Celebrity Apprentice: Post-Show Analysis

Welcome to the post-show analysis! Here we can discuss the (yawn) drama from last night and speculate on the future of Donald Trump’s latest set of pawns.

The show opened with Trump meeting the contestants on a stage with a small orchestra in the background. As far as I could tell, this was to play Italian music as he spoke to Victoria Gotti. Gotti appears to be a personal friend of the Donald, which can definitely give her an advantage. Trump sometimes brings friends on the show in an effort to raise their profiles. For example, he tried hard last season to convince us that Latoya Jackson wasn’t a space cadet. He even re-hired her after firing her.

Patricia Velásquez and Paul Teutul, Sr. stepped up as the Project Managers for their respective teams of “Forte” and “Unanimous.” This is a good move if your primary motive is to raise money for your charity, because the first task always involves selling to the public. As we saw last night, tremendous sums can be raised through the power of celebrity and their rolodexes. It’s also better to be PM in the early tasks, because you’re less at risk. There are always a few dead weights on the team and they tend to leave first. Even if you lose, Trump will ask more about the slackers and less about the concept/leadership of the team. Later on, he’ll be much harder on a losing PM.

The first task on CA always contains these elements: Food, selling to the public, and fundraising. This tests the Project Manager’s ability to produce the food, plan the event, delegate tasks, exploit the star power of his/her team mates, and, most importantly, hit up friends for donations. These are all key qualities of the eventual winner.

Unfortunately for the drama of the two-hour episode, the teams worked too well. The editors were forced to use Victoria’s personal phone calls, and the possibility that Paul’s donors wouldn’t show up. Otherwise, everything worked well and the show was reduced to watching George drool over Lou Ferrigno’s topless body.

The firee, Cheryl Tiegs, made two mistakes. First, she held back on calling her friends in. On a fundraising task, this is a complete no-no. Even if the money isn’t going to your charity, you must be careful not to bring in the least amount of cash. As long as you can point to someone else as being poorer, Trump will keep you around.

Her second mistake was allowing herself to be put in the kitchen. Never take the kitchen jobs! It’s a clear signal that you are a beta, not an alpha. You want to be outside, showing your celebrity power in public by drawing in the crowds. You want to be on the planning committee, showing your leadership and smarts. You do not want to be the busboy of the team.

I thought Cheryl looked miserable and humiliated during the boardroom. I like her very much, and I liked that she was able to frame her firing less harshly by saying the show wasn’t for her. That’s maturity.

I was very impressed with Patricia. She’s determined, and I liked that she was right next to the cashier, counting the receipts as they came in. That’s a good fundraiser. I hope she gets another chance. Paul’s take was huge, but it doesn’t sit right with me that we don’t know anything about this mysterious donor who gave $305,000.

As for the show itself, the pacing was dreadful. Two hours was too long for such a drama-free group. They spent a lot of time on Patricia’s charity (The Wayuu Taya Foundation), which was good. But they could have spent a little more time letting us get to know the celebrities, and less on the boardroom, which dragged horribly — with more time spent on Lou Ferrigno’s body. When the eye-candy of the season is a 60-year-old man, you know you’re in trouble.

What are your thoughts on the show? Who is the next man or woman to get cut? How is Clay doing? Voice your thoughts in the comments!

  • Allison

    I liked Patricia and was sad that her charity didn’t get the money she worked hard to get. The show did drag, but it always has – 2 hours is just too long, but it’s not going to keep me from tuning in again next week. I’m waiting for the others who were not highlighted this week to come into play, like Clay, Dee and Lisa.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5CTSGSGATMXQESVDDD7RWQRYXU Jane

    This show is awesome fun if the celebrities are ones you care about and rather boring if they aren’t. 

    I’m not terribly excited about this group, but it’s not the worst either.  It’s not going to match the entertainment of Garey Busey, Meatloaf, John Rich, LaToya, Little John…..that season was great fun. 

    For me, the male cast will be pretty entertaining this season — the females are a big yawn.   

  • http://twitter.com/1WaySTweet Ron Simpson

    The males are the reason I watch any show ;-)

  • MissMyEm

    Actually I like it with less drama and backstabbing, but I’m probably in the minority.  I never understand why producers think it makes for better TV if people fight and argue.  Call me a peace loving Aquarius but that’s the way I prefer it.   And while I don’t follow Clay any longer, I’m still rooting for him.   I hope he plays with integrity.   The years that Brett Michaels and Joan Rivers won against Annie the poker player and Holly Robinson Peete, they played, IMO, with less underhandedness and more honesty and to me, that’s the type of person who should win.   Someone already spoiled the last two standing for me, but I don’t know whether it’s true because I haven’t heard, but I won’t say anything nevertheless.  

