The Celebrity Apprentice: Mop It Up

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Before a single word is spoken about last night's Celebrity Apprentice, let's talk about this:

Or, if you can’t handle the whole barrage of sickening photos, there’s this:

The slick-haired American Psycho-style Trump brothers apparently love to hunt exotic, endangered, gentle animals in Africa. Nevermind that the animals these guys killed brought way more value to the planet than they ever could, and nevermind that Donald Trump tries to discourage his sons from hunting. This is unforgivable. If you want to go hunt some deer during the season, you know what, that's your business. But taking out a special license to killed endangered animals is just the lowest of the low, and it makes me feel a lot more leery about supporting this whole enterprise.

However I do not mind supporting Debbie Gibson’s charity, which reaches out to kids who recycle or something? I'm not sure, but I'm glad to know Celebrity Apprentice checks carry a tiny portrait of the Donald in the corner.

This week's challenge was impossible: Create video advertising for a mop that could “go viral.” The biggest minds in advertising have dedicated themselves to creating viral videos, and not one commercial has succeeded on that front. I know there is nothing in this world that would convince me to punish my friends—or enemies—by sending them another commercial to sit through. Part of what makes a video viral is that it's REAL, that it's something incredible or beautiful or hilarious that actually happened. After decades of inescapable commercials, we have developed a cultural antipathy where if there is even the slightest whiff of product placement in a viral video—unless it is, say, a Japanese commercial involving Nicholas Cage—

Then it will NOT GO VIRAL.

Of course, whatever. It will go viral in the sense that a bunch of people will sit through the video when it's screened for the mop makers, so they’ll get their views. Right, Trump Jr?

Right, Evil Albino Trump brother?

The two biggest under-performers, Tia and Lou, stepped up to be project managers, the teams split up, and cue the worst ideas you’ve ever heard for viral videos.

Aubrey O’Day had a lot to say about Dayana shouting ideas from the back of the van, but to be fair Dayana’s ideas in retrospect sound much better than the confusing campaign the ladies ultimately settled on. Aubrey was the Star Jones of this episode. She believed she was so much more skilled than these other bozos that she was actively insulted if the project manager didn’t turn the reins over to her immediately. And yet she continues to dress like a clown.

Penn Jillette, who works regularly with carnival folk, has the good sense to dress professionally. Although apparently it hasn’t endeared him to his teammates. After he shot down their ideas during brainstorming, Clay Aiken earned the respect of Arsenio and the everlasting loyalty of Lou by basically shouting Penn down for being condescending and negative. Personally I believe that Penn is head-and-brains above the rest of the team, and if he’s acting condescending it may be because he’s trying to carefully choose words so everyone in the room will comprehend him, but I also was kind of impressed that Clay was willing to call him out. Apparently Clay has learned a thing or two about confrontation, and he gave Lou an assist with pronouncing words for the video. Respect for Clay Aiken is not what I was expecting to get out of this show.

Filming and editing a professionally lit and staged “viral video” took a day, and then it was straight into the screening room with the Moppy Mop Mopsters. Neither video had any potential whatsoever to go viral. Granted Lou dancing around came the closest to the deadly combination of awkward and un-self-conscious that breeds viral comedy gold, but still, would you forward this to your friends? “Check it out! I think a grown man dancing around and mopping is hilarious! I am the video gateway to exciting ideas and avant garde humor!”

Neither video was terrible, neither video was awesome. Mediocre, rushed projects finished? Check. Product name-dropped multiple times? Check. Well then it's time to head into the Mind Games Torture Palace that Trump calls a boardroom.

Aside from the grinning dickheads that flanked Trump, the most embarrassing development in the boardroom was the other women quickly conceding creative superiority to Lisa effing Lampanelli. You honestly can’t come up with something better than someone who takes swings at such low fruit as Flava Flav? Poor Tia Carrere had a whole song and dance about Lisa’s brilliance, and then as soon as Lisa could talk she was selling Tia down the river and singing the praises of Aubrey and newly inducted sorority sister Debbie Gibson (who had dressed up like Dee Snider for the evening). The two hunters probably respected that killer instinct.

For the first time in weeks, Lou was not the first person the men’s team offered up for firing. Dee Snider had a brain burp and suggested Paul, who had come up with the whole concept of “I’m going to mop the floor with you” that ultimately won the contest.

Clearly the men’s team was at a loss: They couldn’t finger Lou as the person to be fired without implicating the video as being terrible (since the video was for Lou by Lou with Lou starring). Luckily they didn’t have to choose, the women’s confusing “What’s your number?” video was deemed less successful by Sir Mopsalot Mop N’ Broomies, so the women were put into the gauntlet of the single team boardroom meeting.

It was Tia’s long death rattle. She only became the project manager because the team couldn’t think of one good thing to say about her, so losing the challenge left her without a defense. Of course, she could have pointed to the Think Tank of Aubrey, Debbie, and Lisa who had assumed all credit for the video before they knew it lost. If they came up with all the ideas, it would make sense that they should take the brunt of the failure. The ersatz Brain Trust hilariously tried to swing things at first to get rid of Dayana (their insecurity is borderline hilarious/tragic), but Donald clearly has no intention of letting his Miss Universe get run off the screen by a passel of haters. And there was really no choice: Tia had put her neck out, and like an elephant’s tail, she got chopped.

Of course, not before a final insult from Aubrey, who patted herself on the back for being 27 (she looks 35) and then said Tia looked like she was in her fifties!! Yikes! Aubrey is fighting so desperately for recognition on this show, and it's like, "Hey Clown Princess, there isn’t an actual job at stake. You’re burning bridges and making yourself look like an a-hole." I am with Arsenio on this one: “She is so self-righteous, no wonder Diddy fired her,” he said while watching her scrap for the top of the Forte heap. Aubrey has established amongst Lisa Lampanelli and Debbie Gibson that she has great ideas for mop videos, but she’s proved to everyone else in America that she’s a thoughtless narcissist. But that’s what this show is all about, right? Putting people in a crucible. Tia went through the crucible and pure gold came out. We’ll miss you girl.

QUESTIONS:

– Are you sickened by the Trump’s big game hunting?

– Was Tia excited to leave?

– Do you agree with Arsenio that Aubrey is way too self-righteous?

– Have you ever forwarded a commercial of a product to a friend because it was just so hilarious?

– Should the Trump boys be put unarmed in an arena full of starving lions since they like to hunt so much?

– What’s your number?

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