‘The Celebrity Apprentice’: Lisa Lampanelli goes medieval

Queen of Mean, indeed.

Thanks to a certain something known as the Academy Awards, we are a little late to the game when it comes to talking about this week’s edition of “The Celebrity Apprentice.” However, the quality of this episode was head and shoulders above the premiere.

Why? The two hours here contained everything from table-flipping to back-stabbing to allegations about lies and Lou Ferrigno getting ridiculously angry during what was a question that Penn Jillette was forced to answer. Oh, and it’s also a giant commercial for one of the greatest places ever if you are eight years old in Medieval Times.

The men continue to play nice

Before we dive too deep into the men’s task, we will point out something that irks us continuously about this show — the absence of certain celebrities due to other commitments. If you’re getting paid to be on the show, be on the show. This is why we have an issue with Adam Carolla missing the task to take care of a wedding being held at his house. Is this a big occasion? Yes, but there are probably places all of the men could be instead of on this show.

Penn dominated this task.

Since Adam was pretty much excused, we return to the task at hand — which was basically to put on a fifteen-minute show for Medieval Times using whatever tools the venue had at their disposal. Penn was the Project Manager, and all in all he did a stellar job. Not only did he delegate well and utilize his talent (as in having Clay Aiken sing and Dee Snider dress in drag), but he also realized that the audience for the show was not just people who love New Jersey, but also children with short attention spans. Rather than focus on an elaborate story, they therefore used props, horses, and even a motorcycle to impress everyone in the audience.

Even with this grand spectacle, there were some cracks in the foundation. George Takei seems more and more like someone who is not long for the show — mostly due to the fact that he just seems to operate differently than everyone else, and this disconnect could lead to division. (Plus, we just don’t see Mr. Sulu going into the boardroom and throwing people under the bus.) Meanwhile, Lou Ferrigno is also likely going to have a hard time thanks largely to time management (as he spent too long on his own part of the act to the point where it caused the others to pause) and his own tendency to get offended rather quickly by comments in the boardroom.

There are also some stars here that we can probably expect to see for some time — including Penn, Paul Teutul, Aiken, and Arsenio Hall. Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s probably looking for a way to fire Michael Andretti already for being the most boring contestant in “Apprentice” history.

Overall, the men are in good shape after winning this task … but this can only last for so long.

Victoria was hit this week.

The women, meanwhile, get nasty

The women’s team was so much fun this week, mostly because it was a situation dominated in some ways by ego. Dayana Mendoza wanted to stretch herself beyond public perception as a pageant princess, and she wasn’t able to do that — meanwhile, Victoria Gotti didn’t want to be laft backstage while everyone else had a good time.

As much as we could talk about some of the other women and what they contributed to the show this time, we have to dive into Lisa Lampanelli’s controversial performance as Project Manager. To be frank, we loved it. She was blunt, she was honest, and she did not want to deal with any in-fighting or discussion away from the subject matter at hand. The problem is that she’s on a team were several people do not want to get upstaged — including Aubrey O’Day, who seems to be enjoying the opportunity to hear herself talk this season.

The issue we’re having here with this episode is that while Victoria Gotti deserved to be fired (if for no other reason than that she complained about her role too much), we’re surprised that Trump didn’t give Lisa more grief. While the comment cards read out didn’t suggest that Lisa’s concept was the reason her skit lost lost, there was obviously something about it that was not as great as what the men put out there. While we actually liked it more, she and the vast majority of the women failed to consider that children would not really get the “Real Housewives” references behind their “Unreal Housewives of Camelot” show, and their primary pull outside of that did not yield for as much action. Then again, we weren’t there — and some of the technical issues that happened due (at least per Lisa) to Victoria may have played a roll.

When the ladies finally did make it to the boardroom, it was made pretty clear that Victoria did not appreciate Lisa appointing her to be the stage manager, and this — coupled with Victoria’s threat to defect to the men’s team — ended up being the storyline for the final half-hour of the episode. (Granted, Teresa Giudice was showered in compliments, but is not as excited to watch as screaming.)

Did Victoria have a right to be upset? Certainly — all the other women had acting roles, and she was right to point out that she was left out. In a way, Lisa did put her in a position where she could stand out in a bad way — but this is part of the way that this show works. If you’re Project Manager, you have to prepare to have someone else take the fall. It’s not like Lisa wanted to loser her task and get anyone fired, but she did the smart thing from the game point of view.

The real issue moving forward after this week for the women is going to be finding a way to get along. While none of the remaining stars seem to hate each other, there is definitely some tension between one group (led by Dayana, Patricia Velasquez, and Debbie Gibson) and the other (Lisa, Aubrey, and to a lesser extent Teresa).

At the end of the day, we would take more in-fighting any day of the week — especially when it comes to getting more of the entertainment gold that is Lisa on her TV screen. You may complain that she’s too crass or offensive — but that’s who she is! She also proved in this episode that she is going to be one tough cookie to crack for the rest of this season.

Photo: NBC

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