Celebrity Apprentice Season 5 Episode 12 Recap: Blown Away
May 11 2012 09:08 am CET

We're getting close to the end on the Celebrity Apprentice. Forte and Unanimous have to negotiate a hair dryer photoshoot. After one player gets fired, the Final Four face the inquisition before we learn which two contestants will battle in the Final Board Room.

Last week on The Celebrity Apprentice: Unanimous and Forte were asked to write jingles for an RV service company. Project Manager Arsenio Hall allowed Aubrey O'Day to draw on her Dannity Kane experience to create a cheerleader-themed presentation. Over on Forte, PM Dayana Mendoza wanted to prove herself capable by micromanaging the task, including telling professional musician Clay Aiken and professional writer Lisa Lampanelli how to approach the songwriting process. Although Forte offered a decent presentation, Unanimous won the task. Miss Universe will have to settle for fifth runner-up, because Dayana was fired.

In the lounge, Aubrey, Arsenio, and Teresa Giudice all expect Dayana to go home. After they make their predictions, Lisa walks in by herself. She acts shellshocked, telling Unanimous that Trump was out of control in the Board Room and fired Dayana and Clay. Once all three jaws drop, Clay bounds into the lounge. Hehehe. Lisa recaps what happened, calling it the shortest Board Room, which, yeah, there were no more straws for Dayana to grasp. Lisa then teases Teresa for her previous Board Room performances, causing the Real Housewife's Spidey Sense to tingle. Teresa interviews she expects to be Lisa's next target.

After the credits, Trump meets with the teams in Hearst Tower. Trump asks Lisa what it's like to be rid of Dayana. She is surprisingly diplomatic, saying the team is less beautiful. Clay mocks taking offense. Hehe. Joining Trump in the challenge introduction are Robbie Myers, Editor-in-Chief of Elle Magazine, and Farouk Shami of Farouk Systems. Farouk! I loved this guy in last year's hair battle (he was the guy NeNe and Star fought in front of). This week's task is to create a four-page print ad for a new touchscreen hairdryer made by Farouk's company. Lisa interviews she is happy to have just one teammate in a task like this, since the threesome on the other side will likely bicker more. Lisa takes on the PM duties for Forte while Teresa volunteers for Unanimous. The winner will get $50,000 from the show, $50,000 from Farouk, and $0 from Lord & Taylor. Before the teams leave, Farouk asks Aubrey if her hair is natural. She says yes. Farouk waits a beat before offering a half-hearted "…all right." That is easily my favorite moment of this season.

Unlike other tasks, the teams will have to negotiate for resources – specifically models for the photo shoot. After the teams have consultations with the suits about the product and Elle's readership, the teams have to cast the models for the photoshoot. Aubrey goes through the model headshots and has specific choices for their Zen-inspired spread. Over in Forte's office, Lisa and Clay are ambivalent about the models because their concept is more abstract. Teresa and Lisa meet out in the lobby to negotiate. Teresa comes out swinging, saying which models she wants and stressing that the redhead is the group's top priority. Lisa is no dummy and pounces on the opportunity to screw with the other team. She plays an unnecessary game of hardball that allows Teresa to keep her precious redhead, but saddles her with two male models, one of which has a crew cut. In fairness to Teresa, I think being a Real Housewife and Getting to Yes are mutually exclusive.


Aubrey and Arsenio are horrified by how the negotiation went down. Teresa tries to blame it on Lisa playing dirty, but Zombie Trump visits before her teammates can tell her off. He asks about the negotiation and is about as horrified as Arsenio and Aubrey. Look, negotiation isn't my strongest skill, but Teresa totally tanked and she needs to accept that fact. However, she is too flustered by what happened that Aubrey takes over explaining the team's photo concept to ZT. The ads will have models with futuristic looks engaging in meditation. ZT smiles and nods, but notes Aubrey seems to be usurping again.

On the way to the photoshoot location, Aubrey tries to mitigate the negotiation damage by calling in friends to help. Teresa continues to complain about the negotiations, and Arsenio notes in an interview that Teresa may have finally flipped her switch from Game:Off to GAME ON.

