Well, we should have figured as much. After last week’s episode ended with a promo for a gasp-worthy Celebrity Apprentice set to air in two weeks, it should have been obvious that this week’s show would be a snoozer. Though the episode boasted its fair share of great cameos — Bob Saget! Vince McMahon! Sir Richard Branson’s voice! — there wasn’t much else to thrill viewers, save Piers (pictured) sacrificing his dignity for the sake of TV by dressing as a Spamalot character. (Then again, Trump has dressed up as a giant pizza for television, so what the heck. When in Rome, Piers.) The challenge was nearly identical to our celebrities’ first challenge, except that this time we saw David Hyde Pierce hawking Broadway tickets instead of Jenna Jameson eating hot dogs (my heart goes out to all you teenage boys). The group dynamics were relatively calm and void of much-needed drama. The boardroom was as dull as a Flintstones sequel (I’m looking at you, Stephen). Even this week’s ousted contestant was a bit of a bore. Yep, turns out our Olympic gold medalist Jennie embraced too much of her inner nicey-nice pageant queen to thrive in Trump’s world, so The Donald had no choice but to call her out.
Before we get into all the nitty gritty details of last night’s show, however, I have to ask: Is it me, PopWatchers, or is there something in the water at Celebrity Apprentice that turns the entire cast into rampant sexists? Sure, I expected a subtle jab at women from Vincent "Didja know I was in The Sopranos?" Pastore, and Lord knows The Donald has never been a poster boy for the women’s movement, but even Nely managed to insult her own sex by claiming that women are afraid to raise their voices and call high-powered friends for favors. This assertion was not quite as sexist as a 27 Dresses trailer, but it was sexist nonetheless. Granted, this is Nely we’re talking about, and we all know she’s not the brightest bulb of the bunch. After all, she did think that Gene took a bullet for her last week, when he so obviously sacrificed himself to distance himself from this heinous program. But I’m sure Gene likes you, Nely. He really, really likes you.
Still, I suppose sexism should be expected, especially when thewomen are not very much into girl power. Once Empresario learned abouttheir loss in the boardroom, they made sure to bare their fangs. Ratherthan pointing out the real problem with The Celebrity Apprentice(I’ll get to that shortly), the women opted instead to point fingers ateach other and claim that their team lacked any leadership quality. Andas much as Marilu & Co. might insist that Hydra is entirely made upof born leaders, I’m hard-pressed to figure out how exactly Trace,Vinnie, Tito, and Lennox "I like cats" Lewis have ever piloted theirteam. The reason the women have consistently lost from week to week isthat the men obviously boast more star power and notoriety thanEmpresario (if you squint really hard, Stephen Baldwin kinda looks likeAlec). At least Marilu had the guts to introduce the problem to TheDonald, but why didn’t she continue to press the issue in theboardroom? After all, had
Gwenyth Paltrow in A View From The Top Sir Richard Branson’s girls not come through with his $10,000 donation, the men would have lost by a landslide.
Issue No. 2: Can somebody please whack Vincent over the head with ahard object so he can forget he ever appeared in an episode of The Sopranos?Dude, we get it. No matter how many times you say "Ba-da-bing," or makesome reference to the Mafia, we’re still going to consider you the poorman’s James Gandolfini. Heck, I’d even consider him the poor man’sSofia Coppola. And as a fellow Italian (Ward is the surname from myIrish half), I have to say: Enough with the stereotypes! Not all of usItalians make a living tying cement blocks to cronies’ feet by the EastRiver. We don’t all run to strip joints in Jersey with a gold-platedmistress and an orange peel in our mouths. We don’t even take the gunand leave the cannoli. We just take the cannoli, and then guilt tripour enemies until they wish we’d put them out of their misery.
On the plus side, here’s a short list highlighting the trulybeautiful things about watching C-listers at work. For one, they’rewilling to dress up in funny costumes. Two, they will grovel in frontof just about anyone to enjoy one more minute of fleeting fame. Andthird, they are brilliantly and brutally honest with themselves. Casein point, Stephen’s comparison between himself and Piers: "I’m just assmart as he is. Not smarter. Just as smart." But thank God forStephen’s refined intellect, because without him, we would have neverfigured out that the only way the men could lose "financially" is ifthe women made more money, as he so poignantly stated in the boardroom.Without the Baldwin brother, I’m not sure how I would have wrapped myhead around this enigma of a challenge.
What did you think, PopWatchers? Do you still have faith, like me,that Marilu will eventually win it all? Are you looking forward to nextweek, when it seems the drama will really pick up? Did anyone feel alittle bit sad that no one returned Lennox’s high five? Did anyone elsecatch Gene on last night’s Ugly Betty? And, finally, do youfind it mildly humiliating that Sir Richard Branson actually makes hisstaff dress up as flight attendants?