The Celebrity Apprentice 5, Episode 9: A Smile On My Face and a Hand Up My Tuchusby Dave Marklinger -- 04/16/2011
Last week on I’ll Be Seeing Lou, in All the Old Familiar Places, Arsenio and Aubrey made a tentative peace heading into a commercial-making task, and so did Lisa and Dayana. If you think either of those will last then you have never watched a single episode of reality television in your life. Over on Unanimous, nothing of note happened. In the Boardroom, Lisa and Lou had issues, and Ivanka explained to Aubrey why everyone thinks she’s a bitch, though not in so many words. Unanimous got the win and Lou was fired, leaving someone else to pick up the “110 percent” mantle.
The teams wonder what’s up until Lisa and Dayana walk back in. Lisa says, “We did it. Good riddance,” and Clay points out that they didn’t actually accomplish anything, which allows Lisa to aim her venom in his direction now. Aubrey of course loves it because she can’t stand Clay. Here’s a list of everyone on this show that Aubrey can stand:
There, finished. Anyway, Lisa continues trashing Lou, and Clay is unsure if Lisa’s attitude is because she lost so many tasks, or she lost so many tasks because of her attitude. There is speculation as to whether things will be switched up again now that it’s three on five, and Aubrey hopes Clay and Arsenio will be broken up, because Trump split up her and Lisa so it’s only fair, in her eyes. The difference, Red, is that Clay and Arsenio actually won once in a while. And, cue the O’Jays!
Man, watching the opening credits, I almost forgot that George Takei was on this show once.
Teresa meets Matthew, the little boy she said she was fighting for last week, and his parents in a park, which seems to be the set meeting place for these things this season, and talks about her charity (the NephCure Foundation). She gives them the check for 60 grand, and the way Matthew’s father talks, he actually makes it seem like Teresa’s check is all they need to find a cure for incurable kidney disease. (I know, I’m a jerk, I get it.)
Trump arrives at toy store FAO Schwarz, and if he starts jumping around on that giant piano like in the movie Big I will weep with happiness. No such luck, as he gets down to business: Standing next to him is Brian Henson, Jim Henson’s son! You ever read about those people who are still obsessed with the Muppets, despite being grown adults? Yeah, I’m totally one of them. Jim Henson is a god in my eyes.
Anyway, the task this week is to build two puppets and perform in front of a live audience along with performers from the improv-based adult puppet show, “Stuffed and Unstrung” (which of course I have seen). Trump tells us that this task requires four people on each team (it does? Why?) so Forte will have a member added. He asks them who they’d like: Dayana says Clay, Lisa says Aubrey, and Penn says pretty much everybody. Then Trump tells them he was just wasting their time because he’s already decided it’s gonna be Clay. What an astonishing coincidence that Lou, who Lisa argued with, just got fired, and now Clay, who Lisa has argued with, is on her team! I’m sure that was not planned at all!
Of course we have to hear from the scowly one herself, who says he’s a [bleep] sometimes, and we’ll see if their tiff from the other day is a problem. I’ll bet I know the answer to that. Clay says his new teammates are strong and he thinks they’ll do a great job.
Lisa volunteers to be Project Manager and interviews she’s one of the only people who hasn’t won any money for her charity yet. Paul is asked if he wants to do it, and he says “I don’t care” several times, which is what he said in week one as well; I’m starting to wonder if he’s really invested in this show. He tells the other teams they’ll have to come through on the creative side, though, which may or may not be foreshadowing, but the editors wouldn’t have bothered subtitling it if it wasn’t important – just saying.
Paul interviews he took it because no one else wanted to and it’s not his thing at all, but with improv you’re not supposed to know what you’re doing. Clearly Paul does not know what “improv” actually is.
The winning PM will get 20 thousand dollars, and the losing team will be strung up like marionettes and forced to perform “I’ve Got No Strings” like Pinnochio. Or one of them will be fired, I’m not sure which.
In Forte’s van, Clay reveals he did hand puppets in his church for years – if my church had puppets growing up, maybe I wouldn’t have become an atheist. Clay laments losing his partnership with Arsenio and hopes he and his new team will get along. Dayana tells Lisa she did improv for a year and a half, and Lisa says, “Yeah but I’ve done it for 22 years.” That’s stand-up, Lisa, it’s entirely different.