The team arrives at the studio. Arsenio shares with us that he is a photographer, so he is in the zone offering to take some shots of the product. Teresa and Aubrey are going through the looks they want to use and tries to match them with the models. Aubrey offers to be the redhead instead of the model that caused the biffed negotiation. Farouk did flirt with Aubrey during the consultation, so Teresa agrees to the idea. The model shows up while Aubrey is getting ready. Teresa tells the model, whose hair is blonde and not red, that she is going with Aubrey instead. As the model leaves, she passive-aggressively tells Teresa to let her know next time if she's not needed. Maybe next time you should show up looking like your headshot. As Aubrey gets ready, various members of the crew ask Arsenio questions about setups and the like. He interviews that the only people who know Teresa is the project manager are Aubrey, Arsenio and Teresa. Problematic.

After some gratuitous filming of Aubrey topless as she selects wardrobe, the photoshoot with the models begins. Teresa says she enjoys taking and looking at photos, so she is really into this part of the task. Aubrey asks for tight shots because Farouk complimented her eyes. Aubrey is going to go ballistic if she doesn't win this show. I think the editors know this too, as pr0n music plays while her photos are taken. Teresa calls out shots she wants and seems to be having a good time. She shares with us that she hasn't seen Arsenio doing much in this task.

With the photo spread done, the team pitches the ad campaign to the suits and some guy. Teresa stumbles as she reads directly from cards. Wandering piano music plays underneath, which really makes this scene work. Aubrey takes over the presentation when it gets to showing the photos and then Arsenio (the bald guy) offers his own narrative about hairdryer experiences. The team is satisfied with the presentation, particularly Aubrey who claims to have done everything, including inventing the hairdryer they are pitching.

Lisa is impressed with the product and wants to create a strong campaign. The concept she and Clay devise involves showing the woman inside the models in the photos. Since a particular look isn't necessary, there's no reason for Forte to require specific models. After the negotiation (which they have a big laugh about afterwards), Clay and Lisa meet with the models. They pair up each model with a personality. Clay shares he wasn't sold on the concept at first, but once these pieces came together it all made sense.

Lisa and one of the models go to Lord & Taylor to buy clothes while Clay heads to the photo studio. As Lisa geeks out over buying size 0 clothing, Clay feels overwhelmed by the setups and keeping everything organized, particularly since he is not the Project Manager. Lisa runs late, so Clay starts working on product shots to stall while the models wait for their clothes. Lisa finally arrives, but pretty much delegates the rest of the photoshoot to Clay while she eats dinner. Gob stops by to visit. We learn that this task is happening on a Friday because Gob is in his casual garb. He flirts with Lisa, saying he only wears a tie in the Board Room. Careful, Lampanelli: this is exactly how a series of escalating dares begins.

Clay and Lisa head in to the presentation and it goes much more smoothly than the Unanimous presentation. Lisa offers a narrative of her own hairdryer experiences before presenting the ads. There is a lot of written copy on each photo, explaining each model's backstory and how it relates to the hairdryer. The text does describe the product specs, which was missing in the other team's presentation. The suits thank the two celebs for their work.

Board Room

First on the agenda this week is the negotiation. Teresa tells Trump she believes Lisa outsmarted her. Everyone is polite by not screaming out "duh," particularly after Teresa says Lisa played dirty "like the dirty mouth she has." First of all, I know you were sitting on that zinger for a while, Teresa, but this is the wrong time to pull it out. Second of all, how is it dirty play when you enter the negotiations broadcasting your demands? The rule of thumb: whoever names a figure first, be it price or desired models, generally loses the negotiation. Lisa's response is much more succinct: Teresa should not be in the final two. Arsenio and Aubrey share their frustrations about the failed negotiation, but the team agrees they rolled with the punches.

Trump has Ivanka and Gob swap ads with the teams. Arsenio says Forte's ad looks more like a pamphlet, which is a fair description. However, Clay says the layout submitted by Unanimous does not clearly show what is being advertised. The Trump kids share the critiques from the suits. Unanimous showed passion and Arsenio was both funny and knowledgable. However, the ad didn't speak to the hairdryer and did not match Elle's aesthetic. Also, Teresa was terrible at presenting. Forte had an informative and thorough presentation that took Elle's audience and the product's target customer into account. The wardrobe in the ad gave the models a dated look and both Clay and Lisa lacked in the passion department. However, Forte's ad was stronger, so Lisa wins $100,000 for the Gay Men's Health Crisis. Woo!

