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Aubrey O’Day is fired. Clay Aiken and Arsenio Hall are the Top 2
And Then There Were Two
After Lisa’s firing last week, the grilling continues in the Trump Boardroom. Trump quizzes Clay, Aubrey, and Arsenio on their weak points. Clay denies being a follower, and points out that he was the first male to stand up to his team. Aubrey says she always gives her best. Arsenio reminds Trump that he apologized for his “inappropriate language” towards Aubrey and tells Trump that he’s a tireless worker. Should he win, he would spend the rest of his life making Trump proud of him.
Trump says that Aubrey was called a transparent chess player. She replies that she’s young and undeveloped. She hopes she dies undeveloped. Clay frowns in confusion. Trump agrees and says she’ll have a fabulous career, but she’s fired. I did not see that coming. I thought for sure that Aubrey’s track record would push her past Arsenio. Oh, well. As Penn says, “I can’t tell you the rules for Celebrity Apprentice.”
In her after-interview, Aubrey complains about being called “transparent.” She says the word does not describe her and then goes on to describe herself as bright, shiny, in-your-face, upfront… I’m not sure she actually knows what the word “transparent” means.
So Clay and Arsenio are the final two, which gives Clay déjà vu. He repeats that Celebrity Apprentice is harder than American Idol. Clay and Arsenio leave with their arms around each other. Another adorable bromance for Clay!
Trump takes an epic escalator ride to meet Clay and Arsenio at Lincoln Center. Seriously, it’s like 15 seconds of triumphant music blaring as Trump stares into the distance.
Ivanka and Don explain the task: To produce, host, and sell tickets to a celebrity charity event. Each team must also produce a 60-second charity awareness ad. Former contestants arrive to help out. Alas, none of them is George Takei. I’m really surprised Dayana isn’t brought back to cause more trouble. Arsenio picks Adam, Lisa, Paul, and Teresa. Clay picks Penn, Debbie, and Dee. Aubrey is left over and goes to Clay’s team. She takes that as an insult and calls Clay and Arsenio “haters.”
Clay’s strategy was to pick all the musicians. Arsenio’s was to pick comedians. He’s going to create a comedy show, while Clay wants to focus on music. They both start out by educating their teams about their charities. Adam wants Arsenio’s comedy show to be for kids, but Arsenio nixes that concept (to Lisa’s relief).
Team Clay is working on the theme “Let’s All Play.” Aubrey is in charge of party planning and wants to do a carnival setting. She’s motivated to help Clay win because Arsenio is “dirt.”
On Team Arsenio, Adam comes up the idea of doing a 1980s flashback for the video. The point is that the eighties are gone, but AIDS is still around. Adam arranges to film Magic Johnson in Los Angeles to insert into the ad. The footage will be uploaded and transmitted via the internet.
Adam and Teresa go to a costume shop to look for 1980s clothing. Adam gets creeped out because there’s a large penis in the office. I wonder if Adam gets creeped when he goes to the bathroom.
Over on Team Clay, Clay suggests that his ad show a disabled kid sitting alone, then pull out to show the child playing with other kids. Penn gently says that it feels offensive — turning a disabled child into an object of pity. Clay doesn’t have any other ideas and THs about Penn being negative. But I agree with Penn.
Penn comes up with a different concept for the video: Three girls playing together. Pull out to show a wheelchair to the side. A voiceover that says, “You can’t tell which of these girls is disabled. Neither can they.” Clay loves it.
Ivanka and Don visit the teams. Ivanka is impressed that Arsenio’s team is already fundraising. Don is concerned that Clay’s team is not. Ivanka notes that both teams think they have an advantage by having chosen the right people — but it will depend on whether people prefer comedy or music.
Debbie Gibson is in charge of the music selection and arrangement for Team Clay. Dee looks unhappy. He sadly THs that if anyone had told him earlier that he’d be singing “Baby Love” with Debbie Gibson, he would have punched them in the face.
That night, Arsenio is calling everyone he can think of for money. Clay is finally putting his team on that as well. He realizes he’s up against Arsenio and Magic Johnson’s names. He’s shown being turned down by an anonymous woman.
The next day, the teams inspect the party space at Skylight Soho. Teresa orders food from the caterers, but doesn’t appear to have included a vegetarian option. These are the things I worry about as I watch the show…
On Team Clay’s half of the space, Aubrey wants to paint the walls blue, which Clay finds an unnecessary complication of the task. Aubrey feels disrespected, because she knows she can get it done. Debbie volunteers her cousin, who is a mural painter, to come and paint the walls. Clay wants to see a sketch first, which Debbie finds insulting.
Then Clay, Dee, and Penn go to shoot the video. They have much trouble finding a spot with grass in New York City. The first place has a train running overhead. And it smells. A nice field is being used by a baseball team. The coaches are very mean, until they recognize Clay. Then they turn into fangirls, but they still won’t let Clay film there. “We are on Plan F… for F*cked,” Clay laments.
Finally, Penn proposes climbing a fence to a yard in front of a housing development. If someone throws them out, they’ll leave. But at least they can try. Adorable children show up and Clay teaches them a game. Dee admires Clay’s ability to work with the kids.
Arsenio’s shoot (at a studio) seems to go well. Everyone puts on ridiculous 1980s looks. Paul wears a blonde wig. Lisa says she looks horrible, but she actually looks kind of cute in her fingerless leather gloves. Arsenio wears a Michael Jackson jacket and a “Dolomite wig.” Lisa notes that Arsenio is far more laid back as a manager than she is.
Debbie works with her producer on the music while Aubrey looks bored. Unsurprisingly, Aubrey thinks she would do a better job. But she defers to Debbie as her “elder in the music industry.”
While Arsenio and Adam wait for the Magic Johnson footage to arrive, Arsenio calls donors. He tells the camera that one good thing about this experience is being able to cross people off his friend list when they turn him down.
Clay is also calling donors while editing his video. He tells someone, “I don’t want to come in second on another TV show.” Clay gets a call from Lisa, who wants to buy a ticket to his event, even though she’s on Arsenio’s team. That’s rather disloyal of her, but Clay is tickled pink.
Then Debbie and Aubrey show up, and Debbie criticizes the music on the video. She says it hits her like a Mack truck. Clay thanks her, but doesn’t take the suggestion. A bit later, he gets impatient with Debbie because she can’t run through the music without stopping to make changes. Penn notes that Clay is very stressed, which is probably needed for the task. However, he wasn’t stressed when he was the Project Manager.
Debbie, meanwhile, is feeling pushed aside and confused about her role. She thinks Clay is taking over. Then she gets mad because Clay is still insisting on seeing a sketch before her cousin paints murals on the walls of the event space. She can’t understand why, since her cousin is doing this for free, Clay can’t just trust that it’ll be good. Dee tells us that Clay is not going to budge, but that Debbie is getting upset. We see Debbie leaning against a wall in frustration, wondering what she’s even doing there.
On Team Arsenio, Arsenio is upset that the Magic Johnson finally shows up, and it’s shot from a side angle rather than from the front.
And we have our cliff-hangers!
Next week: The finale!
So, were you as surprised as I was that Aubrey got fired? Who do you think will win? Who is right in the great Clay/Debbie debate? Answer below!
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