We have to hand it to NBC. Casting "The Celebrity Apprentice" by how off the rails a star is? That's a winning strategy.
On the premiere, the two teams are split according to gender. The men pick Season 1 "Survivor" champ, Richard Hatch, which makes all the sense in the world. He has proven he can play a game. They call themselves Team Backbone.
The women choose former "The View" host, Star Jones, to lead. Again, a good choice on the surface. Our hats are off to anyone tough enough to strong-arm Barbara Walters into speaking nicely about you after originally calling you a heifer and a liar. They choose to call their team ASAPP, which means Artists, stars, Amex and party people, we believe. That's as good as the women's guesses, right?
Both teams approached the first task of selling pizza with gusto -- that is until they realized that they have to actually work the pizza place themselves. It's always fun to watch these privileged celebs find out that they aren't just ringing friends up for donations and ordering others around. Not on Donald Trump's watch.
Both teams made some mistakes in the challenge. First off, Richard may have showed his d-bag card too early. He quickly rubbed people the wrong way. Most notably, a big guy who doesn't like to be told what to do ( Jose Canseco) and a small guy for the same reason ( David Cassidy). At least, David was brave enough to say something to Richard about being pushed aside. Country singer John Rich had Richard tagged from the beginning, but he kept his opinion under his hat and did as he was told. But if there's one thing we've learned from previous seasons of "The Celebrity Apprentice," cowboys are not to be underestimated.
The other big mistake by the men's team was that they set their goals way too low when it came to money. A few brought in nothing or very little and this challenge wasn't about selling the most pizza. It was about making the most money. In the mistake category, we have to include Gary Busey's frightening turn as the "Pepperoni Profit." We can't quantify how much that scared off customers, but we're willing to bet the grand total is less because of it.
On the other side of town, the women were thinking big bucks. Money is where Star does some interesting things. The woman knows how to get it. Didn't she have everything at her wedding sponsored? At any rate, she wasn't thinking in the thousands, she was thinking in the tens of thousands. That's why we're so confused that she sent Marlee Matlin and Lisa Rinna on a delivery for $300 (when they had agreed to only deliver at $1,000 and above).
Our theory is that she wanted Lisa, who wasn't exactly a fan of hers, out of her hair. Or, she panicked when the big money wasn't coming in and decided they may need the 300 bucks. That backfired on her later when she had a $40,000 delivery and a Curtis Stone/ Trump order for an undisclosed amount (later we learned it was a $35,000 delivery) while Lisa and Marlee were still out.
Back in the boardroom, Lisa had a feeling Star would peg the missed delivery on her if they lost and went in for an early attack. Star defended herself and the other women supported her. As far as closing the shop early, we have no problem with Star's decision on that one. Clearly, there were bigger pizzas to bake. But, we still aren't sure why Lisa didn't mention that the whole chain of events started when Star broke her own minimum for delivery rule. Hm. Luckily for Lisa, the women beat (or should we say demolished) the men and that's where Star's "shoot for the sky" mentality helped them out.
The men were then left to battle it out. Jose threw the first jab at Richard's leadership style and seemed to be fighting David's fight over an alleged workplace assault. In turn, Richard did the old fake apology. You know the one, the "I'm sorry you felt that way" apology. And then he did something very smart. He started to work all the male egos in the room, including the Donald's.
Fans of the show know Donald has a very old school "boys club" mentality. And to watch Richard, an openly gay man, call David "delicate" and "sensitive" doesn't exactly fill Donald with confidence that the former pop idol could be the guy to win this game. So, that, plus the fact that David couldn't raise any money except a grand from his own daughter, "Gossip Girl's" Katie Cassidy, meant he had to go.
Do you agree with David's ousting? Who are your most and least favorite contenders right now?
Photo/Video credit: NBC