If you haven’t heard who won Celebrity Apprentice this past Sunday, crawl out from the rock you’ve been living under. If you know who won and didn’t watch because you do that Lost thing – well, pull up a chair, crank up some ‘80’s hair metal, tie on your bandanna and prepare to have your world rocked! No, don’t get your expectations for this recap up so high…the rocking of your world comes courtesy of the most satisfying reality show win in the last 10 years, with the possible exception of David Cook taking the American Idol title a couple seasons back.
The rock ‘n’ roll MacGyver, minus the mullet
The finale, as per usual, is LIVE, and the Hair wastes no time telling us that Bret Michaels is appearing in spite of being at death’s door for the third or fourth time in the last 40 days or so. (Hear that, you whiny, scheming Survivor p*ssies?) Trump enters the live fake boardroom - different from the regular fake boardroom from the show – like a corporate Satan, in a puff of smoke and wearing a red tie and a black overcoat. Oh, who are we kidding, he IS the corporate Satan. The demon seed, Ivanka and Don Jr., are already seated at the live fake boardroom table. Then it’s seven minutes of taped season footage (I timed it), and Trump declares both Holly Robinson Peete (doomed to second banana status even if she sells a billion bottles of Snapple) & Bret to be champions.
Ah, but there’s only one MacGyver on this show, and it’s Bret. Justlikethat, we’re back to the remainder of the final task, which involves Snapple and a whirlwind ad campaign. It’s described in the 435934 word blog from last week that I call a recap, found here. The continuing saga of the Missing Dolly Track is still plaguing Bret, and ruining his plans – but wait! Bret devises a homemade dolly track that involves plopping a camera and a swivel stool on a storage cart. Yeah, no insurance issues with the Teamster camera guys with that contraption. Bret declares himself the “rock ‘n’ roll MacGyver”, and chats a bit about his older daughter’s health – as it turns out, she’s borderline diabetic. So now not only is Bret’s health in a precarious position, his daughter has issues as well. Bret’s revelation causes Foreshadowing to completely leave the building and go hang out at CBS to await the return of Big Brother, while Obvious smugly puts his feet up on my coffee table and cracks open a beer. Well, too bad for you, Obvious, we have a job to do here and SOME people want to hear the whole buildup. Not many, but some.
Ivanka pays her duty calls – first up is Team Bret, where Summer is forcing smiles and feigning optimism, then to Team Holly, where everything is going swimmingly…so well, in fact, that Maria’s “whole job is to be supportive”. Much like my dog’s job, I think, because every now and then he comes and puts his nose in my lap while I type. Or maybe he just wants a doggie cookie.
Bored senseless, Ivanka departs with a few comments about how everyone is probably going to suck at this task, and then it’s some manufactured excitement over at Team Bret. Bret has charged off to the “editing room”, which for some reason is at a location far away from the actual commercial shoot. Bret has forgotten his script, which is bad. I don’t know why they need a script when the commercial has already been shot, but I’m not in the entertainment business and this entire process is filmed in a manner so muddled and confused you’d think Trump would fire the idiot who edited this show. I can only presume that they were so sure of decent ratings, having dragged Bret Michaels from his hospital bed to attend the live portion, that the actual task bit wasn’t that critical. Of COURSE it isn’t, chuckles Obvious. Team Holly has some trouble as well, as Curtis asks permission to attend a mate’s engagement party. If Curtis really isn’t a jerk, he should reconsider his contract with NBC. After artfully tousling his frosted locks and kissing his reflection in the mirror, he races out to his social engagement, leaving a dejected Holly. Where is supportive puppy Maria? I’m dangerously close to feeling sorry for Holly.
Meanwhile, Bret frantically calls Summer to search for his script, which is apparently scrawled on some white paper and left somewhere in the studio. Summer complains about Bret’s handwriting, which is rather irrelevant seeing that they can’t find the damn script in the first place. Even if he wrote it in Arabic, it’s still gone. Bret decides to edit sans script, and go with one commercial, the funny one. Summer & Darryl arrive and Summer doesn’t get the funny part of the ad. Obvious urges me to make a joke about too much exposure to chlorine, or at least a blonde joke, but meh…Summer isn’t evil or clever enough for us to really enjoy snarking on her.
