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Celebrity Apprentice, Episode 3: A Rooster in the Henhouseby Brian Towers -- 01/18/2008
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Last week, the two gender-based teams made a commercial to support pet adoption. Gene Simmons and Nely Galán stepped up to be Project Managers (PMs). Few task details were shown, but we were led to believe the no outside help from wealthy friends was enlisted last week. We saw Gene decide not to waste time speaking with either the client representative or Ivanka Trump. She was initially taken aback, but by the time she got outside, Ivanka decided that was rude of Gene and brought the issue up in the Boardroom for daddy’s benefit. Gene apologized, albeit somewhat unconvincingly.
Largely due to the efforts of Stephen Baldwin, the men’s team (Hydra) won again, sending Team Empresario back to the Boardroom. Although Nely didn’t show us much skill as a leader, Nadia Comaneci was fired instead.
Here are the team rosters as this episode begins:
Action begins back in the suite with the contestants discussing possible outcomes of the final Boardroom that sent Nadia home. Correctly assuming how it will turn out, Piers reminds an embarrassed Jennie that when it came down to it, she nominated Nadia to go home. His point is correct – to win, you need to be willing to vote out all the other competitors.
As the revelry continues, Carol and Nely are about to return to the suite. However, Nely is crying uncontrollably. She later confesses to us that the Boardroom process was “brutal, brutal, brutal… and traumatic.” Carol helps Nely regain control, and as the duo re-enter the suite, Team Empresario immediately retreats to chat. Omarosa says that when they win, the men’s house of cards will come tumbling down.
Trump meets with the remaining contestants, accompanied by his eyes and ears… what we at RNO call “his viceroys.” This week, they are his daughter Ivanka and Jim Cramer, from one of CNBC’s business shows. Two others who also pile out of the limo turn out to be Kodak executives.
Trump gives the PM of the last winning team (Gene Simmons) a $20,000 check for his charity, The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
Trump then suggests to Gene that to even up the numbers, Gene could switch teams and lead Empresario! I don’t think this is really fair. It’s not fair to Gene, because he was just the PM, and it’s not fair to the women, who are trying to win money for their charities.
After a few seconds of consideration, Gene accepts the change in assignment and tells Trump, “You’re the Devil.” In a later sound bite, Gene tells us he’s happy to be “King of all women.”
The two Kodak executives assign the next project in tandem. The celebrities are given use of a trailer, a camera, a printer, and (as we learn later) graphic designers, to create and operate a mobile printing station for Kodak. Subjectively, the winner will be chosen based on “originality, brand messaging, and profit.”
Gene tells his new teammates that his leadership style will be a “benevolent dictatorship.” Omarosa doesn’t care for that, but no one reacts. Gene then suggests that only two of the team needs to meet with the product sponsor. He later confesses that he doesn’t want to “hear the party line,” and, confident in his abilities, assures us, “I am Mr. Outside-the-box.”
Gene then tries to develop the perfect slogan. He initially suggests, “It’s a Kodak world, and we all just live in it,” and Nely loves it. Gene thinks that’s almost perfect, because it implies a link between “Planet Earth” and “Planet Kodak.” Um, okay, but I think that one comes from “Planet Gene.” As it morphs into, “It’s a Kodak world, welcome,” Gene assures us, “The task is over. Checkmate in one move.”
On Hydra, Tito is chosen as PM. The whole team meets with the sponsor to learn what they want the focus of the event to be. What they learn is, Kodak is really selling a new ink and printer combination that is (allegedly) ultimately less expensive to the consumer.
A little later, Nely and Carol represent Empresario in their meeting with the Kodak duo. Nely blurts out that she didn’t know Kodak even made a printer. Smooth! She asks many more questions, even interrupting at times, and the process get bogged down in meaningless diversion. By the time it’s over, even the Kodak folks no longer seem enthused by efficient photo printing!
On their return to the rest of the team, Nely proudly announces that the important points are that they’re selling printers (true, partially), and, “they are bringing printing home again.” To her credit, she did pick up on the word “affordable,” but it’s all moot. Gene cuts Nely off (probably her with six more pages of priceless notes to impart) to say, “They’re wrong.” As he hasn’t heard anything that negates his beautiful slogan, I think he is secretly satisfied how clever he was to dodge that useless meeting.
Gene later tells us that he fears that Kodak may not understand what they need. He ends by saying, “I am pretty damn good. If I was sitting on the sidelines, I would say, ‘Gene Simmons, you are a powerful and attractive man.’” If he really is as good as he thinks he is, he would discern that Kodak knows what they want and Nely messed up the message. And let’s not even TOUCH “attractive!”
Ivanka walks into the meeting room where the men are trying to brainstorm a theme. Although not the PM, Stephen Baldwin is taking control. In reality, he’s running amok – up on the table at times, and babbling endless, meaningless slogans. It is bugging Piers. PM Tito is never shown uttering or writing a word.
Miraculously, out of the blue, Baldwin comes up with the hot slogan, “Kodak presents the ink revolution that’s going to knock you out!” Wow, from the bottom of a muddy pond, up comes a diamond!
The scene shifts back to Empresario, where Gene is directing the mounting of graphics on their trailer. Nely asks Gene what sign he is (because that matters?), and he replies, “Dollar signs, baby!” A smitten Nely sees herself as the CEO to Gene’s Chairman, a situation that probably arose because she fawns over him the best. Meanwhile, the other women are doing all the physical labor.
At Hydra, Baldwin announces that he needs Tito and Lennox to pose for a picture ASAP. All three are atop the tables. The concept is that the mighty Kodak printer has knocked out Tito and Lennox.1 2 3 Next-->
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