‘The Celebrity Apprentice’ review: Teresa Giudice and fun with puppets

Teresa had a challenge.

If you love your puppet shows mixed with crying in the dressing room, Sunday night’s new episode of “The Celebrity Apprentice” brought it in spades. These are the sort of challenges that we love, mostly because it combines creativity with stress, humor, and downright insanity.

Speaking of insanity, let’s start things off by talking about the teams here. We know that Donald Trump had to shift someone (in Clay Aiken) over to Forte with Lisa Lampanelli, Dayana Mandoza, and Penn Jillette; however, why would Paul Teutul Sr. agree to be a Project Manager for a task that was all about running an adult-oriented puppet show under the watch of Jim Henson’s son? This in itself appeared to be a recipe for disaster when you have Arsenio Hall on your team (though he may have been nervous about his lack of a relationship with Aubrey O’Day). Meanwhile, Clay’s new team was primed to go on the warpath with Lisa Lampanelli running the ship — after all, she knows comedy so well that she can make up for Clay and Dayana not having the best opinion of her.

Team Forte: success in disarray

When it came to the actual puppet show put on by Lisa’s team, it was so solid that the only real problems the executives could come up with were the content being a little edge and Penn cutting one of the scenes too long as the host. However, the path to the show was hardly smooth sailing.

As per the case on this show all seen, Dayana didn’t really have anything to do, and her frustration about it not only manifested when Eric Trump was speaking with her, but minutes before the task in the dressing room. This turned into a full-on blowout by Lisa over Dayana being such a distraction to the team that she was stalling them.

Ultimately, Clay Aiken was really the standout — we knew that Lisa would be funny, but Clay (who had experience doing puppets in church, oddly enough) was quick-on-his-feet, smart, and nearly as funny as the professional.

Team Unanimous: why Teresa?

The anger here was much more passive-aggressive, and much of it had to do with Paul being so limited in his involvement. He didn’t have any experience telling jokes, and he also didn’t really know what to do with himself when he was so out of his element.

Unfortunately, this led to a questionable decision to us in not having Teresa Giudice host, and Aubrey O’Day (who has more experience performing) being a puppeteer. Teresa stumbled through the early portion of her performance, even if she did get better at the end of her show. Meanwhile, Arsenio did a rather stellar job tackling the comedy of the task, and Aubrey (even if she wasn’t a puppeteer) was a rather great host and possibly even better than Penn.

The reason we bring up Teresa as a host is that she is used to being in front of people and presenting ideas — ultimately, it would have been a better showcase for her effervescent personality.

The boardroom

Really, the big pluses and minuses were the ones mentioned above — but the real reason that Unanimous ended up losing this task was that the design of the puppets was too limiting to be effective on the show. So who was to blame for it? It really depends on whether or not you want to blame the loss on the puppeteers for going too far, or for Paul for not stopping them and lacking leadership.

This boardroom was really just a tense two-way race between Teresa and Paul, mostly because the other two didn’t really do anything terrible to justify their firing. Unfortunately, Paul also made a pretty big mistake — rather than thinking with his head in bringing Arsenio back to the boardroom (who at least designed a puppet), he thought with his heart and brought back Aubrey for no good reason. Trump never likes this.

To make matters worse for Paul, even Ivanka was quick to throw him under the bus for being “tired.” This is really the point in the competition where everyone is great, and it’s hard to fire just about anyone. Aubrey ended up campaigning for Teresa (whereas Arsenio would have likely done that), and this poor decision on the PM’s part set up the “American Chopper” star’s exit even further.

So with that, we say goodbye to a man who was a strong worker this season, and it is interesting to see how Arsenio functions now in a group with Aubrey and Teresa and no one fully on his side.

Do you think that Trump made the right decision this week? Feel free to share your thoughts both in the comment box and the poll below!

Photo: NBC


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