Maybe it’s just me, but this season’s Celebrity Apprentice seems to be packed with the highest percentage of recognizable — and so easier to jab at — celebrities who are trying to raise awareness about their charities and/or their flagging careers. I haven’t kept up with the show since before they started cramming celebs in, so I don’t know when it got so damn cheesy. But Donald Trump played this weird combo of utterly serious and self-indulgent, and everyone grinned and bore it, because that’s what you do on these shows.
Smartly, the first challenge was the only one that was publicized during shooting: Each team (Forte for the women and Unanimous for the men) had to create celebrity sandwiches and push them for $100-$5,000 apiece at New York City’s Café Metro. (Really, they couldn’t have gone for somewhere more gourmet like Num Pang or Parm?) Despite the women pulling every string to get famous friends to perform and donate, the men outperformed them; and The Donald played a weird mind game where he eliminated supermodel Cheryl Tiegs through hypothetical questioning of the other two women in the bottom three.
But in-between these “plot developments,” there were a lot of odd moments, from the men being catty to each other to Aubrey O’Day claiming she should get more attention. So, here were the eight bits that made us laugh.
1. The orchestra playing the theme song. Do they do this in other seasons? The contestants lined up on the stage at Lincoln Center, then out comes The Donald to basically conduct the orchestra into performing the Celebrity Apprentice theme. (Don’t kid yourself, Maestro, you weren’t doing anything.)
2. Figuring out who the hell Patricia Velasquez is. One of the few ladies I didn’t recognize, Patricia was introduced as a “world-renowned actress”… with an accompanying photo of her playing Anck Su Namum in The Mummy! But as the episode progressed, I recognized her for her real impressive IMDb credit: Playing Michael and Gob’s love Marta on Arrested Development!
3. Clay Aiken is in serious business mode. First off, can we talk about the look on Clay’s face when Arsenio Hall mentions that he ran into American Idol winner Ruben Studdard, who said, ”Brother, don’t be the first black man to lose to Clay Aiken”? Hilarious. We learn that Clay’s baggage is that he’s always come in second, so he plans to win this show. Whatever you say, sweetie.
And then later, when Adam Carolla wants to name their team Honey Badgers after the meme, Clay gets really serious, you guys: “Mr. Trump does not tolerate childishness,” he sniffs in the confessional.