Dayana has an idea for a Latina character, which Lisa politely brushes off; she interviews that it’s insulting that Dayana presumes she can do what the rest of them can. She’s hoping she won’t get in a big fight with Dayana – I’m sure she’ll do all she can to avoid it, as she has up until now. (That was sarcastic, in case it didn’t come across as such.) Lisa suggests a whole task without fighting, with which Penn agrees.
In the other van, Teresa suggests making one puppet modeled after Arsenio and one after Aubrey, and she seems to think calling Arsenio “black” would send him into a rage because she’s very careful with it; he laughs it off. Aubrey interviews that Arsenio is the only one on the team with comedic experience, and she’s not allowed to step up and take over because everyone will look at her like she’s a [bleep] again. Clearly she hasn’t quit playing the “persecuted” card just yet. She figures she has to start thinking about the smartest way to stay in the competition, and says the only criticism anyone’s had of her up to this point is that she’s not a team player. Oh, can I please add to that list?
Unanimous arrives at their workspace and plays with some puppets. Arsenio picks up a caveman puppet and does an impression of Lou with it, because everyone has to do an impression at least once this season, apparently. Paul’s back went out this morning for no reason and complains about the pain a bit, and says it’s bad timing.
The team checks out part of the “Stuffed and Unstrung” show on the web, and I’m such a nerd I can name all three performers in the video they watch. Aubrey explains the show to Paul while Arsenio tells us he wants to give her a trophy because “she’s come so far.” True – she’s only insulting everyone behind their back now, instead of directly to their faces. For her, that’s progress. He claims she’s letting Paul lead and adding her own ideas, and he says she’s really become a team player, although it looks to me like she’s taking over again.
Paul goes over the plan for the show, saying Teresa and Arsenio are puppets, Aubrey will be the host, and he’ll be coordinating and overseeing everything. He asks the team for a lot of help and feedback, saying he took the job without knowing anything so he’s going to be depending on them.
Brian Henson shows up with Patrick Bristow, who hosts the shows and is co-creator of “Stuffed and Unstrung.” He’s a character actor, so chances are you’ve seen him in something (he was the choreographer in the movie Showgirls, for one, not that I have ever seen that movie or own it or get a perverse thrill out of how insanely terrible it is or anything). Paul asks them about guiding the audience toward something they’ve rehearsed, proving that he really doesn’t know what “improv” actually is. Brian and Patrick explain that improv is all about not feeling safe, and when you talk and have no idea what you’re saying, you’re in “the zone.” Or you’re a host of The View. ZING!
Over at Forte, Lisa asks about making the puppets general as opposed to specific personalities, while behind her Clay fondles a male puppet in a very unsettlingly weird manner. Anyway, the takeaway is it’s best to make them general because they have lots of different personalities. Lisa asks about being inappropriate, and says she knows where the line is because she does inappropriate for a living. Penn asks about taller puppeteers, and Brian says the average puppeteer is about 5 foot 11, so Penn would be better as a host. I would have thought that was a given.
Lisa decides she and Clay will be the puppets, and says Dayana wants to be part of the performance, but it’s not a risk Lisa is willing to take because Dayana is not a comedian and is not easily understood. Lisa picks up a puppet and Clay suggests she try her Spanish chick character, which involves saying, “Ay papi! Ay chihuahua!” in a bad accent. Of course Dayana is offended, as she calls it disrespectful and unprofessional, even though it was Clay who suggested it and Lisa even said it’s not how Latin people really talk.
Anyway, Dayana points out she hasn’t been given any task yet, and to her credit she speaks up about it. Clay mentions puppet design, and Dayana says she wants to participate, but Lisa points out, as they learned in week one, that participating is not always about being onstage (for once I totally agree with her on this one).
Dayana claims Lisa isn’t giving her anything to do so they can go back to the Boardroom and she can call Dayana useless and cry about how she does everything – and Dayana pulls out her impression of Lisa crying and moaning about it. Remember last week, when these two were actually getting along? That seems like a thousand years ago now, doesn’t it?
Unanimous heads to their workshop and meets their puppet builders. They get to work designing their two puppets – a rod puppet and a large furry hand puppet – and Aubrey has an idea for a Mohawk for one of them, which Arsenio likes. Aubrey says it’s not surprising the Mohawk idea inspired him, since he’s bald. So now she’s got a thing against bald guys too? Where does it stop with this chick?
