‘The Celebrity Apprentice’: Ivanka Trump’s two-hour ad

How many ads can Trump have?

While the vast majority of the challenges on “The Celebrity Apprentice” can be defined as “ridiculous,” we are especially in awe of the ones that somehow allow the Trump family to promote their own products for two hours. Not only then is the show a massive form of self-promotion, but they almost get a bit meta on us and put an ad within an ad.

Unfortunately, this week’s task was also one of the challenges that seemed inherently biased from the get-go to ensure that the undermanned women’s team would be victorious. (Then again, next week’s car challenge seems slanted to the guys.) In order to promote Ivanka Trump’s new line of products, you had to create a window display outside of a Lord & Taylor store in Manhattan. For the Project Manager position, the men went with George Takei seemingly just because you didn’t want Michael Andretti anywhere near a fashion challenge — meanwhile, Miss Universe (and a model!) Dayana Mendoza handled proceedings for the women.

The men: clueless and they know it

We may as well not prolong any sort of suspense here — it was obvious from the first episode that George was not long for this show. While he is an intellectual and an inspiring man, he also did not seem altogether interested in being too assertive or throwing anyone under the bus at any point. Thanks to some of this, the guy’s performance was a jumbled mess.

Really, the only thing that we can say worked well for the men was having Paul Teutul make some pretty fantastic signs to put on their window displays. However, one of them was pretty much flushed out thanks to George and Adam Carolla (who was working on the set for the display) deciding that everything needed to be placed within a midnight blue background. From there, things went downhill. The nice idea by Penn Jillete to use twins for a “day” version and a “night” version of the same woman was nullified by Arsenio Hall dressing the women in clothes that made it seem like they were at a 1990s luncheon. Meanwhile, there was no real sense of putting Clay Aiken into a scene in the display where he was a distraction to the women. Arsenio made sense thanks to him being in the red-carpet setting — meanwhile, Clay made none at all. (We would have rather seen Ivanka’s jewelry worn by some glamorous bike mechanics at Orange County Choppers.)

Overall, the guys didn’t really seem to have much of a theme here outside of “let’s use twins and two different times of day.” They did the bare bones to get by in the task, but nothing was really remotely interesting. George confounded matters by not talking to Ivanka about some of her clothing, and also never visiting Adam, Lou Ferrigno (who was apparently sent away from the clothing due to him being a distraction), and the all-but-invisible Michael at their set workshop in Brooklyn.

The women discover order

Maybe it was the experience Dayana brought to the team, or the fact that Lisa Lampanelli managed to move on quick from a tense week as Project Manager. No matter what it was, the women were together and ready to rock this out from the get-go.

Their theme of “from conception to finished product” was not necessarily stellar, but it was solid and made all the more impressive by the fact that Aubrey O’Day (who is reminding us quite a bit of Maria Kanellis when it comes to her commitment) changed it at the last-minute after an issue with some photos. There was never any panic, though, and every woman seemed to have a pretty defined role. You know a challenge is going well when you don’t remember much of what happened during it — and on this occasion, it was mostly smooth sailing.

Yes, there were some minor flaws here in a fan poking through the display and the shoes not being visible thanks to a border … but was this anywhere near as bad as painting an entire wall midnight blue?

Beaming right out of there.

This was over quickly…

George’s exit came after what was really one of the dullest boardroom sessions we’ve ever seen on the show. All the guys seem to genuinely get along and respect each other, and that’s not always fun on TV. Arsenio’s trouble with clothing was pointed out, as was Lou’s inability to respond well to what was going on around him. Of course, none of this mattered when George pretty much admitted that he should be fired due to the task failing overall.

Could George have made a better argument? Sure, as he could have tried to stress that Arsenio trusted his own judgment too much or that Lou was a detractor to the team. However, Lou did nothing wrong in the sense of what Victoria Gotti did last week — and many of Arsenio’s problems could have been negated with a simple phone call to Ivanka that is George’s fault as much as anyone.

The only thing really worth noting from the boardroom session? That Dee Snider came back just a day after undergoing surgery on his hand and that Amanda (the mystery women who sits at the desk) also works on Ivanka’s fashion line.

Next week, we already expect Michael to lead a task about cars, and the preview suggested that Debbie Gibson will lead the other team. Will Trump find a way to fire some of the less-interesting stars this season, or is he going to buy up Buick before net week and rename it Trump Motors to get himself more air time? We shall see.

Photo: NBC

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