    The only thing I didn’t like about Patricia vs. Paul was the fact that Patricia repeated ad nauseum that she brought in 95% of the money whereas Paul just said it once and let it go.    I also didn’t like when she rolled her eyes after Cheryl Tiegs claimed she brought in 15-20K.    Also didn’t like the way Trump told Tia Carere that she wasn’t very smart.   But then again…I can’t stand Donald Trump.

    I admire Cheryl for going out the way she did.   She probably got the picture at the start and said…meh…not worth it.   Good for her.   She won in my book.

    The men have, IMO, a much more interesting group.   But yes…it did kind of make me roll my eyes when 80 yr old (just an estimate) George Takei kept drooling over 60 yr. old Lou Ferigno.   Lou’s body did nothing for me.   Never did even when he was younger.

    Unfortunately for me there is no eye candy this year, but I don’t think there ever was.   Still…I’m addicted to the show.

    Go Clay.   OR…Go Dee.   I’m good with either of them.

  • Sq

    So this is what I learned on this weeks show…

    – it doesn’t matter how well you do on your task – have a heavy hitter donor in your back pocket and you will win.

    – Patricia did everything right on her task – had a great team – brought in more $ than has ever been brought before and lost! because of one donor

    – all the people who thougth they were donating to Patricias charity likely feel ripped off – and are less likely to donate next time – so her charity is the big loser here – and that is just not right

    – from here on in the way to suceed is to try to face off against someone with less rich friends… and never take on a support role –

    – Clay is actually pretty cool – great sense of humour, great confidence – I think I would enjoy hanging with him

    – Penn is a funny guy – if I had a party he would be the one I would invite

    – the guys team is way more entertaining than the ladies

    – as celebrity women get older they all start to look alike – and they get pretty scary looking….

    – Cheryl has class and likely will be glad to be out of the fray

    – I would rather spend my nights cleaning the fridge that watching another episode of CA

    How I would fix it…  Separate the task from the $ – for example have two events and score then on $s, experience, food, buzz, whatever – the winner is the one with the best event not just the biggest $  – it’s fun watching celebs competing doing “normal” stuff – like making sandwiches – it’s not fun to watch someone work so hard, do so well and then loose it all because of one donation from an anonymous source…

  • http://twitter.com/1WaySTweet Ron Simpson

    Give up on the show if you like but the tasks vary greatly from week to week and only one or 2 are fundraisers, the rest are based on talent, personality, experience, savvy, creativity and cunning.

  • http://www.randrambles.com Rand

    Very impressed with Patricia.

  • http://twitter.com/Miztig Miz

    I’m also impressed with Patricia. I had no clue who she was before this. She’ll take the Cheryl spot for me now.

    I also prefer less meanness. A little friction or drama is ok, but my stomach churns when it’s constant nastiness.

    Paul foreshadowed that win when he said if he couldn’t get the money he’d put it in himself. It would be hard to convince me that he wasn’t his own big donor. I really think that should be against the rules.

  • Anonymous

    The Busey-Meatloaf season was the best this show ever had.  Unbelievable (and funny) stuff.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    This is the first time I’ve watched an entire episode and I thought that it dragged throughout, but especially in the boardroom.  Are they all going to be 2 hours?  I hope not.  I’m really not into non-singing reality shows, so perhaps I just don’t find these kind of shows that interesting in general.  Maybe it’s standard for these kind of shows to start out slow, pretty boring.

    I liked Penn, he’s an interesting character, and I’ve always loved Arsenio.  He was pretty funny and his impression of Paul cracked me up!  lol  Clay was good at “shaking down” people for more money, but then I knew that he would be.  ;)  His and Arsenio’s confessionals may be the most entertaining.  I thought that George ogling Lou’s physique was pretty funny!  lol  The rest of the guys were all just meh to me, but it’s still early. 

    I didn’t find any of the women particularly interesting at this point.  Victoria Gotti seems menacing, but not particularly interesting.  I guess we’ll see.