Teresa says something about having a puppet you love being important, so this puppet is a reflection of her. What the hell is she going on about? Teresa suggests boobs and a low-cut dress, and Arsenio says, “Everything’s better with boobs,” which is pretty much my motto.
Back to Unanimous, where Dayana is making the rod puppet with some help from Lisa, and Penn is making the full hand puppet, with some help from Clay. Lisa is off to work with Clay and the instructors, and gives Dayana the task of making the female puppet “expressive and gorgeous,” which she suggests is mostly just busy work. Also, she adds a bleeped-out word, which she has to work into every sentence for some reason. To paraphrase Lisa herself last week: Dude, we get it, you’re a potty mouth. What else ya got?
Over at Unanimous, we’re actually treated to a scene in which the team tries to figure out names for their puppets. It’s even more boring than it sounds. Arsenio is calling the rod puppet Perry Winkle, after its color, while Teresa is stumped on a name for hers. She comes up with names of singers, for some reason – like Beyonce and Rihanna – while Paul wants to shake her and say, “Okay, it’s just a puppet, give it a name.” I disagree, Paul – Kermit would never have become so popular if his name was something like Glen.
Arsenio comes up with “Fabalina” as a placeholder name (yuck) and Teresa loves it, and works in a plug for her third cookbook, Fabulicious!: Fast & Fit, which comes out in May. Actually that is one of the less blatant product-placement plugs this show has ever done.
Teresa gets down to dressing her puppet, while Aubrey takes some time to (what else?) insult her teammates. She interviews that Teresa is drawn to everything tacky on the table, and that Paul is the PM but he has an extra lazy attitude toward the puppets. She figures the puppets are too specific and not versatile, but she’s nervous to voice any dissent because of the way she was attacked in the last Boardroom. I really think they’re making a bigger deal of this versatility thing than is necessary – in the “Stuffed and Unstrung” show that I saw, one scene had an orangutan as the father of both a human boy and a koala bear, so I don’t think being too specific is a huge deal for a show like this. But then, anything that creates drama, right producers?
Forte gets schooled on the ways of improvisation – “everyday life with fake circumstances,” as one of their instructors puts it – and the basics of puppeteering. Clay says it takes a lot of practice just getting the puppets to face toward the camera. He says Lisa has a lot of “piss and vinegar” in her, but he’s not worried about it being directed at him, and he thinks they’re working well together.
Back at Unanimous, Aubrey is still complaining, although she raises a good point this time. She says they’re still wasting time designing the puppets, which should be delegated to one person, when they should be learning with the professionals on how to manipulate and maneuver the puppets, as well as her figuring out how to host. She claims Paul listens to and respects Arsenio more, and the editing seems to bear that out. She complains that the PM is not stepping up and taking control of the team.
Forte meets with their instructors, who Aubrey claims have been sitting around waiting for them. Teresa says there’s a lot to learn, and she pretty much sucks at puppeteering. Arsenio admits this, but gives her a pass because she’ll try anything and give it a hundred percent (not 110, mind you, that was Lou’s department), and “she’s so damn cute. You know?” The instructor suggests she practice puppeteering by reciting nursery rhymes, but Teresa doesn’t seem to know any, including “Jack and Jill.”
Aubrey is learning the basics of hosting as she says overall performance, which is a third of what they’re being judged on, is on her shoulders. She basically says she’s awesome and everyone else sucks. She doesn’t use those words, but that’s the gist. [Editor’s Note: But isn’t that always the gist with her?!]
Back over at Unanimous, Dayana and Penn continue to build their puppets as the builders are very impressed (too much so, dare I say it) with Dayana. Penn says they told Dayana they would hire her, and he’s bitter because he’s gotten zero job offers (I’m pretty sure he is kidding). Penn says Lisa may call Dayana useless, but he doesn’t take what is said in the Boardroom as fact. I don’t take anything I hear on this show as fact, frankly, and most of it I don’t even take as reality-based. Lisa and Clay return and they’re impressed with Penn’s puppet, at least.
