Let’s start this review off with one clear note: Jon Lovitz is infinitely more entertaining than Stephen Baldwin. Yet, the two “Celebrity Apprentice” contestants have one thing in common: Being two of the worst fundraisers we’ve ever seen on the show.
If you think back to some of Stephen’s early seasons, there were occasions where he would raise almost no money and be almost gleefully smug about it in the boardroom, acting as though he deserved some sort of tremendous praise for it. Jon was not so smug — he knew he screwed up, and probably knew that he would be fired when the dust settled. We don’t think that this was some intentional move on his part to be chopped, and that he wanted to be there.
So, what happened? We just think that he became so preoccupied on Warren Buffett and the trip to Omaha — plus being frustrated with Project Manager Ricky Williams and his role on the team — that raising money was not on his mind. He only pulled in $500, which is terrible. Matt Iseman, a who who most people haven’t heard of beyond “American Ninja Warrior,” still managed to bring in close to ten times that amount of money. Boy George and Williams both on his team were able to bring in over $100,000 each. Once it was clear that Williams’ team lost, he had to go. It was different than the task in the first hour (read our full review for that here) mostly on the basis that in that case, the mistake that Brooke Burke made was far more negligible, and in some ways out of her control since her husband didn’t want to take the photo.
Team Divisions – Brooke, Boy George, Ricky, Jon, Laila Ali, and Matt were on one team. Meanwhile, Project Manager Vince Neil had on his own group Chael Sonnen, Porsha Williams, Carson Kressley, and Lisa Leslie. They had one fewer person, and they still managed to win — an impressive feat given that this was all about raising money. It helped that apparently Vince has some ridiculously wealthy friends willing to give money. (The sources for the money this time were hilarious — Vince had dancers and Hooters employees show up, while Ricky was counting on a number of key players in the cannabis industry.)
As much as we love Jon, it made since that Neil’s team won given that they nailed the part of the task that was the tie-breaker: The Warren Buffett taste test. The teams were technically selling chocolates for See’s Candies, and the one that tasted the best to Buffett got a bonus. Chael knew the billionaire from reading his books and knew to check up on what sort of chocolate that he liked, and that was enough for him to ultimately secure the prize in the end.
What seemed to matter more than anything was having the big donor or two that you could go to for help — Ricky’s team had arguably way more people in their store, but they were all making smaller donations for the most part, and he had a couple of people seemingly bail on the operation. You had to have the right Project Manager, the right donors, and people who would follow up on what they promised.
Overall – Another fun episode of the show, mostly since we love these fundraising tasks since you get a true sense of commitment and creativity. Coming out of this, we’re starting to feel really good about people like Matt, Boy George (who raised a ton of money), and also Carson. Even though Laila lost the chocolate challenge, we do think that she’s also still a threat. We’re a little less bullish on Vince — while he did win this task, he’s been almost invisible the majority of the time unless it’s been him drinking wine in front of Boy George. Grade: B+.
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