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Celebrity Apprentice-Off the Hook-recap

The Celebrity Apprentice poster

Written by : published Wednesday 30th March 2011

Celebrity Apprentice-Off the Hook-recap main image

After the bad Celebrity Apprentice blood of Lisa Rinna being fired and Niki Taylor leaving, women's team ASAP has some serious ground to get back. The men's team Backbone have two wins down and the women have won no challenges. The challenge is to make a commercial for a ICN videophone, scripted, acted, and performed before a crowd. Little (Lil) Jon and Neni are chosen as project managers for each side.

Dionne wants to be in the video. She wants to be the engineer. Using Dionne's celebrity is an idea greeted warmly by Neni. The idea of speaking with aliens may not go over big with the staff audience. Lil' Jon wants to make the commercial hip. The actual phone is a cute desktop model of a handset with a small video display. The visitors for the company stress using emotion as the best concept. Country star John Rich questions the hipness over emotionalism.

The exit room from the Niki Taylor walkout is brutal for the women, but Star Jones protests that she took the weight for the team. Star can't figure out how they lost to these beer drinking men. Mark McGrath and Meat Loaf feel a lack of love for Gary Busey. Actor Busey details his recovery from the brain injury from his infamous motorcycle accident and details his emotions about the charity in giving the $50,000 in checks for the Camping World challenge to them.

Neni (The Real Housewives of Atlanta) showed her stuff this episode as project manager. Her quiet style really brought the women's team together. Marlee Matlin was selected for the role of a hearing challenged person. Their commercial was very sincere. But when Donald Trump Jr. visits the women's team, Dionne Warwick is not present and other women resent her. (If they had won this probably wouldn't have mattered). The men have a blast rehearsing the grandparents getting the video phone and discovering their grandson's fiance is a man.

Matlin is a qualified central figure. La Toya was sweet but underperformed in the challenge. According to Neni, La Toya couldn't record the times well enough. Starr speaks up when the team needs to produce a Powerpoint presentation. La Toya had blurry vision due to her Lasik surgery shortly before the show started. This led to problems with Neni the project leader and supposed/alleged underperforming the tasks she was given.
The men's team are successful and inspired but emotions continued to implode around Gary Busey. McGrath chews over the "gay angle" unaware Hatch is gay. Jose Canseco is a good sport and gets into the cross dressing role, although initially they doubted he would do it. Little Jon the Rapper really organized the team and then held the stage. He said the phone commercial would be the Super Bowl of video phone commercials. The women are prepare but their product is less flashy but extremely successful.

The Trump audience and the general audience of ACN representatives loved both commercials. Busey's idea about using the phone for talking to aliens is not used. The men's commercial showed that Jose Canseco was the "surprise" bride that the son shows his grandparents by giving the the video phone. Then they introduce themselves via video the new "bride". It's a "gotcha" moment that goes over big.
Both 30 second commercials were done well. Both please the audience. In the final boardroom, Neni is crying. She is questioned relentlessly by the Donald. She spills that the women discussed being in abusive relationships. Neni criticizes La Toya for very small omissions in performance. (This really doesn't visit the originality and creativity issues the challenge criteria were made of).

Ivanka and Donald question Neni because she is crying and upset. Marlee says Neni is one of the best directors she's ever worked with. Starr took a more mellow attitude towards their co-stars this round, but Star Jones narrows her focus on Hope and La Toya during the boardroom disussion.

Donald and Ivanka chew over the performance. The ICN commercial was heartfelt and they felt Marlee was great and they liked the brand integration. They loved the sense of humor in the men's commercial. Little Jon mentioned the world viral in terms of the commercial being a viral online success. But the risque nature of the men's ad makes it a risky bet for a mainstream ad campaign.

The vote was 53 to 47, a very close vote. Donald Trump Jr. says that the women's commercial was very similar to the present commercial campaign. By staying safe they lost the challenge, Donald Junior suggests. Richard the Survivor celebrity is actually gay, and this is discussed in the context of the men's commercial.

The men won, due to their humorous success with the audience. Little Jon won $20,000 and a ICN originating extra $20,000 for the charity of his choice. The United Methodist Children's home is his sponsoring charity. (Gary Busey dodged a bullet). Little Jon narrates the benefits. The men are exultant for winning three times in a row.

Starr says to Donald Trump the women were pulling together. He asks her why they didn't win, and it was so close it is hard to tell. Dionne suggests that the criteria for success the teams are given are either not clear or defined, but Donald cuts her off. Dionne was the only one who left the editing room.

The men watch as Donald asks the women individually who is not needed on the team/the weakest player. Dionne comes under fire for translating respect for Dionne Warwick versus her actual contribution in team dynamics. Ivanka states that the presence of Dionne might not have been needed in the editing room but they would have appreciated her presence as a team.

Trump cooks everybody's nerves in the boardroom as per usual. Dionne responds to Donald Trump about who to fire and says herself. The men scoff, saying the women's team is a mess. Dionne's feelings are hurt but she confronts the fact that her age and legend stop people from criticizing her and creates a team stall. Starr is very critical of Dionne's stepping out because there is a charitable loss.

By the time Dionne changes her mind Donald fires her. Dionne walks down the hall calling Neni a coward. This is because Dionne told Neni she was going to lie down during the editing session and this was not reflected in the group discussion.  Trump says to his children that Dionne looked him in the eye and challenged him to fire her. Nobody gets away with that.

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About the author tvqueen


I like to watch TV shows from classic eras as well as contemporary drama and comedy. Science Fiction is fun, and shows like the Cape and Fringe keep hope alive that the medium that produced Space 1999 is alive. Comedy such as 30 Rock is usually, good, but not always. I like Survivor but it has so little to do with survivor skills I am disappointed. Appointment viewing is Grey's Anatomy, NCIS LA, The CSI series for New York and Las Vegas and Miami, with a special shout out for the new Hawaii Five O. Gordon Ramsay's Hells Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares are top of the line viewing for the drama comedy Gordon's character and the business lessons they teach.

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