also be designing the Walk with Walgreens membership kit. They will be judged on brand messaging, quality of the kit design, and their overall presentation. In other words, it's a completely subjective task so that Trump can make the winner anybody he wants. Yeah, I guess it was about time for another one of those.
So, who's going to helm the ship this time? Well, it's a task about fitness, so of course Lou's ready to do this; physical fitness is about the only thing he has the credibility to discuss. (Hey, he's sixty years old and he looks like that. Give credit where it is due.) However, I do think he got very confused. It is not Push-ups With Walgreens. Aubrey, who got into the push-up contest with him, was also confused. It was not All About Aubrey, All the Time.
Or is it? We'll get back to that.
Well, now that we've established that Lou will take every opportunity possible to show off his physical prowess, who will be in charge for Unanimous? Well... it's... the guy who hasn't led yet. That would be Arsenio. He gets to try to give Aubrey orders. This will not end well.
After the big bonanza Dee earned on the perfectly awful Guide Book Challenge, the prizes are back to their normal size for this much more worthwhile project. Trump offers 20 grand, and Walgreens has kicked in an extra 30 grand, for the winning charity.
Lisa evaluates the quality of the people of her team (meaning Dayana and Lou) and considers performing hari kari. She says she is literally in hell. I think she literally does not know what the word "literally" means. She also ignores the fact that her team includes Dee and Penn, both of whom are winning project managers and much better players than she is. Having said that, in the Forte war room Lisa concedes that the Forte method of doing... well, anything... has been completely unsuccessful, so she's ready to let somebody else try setting the parameters for working. For now. We will see how long this lasts.
Now that he no longer has to deal with Clay Aiken, Penn announces he's flying out to do a show and won't be back for an entire day. Clay's got to be eating his heart out that Penn didn't fly out of state several times earlier. Lou wonders if Penn is going to know his lines when he comes back. I wonder if he's going to invite somebody to make a Great Artistic Mob Scene again (featuring flyers with his picture on them.) Maybe the show he has to go perform is the show that prompted him to make the flyers in the first place. Maybe he would be happier just staying there, making genuine artistic statements?
Lisa proudly informs us all that she is a firm believer in never exercising at all. Honey, I spend too much time sitting on my rear, too, but I don't brag about it and I sure don't go around feeling entitled to be lazy. What kind of impression is this vulgar woman trying to make?
Dee ponders the little blank cube that they have to design for the Membership Kit, and Lou tells everybody about the time he had to get both knees replaced. It made him realize there's more to life then flexing your arm muscles... although he will continue to do that, too, any time, for any reason, at the slightest provocation. Also push-ups. All you have to do is ask, or look like you might possibly ask, or look in his general direction.
Over at Unanimous, Arsenio is the Project Manager. That means, of course, that Aubrey has decided she's in charge, and the fertile mind that came up with such wonderful ideas as a Garden of Eden without any real plants in it and a very boring "suggestive" viral video about a mop is ready to lead yet another team to ignominious defeat. "Your reputation proceeds you as the creative one, Aubrey" sneers Clay, who has noticed Aubrey's success rate and generally nasty personality. He consoles himself that he's still with Arsenio... see? Told ya.
Aubrey lectures the others about how the box needs to have a strong creative behind it, and she thinks it should be in loud, Rainbow-brite colors, much like her badly dyed hair. Arsenio thinks he might like to get some directions from the Walgreens people before he starts skipping down the Aubrey Path to Ruin. He remembers the Garden of Eden concept and how she botched that task. Aubrey decides she doesn't like him anymore because he doesn't rubber-stamp her ideas without thinking about them, and she very aggressively dominates the conversation when the Walgreen men arrive. Arsenio stares at her like she's just slapped him... but... gotta be honest. He does not actually say anything to her. He just seethes.
Back at Forte, somebody besides Lisa has an idea. Oh, look. It's Penn. Maybe he hasn't checked out completely after all, or maybe the hope that he will get to escape the Trump Treadmill for a few hours has inspired him to productivity. Maybe he's just happy to get away from Clay. Penn thinks that they should think about all the different things a person can do while walking: flirt, date, make phone calls, play Angry Birds on your smart phone if you don't mind running into stuff. Lisa is stunned to see somebody else that talented offering up ideas - she's used to dealing with Aubrey - and she's very pleased. However, she notices that Lou's kind of a lump. Meanwhile, Penn, who is not upset over the idea that Dayana is younger and prettier than he is, thinks she's a fine addition to the team and can't understand what Lisa's objections are.
Lou, as innovative and unpredictable as ever, thinks Dee should do graphic design (again) while he gets to be the star speaker (again.) Penn expresses concern that Lou is going to take center stage as Mr. Universe (again) when other people are better public speakers than he is, but Lou decides he's going to host because it's his party and he's in charge and go suck a lemon, Penn. Nyah nyah. Or get on a plane and leave the state.
