Friday, March 28, 2008

Piers Morgan is the Celebrity Apprentice

Spewed image of Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice logoIt's very gratifying to offer live blogging and have so many different locations appear in real time on our Live Feed. Heartfelt thanks to everyone who took a break from their busy Thursday night schedules to join Moan Quivers, virtual Hollywood correspondent, as she reported live from the red carpet.

Donald Trump and his progeny deserve a pat on the back for setting up and pulling off a live two hour show. This type of television is always risky. To their credit, the finale was an enjoyable romp showcasing major celebrities like the Duchess of York and Simon Cowell.

But the promos fell overboard, especially in light of the final delivery.

"Good v. Evil."

"U.S. v. U.K."

"Piers v. Omarosa."

"Trace v. The Backstreet Boys, a/k/a The BSB."

"Wheat grass juice and black fingernail polish v. Marlboro Man sensibilities."

To be fair, in some respects, the live finale lived up to the hype which is good because I don't think I could stomach another "pass the baton" sort of show, you know, that feeble attempt to rebrand with Martha Stewart going nowhere fast. The finale's taped segments about the two charities were terrific. And that's the meat of this celebrity version of the show, really, helping worthwhile causes. Trump's last minute money raising ideas, the texting and online auction, were delicious icing on the cake. Hopefully, the finale's success will translate into larger ratings for a second celebrity season.

But give me a break, everyone knows the show is loosely scripted, at least in part. The celebrities are superfluous fluff to attract an audience. With all the promos and build-up to the finale, couldn't they have peppered Ms. Manigault-Stallworth with better lines as a parting shot to Piers? Her drivel about not liking the unpopular winner because he didn't floss was a true waste of wind. Even Trump noticeably winced and chastised her for ending the show with something downright stupid.

Look, in the interests of fair disclousre, I'm not a fan of Omarosa. Not many people are. She's had her fifteen minutes as far as I'm concerned and hasn't done much with them since. If you're producing a show called The Celebrity Apprentice, then you have to expect your audience wants to see a battle between real celebrities. Obviously, the Trump organization has a soft spot in its heart for the woman it earnestly tried to launch into fame, but enough is enough. Let's hope the franchise doesn't repeat this mistake in season two.

If it's villains they're looking for, why not throw a bone to contentious down-and-out bona fide celebrities like Rosie O'Donnell? Talk about a show with the potential for big ratings. Now there's something worth tuning in for.