    If I continue to watch the show it will depend on if the tasks or contestants start to catch my interest.  Also curiosity about Clay’s ever morphing bad hairstyles.  lol  I didn’t find the sandwich challenge very interesting at all, and the most drama that they could muster on the men’s side is showing Clay expressing some concern over whether Paul could “deliver” his big donations?  lol

    ETA: “it’s not fun to watch someone work so hard, do so well and then loose it all because of one donation from an anonymous source…”

    I totally agree. The women’s team was jipped.

  • steph6449

    The cast is part of what makes it fun (mostly) to watch, but also watching Trump and his lieutenants in the boardroom is pretty amusing (sorry, twisted sense of humor here).

    On their own when observing the challenges and in their initial commentary in the boardroom, his daughter and son sound pretty bright and independent. But they almost universally suck up to whatever Daddy Trump ultimately decides, lol.

  • geekygirl

    Cool MJ!  This is the first time I have ever seen an apprentice show, either here or in the UK, so wasn’t really on board with what was going on and some of the lingo. Kept asking my friend what does that mean?  Nice recap here to explain the strategy.  It was long but i was entertained.  The girls kicked butt but lost, basically the guys only raised a fraction as a team without the deep pocket.  Even having never seen the show before I kept saying bet there is going to be one big donor at the end. Love how Clay said none of them thought to call in help!  My thoughts:

    Donald Trump looked like a kid who got into his mother’s fake tan and touche eclait!  Makeup was horrendous.

    I thought the honeybadger reference for the team name was a jab at Clay’s hair.

    Gotti – thunderbolts and lightning, very very frightening me!

    Didn’t recognise most of the other women, poor Cheryl, she didn’t come across as very dynamic in the edit.  Also she is a very attractive older woman, wish she would embrace that rather than trying to look like Cheryl Tiegs teenage model. Made her look older than she is.

    Clay was a great schmoozer!

    Penn seemed the most switched on of the guys

    The show host/comedien (?) was a waste of space as far as being helpful.  Didn’t offer any constructive ideas and mocked the ones on board. Not a team player. Not Arsineo, who also didn’t seem to do anything, but the other one.

    But look forward to seeing it again, now on to The Voice this evening!

  • Indigobunting

    I’ve never watched the show but gave it a try.  This episode was a little boring; but I’ll try it again.

    Never was a Clay fan (didn’t watch the show back then) but he did a good job I thought.  Cute and charming :)

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/J5DBFW7GJOC6MF6NDQWGL3HZVQ NathalieR

    I thoroughly enjoyed the season premiere of Celebrity Apprentice! Like others here, I prefer less drama, cat fights and back stabbing. The season I disliked the most was when the red-headed poker player was on (can’t even remember her name) because she was so nasty and calculating. The ladies seem pretty pleasant this year, except for maybe Victoria Gotti. I don’t know how old she is, but she honestly looks like a walking corpse that’s been made up for a funeral. Clay wasn’t very vocal in the group this week, but I think he is playing smart by sitting back to observe and staying out of any fireworks–seeing where the other’s weaknesses and strengths are so he can play the game accordingly. I’ve always been a die-hard Claymate, so I’m rallying for him! Clay’s very smart and witty, so I think he will do better than most people expect of him. : )

  • fuzzywuzzy
  • fuzzywuzzy

    I’m not sure if this has been posted before, but RollingStone posted a recap.  I think that they may be doing one every week:



    Carolla tosses around such gems as “Team Back Hair” and “Team Honey Badger.” But no one’s buying. Especially not American Idol runner-up and proud ginger Clay Aiken, who is already carving out his place as the Season’s Top Whiner.


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lynda-Hanson-Beaugez/100000081366443 Lynda Hanson Beaugez

    I have watched this show from the beginning.  The year with John Rich, Lil John and Meatloaf was the best, IMO.  They have some good contestants this season.  I do not like Patricia at all.  Everything is ME ME ME with her.  Not a team player and won’t last long.

    Oh, and Happy Mardi Gras, Yall!

  • fuzzywuzzy

    The debut of the Celebrity Apprentice this year had the lowest ratings ever for a debut of this show:



    The premieres The Amazing Race and Celebrity Apprentice were relatively flat versus last year – pending final numbers, in the scrambled numbers The Amazing Race looks to be up 4% versus last year and the Celebrity Apprentice
    was down 7% versus last year’s premiere (2.6 vs. 2.8) and down 4% vs.
    last year’s preliminary numbers, but as it stands is the lowest-rated
    premiere for Celebrity Apprentice ever.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent recap, Montavilla! Thank you!