Over at Unanimous, Clay manages to get a word in edgewise past Aubrey's monologue for long enough to suggest that they turn the presentation into a game show. Then the two red-heads -one natural, one Rainbow-brite - are off and running with this idea, creating a game show wheel and Arsenio...listens very quietly. He's not even the one to explain the concept in the confessional. Clay does that. Clay also casts the roles: Arsenio gets to be Monty Hall and host, Clay will be Ryan Seacrest, announcing the contestants, and Aubrey, Teresa and Paul are team captains. Arsenio nods, and nods again. Then the Ugly Troll Doll turns her attention to the box, decides they will put their faces on the different sides, and proclaims why each of them walk. She does not ask them to contribute their own motivations for walking. She assigns them, and ends the whole segment by getting a pretty vicious dig at Arsenio: he walked away from the industry. This has nothing to do with exercise or the task at hand. Arsenio looks like he's about to throw something at her... but he still doesn't say anything aloud. He just grabs his coat. They all have to go to Walgreens to take their pictures for this box. No Toshiba cameras this time. They aren't the task sponsor. Aubrey has to use her smart phone, and the pictures are all just awful. Ms. Troll Doll won't let the others see how bad they are.
Penn gets some pretty solid ideas about the presentation rolling quite well before he heads out the door. He's putting Miss Universe in a swimsuit. Again. Dayana must feel like she's caught in her own personal version of Groundhog Day. Lisa complains because Penn, the only person on the team worthy of working with her, has just left the room and she's stuck with these inferior beings. Those inferior beings would include Dee, by the way, who gives directions to the graphic designer to plaster the Walgreens logo all over the kit. Dayana very quietly tells the audience in a confessional that she would have liked to do something more with it.
Remember the Medieval Times assignment? Remember which of the women realized that their show was too raunchy and not suited for families? Remember how they ignored her? Remember how that turned out? Speak up, girl! No, wait, keep quiet. I'm rooting for Unanimous, despite the Ugly Troll Doll. Don Jr. acts as the mouthpiece of God as he clues the audience in on a few things that his dad wants to make sure we understand: most importantly, that Dayana is actually pretty helpful. Dee concurs, and murderous impulses flash in Lisa's older, less attractive, insanely, bitterly jealous eyes.
Aubrey's creative idea for this box is to take a bunch of really bad pictures of all her teammates either scowling (Paul), smirking (Clay), or mugging for the camera (Teresa). Then she partners that bad photo with a quote she made up for them about why they love walking. She does not ask them what they want their own quotes to say. For that matter, Aubrey won't even allow the project manager to choose which picture he wants for his own part of the cube. Please remember that this was the same woman who nearly had a heart attack when Patricia refused to let her see the graphics for the Crystal Light Pomtini. She was right then; she is not right now. Oh, and yes, Aubrey gets in another swipe at Arsenio's wrinkles, just for fun. Classy.
Clay begins to feel very unsettled as Aubrey stops being merely decisive and starts becoming downright obnoxious and grossly insubordinate to Arsenio. Eric Trump notices this as well as Ugly Troll Doll monopolizes the discussion about the box. "Am I taking over?" she finally asks. "Um. Yeah." mumbles Arsenio. "Now sit your ass down, let me lead the discussion, and from now on, I choose my own damned picture!" Yes, he said all of that. Well, the entire "Um. Yeah." part.
In the Forte van, the team finally realizes Dee's box design is really boring, so they decide to jazz it up with some action verbs that describe what you can do while walking. Dayana thinks some of them, (like "insulting", probably in honor of Lisa) come across as being kind of negative and unproductive. Cue the horns of doom. She's Cassandra, prophetess of failure, and she knows what will kill them, if they'd only listen to her. Then they hit the rehearsal space, and Lisa finds everybody very hard to control. She consoles herself with the idea that Lou is going home tomorrow. Nice when your own team members are planning for failure, Lou. Maybe you should dance with the mop again.
Over at Unanimous, Aubrey assigns everybody a quote she's written for them, and Arsenio Hall, Project Manager, continues to try to get his way on something concerning his own box. He wants to choose the wording. Clay slyly notes that Aubrey expends a great deal of energy trying to make people express approval for her ideas, and she does nothing better than covering her ass. Except possibly disobeying orders; she still refuses to let Arsenio choose the picture he wants. Ugly Troll Doll chirps "Are you guys happy with this?" as Arsenio tries not to explode, and Clay looks like he's about to fall out of his chair he's laughing so hard.
