So while the rest of you were watching the Survivor finale (all hail Queen Sandra!), the few and not-so-proud Trump devotees were sticking it out for the second-last two-hour Trumpfest. I even gave up a new Family Guy episode – oh Sunday nights, why must you be so chock-full of entertaining television? Life was so much easier when The Apprentice aired on Thursday nights, and not while Survivor was on. NBC, this is why CBS and Fox are kicking your ass.
Cougar Town and Deuces Wild
Last week, the wacky queen of over-processed hair and non-sequiturs (remember “No one cares about the gays!”?), Cyndi Lauper, was unceremoniously fired for being, well, Cyndi. The mourning period is short for the remaining players – as soon as Bret Michaels & Holly Robinson Peete return to the suite, the party begins. Sharon Osbourne is well into the champagne already, and Bret happily joins her and eggs her on while she does a bit of drunken undulating and singing “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” She even pulls down her shirt for a glimpse of old-lady boobage, and I’m not quite sure whether I should be horrified or amused. I opt for a little of both. Trump’s fake secretary calls the merry quintet on the house phone to return to the boardroom, but Sharon, Bret and Holly must wait as Curtis has retired to the bathroom in the midst of the celebrating. Normally, this would not be significant – come on, even inhumanly beautiful people have the human need to visit the restroom several times per day – but in light of the boardroom to follow, it must be mentioned. Having been raised in a Catholic home, I’m slightly uncomfortable discussing bodily functions except when pertaining to the mess my dog made after ingesting a particularly large ham bone, yet I feel I must report that Bret referred to Curtis’ actions as “dropping a deuce”. If you are not familiar with bathroom vernacular, you can visit Google. This site is PG13 and I’m already a little nauseated.
Back in the boardroom, Trump is still feeling a mite peckish, so he’s decided to fire another celebrity. Like, pronto. The remaining four will be subjected to interviews conducted by the last CA winner, Joan Rivers, and the very first Trump Apprentice, Bill Rancic. (Yeah, I thought it too – Bill still works for Trump?!) Flanked by his Trumplets, Ivanka and Junior, Trump declares that the backstabbing and throwing-under-the-bus shenanigans commence. Well, he actually told them to start naming the weakest player remaining, but we all know what he meant. Much blather ensues, but the upshot is that Maria Kanellis is singled out as the weakest link. The champagne’s gotten to Sharon, though, and she becomes That Friend, the one we all have, also known as the “I Love You, Man!” guy/girl, who gets snivelly and emotional after a few pops. Everyone in the room, except Trump, squirms awkwardly as Sharon sobs some Hallmark card nonsense about not wanting to beat Holly at the competition because of Holly’s supermom abilities.
The nature of the emotional drunk is to be able to switch gears on a moment’s notice, hence Sharon’s ability to double over with laughter not five minutes later as Maria attempts to discredit Curtis by complaining about his bathroom habits. Oh yes, she DID go there. Apparently, the smell of the bathroom after Curtis exits it is not the same as, say, the smell he leaves in the kitchen after baking a fresh batch of cinnamon buns. I’m just surprised that a woman who hung out with professional wrestlers is so particular. Curtis says that’s hitting below the belt. Ba-bump. Oh, wait, he wasn’t making a pun, he’s just being prissy. Trump is grossed out – I mean, him making offensive sexual comments is one thing, but poop jokes are going JUST TOO FAR – and he fires Maria. Maria leaves calmly but weeps in confessional. Curtis, this could have all been avoided had you just lit a match.
Joan and Bill forget to ask where they want to be in 5 years, and if they were a tree, what kind would they be?
The Trump Time Machine takes us to Donald meeting with Joan and Bill post-interviews. Presumably, Sharon needed to sleep it off and Bret needed some time to shine his cowboy boots. Bill, who’s clever and personable in bland sort of way, and Joan, who’s sarcastic and evil in a sarcastic and evil sort of way, give Trump the down-low on the interviewees. Curtis is the first victim, and Joan is the first woman he is unable to charm. In fact, she’s derisive about his supposed ability to “ride on his looks”. Yeah, but Joan…he can cook, too. Bill is more impressed, saying that Curtis knows how to “build a brand”, i.e., sell his cookware line on the show. He also calls Curtis a “one-trick pony”, however, and Joan labels him “limited”.
Not so limited is the producers’ patience for Sharon’s continuing emotional meltdown. She cries her way though her interview with Joan, and sometimes she’s amusingly self-deprecating in her bawdy British way, saying that it’s difficult to raise money for colon cancer awareness as it’s not a “sexy” cancer, being as it’s “up your ass”. Bill feels Sharon is “out of gas” – no, that is NOT a colon/bathroom joke, get your minds out of the gutter already – which is probably the most sane statement to come out of the Sharon discussion. Everyone agrees that Sharon is tough as nails but at this point, she seems to be beat down by her illness and the competition.
