Season 12 Premiere (or what I like: to call round one)
I’m not a fan of boxing or anything, but during the intro to the new season of Celebrity Apprentice I felt like I was going to watch somebody get knocked out! When Victoria Gotti said, “you know you have to watch your back, I can make you disappear.” I practically cheered. The latest installment of Donald Trump firing famous (well famous at some point in their lives….that might be more accurate) people has begun.
How come when Donald Trump says something is going to be fun, I just don’t believe it? Something about that serious mug of his…Anyway, let the challenges begin. Keeping with Trump’s preferred tradition, the teams are men verses women.
Picking team names proves problematic immediately and lines amongst personalities are clearly drawn. From the get go Aiken is annoyed with the frat boy behavior of his teammates. And Victoria Gotti wants Debbie Gibson to shut it.
First challenge: celebrity deli sandwiches. Take over a midtown sandwich shop, use your celeb clout, and bring in hefty donations and tips. Who ever raises the most wins.
Both teams launched off with a carnival theme—what about sandwiches made everyone get carnivals in their head I couldn’t comprehend. (now if we were talking celeb hot dogs maybe I could have understood). And neither did Victoria, who disagreed, and instead suggested they do a red carpet.
They went down drastically different paths. The men, team “Unanimous”, took the mean, tough, lots of yelling, carnie approach. Kicked off with team manager Paul Teutul Sr putting it out there that he can pull in half a million. (Probably…) Clay was not amused. Being in charge of collecting the funds, running the registers, he was steadfast in wanting someone to show him the money. He could only up sell people’s $20 and $50 donations to $100, so often. He definitely was worked it, but like the other men, with Paul’s self boasting they didn’t feel any need to put their smart phones to smart use.
(But everyone does that; the ladies had issues with that too. Celebs come on the show to raise money for their charities, you want your big baller donors to come through when its your organization on the receiving end!)
Considering all the responsibilities on Paul’s plate for the challenge I’m sure I wasn’t the only one wondering what he was going to pull out of his pocket—because for all the hoopla and curbside attention they garnered for their flaming pen juggling, and fire breathing (would you expect any less from Penn? I mean really.), attention grabbing posse of motorcycle choppers, autographing signing (of their might I add, subtle, but well branded custom sandwich boxes), and picture taking—it was distracting. Huge crowds outdoors, graveyard quietness indoors at some points.
The ladies, or as they prefer to be called, team “Forte”, created a celebrity club theme, with a red carpet, musical interludes (surprise jam session between Debbie Gibson and Wyclef…and oh yeah Audrey Day……………the same Audrey that based her celeb status ranking by comparatively bragging about her number of followers on twitter!), and many appearances by other celebrities not affiliated with the show (Katie Ford, Andy Cohen, Russell Simmons to name a few). Project manager Patricia Velasquez looked as though she was on the verge of tears all day long, very pinched face, while Cheryl Tiegs quietly milled about and Mafia princess Victoria labored in food prep.
Going into the boardroom my money would have been on a clear win for the ladies teams because they celebrated many triple zero collections; and while yes a busty lady did “make it rain” over Clay Aiken, it seemed pretty doubtful they’d be the winners. So imagine the surprise when after the Trump men praised Patricia for setting a new Apprentice first episode record in highest amount of money earned at right around $126,000, that the challenge winners were actually the men at roughly $332,120 + a $35,000 bonus challenge win (courtesy of Café Metro, the shop they took over) that pitted their sandwich flavors against each other on the Rachel Ray show; their sandwich that Rachel described as having a great meat, to cheese, to bread ratio (because that made it sound delicious. Not.). So how did that just happen? Paul had a back pocket favor by way of a single person donator who gave $305,000 themselves alone. Oh Wow. (But anyway, congrats to Paul and the Make a Wish Foundation!)
The typically awkward boardroom started off characteristically with no one wanting to drag anyone under the bus until Donald forces it out of them. Victoria got a lot of digs, which she quietly took in stride—she’s a hard one to read, half the time I expected her to cut someone or something (no joke). Aresenio was a random selection, and Trump was clearly team Star Trek, as he whole heartedly defended George when Paul described him as meek. Cheryl, the well known model that she is, was a model of niceness, but she even admitted she didn’t have the personality best suited for this type of environment. It’s pretty bad to be the first one fired. You might as well not even admit you were ever on it. She was the weakest link, so Cheryl heard the words, “you’re fired”.
I know its only one episode in, but I want to know where’s the drama? I’m waiting for Theresa G. to flip a table (it has to happen, it just has too), and for someone dubbed the queen of mean, Lisa………………… to get a little snarky. She sure is nice. (?) Huh.
Sundays on NBC
Photo Credit: NBC
PS. Marco Andretti is missing due to the recent death of his best friend in a horrible accident. So Marco’s father Michael has taken his place.
And how can I get the job of that Celebrity Apprentice receptionist??! I swear she always looks like she’s just doodling in between saying, “Donald Trump will see you now”, and…um…. nothing else….that looks like all she does. (Lucky.)