Monday, April 18, 2011

Celebrity Apprentice Recap: Gary Busey Finally Meets His Waterloo

Article also published as TV Open Thread: Celebrity Apprentice Recap - Gary Busey Finally Meets His Waterloo on Blogcritics.

The episode opened with Lil Jon saying he might quit if Gary returned from the boardroom. No wonder Nene screamed for joy when Gary walked into the waiting room. The men would have to deal with Gary at least one more time. All of them wanted him gone.

Gary said he didn’t know why there was an alliance against him. He could only surmise his teammates were afraid of him. John said that wasn’t it at all. Right to his face, John called Gary either a saboteur or crazy and since Gary is a smart guy, he thought it was the former. With a lopsided smile, Gary clinked his glass against John’s glass and wished him the best of luck.

The teams were tasked with writing, producing and starring in a live cooking demonstration featuring a variety of products from Omaha Steaks. In addition, they had to create and name an original Omaha Steaks variety pack which had to be featured in their presentation. Teams would be judged on branding, their original variety pack, and their overall presentation.

The women picked Hope as their PM even though she admitted she didn’t know how to cook and wasn’t a red meat eater. So why did she lie to The Donald, claiming she was a steak eater? I don’t know if this will come back to haunt her in later episodes, but I think she should have come clean. Who cares if she eats meat or cheese? Do you think it makes a big enough difference to lie?

The men chose Gary as PM. The Donald said Gary was either potentially a genius or a moron and he hadn’t figured out which one. In a judicious exercise of restraint, Lil Jon said he had it figured out, but wouldn’t say.

Gary appointed Meat as chef even though Meat said he couldn’t cook. Neither Lil Jon nor John volunteered their cooking skills for the team. In the meeting with company executives, Gary asked questions that didn’t have apparent relevance to the task. He also went off on a tangent, creating a Father’s Day theme featuring a son and dad flying a kite with little connection to steaks. The whole team quickly became frustrated. Meat and Gary had a total disconnect. When Ivanka arrived on the scene, all three of Gary’s teammates complained about him. Gary said his teammates didn’t respect him.

"I feel like I walked into a group therapy session," moaned Ivanka.

The women fared much better, although Star immediately commandeered the task by assigning jobs. She also led the meeting with company executives. No one, except Marlee, seemed able to get a word in edgewise. This did not sit well with Nene. Hope asked LaToya to be the chef because it was the easiest job of the task. LaToya became visibly upset when Hope changed her steak demonstration to burgers. Nene preemptively ridiculed LaToya, imagining how LaToya would later complain about this to The Donald. In reality, it was Nene doing the complaining. LaToya started a fire while prepping the food for the presentation. This further upset Nene.

Close to presentation time, Gary realized their menu was wrong. John, who was responsible for coordinating the menu, nearly bit Gary’s head off. He complained about Gary calling him "boy" — which Gary denied — then refused an apology, even though Gary seemed sincere. Meat was upset that they didn’t rehearse the demonstration.

During their presentation, Gary tried to work his magic, but fell short. He decided to pick winners from the audience to eat their prepared meals, but company executives thought this was awkward. They also couldn’t understand why John and Lil Jon contributed almost nothing to the demonstration. And they hated Gary’s Father’s Day theme, especially the part about the kite. The only thing they did seem to like was Meat's performance as chef. Funny, since Meat complained that he couldn't cook.

The women’s presentation was very good, with some exceptions. The audience couldn’t understand everything LaToya said because she spoke too softly. Neither Nene nor Marlee said "Omaha Steaks" in their presentation and the women ended their presentation by shouting "Omaha!" This did not sit well with company executives. "I wish they would say ‘Omaha Steaks’," whispered one to the other. They also didn’t like that the food was pre-prepared.

In the boardroom, all of the men complained about Gary. John called Gary’s management style "a catastrophic collapse of time management." Meat chimed in that he was upset about not rehearsing.

"The menu was printed wrong and was the wrong menu," Meat further complained, blaming Gary for the mistakes. The Donald made Gary recite his Father’s Day theme then called it "overly complicated." The team saw that as an opening to gang up on Gary. Lil Jon said Gary was in outer space.

"Gary is not always on earth here with us. We were so frustrated. I didn’t have anything to do."

Hope praised the women and would not rat out Star for commandeering the team. Star said she would be proud to have Hope as her daughter and thought she did very well. Marlee also praised Hope. LaToya said she thought the team really jelled and thought of Star and Hope as her friends. Nene, however, couldn't hold back when asked about Hope. For that, The Donald labeled her negative. He then told the women they had won.

Star tried to comfort Nene in the waiting room, saying she had her back and didn’t think she was being unfairly negative. I thought this was incredibly kind, given the way Nene had spoken about Star earlier. Nene complained that Star was always preparing the graphic materials, thinking this would keep her safe. In fact, Star is very talented with graphics. Why shouldn’t the team utilize her for her strengths?

Back in the boardroom, Meat was so down on Gary he lost his ability to communicate. John and Gary got into another argument over the "boy" incident, John saying it was disrespectful and Gary saying he called John "ka-boy," a reference to the Dallas cowboys.

"That means you’re calling me a liar," John nearly spat back at Gary.

"I called you ka-boy," Gary insisted. The Donald saw the dispute as a non-starter.

Gary sealed his own fate when he wouldn’t bring any of his teammates back to the boardroom. The Donald couldn’t get over Meat’s frustration.

"Then, Meat Loaf, I’m going to make you very happy," The Donald said with barely a pause. "Gary, you’re very talented. You’re very unique. You’re an amazing guy. And Gary, you’re fired." Da-dum. Everyone on the team thanked The Donald. Gary cleared out as his teammates chose to stay in the boardroom.

Driving away in the town car, Gary said he was at peace with The Donald’s decision and blamed his teammates for getting him fired. Then he turned philosophical.

"I could turn a thunderstorm and a tornado into a rainbow, and I’m flying over the rainbow tonight," said Gary. "Who knows, it could be true."

Indeed. I expect to see Gary flying an ethereal kite somewhere off in space this very moment. He always brought a lot of humor to the show. Call him genius, a moron, or anything in between, the truth is, there probably never will be another Celebrity Apprentice contestant quite as entertaining as Gary. I, for one, will miss him terribly.

Read My Other Season 4 Reviews:

Nene Leakes Rips LaToya Jackson a New One

Meat Loaf Meltdown

Dionne Warwick Makes a Cowardly Exit from Boardroom