Whatever happened to all this season’s losers of the year?
Everytime I get to thinkin’…where’d they disappear?
Time for a little live action, so it’s back to Trump, who introduces all the fired celebrities: Carol Leifer, Sinbad, Rod Blagojevich, Michael Johnson, Selita Ebanks, and Cyndi Lauper. Um, okay, not ALL – Sharon Osbourne is conspicuously absent. After thinking about it for a few minutes and eventually going back and reading old recaps, I realize Goldberg is a no-show, too. Ominously, we’re
warnedtold by Trump that Cyndi will be singing a new single for us later. This worries me, even without Foreshadowing snickering in the background.
Trump continues to inexplicably give disgraced former governor Blagojevich the lion’s share of air time. Blago takes the opportunity to declare his innocence, which is boring and not even remotely appropriate, so Trump cranks up the entertainment volume a notch and asks who among the celebs thinks Rod is guilty. Michael Johnson raises his hand amid much laughter, but I think he really does believe Blago is a crook, which is both funny and appropriate. Cyndi slurs something about being happy to raise money “for the gays”, and Michael praises Bret & Holly, saying they were worthy competition and declaring Bret a “warrior”.
My time travel machine – don’t laugh, Stephen Hawking says it COULD HAPPEN – gives me the ability to pretend that the next thing that happened was that Summer, Darryl, Maria & Curtis were trotted out on the live stage. There was some footage in between but it would be more efficient to get to that later. I’m no Holly Robinson but occasionally I can be sort-of efficient. Like Bret. Trump chats with the final 2 team members a bit – Summer gushes over an extra $25,000 for her charity donated by Norton/Lifelock, Maria is once again shamed by Smelly Bathroomgate, Curtis smirks as Trump suggests that it was Celebrity Apprentice that made him a big star, and Darryl credits Donald with inspiring him to become an entrepreneur and open his own restaurant. Not to mention being canny enough to mention it on live TV.
Executives, executives, on the wall,
Who’s the most snappalicious of them all?
Time for the Snapple flavor launch, which will apparently be a shared event with Bret in the pimp spot, following Holly’s presentation. Unlike past seasons, the teams are not responsible for decorating or preparing the venue – the only requirement is to show up ready to sell some iced tea. Bret is intimidated by the room for some reason and thinks he’s better suited to be the bartender rather than the presenter. But Bret, then what would Curtis do? Out of seemingly nowhere, a pretty little girl races out of the shadows and into Bret’s arms – no, it’s not a Rock of Love runner-up, but Bret’s oldest daughter, Raine. Summer, dense but not heartless, is so touched by the father-daughter moment that she’s in tears. Even Obvious is moved enough to dab at his eyes.
The room fills with a bunch of people – who may or may not have anything to do with Snapple – and Holly is in the zone. She knows how to impress a suit, and speaking of suits – someone went shopping, and is turned out much better than at the start of the task. Now, in Holly’s defense, she is very eloquent and if she’s a little boring on stage, she’s sincere. She describes her charity, the HollyRod Foundation, and ties it in nicely with her Snapple Compassionberry drink. The Snapple commercial is played, and…buzzkill. It’s not really funny at all, which I suppose is what you’d expect from most ads but it’s kind of a downer.
At the start of his presentation, Bret’s nerves get the best of him and his jokes fall flat with the suit-and-tie crowd. Daughter Raine sits smiling in the audience, and maybe she’s sending out some good mojo, because Bret eventually finds his footing. He throws out some good snapplish one-liners, and by the time his commercial is shown the crowd is won over. His ad is weird but funnier than Holly’s, and an amazed Summer thinks he nailed it. Trump polls the launch audience, asking who they preferred, and Bret garners the most applause. Holly frets in confessional, and well she should – the flaky rocker dude just spanked your Armani-suited ass, girlfriend, and he enjoyed every minute of it.
