As one of the two finalists on Sunday’s (May 13) “The Celebrity Apprentice,” Clay Aiken is having deja vu, but he says, “this time, I ain’t gonna lose.” The “American Idol” runner-up is going head-to-head with former late-night host Arsenio Hall as they compete to be crowned Donald Trump’s latest “Celebrity Apprentice,” and Clay seems determined to win. But with Lisa Lampanelli, Adam Carolla, Paul Teutul Sr. and Teresa Giudice backing up Arsenio, can Clay take him?
Maybe, especially since it looks like one of Arsenio’s own team members, Lisa, has sort of defected — she calls Clay up during the task to tell him she’ll be donating a check to his charity. To be fair, though, it seems like she’s giving a chunk of change to Arsenio’s charity as well. Clay’s not floundering out there all alone, though, as he has a strong team of former celeb-testants helping him out too, including Penn Jillette, Debbie Gibson, Dee Snider and just-eliminated Aubrey O’Day.
The two teams are tasked with coming up with an awareness ad for their respective charities — the National Inclusion Project for Clay and the Magic Johnson Foundation for Arsenio — and a fundraising event, which has to include a variety show starring the competitors. Plus, they have to sell tickets to the event and raise a ton of money from all their fancy celebrity friends.
Clay and Arsenio easily fall into themes for their variety shows — music and comedy. However, an ad, a fundraising event and a show to which the guys have to sell tickets is a lot to take on in a short time period, so both team leaders seem a bit scattered and distracted during the task.
Clay has delegated musical responsibility to Debbie (we can’t get “Shake Your Love” out of our heads now either), so she’s putting together a medley of “Baby Love,” “Heat Wave” and “Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch” — all definitely in Clay’s wheelhouse, but can you really see Dee singing these? And Penn is having his comedy/magic partner, Teller, fly out so they can do something with cups and balls. As for the event, Aubrey’s got the theme covered — carnival — and Debbie’s having her cousin paint a mural (unless she quits first, which it seems like she might when Clay asks for a drawing of the mural). Meanwhile, for the ad, Clay, Penn and Dee wander all over the city looking for a spot of grass to film the PSA, which features children all playing together despite their differences in abilities.
Elsewhere, we don’t know much about Arsenio’s comedy show or the event — except that Teresa’s planning the food, and she’s picked out two “fishes.” For his ad, Arsenio goes with an ’80s theme with the concept, “The ’80s are gone, but AIDS is still here,” and he’s got an ace in the hole — Magic Johnson, who’s agreed to appear in the spot. The only catch is that Magic’s in Los Angeles, so Adam is sending a crew — an audio crew, it’s important to note (Adam doesn’t ever actually tell Arsenio this) — to Magic’s house. And, of course, there’s tons of foreshadowing that the Magic footage isn’t going to pan out. And from what we see in the final moments of the show, it doesn’t. For some reason, Adam’s crew interpreted his shooting instructions to mean that Magic should be facing sideways when speaking, so all you see is Magic Johnson’s profile for the duration of his spot.
“I just had some sweat go down between my a– cheeks,” Arsenio says upon seeing the wonky footage. “I’m thinking I just lost it all.”
One can only hope that they did a few takes — with one of them showing Magic actually facing the camera while he’s speaking. More will be revealed next week during the live finale.