Eric arrives for his spy mission, and Lisa explains everyone’s job – or, as Dayana calls it, “blah blahblahblahblah, blah blahblah, blahblahblah.” Eric interviews that Dayana stood out because she was very quiet and focused on what she was doing, almost in an awkward kind of way. He keeps digging for dirt, though, as he asks Clay what he thinks of the new team. Clay says there’s not a weak spot on the team, so Eric asks Dayana if she feels the same way, and she says yes. Eric wonders if the tension between her and Lisa is manifesting itself and if Dayana is uncomfortable on the team. Golly, I sure hope we’ll find out in the Boardroom – the tension is killing me!
Meanwhile at Unanimous, Ivanka shows up, looking hot. Arsenio explains Paul’s back problem to her, and she interviews that she feels bad for Paul and he’s doing well under the circumstances. Paul talks about how creative Aubrey is, and Ivanka points out that Aubrey is now afraid to say anything, which the Red Menace more or less agrees with. Ivanka interviews that she hopes Aubrey can strike the right balance between helping the PM and being creative.
Forte arrives at their rehearsal space, and one of the instructors asks Dayana if she’s performing too, but Lisa says no. Clay interviews as PM he would have worked harder at finding something for her to do, but it’s tough understanding the dynamic of the group so far. Penn practices his hosting while Lisa and Clay handle the improvising, and Dayana sits and watches. Clay takes on a Southern accent, and Penn is impressed with Clay’s improvisational skills. Clay says they’ll have to think on their toes.
Dayana sits and watches some more, and says she’s unsure of what she’ll be doing at the presentation. She says it’s another demonstration of how Lisa is trying to put her out of sight. From what I can see, Clay is killing it with the voice work, but his puppeteering skills are not quite up to par. Someone needs to teach him the “Henson punch.” (Props to you if you know what I’m referring to there.) Meanwhile, Dayana looks bored.
Back over to Unanimous, where the improv instructor is teaching the basics to Arsenio and Teresa. Arsenio says learning an art in one day is an impossible task, so they’d better practice. Teresa is nervous but will try her best, and is trying to be a team player, while she has no idea what Paul – the Project Manager, mind you – is doing.
Arsenio seems to have the same problem as Clay, in that his vocal work is great but the way he handles his puppet is not so good. (Henson punch!) Aubrey reiterates that Arsenio is not her favorite but his character is cute, and since he’s a comedian the two of them have to carry the brunt of the performance. Teresa and the instructor do an exercise in which they’re doing an infomercial selling cleaning supplies, and Teresa seems to forget both that she has a puppet on her hand (its mouth doesn’t move at all) and that they’re supposed to be selling cleaning supplies. Aubrey sounds far too happy as she describes how inept Teresa is, and she figures as host she’ll have to try to save it. Oh boy, if they need Aubrey to save them, then they really are doomed.
In another exercise, Teresa’s puppet is introduced as Tonya, to which Teresa says, “Hi Tonya.” In another, Teresa is specifically asked for an adjective, and she says, “Monsters!” I’ve never really understood why you’d say something is such a gruesome disaster that you just can’t look away – now I totally get it.
It’s the day of the task, and Unanimous is in the van en route to the performance. Arsenio says they’re all very nervous but very excited, as they keep trying to coach Teresa on improv. (She still sucks.) Aubrey says Teresa has a naïve, childlike personality which is bubbly and cute, but other than that she doesn’t bring much to the table.
Forte arrives at their dressing room, and Lisa for no good reason asks Clay if they had a small dressing room at Medeival Times, and says something about Debbie Gibson taking a “four-alarm dump” in theirs. She’s a classy broad, that Lisa. She says they’re hanging out and not stressing and running stuff, because she believes the death of improv is to memorize something and hope it looks spontaneous. (She’s right – I’ve seen it done and it almost never works.)
Clay broaches the touchy subject of giving Dayana more to do, and Dayana says she offered to carry the box of props to hand to the assistants. Lisa tells her she’s involved because everyone is involved, so “let’s not have drama,” which is kind of like telling Cirque du Soleil to not have anything weird in their show. So of course Lisa creates the drama herself, saying, “It’s always something,” and Clay says she went from zero to 60 in a second.
Lisa and Dayana have their weekly argument, which of course is peppered with bleeps, until Clay tries to calm them down and insist they need to be in a happy mood. It’s all for naught, as Lisa yells at Dayana that she’s a “[bleep] pain in the ass,” and claims she had to create something for Dayana to do again. Dayana tries to make the perfectly valid point that Lisa is the Project Manager and should be telling her what to do, but Lisa insists she’s not fighting about this and tells Dayana to shut up again; she’s a lot like Star Jones, in that she can dish it out but really can’t take it. (The camera spins around to Penn during this argument and he looks like he’s making a silent plea to the camera to save him.)