I must confess – I did not realize that “Snapple” could be used as a noun, a verb, AND as an adjective. It’s kind of like another word that I can’t use here, but now knowing that “Snapple” is so similarly useful and descriptive – not to mention PG13 - I may not need that Other Word any longer. The Snapple executives wax poetic over Bret. “Bret is very snapple”. “Trop-a-Rocka is very snapply”. “Bret’s commercial has more snapitude”. Obvious doubles over with laughter. Then they say Holly would make a great executive. Oh, snap!
More snappling boardroom
We already know who the finalists are. Summer, Darryl, Curtis & Maria have already been fired, which even Trump points out. The following boardroom session is therefore irrelevant, and filled with dull chatter about Bret’s drink label being too dark and Summer waffling when Trump asks her if Bret was a good project manager. And all the live audience wants is a glimpse of Bret Michaels, so I put my time machine on fast-forward, landing us in the live boardroom, with…Bill Rancic and Joan Rivers. For some reason, they must have their say, and Joan backpedals with astonishing speed – she’s like 100 years old, after all, who thought she could move that fast? – from her previous insistence that Holly was the one to beat. Joan’s all about the rocker with nine lives now, so Bill, just to be
a bitchdevil’s advocate, talks up Holly.
Speaking of! Time to intro the finalists, and Holly enters first. Girl’s got a little snapitude after all, judging by the dress she’s wearing, which even a hetero-type chick like me has to admit is blazing hot. She graciously remains standing – even after Trump barks at her to sit down – to await Bret’s entrance. Well, it’s graciousness or she’s just worried she might have to race over and help poor Bret walk in. Bret’s face is gaunt and one leg is clearly not working properly, but he gamely shuffles over hug it out with most of the fired celebs before he makes it back to his seat next to Holly.
With that, it’s a Bret Michaels love-in for the rest of the show. Holly is tearful, and admits her 5-year-old son was pulling for Bret over his mom. Bret, true to form, calls Holly’s outfit a “baby-making dress” and proceeds to make several jokes about Holly playing the “hotness card”. I do believe there’s going to be a Rock of Love 4 after all. There’s no talking to Bret without discussing his health situation, and he admits that his doctors were not on board with his appearance at the finale, but he came to win. Both Bret & Holly are given the opportunity to discuss their respective charities, and in the Somewhat Interesting But Completely Irrelevant Trivia category, Holly mentions her dad was the original Gordon on Sesame Street. Before anyone can ask her if the “rumors” about Bert & Ernie are true, though, it’s now time for Cyndi to sing. And by “sing” I mean, “roll around and gyrate on the table in front of Trump, his kids, and the finalists while croaking out a blues number to which your voice is not at all suited”. It’s actually possible that she made even Bret feel awkward with her performance.
Don’t need nothin’ but a good time
How can I resist?
Ain’t lookin’ for nothin’ but a good time
And it don’t get better than this
It’s only fair that we give Holly some quality time, so Trump wants to know why she thinks she should win. Holly wants to talk about autism, and says she’s fighting for the families that can’t afford treatment for their kids. She claims not to be as mean as she seemed on the show, and reveals that after the third task, her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. However, her mother urged her to stay and finish the show and she decided to stick it out.
It’s all good stuff, but it’s not the best stuff. Regardless of the fact that Bret dragged himself out of his hospital bed after an appendectomy, a brain hemorrhage, a mini-stroke, and a diagnosis complete with impending surgery to repair a hole in his heart – he won both times as a project manager, didn’t throw any of his teammates under the bus, gave 100% to every task he was involved in and was a helluva lot smarter than anyone gave him credit for. The guy, as Ivanka says, is a force of nature.
The snappalicious thing to do is to give each of them a quarter of a mill towards their charities, and Trump has the snapitude to make it look like it’s all his idea. And since it would be snappling ridiculous at this point for anyone but Bret to win the title – well, he gets the title of Celebrity Apprentice. It’s not easy for someone, particularly a celebrity, to appear on five reality programs and make us all like him more, but Bret Michaels is in a class by himself. Thanks for rocking our world this season, dude. Get well and get back to doing what you love. We’re pulling for you.
A tip of the feathered cowboy hat to my snapsational recap partner lildago for a rockin’ season, and I’m off to buy a crate of Trop-a-Rocka and play all the Poison tracks on Guitar Hero.