This season’s cast consists of comedian-writer Carol Leifer, Sinbad, WWE wrestler Maria Kanellis, former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, Sharon Osbourne, track and field Olympian Michael Johnson, Joe Combover, chef Curtis Stone, singer Cyndi Lauper, WWE heavyweight Bill Goldberg, famed rightfielder Darryl Strawberry, reality star and rock star Bret Michaels, lingerie model Selita Ebanks, swimmer Summer Sanders, and actress-children’s book author Holly Robinson Peete.
The men and women are once again pitted against each other. The first task is to earn the most money in a dinner including tips–running, cooking, and serving. They have to pick the other team’s project managers and both teams aim for a weak link: Bret Michaels and Cyndi Lauper. When the women announce their choice, they tear the picture apart. They say Cindy has a lot of contacts. The guys also say they think Cyndi is the strongest player. Right.
The guys name themselves Rock Solid and the women select Tenacity. Trump likes the women’s name better.
I’m most excited to see Sharon Osbourne because she’s a little bit ridiculous.
Cyndi chooses the 62nd and 2nd location because it is busier. Bret defers to Darrel who says he’d like 53rd and Madison. No flipping of coins needed then. The guys have the advantage in this challenge since one of them is a chef.
Carol Leifer thinks the women are idiots but so far she doesn’t seem all that funny. The Victoria’s Secret model is cooking the food which is surprising. Sharon is smart enough to call Z100 for free publicity (though I’m not sure that the people who listen to Z100 are really people with a lot of cash). Rod talks about how being a waiter is a great way to get in touch with the people but I want to point out that if the food is $100 at a minimum, you’re not really connecting with the average man.
It’s interesting that in a celebrity challenge, they only talk about Cyndi and Sharon. The women get a crowd going long before the doors open at 11. “People are twittering about it.” Cyndi’s musician friend brings an accordion and she starts sing (her voice is not what it used to be but still not bad). Sharon compares it to a Star Wars bar. I don’t think I know what that means. Cyndi seems to have a problem keeping the tables straight. She doesn’t seem to know how to talk to Donald Junior but he thinks they’re doing well. The girls begin pulling in friends. Holly Robinson is super annoying! She keeps pushing everyone to hurry. She’s upset that some of her donors don’t get in the door and I kind of feel bad for all the people waiting who never get in.
The men’s prices were turning people off. People can’t afford them and quickly leave. While it seems like they may have miscalculated, they only really need a few people to buy to make up the deficit. They certainly don’t have much of a crowd outside but there’s a slow trickle of customers and it’s possible that it will be enough. Then suddenly they get slammed. Al Roker shows up. One guy asks if he can pay extra for his burger. Can you say no to that? And after some time the guys tap their resources. Donald Jr shows up and Bret has a much easier time talking to him. They look organized and are working well. Curtis might be in the most trouble if they lose. Bret’s diabetes act up and he needs to stop for a moment. (He’ll get thrown under the bus if they lose and it’s tough to decide if you can blame him or not.)
Trump has Joan Rivers, as the winner of last season, secretly scope out the restaurants and choose the winner by what she likes best. I thought whoever makes the most money wins? She finds the men too slow, Rod in particular can’t keep things going well. She thought the prices were outrageous and hers is cold. The women’s team is thrilled to see Joan (though some people waiting in line don’t seem thrilled that she’s cutting). She thinks the women’s menu was fair with a special charity price.
Board room time and you can see the female wrestler has chosen to show off her assets. Meanwhile Cyndi’s hair is so crazy that Trump comments on it. Sharon and Cyndi all say there was no weak player. I’d like to see Holly speak. Bret says he can’t find the weak link but he points to himself. Cyndi says she has a friend who thinks Trump is sexy. Oh, now I understand, the team that Joan likes best gets an extra $10,000. Joan chose the women. Joan blames Rod for her food being called. The women raise $39,559 while the men raised $57,905. Clearly their strategy worked well. Trump makes it an even $100,000 for Bret’s charity: American Diabetes Association.
The guys get to watch the women in the board room. They talk about Rosie O’Donnell, Cyndi likes her and Donald can’t stand her. That’s interesting. Trump wants to know why the women didn’t get big tips despite being beautiful. Holly brought Carol inside and it may have been her fault since that meant no one was outside to scope out the crowd. Ivanka asked about price point and Cyndi takes the blame. Trump says he thinks they had the better location. Trump asks everyone to point out who to fire but no one wants to point fingers. Trump seems upset about this, normally he gets an answer fairly quickly. Maria points to Carol, Holly says Carol or Cyndi. Carol points out that her creative, comedic, and writing potential is needed for later. Carol says she didn’t see Holly “getting her hands dirty.” Holly raised the most money. Trump asks Sharon and she says Carol because she’s under the radar and low key. Cyndi thinks that would be a mistake. All the women support Selita and Summer for taking the work in the kitchen despite not raising much money. Cyndi has to pick two people to come back with her to the board room but she can’t so he agrees to keep everyone there. He makes them turn off the TV and then he asks Cyndi why she can’t pick two people. She can’t fire people for trying their hardest. He doesn’t like firing people but he has to fire someone. He fires Carol because majority rules. Carol asks if he will make a donation to her charity and he agrees to give $10,000. Now that is guts. Cyndi feels badly. Trump tells them that it isn’t always about friends with money, like next week. Ivanka thinks it was the right choice. Donald Jr says they made their choice. (Notice the way the women are walking out of the boardroom: Selita, Holly, and Summer walk arm in arm, Sharon, Cyndi, and Maria trail. Is this cliques forming so early on after such deep professions of love?
I am not a fan of celebrity apprentice (as opposed to regular apprentice) because in reality the question is simply who has more connections. It isn’t really about business smarts when everyone knows rich people. I’d much prefer to see nobodies do the tasks and become leaders rather than C List celebrities hitting up their friends.