Dec 14, 2020
Celebrity Apprentice RECAP: Real Booty vs. Fake Hair, Daytime Soap vs. Nighttime Talk
We’ve reached the halfway point of this season of The Celebrity Apprentice. On this episode, Kenya Moore (she of the infamous backside) goes toe to toe with actress-turned-wig proprietress Vivica Fox to sell, of all things, shoes. Then, The Bold and the Beautiful’s Lorenzo Lamas faces off against Entertainment Tonight’s Leeza Gibbons in a video-making contest. This episode also features Joan Rivers in her last ever television series appearance and an escalation of tensions between Kenya and fellow Real Housewife Brandi Glanville.
As the episode opens, the celebrities are discussing how, at five weeks in, they are at the halfway point of the contest. Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson confesses to the camera that she has been utilizing a “fly under the radar” strategy. I don’t know if she’s seen much reality television, but as a veteran watcher, I can tell her that that strategy is good for making it about halfway through the season.
Next, it’s time for the Donald to announce the first task. The celebrities gather in the showroom of the Ivanka Trump Fashion Collection. Trump says that his daughter Ivanka will be in charge of the next challenge. Introducing her, he says something like, “Ivanka is really good at what she does, whatever it is that she does.” It comes as as much a surprise to him as to anyone when she reveals that she sells shoes. The celebrities are to put together a mobile marketing event promoting Ivanka’s shoe collection, which is sold at Nordstrom.
Crab fisherman Sig Hansen is disappointed at the feminine nature of the task. He says everything so far has been so girly that he “can’t find his penis in the morning.” I say you can’t blame the show for that. Still, Team Vortex decides they need a female project manager. Shawn is the only woman who hasn’t already been PM, but she says she “would never put on a marketing event” because that’s just not her strength. I don’t know what she’s waiting for, though, because marketing tasks are really the only kind of tasks this show has. There is no balance beam competition on The Celebrity Apprentice. Eventually, Vivica decides to act as project manager.
Over on Team Infinity, Kenya takes on the project manager role with comparatively little discussion. Her strategy is to recreate the feel of a Nordstrom store inside a mobile truck. She orders up a baby grand piano and a chandelier.
Team Vortex’s idea is similar. At Shawn’s suggestion, they are going to make their truck into a Nordstrom dressing area, complete with couches, carpets, and drapes. Everyone wants to make it a really comfortable place to try on shoes, so they also decide to hire a barista and serve coffee. Kate and Shawn head out to buy said carpets and drapes. Everyone else stays back to handle other logistics. When the truck arrives, Vivica finds it rather… small.
Vivica thinks that all the couches and stuff aren’t going to fit in the tuck. Lorenzo suggests setting up a café area outside the truck. The concept rapidly evolves away from “Nordstrom dressing room” and toward “coffee shop near a truck full of shoes.” Vivica calls Kate and Shawn to apprise them of the change, and they do not like it at all. They pretty much passive aggressively check out of the whole rest of the task.
Meanwhile, Team Infinity is setting up their truck. Project manager Kenya is fussing around with the piano and the chandelier and giving her team members directions.
Brandi thinks Kenya isn’t focusing on the right things and says, “I wish I had a project manager,” but that’s pretty mild grousing from Brandi.
Both teams’ marketing events begin. Joan Rivers, a former Celebrity Apprentice champion, is the coach. She drops by the Team Vortex event, where people are getting free coffee and looking at the shoe collection, in that order of priority. Joan pointedly suggests that maybe they should only be given the coffee after they’ve looked at the shoes, but Team Vortex doesn’t take the hint. Lots of folks are just hanging out drinking coffee.
Over at Team Infinity, they’ve smartly put most of the goodies inside the truck. There’s a guy in there giving foot massages and there’s a flat screen showing pictures of all the shoes. It looks pretty good.
Now, it’s time to hit the boardroom. While the Donald is talking to Team Infinity, he asks Kenya how Brandi did on the task, and Kenya says Brandi worked well with everyone. Brandi even admits that Kenya did a good job as project manager. It seems that these two might finally kiss and make up.
Ivanka talks about what she did and didn’t like about each team’s efforts. She actually liked Team Vortex’s coffee shop concept because she thinks it might appeal to Millennials (Ivanka apparently cannot tell them apart from Xers). She thinks Vortex got the brand right but deemphasized the product, and Nordstrom. She criticizes Team Infinity for pitching to an older, less busy crowd with the middle of the day foot massage, but praises them for keeping the focus on the shoes. She also likes the slogan: “Power up your sole,” which was Kenya’s idea. She awards the win to Team Infinity. The cash prize goes to Kenya’s charity, the Detroit Public School System Foundation.