Unanimous looks thoroughly gutted as the next segment begins. Teresa says she didn't see anything fashionable in Forte's ad. Arsenio and Aubrey are equally surprised by the result. After more rehashing of Teresa's failed negotiation, the PM defends herself by accusing Arsenio of not participating in the task. The two bicker about who knows what about photography and who was mistakenly approached as Project Manager throughout the task (hint: not Teresa). Aubrey, who looks like she is trying to do a Magic Eye from across the room, is brought back into the conversation by Trump. He asks if Arsenio played it safe. She sidesteps getting dragged into the fray by saying she was over-utilized so she couldn't keep tabs on who did what. Arsenio says Teresa was in way over her head. Trump agrees, adding Teresa doesn't seem to want to win enough. Teresa is fired.


Lisa and Clay wait in the lounge for the returning players. Lisa wants Aubrey and Arsenio to come back. Arsenio returns, attempting to pull the same fakeout as earlier. Obviously, it doesn't work. The Final Four put hands in the center to celebrate. As soon as "Final Four, bitches!" is screamed, the phone rings. Trump wants the players to return to the Board Room.

Trump congratulates Aubrey O'Day, Arsenio Hall, Lisa Lampanelli and Clay Aiken for making it to the Final Four. There's only one task left and only two players will continue to face it. To determine the final two, all four candidates will interview with last year's winner John Rich and runner-up Marlee Matlin. After the interviews, Trump will consult the former finalists and decide which two players will be fired.

We rejoin Trump, Marlee and John after the interviews. They go down the line with each contestant, with clips of the interviews mixed in. Here's what was said about each player:

Aubrey O'Day: Marlee thought Aubrey was nervous going into the interview, though she was impressed with how much the young woman has accomplished so far. John was not as impressed, since Aubrey is the lowest money-earner of the foursome. Aubrey counters this by saying her rolodex is not her biggest strength, which I'm taking to mean Diddy will never return her calls. John tells Trump that Aubrey is a chess player, but she plays a transparent game.

Clay Aiken: Marlee seems to be on the fence about Clay, saying she is not sure if he is a leader or follower. She thinks he has played the game safely, only putting his neck on the line as Project Manager twice. John agrees, saying Clay should have fought to be PM for the sake of his charity. Clay says he didn't come on the show to fight with people and make enemies but to win. So…he's here to make friends? What sort of reality TV veteran are you?

Arsenio Hall: John says he likes Arsenio's general energy, but he's concerned that the former talk show host has only brought in $100,000 and doesn't look tired. Marlee asks Arsenio how he got along with people, leading to yet another recap of the fight he had with Aubrey. Marlee asks him if he thought his actions were appropriate. Arsenio says he did apologize, but Marlee still feels disappointed by the conduct.

Lisa Lampanelli: Marlee says Lisa talks a lot and may come on too strong for some people. John respects Lisa's toughness, an attribute Lisa promotes during her interview. Marlee asks what the others would say about Lisa and she says she would probably be called the Meat Loaf of the season. Hmm, Meat Loaf was fired at this point last year, so that might not be the best example to bring up. Marlee parallels that point, saying Lisa's major weakness is emotional control.

Back in the Board Room, Trump asks each contestant about their respective interviews. Clay had fun and liked both interviewers – Marlee was sweet and John was tough. Arsenio agrees about John, saying the country star tried to bait him into reacting a couple times. Aubrey thought she did great and is surprised Marlee thought she was nervous. Lisa thinks she did well and that she really bonded with John Rich.

Trump asks Lisa why she should win. She responds saying that she was a top performer every week. Trump mentions the comments from Marlee and John about emotional control. Lisa agrees that she is an emotional person, but she knows how and when to use them. Trump disagrees and fires Lisa. Whoa! I…did not expect that, honestly. I thought it would have been Aubrey/Lisa or Clay/Lisa in the finale. Also, fired before Arsenio? Really?

Lisa takes the news in stride. She says in her exit interview the whole experience was really cool and it was nice to be fired in the most pleasant way possible. No fighting and leaving on a win. Although I still don't care for Lisa's comedy stylings, my respect for her work has grown considerably this season.

Back in the Board Room, Trump tells the final three "there are no losers in this room." Except for the next person who will be fired. And that person is…going to be revealed in the first ten minutes of next week's Celebrity Apprentice.

Mike McComb – TVLatest.com

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