Friday, April 24, 2009

Celebrity Apprentice: Too Many Egos in the Kitchen

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"Who wants to watch what I can do really well?"

Tonight on Celebrity Apprentice Ivanka Trump is dissed, Clint Black puts himself into another commercial, and Annie Duke tells us the REAL secret to her success. Here we go again!

We begin this episode mid-task with the teams begging their acquaintances to donate money to the ever pathetic Ivanka Trump cause. Piers and Ivanka drop in on team KOTU, which is Clint and Hershel entertaining the models. They are sitting around teasing them about when they'd like to get their hair and makeup done. By the way, Clint and Hershel are also eating, but not one model swallows a morsel. Piers is pretty surprised by the lack of anything resembling work and he compares Clint and Hershel to Stephen Baldwin, saying they look good, but are absolutely pointless. Good call.

Joan Rivers continues her tirade about quitting if Melissa is ever thrown under the bus. She tells Piers and Ivanka that if Melissa is fired fairly, then no problem, but if not, she's walking. Ivanka tells Joan that if she were ever thrown under a bus The Donald would be irritated with her for letting herself get in the way of the bus. Imagine that - a parent who lets his adult child take care of herself.

Next Piers and Ivanka drop in on team Athena where Brande immediately begins dripping with flattery about how much she LOVES Piers and was rooting for him last season. Melissa describes it as Brande flinging her boobs in Piers's face, and I would have to agree. They discuss their team's strategy and the fact that Annie will bring whoever raises the least amount of money into the Boardroom with her. So this challenge is all about money. Period. Piers and Ivanka leave and Melissa immediately scrambles to round up some rich friends to pester.

And now for some drama. Annie receives a phone call from a poker player named Phil Hellmuth wondering why he received a call asking for a donation for Natalie for the Ivanka Trump auction. This sends Annie over the edge. Apparently Natalie got in touch with some other poker player who agreed to put out feelers and round up some money for Natalie to help her beat Annie - then Phil Hellmuth talked. Annie calls this mystery liaison and proceeds to have a screaming fit that reaches all corners of Trump Tower, sending tremors through the building.

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"Who would do such an AWFUL, HORRIBLE thing???"

Joan enjoys this immensely and she deems that Annie is a bad, bad person. Melissa correctly points out that if Annie had thought of this tactic it would have been BRILLIANT, but since someone else thought of it and used it against her, it's treachery. Next Annie is out to corner Natalie and rip her a couple of new ones. I love Natalie's reaction - she just sits there very calmly nodding. She tells us that even though she didn't end up getting the money from the poker players, she got the exact reaction she was looking for from Annie. Ha! And ladies and gentlemen, Annie Duke has just demonstrated for us the ANTI poker face. Way to check your emotions at the door, Annie. Natalie wins THIS round - at least in the class competition.

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"Uh huh. Wow, that's too bad."

Time for the auction! As the models get their hair did, Melissa resumes her former complaining session about not getting enough props for picking out good jewelry. Good grief, someone needs validation. Right about now, I'm noticing that I actually like some of this jewelry, and I'm not even a jewelry person. Annie tells us it's not about the jewelry, it's about the money. So there, Ivanka!

Meanwhile Team KOTU is counting out a ton of cash and telling us that they've pooled all their money and gotten a bidder to spend it on their least expensive piece of jewelry so that they can have a high profit margin. I'm still not sure how this is going to ensure a win, but I'm willing to wait it out and see.

As the auction gets ready to start, The Donald makes a grand entrance with Melania in tow. As always, I am struck by the vast disparity in the looks department between these two. I guess there's the same disparity in finances, so everyone wins... or loses.

Do you see the profound joy in both of their eyes?

The audience claps and stands up for The Donald for getting them on TV. Annie is naming off all of the high bidders she wrangled to get there, including that guy with the gross beard from Anthrax. Annie plays auctioneer and once she gets warmed up, she manages to embarrass and harangue a lot of high bids out of people. I guess that's the whole point, but MAN she is annoying! She's out in the audience kissing cheeks, kneeling down, sitting on laps, being an all around pain in the butt. But it works; they are cleaning up on every item. Brande comes out in her necklace and doesn't really do anybody any good. Annie gets all the credit for this one, no matter how much time Brande spent staring at herself in the mirror. And Ivanka seems happy, so there's that.