One member of Team Vortex will be fired. Vivica elects to put Kate and Shawn on the chopping block with her. It seems that Trump doesn’t want to fire Vivica. The contest was close, and he thinks she did a good job as PM. He’s also steering away from Kate, who has already had a winning turn as project manager. Instead, the axe falls on Shawn, who had “low energy” and never stepped up to be PM.
On to contest number two. This time, the celebs will be making viral videos for the coffee company Chock Full o’ Nuts, which you have to admit is a pretty masculine sounding name.
Lorenzo will be the project manager for Team Vortex; Leeza will do it for Team Infinity.
The teams begin brainstorming about the video. On Team Vortex, Geraldo is already humming the Chock Full o’ Nuts jingle. Lorenzo wants him to sing in the video. The team decides to use Geraldo’s age as an asset. They’ll start in black and white with Geraldo singing the old jingle and then transition to the present time. Geraldo suggests doing a rap version with the ladies on the team as his backup singers.
On Team Vortex, Sharknado star Ian Ziering is talking a mile a minute about movie monster King Kong. He seems to want to re-enact that classic horror film because: (1) it has nothing to do with coffee, and (2) the teams only have four hours to shoot and edit their videos. Kenya rightly notes that Ian’s idea is crazy. Project manager Leeza has something else in mind anyway: she wants Kenya and Brandi to utilize their famous feud in the video. The idea is that a guy (to be played by baseballer Johnny Damon) will be in line to buy coffee from a street vendor and will see Kenya and Brandi getting into a fight on the street. Then, we’ll see his fantasy sequence as he imagines them in more of a sexy pillow fight scenario.
Team Infinity is shooting the first scene of their video. Geraldo is in a tux and top hat reminiscent of old Chock Full o’ Nuts commercials. Kate is supposed to be playing his 1950’s-era housewife, but she’s still getting her hair and makeup done.
Vivica keeps tapping her watch, but Kate just rolls her eyes.
Team Vortex is shooting the coffee vendor sequence. To appease Ian’s ego, Leeza has decided to let him be the director. Ian is trying to get every shot just right. He is still not grasping the whole “only have four hours to get everything done” concept. They are using these tiny little cameras to add to the authentic “viral video” feel, I guess.
They finally move on to the catfight scene. While Brandi and Kenya are “fake” fighting, Brandi throws in a few playful verbal jabs, like “you stupid bitch” and “I’m gonna beat the crap out of you.” It’s all in good fun.
Team Infinity has finished with the old-fashioned scenes. They start shooting the contemporary stuff, which has Geraldo dancing and singing a sort of hip hop/Latin version of the jingle, with people dancing in the streets around him. Lorenzo has to show Geraldo the moves.
The teams finish shooting and rush to edit their videos. Ian is insisting on doing a “director’s cut.” He is still being a perfectionist, but he manages to get done on time, as does Lorenzo.
The teams present their videos to the Chock Full o’ Nuts exec. Here’s his face after he watches Team Vortex’s video:
And after he watches Team Infinity’s:
This guy ain’t givin’ nothin’ away.
Everyone gathers in the boardroom to endure the Donald’s comments. Leeza talks about how Team Infinity turned Kenya and Brandi’s feud into an asset. Trump says Leeza has “a very nice way of presenting things,” and Kenya says she is very good at that and even won an Emmy. This leads to the Donald angrily complaining about “getting screwed out of an Emmy” to what he calls “the most boring show on television” and “a piece of crap.” They bleeped out the name of the show he lost to, but here’s a hint: that “boring” show involves people racing around the world and performing daring challenges, while The Celebrity Apprentice involves people sitting in meetings and talking about each other’s butts.
Lorenzo says there were no weak links on Team Vortex this time around, but Vivica begs to differ. She thinks Kate’s time management skills are a major weakness.
At last, it’s time to talk about which team won. Of course, Team Infinity did. Team Vortex’s video is just a standard commercial, but Team Inifinity’s has the potential to go viral because it’s the kind of video that guys will want to watch again and again. Seriously, you might as well just start watching it now:
The cash prize goes to Leeza’s charity, Leeza’s Care Connection, which helps family caregivers.
Team Vortex has to go another round with Trump in the boardroom. The Donald asks everyone who they think he should fire. Vivica again talks up Kate’s propensity to run late, but that dog won’t hunt. The team lost because their concept wasn’t very good, and that’s the fault of the project manager. Lorenzo doesn’t want to name any “weakest players,” and Trump doesn’t even bother to push him to go through the charade. He knows what he’s gotta do, and Lorenzo is fired.