After Lisa’s insistence of, “Do whatever the [bleep] you want,” Dayana walks out of the room, and is shown crying in the hallway. In a stairwell, Dayana says she treats Lisa better than Lisa treats other people, and Lisa still has no decency or respect. “It’s been fun,” Dayana adds sarcastically.
Naturally, Lisa now has to rip into Clay and Penn, as she yells at them for not stepping in and leaving her to deal with Dayana’s every task yet again. It sounds like that should have been something left up to, oh I don’t know… the Project Manager?! Clay interviews he’s blown away, and suggests that maybe Lisa is jealous and feels threatened by Dayana’s beauty. I’d say he hit the nail on the head there.
Lisa complains some more about how Dayana has to be the star every time, while Clay and Penn wisely keep their mouths shut. Damn, Lisa redeemed herself somewhat in my eyes last week, and now here she is, back to square one. I hope she gets fired already, because at this point I’d rather watch Aubrey than her.
It’s ten minutes to performance and Lisa is still berating the guys for not stepping in, because for sure everyone should be willing to break up a fight between a beauty queen and an emotional, angry, foul-mouthed woman – I mean, who wouldn’t be? Penn goes to look for Dayana and interviews that when someone is loud and unpleasant, he backs away and doesn’t want to be a part of it.
Penn finds Dayana outside and tells her she shouldn’t bring the box of props on, but Dayana says it’s not even about the box; she says she’s been pushed to the side since the beginning, which is why she’s always brought back to the Boardroom. Penn listens to her vent and says in situations where someone is upset, the best thing to do is shut up and look at them – not trying to solve things is sometimes the best way to solve things. The two of them head back inside.
The crowd files in as Forte takes the stage, with all of them miked up and dressed in different clothing even though they all had less than ten minutes to get that way; once again, I call shenanigans. Clay is concerned but says now that it’s time for the performance, they’ve gotten their energy level back up and are ready to go for it.
I really wish I could watch their entire performance, because it looks like a lot of fun. Neither Clay nor Lisa is all that great at puppeteering – Lisa in particular – but the voices they both do are pretty funny and they seem to be having a ball. (Meanwhile Dayana is shown backstage several times, just watching.) We learn that Penn is an awesome host, and that Clay can’t do an Asian accent. Also, if Bjork ever comes up in an improv, it’s inevitable that someone will mention that stupid swan dress she wore to the Oscars that one time. I just want to sit back and watch this show instead of writing stuff about it (although Lisa’s puppeteering skills are seriously terrible).
Lisa and Clay get a little risqué toward the end, and Lisa says, “I don’t give a [bleep] what anyone says.” Gee, I never would have guessed that. She says she knows a live audience, and figures they killed it.
Unanimous takes the stage, and Paul says he feels no pressure because he’s on the sidelines (always a good attitude for a Project Manager) but he can feel the energy in the air. Aubrey introduces the show and dances around while wearing a tight tank top, so finally I can see what she’s really good at on this show. Anyway, the highlights of their performance: Arsenio gets “Norwegian” as a foreign language, and I really hope he’s kidding when says, “I’ve never been to Norwegia.” Also, I think the problem with having the professional puppeteers on stage as well is that you can really see how much better they are in comparison to the amateurs.
Teresa pretty much blows it, because as everyone knows, the only answer in improv is “yes,” but Teresa keeps blocking stuff by saying no. (“I’m Johnny.” “You’re not Johnny.” That sort of thing.) Aubrey says Teresa tends to win people over just by getting onstage and not knowing what’s going on, which is pretty much what seems to happen. Teresa feels like she’s an “improv-ing pro,” which is really stretching it, and in the next scene her puppet almost forces the other one (the professional) out of the frame, which kind of contradicts her last statement.
Yeah, I’d call this a clear win for Forte – theirs was the one I just wanted to watch all of, while the Unanimous show was painful at times. But, as always, I could be wrong.
