Tuesday Pop Review- Celebrity Apprentice Finale!

Hello all, and welcome back to Pop Review Tuesday!  Before we get to that, I noticed that my site hits skyrocketed today only to see that WordPress featured pop reviews on its “featured blogs” segment.  Since I fortuitously named this Tuesday segment “Tuesday Pop Review,” my blog got more action than Wilt Chamberlain in the 70’s!  Special thanks to my agent, Me, for coming up with that name!

So, back to Celebrity Apprentice, already the first show to spawn two blog posts from me, gets a third in tribute to this past week’s season finale.  When we last left you in advance of the final four, we told you that John Rich was a 1:2 favorite to take home the title of Celebrity Apprentice, and would likely do so over an overmatched Marlee Matlin.  Well, what happened?  Exactly that!

To briefly recap, the final four was reduced to two after the celebs went to an interview with the previous three CA winners — Piers Morgan, Joan Rivers, and Bret Michaels.  For some reason these interviews looked more like parole hearings (hope you took notes, Richard Hatch (oh!)).  Predictably, Lil’ Jon’s indifference was his undoing and Meatloaf’s uncontrollable weeping was his.  Lil’ Jon’s case was a little more disappointing because he easily was the second strongest performer of the season.  But, when asked who he predicted WOULD be selected to the final two, he said Rich and Matlin.  The interviewers, who prefer ego over honesty, not only hated the answer, but misconstrued it to mean that Lil’ Jon said the other two SHOULD be chosen.  In the boardroom, Lil’ Jon failed to pick up on the distinction, yet it probably wouldn’t have made a difference, as Trump had the perfect storyline in place — man vs. woman, 1-1 tie in two prior tasks as project manager against each other, two biggest fundraisers in the history of the show, etc. 

For the final task, Rich and Matlin were required to create a new ad campaign for 7Up Retro, 7Up’s ode to the 70’s and 80’s.  Marlee, given her choice for no apparent reason, picked the 1970’s, which included getting to work with The Harlem Globetrotters.  Rich got the 80’s and the chance to work with Def Leppard.  Rich gloated about Matlin’s decision to leave him with musicians, as if a country star could do no wrong trying to tell a hair band what to do.  Surprisingly, the task called for no fundraising, upon which a happy Matlin confided that she was tapped out of fundraising resources. 

As usual, 6 retreads from the season were brought back to help with the task.  Somehow, Rich landed the best three players — Lil’ Jon, Mark McGrath and Star Jones.  Matlin got Meat Loaf, Richard Hatch and LaToya Jackson, electing not to take a stunned Star Jones with her second pick, possibly wishing to avoid another Star Jones/Meatloaf clash on her team. 

Leading into the final week, NBC left us holding our breath as usual, making us think both teams were doomed to fail.  Rich had issues trying to work out some show details with Def Leppard’s manager, while Matlin’s team had a hiccup in its attempt to bring back legendary 70’s 7Up pitchman Jeffrey Holder. 

Also of note, for the second straight task, Matlin let Meat Loaf drag her team around by the nose.  I think I said this in one of my earlier posts — Marlee is a beautiful, courageous, intelligent, inspiring and classy woman who raised a boatload of money in one week.  Otherwise, she was a non-factor in many other weeks, could not take charge of her team, and really showed very few leadership qualities.  There is no doubt that her disability holds her back on this issue, but given how strident she is about her ability to do anything except hear, I was disappointed in her inability to lead. 

As to the actual execution of the task, both teams put out a stylish new can and 12-pack box.  I found the commercials, particularly Matlin’s (even with Holder), to be mediocre.  Matlin’s commercial in particular had a 3-5 second vignette of Richard Hatch in an afro wig and purple shirt muttering 70’s gibberish that was somewhere between a trainwreck and just awkward.  Rich brought in Twisted Sister singer Dee Snider to help with his 80’s audition gimmick (an idea spawned by the underrated Mark McGrath), but even that commercial was not well executed, as the Axl Rose and Madonna wannabes were awful.  As to the kickoff galas, Matlin executed it flawlessly.  Her team greeted all the guests, she gave an inspiring message about her charity, and the Harlem Globetrotters did their crowd pleasing thing.

Rich’s gala, not so much.  After meeting with everyone, including Def Leppard, earlier in the day to plan the event, Rich gets up on stage, does a little intro jingle, then introduces Def Leppard, who is nowhere to be found!!  Seriously, John, you don’t make sure the band is backstage before you go out and introduce them?  You are a music star!!  You know how unreliable musicians can be!  After Rich grabbed a guitar and played a few tunes, Def Leppard came out and played their overrated hearts out.  HOWEVER, despite the snafu, Rich randomly raised $275,000 more in donations for St. Jude, doing some unrequired fundraising.   

The live portion of the finale unfortunately did not deliver.  We were never really told who won the final task, only finding out that the 7Up people loved both players.  Several celebrities skipped the reunion, including Jose Canseco and Dionne Warwick.  Richard Hatch couldn’t make it because he is back in the clink.  Hope Dworaczyk sent her wax figure in her place.  Star Jones and Nene Leakes went back at it, with Nene again showing us what a loud moron she is.  In providing their opinions on who should win, Mark McGrath put it best in saying that while Matlin had the greatest night in the history of the Apprentice, John Rich had the best season in the history of the Apprentice.  Star Jones tried to say something similar but got too wrapped up in fifty-cent lawyer words for anyone to understand her. 

After a truly stirring musical performance by Rich dedicated to the kids treated at St. Jude’s Hospital, with Matlin signing the lyrics along with a “choir” from the New York School for the Deaf, a brief boardroom segment was held.  Though both players over-stressed the love for their charities (tell me why you were the better player, dammit!!), Rich bootstrapped McGrath’s comment and discussed his body of work, clearly the correct way to play it after his Def Leppard problem. 

After Trump dubbed it the toughest decision in Apprentice history (an insult to Holly Robinson Peete who could easily have won last season), he chose John Rich, the clearly dominant player of the season.  At least he got it right.  I won’t blame him for overselling the difficulty of the decision.   

With the Donald backing out of the presidential race, I guess we can look forward to next season!  Good night all!

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2 Comments on “Tuesday Pop Review- Celebrity Apprentice Finale!”

  1. K O'Malley Says:

    So for starters…. John won and rightfully so. They did not focus at all on the last challenge and who did what right or wrong. Donald not firing Marlee was kind of silly, clearly she had it coming. I wonder if he actually watches the tasks or just takes his feedback from the board room?

    How Marlee ended up with the 3 weakest players in the final was amazing, it was a school yard pick and she got the three biggest liabilities in the group.

    I do think they should change up the final a little bit and give each team lead $100K to “pay” their staff’s charities. Give the staff incentive to work harder and cut each others throats a little bit. Might actually be a nice twist through out the season too if each task the winning PM got 20k for his/her charity and 20k to split amongst the team, but it cant be split equally.

    No comment at all about Lisa Rinna’s attire? Any time a 47 year old woman double stick tapes herself into a dress and out cleavages a playmate of the year, i think that deserves just a brief…. what was she thinking.

    • Craig Salner Says:

      Great comments, Kev. I tend to avoid too much commentary about the “eye candy” to keep the blog suitable for work but yeah, Lisa Rinna is a prime example of excessive work. She literally looks plastic, and it’s just not my style. I love your idea about dangling a little bit of turkey for the returning celebs, as we see the same thing every season. Remember how focused Clint Black was throughout his season, only to be off to the side on his cell phone for Joan Rivers on her final task? Lil’ Jon was pretty spaced out and wound up producing an underwhelming commercial in my opinion.


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