Monday, March 21, 2011

‘Celebrity Apprentice’ Recap: Niki Taylor Loses Battle of Airheads

This article first published as TV Open Thread: Celebrity Apprentice - Niki Taylor Loses Battle of Airheads on Blogcritics.

For a comprehensive recap of last night’s episode, mosey on down to Don Jr.'s official blog. There you’ll find a blow-by-blow account of the show's major talking points (which I’m sure will be updated soon). Two hours of Trump boot camp is much too much to summarize here. Besides, it’s more fun to focus on all the back stabbing and mud-slinging that happens on the show.

If pressed to characterize what went down last night, I’d call it "Battle of the Airheads." In this corner, for the women, presenting Niki Taylor: supermodel, crash victim, and "free and easy" PM. Niki is the kind of gal who doesn’t mind flouting her lack of mental prowess. While traveling with fellow model Hope to prepare print materials for the task – creating an outdoor camping experience to best showcase the RV and camping products of corporate behemoth Camping World — Niki confessed she wasn’t sure if they were living in the 20th or 21st century.

"Centuries I remember as 100 because there’s 100 cents on the dollar," Hope suggested as some kind of mental trigger. I still don’t understand the connection between centuries and dollars.

And in this corner, for the men, it’s PM Gary Busey: recovering addict, force of nature, and likewise a crash victim. Only in this case, the man landed on his head and hasn’t been the same since.

"I am focused like you can’t believe," Gary emphasized at the show’s outset. Oh yeah? Well then why without fail does every member of his team regard him as an unfocused buffoon? Is it jealousy over his Trump-proclaimed "genius" or disdain over having to carry an extra load?

For the record, despite Gary’s inadequacies and glaring inability to lead, the men pulled off a stunning victory. Say what you will about the power of positive thinking, John’s pandering country ballad, and lucky breaks (that’s "Living Under Correct Knowledge Yearly" according to Gary), but if the men had lost, they would have sent Gary's head to the chopping block. Yes, Jose gives a bad name to lazy, overhyped sports personalities — sitting on his duff, reading a magazine, and taking a nap throughout the task – but the team convinced Gary to accept the PM slot because, let’s face it, they want him gone.

"You’re at risk, you know that," cautioned The Donald when Team Backbone announced Gary as PM. "I’m at risk every time I wake up," countered Gary. I think he was serious.

Clearly, Meat Loaf is not a fan. He and Gary locked heads last week waiting for Lisa to get the boot. And Lil Jon confessed he "wasn’t feeling" Gary after some tussling over the task. The two of them argued all the way home from the boardroom despite an impressive win. For his part, Gary called Jon an antagonist.

Off the subject, has anyone noticed a subtle change in The Donald’s hair? I swear he’s turning from blond to white. Maybe it was the sunlight or the camera angle. You know he’s about to become a grandpa.

But getting back to Gary, the guy is such a character it would be a shame to give him the ax, at least at this point in the competition. I sometimes think Trump and friends keep him around just to boost ratings, but then again, the women truly did deserve to lose.

Niki, however, made a huge mistake by shouldering blame for the women’s loss. I don’t care if her team finally worked well together or if Niki wanted the "class act" moniker more than a spot in the final, that girl should have stayed and stepped up for charity. Dionne failed spectacularly not only by skipping the trip to Home Depot (and thus costing Niki shrubbery needed to beautify the team's camping space), but also by lambasting Niki in front of potential clients. With Marlee chomping at the bit to fire Dionne, saying she only does the bare minimum each task, and Star in Niki’s corner ("I was thrilled with Niki as PM," said Star), The Donald could have easily fired Dionne.

Do you think Niki acted like an airhead? Would you rather be known as a class act than someone who fights on behalf of charity? Class act be damned, I would have stayed and battled.

Read My Other Season 4 Recaps:

Lisa Rinna Thrown Under Bus

Meat Loaf Meltdown

Nene Leakes Rips LaToya Jackson a New One