Bret has better luck winning over Joan & Bill – Bill calls him “agile”, which I assume refers to his work record rather than his fitness level. Though who knows what went on in the interview room. Joan suggests to Bret that he’s “too nice”, and Bret gives her a steely-yet-sincere look and says, “Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness”. I like that so much I just might get it printed on a t-shirt, and wear it to the finale. I mean, I didn’t get my finale tickets yet, but they must have gotten lost in the mail. I’m sure they’ll be here by the weekend.
Holly is last - and in a move that makes the nose of Foreshadowing poke up and start sniffing the air suspiciously, the producers have abruptly changed from giving her the Bitch Edit to bestowing the Saint Edit upon her. No longer the nasty taskmaster and torturer of Cyndi, Holly has morphed into Suffering Yet Strong Mother, the star of her very own TLC special. Look, no disrespect to moms with sick kids – I get stomach knots whenever one of mine comes to me with some minor ailment – but are we supposed to melt with sympathy for Holly after weeks of her being portrayed as a self-serving backstabbing witch? I mean, really?? Yes, apparently we are. She wins over both Joan & Bill, but while Joan wants an all-woman finale, Bill campaigns for Bret. Who will Trump pretend to listen to? Oh, suspense, you kill me. Even faster than long drawn-out boardroom sessions, and it’s the second one in an hour.
In fact, it’s not even worth me thinking up a (not-so) pithy subtitle. In short – Sharon cries. Curtis gets fired. Sharon cries. Holly throws Bret under the bus. Bret responds in kind. Sharon cries. Trump gives random reasons for wanting to fire Sharon or Bret. Sharon gets fired. Sharon cries. Final Two = Bret and Holly. We’ll miss those adorable accents, mates. Cheers.
Let’s get Snappling
Bret is doing his very own lil’ happy dance over being one of the final two, and crows he was underestimated. Now let the boy gloat – you KNOW you never thought he’d end up F2. Holly is chuckling bemusedly, and vows she’s “gonna beat that unskinny bop”. Hah, I knew she was a closet Poison fan! Bet she shows up at the finale wearing a bandanna, too!
In the morning, looking remarkably un-hungover, Bret has discarded his spark plug-with-feathers hat for the more businesslike black-gothic-cross-on-white hat. Holly sports an unflattering dark suit with flared pants, making me think she wasn’t too confident about an F2 spot either and didn’t pack enough decent clothes. So, final task. Create a new flavor of Snapple – you know, the sickeningly sweet bottled iced tea that comes in a variety of flavors originally made by hippies, like Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, but not as good – then shoot a commercial, do up a print ad, and conduct a launch of the new flavor. Originality and creativity will be rewarded, and Bret & Holly’s respective charities should be incorporated into their drink. They have three whole days to complete the task, and the winner will get $250,000 for their charity, and some of the proceeds of the sale of the new flavor - which will be sold nationwide - will go to support the charity as well. Suck on that, McDonald’s and your McHappy Day! You’re not the only company that can shamelessly increase its sales of incredibly unhealthy, fat- and/or sugar-laden goods, by purportedly supporting a worthy charity!
Naturally, Bret & Holly could never perform this task without some help. Counting on Bret’s ability to stay positive even when life hands him lemons, Trump hands him a whole basketful in the persons of Summer Sanders and Darryl Strawberry. ?!?!?!?! Oh, wait, Darryl wants to redeem himself by participating in the final task. Geez, even Sinbad must have said no. Bret endears himself to his team by announcing he has a cold sore and that Summer must be his “taster”. ?!?!?!?! Oh, his Snapple taster. I can’t decide if Summer is relieved or disappointed.
producersfates continue to smile upon Holly, who is handed Maria and Curtis to be her worker bees. The first order of business is to equip the bathroom with Lysol spray and Glade candles, the vanilla-scented flameless kind. Kidding, kidding. As previously mentioned, a book of matches stashed in the medicine cabinet will suffice.
The teams have a Snapple scientist – that is, a Research & Development employee in a lab coat – to help them suss out the best combo of flavors. Oh, except Holly has a celebrity chef on her team with a presumably well-trained palate. Foreshadowing grunts and rolls over for a nap, feeling no longer needed. Bret – who should have chosen to do lemonade, yuk yuk yuk – is choosing only to do a version of Diet Snapple, as the regular stuff has enough sugar to put even a non-diabetic into a coma. He wants a drink that includes cinnamon, and in a fact interesting enough to mention, says the spice lowers and maintains blood sugar. Oh, and he wants a rocker themed drink as well, and thinks passionfruit would be a good addition.
Alas, the teams must negotiate for spices and flavors, as their drinks must be different, and Holly is on the passionfruit train as well. She has already thought up a clever name for her drink – “Compassionberry”. Holly decides Curtis will be her negotiator, who promises to crush Bret. Maria giggles and claps – she can relate to men who want to pummel each other. The Rocker of Democracy, Bret, is subsequently talked into giving up the passionfruit. Curtis, proving he’s just as smug as Sharon had said, is triumphant as he returns to his team with all the flavors they wanted.
