Donald Trump and his bevy of B-listers (if we’re being generous) are back on “The Celebrity Apprentice.” And the premiere brought with it everything we hoped for: Adam Corolla and Lisa Lampanelli disguising their standup routines as banter with fellow contestants, George Takei talking about how smoking hot Lou Ferrigno’s body is, and Trump firing a celeb that, honestly, we probably won’t miss that much.
After we figured out who the heck all these people actually are, got the skinny on the people we haven’t seen since the ’90s — or ever (note to Arsenio Hall, or anyone really: When someone asks what you’ve been up to lately, don’t open with “I ran into Ruben Studdard“), heard a couple of Adam/Lisa quips, and were lulled into submission by George’s voice, Trump divided the two teams by gender, per usual.
The men threw around name ideas (The Honeybadgers was my fave, though not so much Clay Aiken’s) and finally landed on Unanimous and picked Paul Teutel Sr. (“Orange County Choppers”) to be project manager, which was kind of surprising since the only reason his name came up was to point out that he wouldn’t be a good option for this week’s PM. He and his ‘stache took that as a personal challenge. The women went with Forte and supermodel Patricia Velasquez as project manager.
More importantly, we learned that Lou Ferrigno can read lips — actually, he has to read lips because he’s hearing impaired. There’s little the Hulk can’t do even with a disability, apparently.
We also learned that the men are missing a team member — race car driver Marco Andretti, who was so distraught over losing his friend Dan Wheldon in a Las Vegas IndyCar 300 accident in October that he opted not to participate. His dad Michael Andretti, also a driver and son of legendary Mario Andretti, would be replacing him later in the episode.
The segue from the sadness was the revelation that the teams would be making sandwiches at two branches of Cafe Metro for this week’s challenge. The challenge itself was a bit of a letdown compared to last season’s kickoff — the pizza challenge. I mean, how hard is it to make sandwiches? And if your celebrity friends are going to be paying thousands of dollars for a sandwich, it better be more than a grilled cheese.
Anyway, I know Trump and NBC want to keep up guessing during the episode, but the editing was a little silly in the premiere: After having seen the women — particularly Patricia and Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza — bring in check after check, $30,000 here, $15,000 there, and the men lament over and over about how PM Paul wasn’t bringing in any checks and how they weren’t doing any fundraising because of Paul’s promise to bring in “at least half a million,” it was more than a shock to hear the Don say that the men brought in $367,120 compared to the women’s $126,962 (which was record-setting in its own rite). Where did the money come from? Oh yeah, btw, Paul had one friend write him a check for $305,000. Which wasn’t shown on camera. No big deal.
And poor, passionate Patricia was forced to tearfully pick model Cheryl Tiegs and Victoria Gotti to join her in the boardroom.
Makes sense on the Victoria count, because 1) she was making personal calls while all the other gals were fundraising and 2) she was super-late to the challenge, supposedly for a torn cornea (or an extensions emergency). Cheryl came out of left field for me — as did the input from both Patricia and Victoria that Cheryl should definitely be fired.
I do think Cheryl seemed a little embarrassed to be there, which may have made her “I don’t know if this is right for me” declaration a little bit easier on everyone.
What do you think? Did the right person go home? Or should Victoria have been packing her bags? Anyone else surprised that Teresa Giudice didn’t make more of an impression in the first episode?