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TV Open Thread: Celebrity Apprentice – Nene Quits, LaToya Splits, and Star Loses Meat Loaf Showdown

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I love this show, but at three hours, I feel like my cup runneth over. What? NBC couldn’t find a suitable substitute for America’s Next Great Restaurant? Only the finale should be allotted such time. NBC is milking this cash cow for everything it’s got.

Did anyone expect Star and Nene to kiss and make up? “Come on back and play with the big girls, honey. Uhm-hmm,” Nene taunted after Star stalked away from the boardroom. Ms. Nene sure can talk a good game but when push came to shove, guess who shoved off? As in disappeared from the show?

Nene, the outspoken, in your face, don’t do me like that, I will take you down real housewife, up and quit without so much as a goodbye to her teammates. Not even The Donald, who never tracked down any contestant but specifically called Nene by phone, could change her fool mind. I loved the shot of the missing Nene poster plastered on a telephone pole. Or maybe it was a tree. Someone should print up a batch and sell them online.

In the boardroom, The Donald made sure to stick it to Nene. “She quit. She gave up,” Trump informed the other team. “To you, Nene, I say, you’re fired, and you’re a quitter, and Star Jones kicked your a—whether you like it or not.” No mincing any words there.

So what happened? After last week’s cat-fight, Star ignored Nene’s attempts to bury the hatchet. “I did not want to place myself within physical proximity of someone who had behaved in such a deplorable manner,” explained Star. “I was not afraid that I would ever sink to Nene’s level. What I was afraid of was that Nene would seek to bring me there.”

Star also may have publicly embarrassed Nene by telling The Donald she did not want to reconcile. Adding fuel to the fire, he switched Nene with Meat. Nene saw the move as an accommodation for Star and wanted none of it. She didn’t want to work on a show where there was so much bad blood between her and another contestant. The way I see it, The Donald was trying to avoid a knock down drag out fight when he switched up the teams. Nene showed an absolute lack of class with her rude departure, don’t you think?

Getting back to the competition, the teams were tasked with staging and promoting a comedy show. They would each get three comedians and fifty tickets to sell. LaToya, working with the men, and Meat, working with the women, took the PM slots. LaToya felt she had to prove herself after The Donald gave her a second chance.

In an impressive coup, John convinced Jimmy Fallon to perform live for their show. Jimmy surprised the team by contributing $10,000. He also penned a Celebrity Apprentice song that is funny enough to be the show’s theme song. “Yer fired. Yer fired,” it began. The “Jonz,” as the two Johns later dubbed themselves, did a great job on background vocals. They also brought in the bulk of the money. LaToya could barely scrounge up $20,000. Her friend Kathy Hilton offered only $1,000. Pathetic!

Meat relied heavily on contributions from supporters of his charity, The Painted Turtle. He quickly became inconsolable thinking he might lose the task and the money otherwise designated for his charity. Basically, the big lug had a nervous breakdown, crying and wringing his face in his hands and whimpering to Star and Marlee. My jaw dropped watching this big hulk of a rock and roller bawl like a little baby. A big, overly sensitive heart or crocodile tears to secure the money?

Can I just add that Star’s dog is adorable? At one point, the cute little fluffy pooch looked up at Meat and I thought my heart might melt. As Meat turned on the water works, the dog glanced over with such empathy I could barely contain myself. Awwwwwww.

The Donald had a much kinder assessment of Meat though he refused to assure money for his charity win or lose. Ms. Star personally telephoned The Donald to gain such assurances on Meat’s behalf, but no dice. John felt so sorry for Meat he offered to donate an equivalent amount of money to The Painted Turtle if Meat’s team lost. Thankfully, all the bravado was unnecessary as Meat’s team raised over $102,000. LaToya’s team raised only $82,000. I don’t know how Meat would have reacted if he had lost, but I’m glad we didn’t have to go there.

“This show has made me want to be a better person and has taught me things that I didn’t know I knew,” Meat gushed after John’s generous offer. “Thank you very, very much, Mr. Trump. I mean that more than you can imagine.” Meat should have been thanking John.

Of course, Meat’s win meant LaToya had to go. As PM and the one who brought in the least amount of money, it only made sense. So now she will go down in history as the only person to be fired twice from Celebrity Apprentice. Little consolation for someone with the nerve to ask for a second chance.

Then it was on to the second task. The teams had to produce a promotional video introducing On-Star, a car safety system, to the general public. In a rematch of PMs, Marlee and John took the helms of their respective teams. Both winged the video. Meat tried to direct Star in an improv, but she kept messing up lines, and her attention to minutiae slowed down production. Meat also hurt their chances because it was his idea to depict a policeman as a donut-hound, not a safety enforcer. John’s team missed the mark by filming a woman in the driver’s seat without a seatbelt. Still, On-Star executives preferred Team Backbone’s video. John won another $40,000 for his charity, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

In the boardroom, Star tried to blame the loss on Meat. Marlee also said Meat should be fired. Placed outside to wait for The Donald, Star and Meat began fighting like cats and dogs. Meat began by calling her “sweetie” and Star reacted like he had called her a whore. Rightfully so, Meat accused Star of dropping a close-up shot of the On-Star box at the end of the video, evidence that she messed up on branding.

“You were sitting in the editing room with the rest of us, and you were making comments about the editing,” said Meat. “You said, verbatim, ‘We don’t need that shot, we’ve got it on the disk.'”

Trying desperately to deflect blame, Star said she wouldn’t debate the issue because Meat was yelling at her – he was not – then said she wouldn’t debate with him because he didn’t come with lawyer credentials. Closing her open fingers into a fist, she warned, “You have to come with my credentials to get me to debate with you. Enough! Enough!”

“Don’t you cut me off,” Meat countered, getting into Star’s face. “How dare you cut me off, young woman.” Meat was too kind. I would have called Star a lot worse.

“I don’t owe you an argument and I decline to give you one,” Star said flatly.

“Who the hell do you think you are to say that to me,” Meat demanded? “Face me when you’re talking to me!” At that point, Star looked like she might burst into tears.

 

Back in the boardroom, George, The Donald’s eyes and ears, said he would fire Star. Don, Jr. said he would fire Star or Meat.

The Donald called them back in and almost immediately lit into Star. He thought it overly sensitive to take offense at the name “sweetie.” Star thought it was patronizing and inappropriate.

“I’ve been called a lot worse,” The Donald said to the laughing acknowledgements of George and Don.

Ultimately, Star had nowhere to hide. The loss came down to branding. Try as she might to talk her way out of it, this time she went down for the count. “I fully understand what you’re saying,” said The Donald, “but the On-Star people thought the branding missed the mark. You were in charge of branding. Star, you’re fired.”

With that, Star graciously hugged Marlee and Meat goodbye. At least she left with her dignity intact, which is more than I can say for talks-the-talk-but-doesn’t-walk-the-walk Nene.

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About Cheryl Taragin