KOTU gets ready to go and they have a couple of disadvantages. First of all Clint Black is auctioneering and he has the personality of a toadstool. Also Natalie picked out really pretty but really tiny jewelry. No one can see anything from the audience. They clearly haven't made any kind of brochure to showcase the jewelry either, so there's nothing but crickets while Clint begs for bids. Joan stands backstage freaking out about how badly Clint is doing, but heaven forbid she step forward and - I don't know - say something funny to get the audience going. Hello? Joan? Project Manager? Always wanting to tell jokes? Get out there and save this! Clint has to skip the first item because no one will bid. This is just getting awkward. Clint tries to joke and it totally doesn't work. Natalie finally tells Joan to bring out the cheap piece that the hired bidder will buy to get things moving. The model comes out in the go-to ring and Clint keeps calling it "earrings." Don't worry, Clint. Easy mistake. Especially when the girl is there holding out her hand to show the ring. Joan finally steps out and corrects him, then starts heckling the model, which gets everyone laughing. She decides to join Clint at the podium and tells the audience that the next model is bulimic, which gets a laugh and generally picks things up for KOTU. We'll see if it's enough or if Joan did too little too late.

In the Boardroom Melissa finally gets congratulated for picking out good jewelry, but it's by The Donald. Annie even tries to take credit by saying she knew exactly what each member of her team would be good at and made assignments accordingly. Oh brother. When asked for a weak link Annie says she has to go on the amount of money raised and Jesse raised the least. Piers jumps in and wants to know why Jesse didn't tap into his famous wife's biz-illionaire friends. Here is Jesse's face:

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He says he doesn't like mixing business with pleasure and Piers says that whatever the argument, it's all for charity. I say that whatever the argument, Jesse is classy for not bugging Sandra Bullock's friends.

Next The Donald and Ivanka want to know why Joan wasn't the auctioneer since she would have been the natural choice and Clint was horrible. Joan's like, "I wanted everyone to participate, blah blah blah." Ivanka is also mad about the jewelry choices because they were difficult to see from the stage and it made her look bad to sit there with no one bidding. This one is Natalie's fault. Eventually this becomes a case of KOTU disrespecting and insulting The Donald and Ivanka, so Annie gives a speech about how much homage she paid to The Donald and Ivanka in the way SHE auctioned the jewelry. I thought it was about the MONEY and not the JEWELRY that was important here, Annie. Joan flips out and it's another death match between Joan and Annie. This is boring, can we find out who wins? Oh wait, before we find out, Joan says that, like Annie, Hitler was also nice to people's faces. Wow, now Annie has been compared to Hitler and will therefore forever be the victim.

It turns out that KOTU raised $92,000, mostly through their go-to piece. Athena raised $153,000 dollars, spread out over five pieces. When Piers compares it to British pounds, Jesse snaps, "You're in America!" Oooh, look out, Piers Morgan. So Annie wins and her charity is Refugees International. Athena is excused.

Now for the drilling. The Donald wants to know why Joan didn't pick the jewelry since she is a jewelry designer. Joan says that she thought Natalie would do a good job picking jewelry since she is young and stylish (and not a lesbian as she pointed out last week). Ivanka keeps pointing out that the pieces Natalie picked are beautiful, just absolutely beautiful, but they just couldn't be seen from the stage. Get over yourself, Ivanka. This was a jewelry auction, was it not? Why didn't you put everything under a microscope instead of parading it around on a raised platform? Joan can't bear to recommend anyone to be fired. Boo hoo, we're such a good team. How can we tell anyone goodbye? The Donald determines that it all comes down to jewelry selection, and plus Natalie didn't raise any money, so she's fired. Cue Joan's water works. I wonder how often Natalie wears ringlets in real life. She says that Donald Trump was her first boss and this is her first firing.

On the way back to the VIP lounge Joan suddenly decides that Annie is not worth all this excitement and she's not going to lower herself anymore. Why now, Joan? Suddenly you're Mrs. Calm? I want another shattered champagne glass! Annie is fuming all over the place, Hitler this, Hitler that, Joan is dead to her, etc. Can these two just go on unpaid suspension?

In between tasks, we stop off at the Corner Bakery for Annie to hand over her check to Refugees International. Warm fuzzy feelings all around.

Next the celebrities file into The Donald's obnoxiously decorated dining room, which includes a table made of solid gold, gold leaf wallpaper, chairs made of gold bars, and gold framed mirrors everywhere so The Donald can check his hair. The theme of this room? "I'm rich." The Donald tells everyone that he loves food and this next challenge will involve Schwann's, one of the leading frozen food companies. Take it away, Schwann's man!