So Eric asks Brian and Patrick for their impressions. Aubrey did a good job as host, and Arsenio’s performance was solid, while Teresa was breaking the rules of improv a lot. In comparison, Lisa’s improvisation was strong and Clay “attacked it,” which I guess is a good thing. One joke apparently went too far regarding sexual parts, though I don’t know which one he’s referring to. Penn was good at ending the scenes, but let one go on too long. And the winning team is… commercial!
And we’re off to the Boardroom of Doom. Trump knows exactly what everyone is waiting to see as he asks Dayana how she got along with Lisa. Dayana really doesn’t answer, but I think Trump knows as well as the rest of us. Was Lisa a good PM? Dayana just says she was okay, so we move on to Lisa, who of course will not be nearly as diplomatic. Lisa makes some weird comparison about how not liking your behind-the-scenes job devalues the crew of every movie and TV show ever made. Lisa, pay attention – Dayana didn’t hate her job because she didn’t have one! Do you even listen to anything she says anymore?
Dayana insists it wasn’t about her trying to be in the show. She says she’s always respected Lisa’s opinions, which Trump seems to doubt, but Dayana says Lisa was the Project Manager and she’ll do whatever is asked of her. Instead of letting her actually finish answering the damn question, Trump asks who the puppeteers were for some reason, and Dayana names Clay and Lisa. Lisa explains why the two of them were puppeteers, and Penn was the host because he’s a showman (“Too big to puppeteer,” Penn offers, and Trump agrees). Clay enjoyed puppeteering and says he and Lisa worked together really well.
Ivanka says Lisa seemed to make the right call of who to put on stage, and it doesn’t seem to be an odd choice for Dayana to be behind the scenes. (Again, not what she was complaining about at all! Doesanyone listen to what Dayana says anymore?) Dayana insists she never argued that, and her problem was with wanting to do a little more than sitting there and watching them rehearse.
Lisa says she used Dayana as much as possible, so Trump asks how Lisa could say she was bad if she wasn’t used. Lisa says she didn’t say Dayana was bad, and points out that she wasn’t asked yet how anyone did. (I gotta give her credit for that one.) She says something about some people having a more limited skill-set than others, and Trump asks about her accent hurting her, which Lisa says it did. Lisa goes on about how comedy is hard and it’s insulting to think anyone can step in and do it. Trump asks if you’re made a comedian or if you’re born a comedian, because hey, why not? Lisa says you’re born but it takes practice.
Trump goes back to Dayana and asks why she looks upset, and Dayana basically calls Lisa out on showing disrespect and aggression to her, which you should never do to any member of your team in any business or profession.
So if they lose, who is Lisa bringing back? (It seems to me like he only asks this of the team that won, or at least he asks them first, but I’m far too lazy to look it up, so again I could be wrong.) Lisa tears up again as she says she hasn’t decided if she’s bringing anybody back. Trump keeps on her and she says she got into this business to make people happy, not to make girls cry (and yet she seems to be so good at it!), so she may just bring herself back. Trump says he understands, and then Aubrey has to have some attention as she says, “You’re staying, Lisa.” So who asked you, Red?
Lisa babbles about being a comedian some more and how no one ever gets angry at what she says in her act. Trump tells her she’s going to go down as a much nicer and much different person than the world understands. Nicer? Really, Trump, what show are you watching here? Anyway, he thinks it’s nice that she shows emotion (tell that to Meat Loaf), which is his way of telling us that Lisa isn’t going anywhere this week.
Trump asks Penn if you need a tough side to be a comedian. Penn says you have to act tough, and that “bravery is not an absence of fear, bravery is action in the face of fear,” and that to be a tough comedian you have to keep going, but that doesn’t mean your heart doesn’t get broken constantly. I guess The Donald has nothing to add to that, because we’re moving on.
We hear from Paul, who says he doesn’t know a [bleep] thing about puppets, nor does he want to know. He says no one wanted to take the PM position, so he did, and he thinks they won and everyone did well. Trump asks the inevitable “who’s your weakest player?” question, and Paul mutters, “I hate this,” and Ivanka tells him it doesn’t get any easier. Paul finally names Teresa, because sometimes it takes her a while to make up her mind, like with the name of her puppet (which was such a huge issue that it never came up again, I must note). Teresa goes on about how names are important, and Ivanka mentions that Teresa’s daughter Milania was named after Trump’s wife, Melania. “So how can I possibly fire her?” Trump asks. Sadly, I can totally see this show being won because of something like that. I wish I couldn’t, I really do.
