Donald Trump likes to think of himself as a king of capitalism, but he’s rapidly becoming The Lord of Faux Celebrities. Three “Celebrity” Apprentice seasons and now perpetuating the myth that Kim Kardashian is enough of a star that the public wants to buy a perfume she endorses. I guess if Nicole Richie can have a clothing line…
Have we learned nothing from Tiger Woods?
After the ouster of Crazy Dave, aka “The Virus”, the teams gather to gossip and discuss how wonderful they all are to still be in the competition. In spite of being on the losing team, Anand preens and boasts about his awesome creativity. An annoyed Clint calls Anand “cocky” and doubts that he is finalist material. And yes, that sound you just heard was scary organ music, the kind that goes “EEEE-eee…EEEE-eee” and usually precedes a shot of Jason Voorhees lopping off the head of some unsuspecting teenager. This time, though, it’s Anand’s head on the chopping block, and Donald Trump – sans hockey mask – doing the lopping-off. A grim-faced Donald calls the group into the boardroom to witness the bloodletting, beginning by accusing Anand of texting friends to bring in money to assist in winning the pedicab task. Anand denies it – and come to think of it, he does have the same look you see on a teenager’s face when their dad finds a bag of weed in their jacket pocket and waves it in front of their face. Trump reads a printout of the offending text message, and Anand sheepishly admits that he just wanted to win. Trump, livid at the breach of game rules, fires Anand on the spot. Anand is banished to the sidewalk – no cab ride for cheaters – and with hands in pockets, marches gloomily down the streets of New York, back to the obscurity from whence he came.
It’s a short mourning period as attention turns quickly to the week’s task. Trump re-divides the teams, sending Liza back to Fortitude with Stephanie and Poppy, leaving Brandy with Steuart and Clint to comprise Octane. The challenge is as simple as, well, an E! reality series – create an in-store display for the new Kim Kardashian fragrance. The store in question is discount retailer Perfumania, which also boasts scents endorsed by the likes of Shakira and Antonio Banderas (who would have been much more fun, but I guess his family isn’t buddies with the Trumps). Project managers will be Clint for Octane and Poppy for Fortitude.
Fortitude – Bewitched, bewildered and Bedazzled
The ladies of Fortitude quickly decide that the display must be glam and sexy, like la Karashian herself. I don’t know much about Kim, except that she wears a frightening amount of dark eye makeup and has an ass like the backside of a barn. But if that’s what Poppy finds glam and sexy, so be it. Stephanie suggests a life-size cutout of Kim, so that visitors to the store can get their picture taken with her picture. Now, you may find that laughable, but I confess to getting my picture taken with wax reproductions of Frank Sinatra and Bono while visiting Las Vegas some years back. I guess there’s not much difference, except that Sinatra and Bono were/are, you know, talented and famous for something other than the size of their respective asses.
Poppy confesses to being “obsessed with sparkle” and having a penchant for Bedazzling random items. Which is no less than I would expect from someone named “Poppy”. She & Stephanie team up as the Mean Girls and ditch Liza with the construction guys, who are putting together the display. Steph takes charge of the graphic design duties and gets all giggly when Don Jr. enters. She admits to finding little Donald “hot”, which may account for her lapses in taste on this particular task. Jr. smirks over their banishment of Liza, hoping it will score points with the popular girls. Liza arrives with the finished wood materials for the display – a curlicued archway and a tri-level circular table. Nothing any 14-year-old couldn’t make in woodshop for a Mother’s Day gift. Speaking of 14-year-olds, Poppy is busy gluing sequins on ribbons. A horrified Liza thinks it all looks like a tacky craft project, and it does remind me of those boxed sets you buy in Wal-Mart for last-minute birthday gifts for your kids’ friends that you don’t know well and don’t want to spend more than $20 on.
As expected, the finished display is a glittery trainwreck, complete with dollar-store feather boas, a chintzy sequined banner with Kardashian’s name, and a few bottles of the actual product on the wooden table. Kim herself arrives in a skirt that makes her hips look positively frightening on my 52-inch HD screen. She busies herself playing with her hair and pretending to listen to Poppy, who is nauseatingly flattering. Poppy believes she & Kardashian have similar styles, which may have been true when they were both in the 7th grade.