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"Is it me? Is that my cue?"

Today's task is for each team to create a meal for the Schwann's Live Smart brand, which is "healthy" frozen food. They have to also create a marketing campaign to go along with the meal. They will be judged on taste, originality and the marketing campaign. Ivanka and the guy from CNBC Squawk Box will be checking up on the teams today. Jesse will be Project Manager for Athena and Hershel will be Project Manager for KOTU. This is because Joan doesn't want Clint to be the Project Manager and Clint doesn't want Joan to be the Project Manager. Each Project Manager admits that this week he will be mainly playing referee.

Two Schwann's guys sit down with KOTU to go over how the Schwann's process works. See, they make food. Then they bring the food to the customers. It's a home delivery operation, and in case you didn't know, healthy food is all the rage right now. That's why I'm eating a donut. They want something that TASTES GOOD, dang it! The best marketing campaign in the world won't make up for yucky food. Oh really? How do they explain McDonalds? The Schwann's guys also sit down with Athena and tell them that this is about calories, fat and sodium. People want to think that their frozen chemicals are nutritious, so if we can take out some sodium and sub in some fabricated molecules, everyone wins!

Annie discovers that Italian Style Meatballs are Schwann's number two best seller, but there is no "healthy" version of that, so she wants to do Italian Style Turkey Meatballs. That actually sounds delicious. She's like, "Most turkey meatballs are dry, but mine are moist and fabulous! End of story." As the team tries to brainstorm additional ideas, Annie keeps yammering on about meatballs, meatballs, meatballs. Cloudy with a chance of meatballs. Also, they can use gluten-free pasta because that is also a current trend. Yes Annie, if you have Celiac disease. Is that also a hot new fad? Jesse finally deems that three dishes will be prepared and the team will select their favorite, so shut it, Annie. Annie and Brande, our new favorite couple, will be the ones to prepare the dishes while Jesse works on a marketing campaign. Melissa will be... staying out of everyone's way. Apparently she hasn't been whipping up savory healthy dishes for the last 15 YEARS!

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"This is SO NOT WHAT I DO!"

Team KOTU also tries to pick something to make. Joan immediately bows out of cooking, saying Melissa's first words were "room service." Hershel discovers that a very popular Schwann's item is a skinless chicken breast so he decides they need to take that and run with it. Clint dissents because he is physically unable to stay quiet, and he says that it won't be original enough. Hershel holds his ground, so Clint suggests a soy ginger sauce that his wife makes to cook the chicken in. Ivanka drops by to survey the scene and she reports to us that her father would never eat soy ginger chicken, but she would. That's fascinating Ivanka. Can we hear it again? Hershel decides he also wants to do a frozen yogurt berry parfait. Hmm, how do you put that in the microwave?

So Annie and Brande head down to the kitchen where some Schwann's chefs are waiting to make sure they stay within the company guidelines of preparing frozen food. Annie narrates while she cooks, pointing out how knowledgeable she is about this and what an expert she is on that. Is she for real? You're boiling pasta, Annie. My dog could do that. Okay fine, she's also doing meatballs, chili and meatloaf. So what? I've made all of those and I haven't received an honorary medal. She's like, "Brande come watch me chop!" then she leans over to "quietly" say, "The chefs are really impressed with my knife work." Oh. My. Gosh. Can we all come watch? Does anyone have a pair of binoculars? Quick, send out a press release - Annie's about to slice a mushroom!! Even Brande is ready to abandon the Annie ship. No sour grapes, Brande. We all watched you shop last week.

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"Yes, but watching me shop was fun and interesting for everyone."

Annie puts the cherry on this sundae with the following announcement, "I'm like the total woman. I can cook, I raise my children, I work hard [at playing cards, mind you]. I give a good blow job." Wow. Wowie wow. Annie Duke, everyone. Who's jealous?

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Mother of the Year

Clint and Hershel are busy arguing about yogurt. And that's the end of that scene.

Later Clint whips up his wife's soy ginger sauce, which turns out to be extremely salty. Personally I don't understand what the problem is, but what do I know? My friend once brought me a bracelet made of salt mined in Poland and I ate it. True story. Anyway, Joan suggests mellowing things out by adding some juice from an orange. Clint's head is ready to blow off because THAT IS NOT HIS WIFE'S RECIPE!!! Since when was this challenge "Schwann's by Mrs. Black?" Who cares what your wife's recipe is if it's not working? Clint paces frantically around the kitchen while Hershel squeezes some juice into the sauce and what do you know? It's much better. Glad we solved that crisis. The Grand Salt Crisis of 2009.

