Sometimes I feel like “The Celebrity Apprentice” is an innately sexist show, pitting the men against the women — can you really think of no other way to divide the teams, Mr. Trump? — and then planning tasks that are more often than not geared more toward one sex (sandwich making notwithstanding). Or maybe I just have a bad taste in my mouth about George Takei being fired tonight in a task that in my opinion totally wasn’t a fair fight. We’ll get to that in a minute.
First off, the challenge: Design two Lord & Taylor window displays for Ivanka Trump’s new clothing and accessories line.
After looking back and forth between their two openly gay teammates, George and Clay Aiken, the men settle on George as their project manager (the ever politically correct Adam Carolla outlined the three reasons why George was picked: 1) he’s gay, 2) he’s gay and 3) he’s gay — wonder what Kirk Cameron would think …). Teresa Giudice and Dayana Mendoza are on deck for the women’s team — Teresa because she says her background is in
table flipping fashion and Dayana because she’s a model. Debbie Gibson puts a table-flipping target on her back by picking Dayana, and Teresa surprisingly — for anyone who’s seen “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” — maintains her cool.
The women jump right in, deciding right away on a theme: splitting their two windows into four vignettes, showing a woman at four times during the day. While the men’s team talks vaguely about the windows, unable to nail George down on exactly what he’s envisioning — already, we’re being set up for the men to fail at the hands of the ever-distinguished George Takei.
Then to add insult injury, Clay calls George “slower,” adding, “I’m not 100% sure that George is aware of what’s going on all the time.” He also later throws George under the bus when Eric Trump asks how George is doing as a project manager — he laughs and says, “We’re a team and we pick up slack where we need to.” I am turning in my Clay-mate card.
The men do come up with the clever idea (Penn Jillette does anyway) to use twin models in the display windows. And on an unrelated note, we learn that Paul Teutul Sr. apparently only needs a “pair of boots, underwear and socks” and he’s good to go, clothing-wise. Weirdly, no mention of a denim shirt.
After both teams meet with Ivanka, the men settle on essentially the exact same theme as the women — day to night — but now with twins! And Arsenio Hall elects himself clothing stylist, which briefly made me think, “Oh, I guess that makes a little sense. I mean, he was on ‘Designing Women.’” No, wait, that was Meshach Taylor. And then, “Oh but, wait, that was him in ‘Mannequin,’ right?” Nope, still Meshach Taylor.
Elsewhere, Dee Snider leaves to have surgery to add four pins to his finger, which later gets him a pass in the boardroom from Donald Trump.
The women decide to use two of their gals in the window display — Dayana, of course, and … Debbie volunteers herself, only to have the other women awkwardly look at their hands and mumble something about the line’s target audience age, setting Debbie up for the best line of the night, “I play younger on TV.” (Where? You mean, here?)
The teams both split up with each sending half to Brooklyn to build the sets. Who knew Adam used to be a carpenter? And if he’s doing so much hands-on carpentry, then why do the women have these guys there in Brooklyn constructing the sets for them (see my intro paragraph). The women, meanwhile, realize the displays are too small to split in two, and Aubrey O’Day takes the helm, coming up with a new plan.
The women have also decided to incorporate sketches and photos of Ivanka’s designs in their window dressings — a plan which later totally unravels thanks to some MIA photos, a mystery which was never duly attributed to any particular person on the team. Aubrey saves the day once again with a plan, which honestly I totally didn’t understand. Like, at all. But Ivanka did and that was all that mattered.
The men, however, with their midnight blue set and models dressed in trench coats, who were supposed to be at a red carpet event (for flashers?), didn’t take risks and showed no creativity, according to Ivanka. Thusly, the women scored their first win, forcing George, who yes, was admittedly more hands off and quieter than most project managers, to pick two people to join him in the boardroom: Arsenio, for shoddy styling, and Lou Ferrigno for … I’m not really sure why, since we only saw slightly less of Michael Andretti than Lou in this episode. We even saw more of Dee and he wasn’t even involved in the challenge.
And then, quickly and sadly, Trump’s decision turns obvious, and George, perhaps the most distinguished person to ever compete on “The Celebrity Apprentice,” is fired. I almost shed a tear when he said he was only regretful that he couldn’t do more for his charity, the Japanese American National Museum.
Honestly, I think the men would have lost this challenge no matter who they picked for their project manager. George never even had a chance. And what was up with Clay turning on him so quickly?
Next week: The teams are tasked with selling a car (I’m smelling a male-geared challenge, pun intended) and Trump says he’s going to fire two people!
What did you think of tonight’s episode? Did Trump fire the right person? Was it a fair fight?