Ivanka mentions Paul’s back problem and says he “blew it out,” though that’s overstating it a bit since I’m pretty sure he’d be in the hospital if he blew out his back. Paul says he has a history of back problems, although he’s better today. As PM, Aubrey says Paul was limited by his injury, and Arsenio calls him a trooper who didn’t quit.
Eric relates Brian and Patrick’s notes on Forte’s performance, which we’ve already heard, although he adds that they loved the puppets Dayana made and they’d use them in their own show. As for Paul’s team, Ivanka goes over the positives and negatives, some of which we already heard earlier (that “versatility” thing is brought up again, which is bull – I mean, they had Johnny Appleseed played by an alien for pete’s sake!).
So the winning team is… Lisa’s team! Lisa tears up again, and Trump tells her she gets 20 grand for her charity, Gay Men’s Health Crisis. They’re dismissed, and Clay fist bumps Arsenio on the way out.
In the suite, Clay toasts the Gay Men’s Health Crisis and “gay men in general!” Lisa is excited she won, and Dayana is also happy they won, but she’s not going to let anyone throw her under the bus. What will it take for people to stop using that phrase already? Lisa can’t figure out how to turn on the TV since they’ve never won, so Clay shows her.
What we’re talking about now is the puppets were too complex. Arsenio admits his puppet was a rocker, and says he may have boxed himself in (again, I really don’t see how this is an issue at all), but he doesn’t believe he should be fired because he gave his all and he can’t see them doing as well without him. Teresa says they all made the puppets and Paul had the final call. Paul tries to defer blame somewhat by saying even though there was input from everybody, it boiled down to the performers playing their parts.
Trump asks whose fault it was that the puppets were too complex, and Paul says Teresa continued adding things to hers. Teresa claims Paul is the one who picked out the fabric, and Trump asks her if Paul should be fired; she says yes, because he didn’t do anything, and then she calls him out on saying he’s the one who doesn’t move quickly. Good point, really. She flat-out asks for Aubrey to back her up on this one, for some reason.
Aubrey again says Paul was injured and this was not his field, so it was harder for him to contribute, and Teresa did contribute a lot. Teresa mentions how Paul just sat there, but Paul wakes up as he says he’s been in business 40 years and he didn’t get there by sitting on his ass. Trump points out that they’re only talking about this task, and Teresa says that Paul even commented how he’d rather be riding his motorcycle than be there. She says the whole day was, “[Bleep] this, [bleep] that, [bleep] this, [bleep] that,” which Paul denies ever saying, until Trump gets him to admit with a grin that he maybe said it one time.
Ivanka says it’s not very motivating for his team, while in the suite Lisa praises Ivanka for knowing exactly how to zero in. It’s called stirring the pot and creating more drama, actually, but you could call it that too. Paul starts to say it wasn’t in a negative way, but Teresa insists if he’s throwing her under the bus she’ll do the same to him. But he didn’t – he was pressured to name someone as the weakest player, and there are only three people he can name, so he picked you.
Trump asks who is more valuable going forward – Teresa or Paul? Aubrey admits her bias because she’s worked more with Teresa. She says Teresa has amazing heart and gives 110 percent (hey, the drinking game is still on! SHOT!) and goes on about her taking care of her kids and coming back to the Boardroom every night. She says this wasn’t her forte, because it was a thinking quick task. “So you’re saying she doesn’t think quick?” Trump asks – he never misses a chance to start a fight, does he? Aubrey says she does, but mentions again about the rules of improv which the judges addressed. She says she loves Teresa and everyone has value on the team. Well, it’s more than Lisa ever said about Dayana, I give her that.
Trump asks Arsenio about who is more valuable. Arsenio says he’d have to know what the tasks are, but Paul is very smart. Trump asks if Paul is a leader or a follower with respect to this task; Arsenio says all he did was lead because he couldn’t do anything else.
Trump asks Paul who will not be coming back in with him; Paul names Arsenio as the escapee, because he brings a lot of versatility to the table and has been a business man for many years. Trump points out that he had a puppet and the judges didn’t exactly love it – true, but from what I saw he was the best part of the performance, so I’d say that’s fair, really. So Arsenio gets a pass and the rest head to the lobby. Say your goodbyes to Paul now, it looks like he’s history.