Octane – Clint thinks pink
The team troops off to their Perfumania location, and Stu swings into full metrosexual mode, envisioning a movie-starlet-type vanity table in acrylic, with shelves to show off the perfume bottles. Clint turns to Brandy for a feminine perspective, but he’s barking up the wrong blonde – Brandy’s not into the girly stuff and has zero input. Testosterone-loaded Clint despairs, as he’s not at all in touch with his feminine side, and Brandy frets that she’ll be blamed for a loss.
Clint’s more in his element with the construction guys, while Brandy stays behind to work on graphic design. Brandy, apparently exhausted with all the thinking she had to do on the last task, is enough of a chick to engage Ivanka in a little girl-bonding. She complains of being excluded by the boys and finds a sympathetic ear in Ivanka. Later, the team convenes at the construction office. Clint gloats over the display, but Brandy is noncommittal.
The display is set up and it’s actually pretty nifty – the “vanity” boxes are backlit in pink and lavender, and it’s very simple and pretty. Kim assumes her trademark vacant expression while Stu drools over her, uh, fragrance.
Trump meets with Kim and the Perfumania CEO, and Kim tells Trump that Khloe says hi. Considering that Trump ousted Khloe from the second season of Celebrity Apprentice, using the excuse of a previous DUI conviction, I can only guess that the “Hi” was followed by a string of expletives and possibly, some obscene hand gestures.
On to the boardroom, where Trump predictably picks on Clint for his supposed inability to market a women’s fragrance. Clint fires back with complaints about Brandy’s failure to provide any feminine insight to the task, but Ivanka’s got her girl’s back and challenges him. Stu carefully turns his good side to the camera and claims that both Clint and Brandy are awesome. Jr. and Ivanka dole out photos of each team’s displays, and Brandy & Clint sneer at Poppy’s bedazzled monstrosity. Don Jr. says both Kim and the perfume exec found Fortitude’s display “cheap and kitschy”, while Ivanka claims that they loved Octane’s pink and lavender vanity, calling it “sophisticated and understated”. Apparently that is how Kim sees herself. Maybe instead of “voluptuous” as a tagline, they could have used “delusional”. At any rate, Trump calls the challenge as a runaway victory for Octane.
Donald turns his attention to the women’s team, and if anyone knows tacky, it’s the guy whose personal digs are almost completely encased in gold leaf. Poppy admits that the sequins and boas were her idea, and insists that Steph backed her all the way. An ineffective strategy – Steph cheerfully agrees and says her role as employee was to support the project manager. She correctly takes credit for the one aspect of the display that Kim and the CEO liked – the life-sized cutout available for fans to take pictures with. Oddly, Poppy and Liza both appear to disagree with Steph, but I took the trouble to rewind my tape to confirm it was Steph’s idea (yes, I record shows on a VCR…you wouldn’t think it, but I don’t make much as a reality-show recapper, go figure). Steph and Liza engage in a snarling catfight, and Trump complains that Poppy is too quiet. Poppy is then forced into squeaky-voiced defensiveness, but Donald is quickly bored and decides to fire her for the sequins and boas. He also sentences her to 50 lashes with ribbons of press-on plastic gemstones. You can catch that footage on the uncensored Apprentice Outtakes DVD, which also includes Bret Michaels dry-humping Ivanka at the finale after-party. Release date December 1st – just in time for Christmas.
Oh yeah, and Poppy. The season was intense for her, she says, but she’s confident about the future seeing as she has so many passions – fashion, music, and dentistry. Sometimes the jokes just write themselves. Happily, Rockport Next Steps announces our wee blonde heroine has found her true calling on the Isle of Misfit Toys – er, as a muscle stem cell researcher. If you’re wondering, “How??? What???” – yeah, me too. It just goes to show – with hard work and a few weeks of making yourself ridiculous on a reality show, anything is possible.