You ever notice how disproportionate the amount of time is that Celebrity Apprentice spends in the board room? Half of the episode is a showcase for some lame product, and the other half is dedicated to the pearl clutching and side-eye reaction shots of the celebrities as they stab each other in the back and try to match wits with the Donald, who went to the trouble of co-ordinating his pearl pink lip gloss with this tie this episode.
How much do you think companies bid to place a task before Trump's famous-ish novices? I don't think I fully "got" how much Donald is essentially pimping out these celebrities as free spokespeople bobbing in a sea of airtime. You'd think after the girls showed up last week wearing Ivanka's earrings and singing the praises of her over-priced line that I'd have gotten it, but it took the Donald getting furious about Michael Andretti not becoming project manager to really hammer it home.
Michael Andretti didn't want to be here in the first place. After a personal family issue, he came in the place of his much more famous father, racing legend Mario Andretti. And the Donald fired him this week, at first claiming he had "no presence" onstage.
Well, not everyone is PT Barnum, Trump, and as his teammates hurried to point out, he's neither a performer nor was he project manager. So Trump got more specific, pointing out that even if Michael doesn't sparkle behind a microphone, he could have done more "with his brand" to promote Buick. The power of the Andretti name behind Buick, that's clearly what they paid for, and the Donald had told the men's team to make Andretti the project manager.
What no one is mentioning here is that Michael Andretti might value his name and its brand just as much as Buick, and he might in fact not want to attach it willy-nilly to some random marque to get ahead in a reality show. The Andretti name carries a certain cache, but like all brands, it loses power when it loses integrity. Andretti was let go because he didn't bend over and shill for free for the Donald's reality franchise. Ivanka even said to her father at the close of the boardroom massacre, there were no upcoming challenges that could have used his skills more. Which is to say, our sponsors don't need him anymore, but we can still use Clay Aiken to sell chicken sandwiches or some BS.
The other fired celebrity last night was Adam Carolla, which is devastating for me as I was watching the show mostly for his asides and to see him in person. At least he left with dignity, choosing to take responsibility for the project's loss as the project manager, rather than dragging back two people and pleading to Donald to keep him around. I feel like Adam was kind of fed up with this and preferred to go home and have his wine and nap anyway. At least it saved Lou Ferrigno what would have been his eighth speech about how he gives 110 percent and is a hard worker and they haven't seen nothing yet and his remarkable skills blah blah blah. Lou makes me super uncomfortable, the way he mad dogs his teammates when they admit "Lou does nothing" which THEY ALL DO because apparently he doesn't add much to the team. Lou must save his energy for his performances in the board room.
Speaking of performances: Aubrey O'Day, in an Austin Powers costume, giving an impassioned speech about her mother's car accident…and it never happened? She made the whole thing up? Can they do that? Aubrey seemed super pleased with the way she made all those people super sad. Combined with her Spiderman dress and her Ronald McDonald-wave updo, she is seriously turning into a Batman villain. Not that that's a bad thing, at least it keeps the show entertaining with Adam gone.
But we're not meant to be entertained by things like Adam's strengths, wit and insight. We're meant to enjoy watching these poor chumps claw each other's eyes out, and Trump was turning the screws to make sure these harmless clowns did just that. Trump waited for what seemed a record amount of time before announcing the winner this go round, insulting poor Tia Carrere and getting her and Debbie Gibson at each other's throats before telling them they won the challenge. When Adam tried to take the fall for his team, he responded by announcing he was going to fire TWO people. Don't try to cheat him of his drama! The audience wants blood letting and back stabbing, and the Donald will get it for them by any means. Celebrity Apprentice has lost any pretense to being about watching celebrities work as a team or attempt to solve real-world problems and show their skills. It's about exploiting people financially, emotionally and spiritually to get Donald exactly the results he wants. That's the real Celebrity Apprentice business model.
…Will you miss Adam?
…Isn't Buick kind of a weird match for the Andretti name anyway?
…Is Aubrey O' Day a terrible liar or a great saleswoman?
…Is it proper business dress to match your tie and your lips?