Lisa figures if Paul had brought Arsenio back, he would have backed Paul and they would have fired Teresa, but now no one is on Paul’s side because Aubrey already said she’d fire him. Clay is not so sure it’s going to go down that way, but it totally will.
The Trumplettes offer nothing to speak of, so Trump tells Amanda the secretary to send them back in. Trump asks Aubrey why Paul brought her back; she says she’s going to “play the Dayana card” because there’s no reason for her to be in the Boardroom. Probably true, actually, but I still hate how smug she sounds saying it. She yammers about how great she is, until Trump points out how the executives didn’t compliment Arsenio or like his work.
Oh really? Allow me to quote Ivanka here directly: “…they thought that Arsenio’s puppetry was excellent, and they thought you [Arsenio] were very, very committed, and particularly good onstage.” It’s kind of early to be rewriting things already, isn’t it Trump? Especially when many of us viewers have Rewind buttons.
Paul says Aubrey did a phenomenal job, and Trump again claims that the execs didn’t love Arsenio’s work (why must you turn this into a Boardroom of Lies?) so shouldn’t he have been brought back instead? Trump asks if Paul is trying to protect Arsenio for some reason, and Paul says no. Man, I would have given my right foot to ask Trump that question last season about Gary Busey! But I digress.
Paul simply says he had to make a decision, and Trump again says the execs thought Aubrey did a great job and they didn’t love the work Arsenio did (except that they totally did, but whatever helps you sleep at night, Donald) so it would be more appropriate that he was brought back. “If that’s the case,” Paul mutters, and Ivanka jumps in, saying that they thought Arsenio was great in terms of puppetry but that his puppet was ill-designed. Wait, Trump said the execs “didn’t compliment Arsenio or like his work,” which they did, partly at least, so don’t you back up your dad’s lies, missy!
Trump goes back to Aubrey and asks her if Teresa had a lot of good ideas for the task. Aubrey says Teresa puts all the ideas in her head forward, and they’re not always the best, but she gives an effort every time. (Who does that sound a lot like? Oh yeah – Dayana! But you never said that about her, did you? Man, I’m getting tired of the hypocrites on this show – and that includes you, Trump!) Teresa says this was improv, so it’s not like they had to come up with any ideas. Um… that’s what improv is, genius.
Trump echoes my last sentence and says that in fact, improv is coming up with a lot of ideas, and Ivanka says that was one of Teresa’s shortcomings. Teresa stammers and says she disagrees with what Aubrey said, but Ivanka points out that Aubrey was complimenting her, sort of, which she was. Trump keeps stirring, though, as he says it wasn’t a great compliment because she said the ideas aren’t great. Aubrey says it was a way of bringing up a positive and a negative, so in Trump’s eyes it wasn’t a compliment.
So Aubrey, who would you fire? I’m pretty sure she already said she’d fire Paul – Lisa remembered it, why can’t Trump? – but she says Paul again, because Teresa tried hard and wanted to be good at the task, and she goes on for a bit about utilizing her abilities, which is the PM’s job, and Paul was not very passionate about the task; Trump says maybe that’s why they lost.
Trump asks Paul what he thinks of Aubrey. Paul says especially after this task, he thinks she’s artistic and was a better team player this time. Trump says this ultimately means he wouldn’t fire her and it would be between him and Teresa, with which Paul agrees. Trump gets Paul to admit he signed off on the work that was done, and as Project Manager it was his responsibility to do that. He tries to get Paul to admit that he should have brought Arsenio back, but stubbornly, Paul still won’t agree with that. Anyway, the long and the short of it is, Paul is fired.
Paul hugs the ladies goodbye and heads down in the elevator. Trump reiterates that Paul was a great man, but this task was not for him. The Trumplettes agree, but when have they not? “He will be missed,” Trump says, as if Paul had just died or something.
In the loser’s limo, Paul says it’s weird to be fired since he’s usually the one doing the firing. He thought it was a great experience working for “Donald,” and all good things come to an end.
Next week: It’s the toughest task ever (for the second straight week) as the teams shill Trump’s cologne Success. Lisa is caught cheating, which is probably not as big a deal as the preview would have us believe. Oh, and it’s Aubrey vs. Arsenio, Round 2. Really, who’s surprised?
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Dave Marklinger (firstname.lastname@example.org) has every Muppet movie and three seasons of The Muppet Show on DVD, and he apologizes to no one for that.
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