At least he didn’t name his flavor “Poison”
Bret’s team has come up with two different flavours for testing – a pear/plum/nutmeg, and something called Trop-a-Rocka, that apparently has coconut, vanilla, and cinnamon. Which, incidentally, are all flavors I personally love, but can’t imagine in a bottle of Snapple. Holly, however, has decided that her Compassionberry is awesome enough to stand alone as the one flavor to be tested, but in two versions – one with sweet basil, and one without. My lip curls at the thought of basil in a drink, but hey, it’s not like I’d ever buy a Snapple anyway.
Junior arrives to snoop on the progress, and while he likes their bottle label designs – Bret has a snappy (heh) product description and Holly has incorporated puzzle pieces, the symbol for autism, on hers – he is unimpressed with the flavors, though he doesn’t taste them. Careful, Junior…your bro Eric is right on your ass. Next season you might be covering for Ivanka when she’s too busy for the boardroom.
On taste-test day at the local mall, Curtis runs the show because the girls all want to taste what he’s selling, and they all love it because they want to please him. Holly pretends it’s her brilliant flavor-blending that they really like. Maria, anxious to be of some use, swipes a bottle of one of Bret’s drinks and pronounces it “not delicious” with a few snotty remarks about Bret’s taste. Does Maria realize that she could very easily pass for one of the Rock of Love girls? Darryl, also anxious to be useful, is running Bret’s taste-test booth, and advises Bret that Trop-a-Rocka was the runaway winner with the public.
Now Snapple to it
Back in their respective war rooms, Holly tells her team she wants to line up the props for the commercial shoot tomorrow. Curtis, mysteriously, has Prop Girl’s number on his cellphone and is on a first-name basis with her. Foreshadowing chuckles in his slumber. Prop Girl simpers and giggles and makes a general imbecile of herself on the phone with Chef Boy, and promises to open her doors for Curtis early tomorrow. Her shop doors.
As she’s the one girl Bret neglected to mack on during the season, he’s not as well-prepared on shoot day. His creative juices running like a tray full of dropped Snapple bottles on a cement floor (worst. metaphor. ever. I know.), he opts to shoot two commercials – one serious, one funny. The funny arrives in the form of Snapple character Arthur, who I am unfamiliar with but is wearing a safari hat and fake nose, so I’m assured he’s a barrel of laughs. Bret also needs a blonde businesswoman-type with double-D boobs. Sadly, Ivanka was busy that day, so an actress needs to be hired. Summer and Darryl are distressed by Bret’s need for hot chicks and the distraction they are, and the irony of Darryl Strawberry complaining about this goes unmentioned.
Holly is on her game, having started her commercial script. Curtis and Maria are dispatched to the prop store, and a smirking Maria watches as Prop Girl drools over Curtis. Holly, meanwhile, greets her Amusing Snapple Character, Jim. I fast-forwarded through the Snapple ads sprinkled throughout this week’s broadcast, but I’m sure the Snapple guys are great. Not quite great enough to carry the entire ad, however, as Holly begins auditions for additional actors. Holly pretends she’s not mean enough to fire some of the actors, and sends Curtis to do the dirty work. Curtis, the new recipient of the Bitch Edit, relishes the thought and dispatches all the actors except for three. He redeems himself as he gets to work building the set for the commercial – he even produces a crateful of actual passionfruit, a supposedly rare item – and takes over the filming of the still shoot, which is comprised of a balding guy holding stuff, but still – it’s more than we’ve seen Maria do. Maria seems to be MIA, which might account for Holly being quite happy and positive about the task thus far.
Uh-oh. Bret’s in trouble. I shake Foreshadowing awake, but he shrugs me off and says to call Obvious instead. I can’t stand that smug Obvious Guy, so we’ll just have to forge ahead best we can. To film his commercial, Bret is in desperate need of a dolly track. No, it has nothing to do with chicks or trains. A dolly track is a device that a camera sits in, and can be rolled back and forth to get a certain “look” to a shot. It sounds like a painfully complicated way to just zoom in or out, which I can do with my cellphone camera, but I must trust that Bret has made enough music videos with girls in tight or very little clothing and understands what he’s doing. Ah, but dolly tracks don’t grow on trees, Random Equipment Guy tells Bret – they have to be ordered, insurance must be bought, Teamsters must be bribed, etc. As Bret grows pissy and furious with the runaround he gets on his mission to procure the elusive dolly track, Obvious roars with laughter and…well, you’ll just have to wait until next week’s finale to see it all turn out like you think it’s going to turn out. My Snappletacular recap partner lildago or myself will be here to recount all the details of the live finale – whichever one of us loses the dolly track race we’ll be holding Saturday evening, after a few vanilla vodka-and-diet Snapple cocktails. It's not THAT hard to get a dolly track.
Mmmm, vanilla vodka…now that’s the best stuff on earth.