Over at Forte, Lisa tries with all of her might to make Dee hate Dayana, who is off buying a swimsuit. Dee's not having it. I personally think that if Lisa put less effort into hating, she'd be a lot less tired and would not be so offended by Dayana. Lisa comes up with a real nasty metaphor comparing Dayana's ideas to poo poo, and I can't help wondering how many of Dayana's ideas, flushed down the toilet, might have been as good or better than the stuff that lost all those challenges for Lisa and Aubrey. She thinks nobody else is willing to talk about the Horror That is Dayana, but it's because that apparition may not exist on the material plane. By the way, Lisa, if we are having a Catty Comment Competition... dye your roots. The grey is coming back.
It's showtime. Penn is back. Forte is up. Lou does his best "I Am An Inspirational Figure" monologue, and Lisa admits that he didn't suck. Penn shows the audience how he can juggle while walking. Dayana practices being a beauty queen (in a bathing suit) while walking. Penn blurts out the phrase "walk with Walmart" and everybody in the room acts as if he burst into a stream of profanity. And yes, I understand that as far as the Walgreens people are concerned, he did... except that Forte was not similarly penalized when the Ugly Troll Doll got "Buick Verano" wrong twice a few weeks ago. These shifting standards for expediency's sake are brutal. Fortunately, Dayana bubbled up with "Shall I give him my crown?" and saved the whole thing with a big hearty laugh line. She's so stupid and useless. Nope. A guy from the audience is eager to try "dating" while walking, thinking he's going to walk with Dayana, but there's a bait and switch. This is Lisa's line, and his chagrin is the joke as Lisa takes him by the arm. I see that the feud of jealousy and bitterness gaining even more fuel. After the presentation, everybody praises Dayana for her quick thinking, and Lisa... she's got nuffin.
Allison Sweeney and the Walgreens people examine the branding for this presentation, and they notice... what Dayana said. Some of those grey action words in the background have very negative connotations. Yes, you can try yelling while walking, but it's still an uncomfortable idea.
Now it's time for Unanimous. The team that features Clay Aiken (American Idol), Aubrey O'Day (Making the Band), Paul Teutul (American Chopper) and Teresa Giudice (Real Housewives) have made their theme Face Reality. Their faces are on the box, they are all Reality Show stars, and they are facing the reality about the need to exercise, even though Aubrey won't face the reality that Arsenio was the person who was supposed to make decisions. Each of the contestants spins the wheel and answers a question, giving useful information about the value of walking. The branding does not contain any confusing messages, and nobody mentions Walmart. The judges pretend to the cameras that Unanimous put in too many boring facts, but I am pretty sure this is a smokescreen. It's obvious to me who has won.
In the Board Room, Lisa thinks Lou was a weak project manager - she thought Penn, absent for half of it, was more productive than Lou. Clay praises his buddy Arsenio as Project Manager, and then gets a sticky question: which of the two women was stronger? This is one of those questions designed to get folks at each other's throats, but Clay handles it fairly well, with honest. Aubrey had more ideas; Teresa supported the team better. Was Aubrey ever... overbearing? Arsenio attempts to be tactful... almost to the point of being wussy... but Trump is ready to stir this pot really, really harshly now. It's not a completely honest edit;in Clay's Celebrity Apprentice Blog, he tells us a slightly different story than the one we saw on the screen. I quote him here, because we did not get to see this part.
To say the least, indeed. Clay points out that Aubrey forged ahead with ideas that she should not have pushed without approval, and Aubrey looks upset.
What you didn't see in the Boardroom scenes this week: The first thing Mr. Trump asked each of us was how we felt about Arsenio as project manager. I spoke highly of him (as televised). Teresa spoke highly of him, as did Paul. When Aubrey was asked, she gave a very lukewarm "eh... he was only okay." This shocked me and appeared to be posturing. I am pretty sure THAT is what set Arsenio off on Aubrey. After days of trying to guide the team to work together AND of allowing Aubrey to steamroll large parts of the task, Aubrey threw Arsenio under the bus... and so he started swinging. It was a contentious Boardroom to say the least."
Then they look at the boxes. Unanimous declares the Forte box boring - that's the kindest quote. Forte likes the Unanimous box, but when Lisa praises the quotes, Aubrey takes complete credit for all of it. That's when Arsenio, Project Manager with no power, finally completely loses it.
You didn't write mine! You didn't write mine! You didn't write mine!!!!!!
The box Dee designed for Walgreens was boring and the words were poorly chosen. Forte lost the task. Arsenio is the winning project manager, and the men radiate joy... while Aubrey sits in deep gloom. As Unanimous files out, Aubrey breaks off from the pack and declares to the world that she just can't possibly stay in this terrible, harsh, hateful environment for one more minute. She's gone! She's walking away from the show! It's a very exciting cliffhanger!
No, it's just a publicity stunt. She will be back, darn it.
But Dee, designer of the boring box, will not. He is fired, and he exits the building grumbling about Lou Ferrigno.