Athena is doing a taste test of the three dishes by "head" chef Annie. She's made a sublime meatloaf, glorious turkey meatballs and transcendental chili. Now who wants a blow job? Jesse's favorite dish is the chili and he loves it so much that he farts for the camera. Okay, this is a sure sign that this stupid show has received way too much air time. Can we get on with it please? Gas notwithstanding, they choose the meatballs.

I'm skipping to the presentations because all the teams do in the meantime is vacillate over marketing strategies. Let's get to the end result.

So KOTU presents first and Hershel comes out dressed as a chef to serve the Schwann's guys their Orange Asian Soy Chicken. Joan talks about east meets west, globalization, global warming, Armageddon, and the end of the world. Just kidding, just the east meets west part. You know, the orange juice from the west and the soy sauce from the east. East meets west is really hot right now, you know. There are green beans, too and it's all only 480 calories. Now Clint presents the marketing strategy, which is a commercial of a Schwann's man knocking on the door of the Clint Black tour bus with a tasty meal all ready to defrost. Clint says to the camera, "Home cooked meals won't follow me around on a concert tour, but Live Smart will." That's cute except that if it weren't for this show I'd have no idea who Clint Black is. Yep, I went there.

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"I'm sorry, and you are...?"

The Schwann's guys call the dessert parfait "interesting," which can't be good. Behind KOTU's backs, the Schwann's guys say that the chicken had a great flavor, but the dessert is confusing. They'd have to separately package the yogurt, the berries and the granola, which is just too much.

Athena is up next and they present their Triple Play Turkey Meatballs and Gluten-Free Pasta with an apple-berry crisp dessert. Jesse talks about the trendiness of gluten-free pasta and the fact that instead of bread crumbs, the meatballs are made with minced vegetables so that children are unknowingly receiving nutrients, which the Schwann's guys love. Jesse's tagline is: "At Schwann's we take the hassle out of healthy." Behind their backs the Schwann's guys say they love everything, but there was no marketing campaign.

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"See, people will find out about this product by watching Celebrity Apprentice. Done!"

It's time for the Boardroom! The Donald asks Hershel how his team did and Hershel reports that Joan was very helpful and that Clint likes to argue. Clint says that he was never a fan of the chicken idea because Schwann's already has tons of chicken meals. He also says that Hershel wouldn't take his suggestions. As for Athena, Annie thinks that Jesse wasn't open to suggestions. Hmm, that's the pot calling the kettle black. The Donald says that he can't figure Jesse out because he seems so laid back and uninteresting, so how did he get Sandra Bullock to marry him? Of course, with the Donald it always comes back to the hot girl. They determine that he must be good in bed and Jesse just sits there smiling.

It turns out that the Schwann's guys really liked both meals, which is the first time both teams have done well, but ultimately they picked Athena as the winner, even though they had no marketing campaign. That's interesting. I think the parfait just blew it for KOTU. So Jesse gets 20 thousand dollars for his charity, the Long Beach Educational Fund. Hooray. Now off to the VIP lounge. Joan is spitting daggers as Annie chirps, "I told you the gluten-free would work!" Ugh.

The Donald asks Clint what went wrong and Clint says they chose the wrong food. They shouldn't have done chicken when Schwann's already has lots of chicken options. When asked what he would have done instead, Clint has no answer. Hershel declares that he doesn't eat meat. Really? So The Donald wants to know why he was the project manager if he doesn't even eat meat. Anyway, Hershel tells on Clint for putting himself in the commercial and The Donald says, "Well he's a star." Then Hershel says that none of them are stars in this game, they are there to work. Excellent point, Hershel Walker. I like it. They go back and forth for a while about whether or not Clint is an arguer (seriously?) and Joan starts crying again. The Donald determines that this is ultimately the responsibility of the Project Manager, so Hershel is fired. In his Cab Ride of Defeat Hershel tells us that he thinks Clint should have been fired, but he had a great time. Laters!

And that's it. So what do you think? Are you rushing out to buy Ivanka Trump jewelry to support her pampered butt? Which of the dinners would you have picked? Have you had enough of the Joan/Annie feud?

Thanks for reading!
-Honey Gangsta

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