It’s not entirely that bad this year. The 2012 iteration of Donald Trump’s adventures in entrepreneurship and televised street begging has actually drawn in a pretty good haul of recognizable people this year. Yes, there is your standard gaggle of lost, middle-aged supermodels. But Penn Jillette is kicking around, juggling fire right away. Adam Carolla is pretty funny, and they’re surprisingly keeping his raunchier jokes in the show. And Clay Aiken and George Takei are on there, too, generally being more charming than you remember them being.
So the retooling of the show to include actual celebrities was a welcome surprise. But there were five more moments that were a lot more shocking.
(1) The old guy from "American Chopper" has access to a friend who will give him $305,000 overnight to help him win a game show.
You’ll probably recognize Paul Teutul Sr. as the wizened old guy with the fu manchu and cutoff T-shirt from that Discovery Channel show about making motorcycles. Let’s rephrase that: You probably won’t recognize him at all. But if you did, that is how you’d know him.
It’s an important distinction -- that last part -- because he quarter-heartedly volunteered to lead the hombres in this week’s men vs. women challenge, and he somehow came up with a third of a million dollars on one phone call.
The challenge was supposed to be about who could run a better sandwich shop, but it was rendered a useless charade almost immediately when Teutul came up with the money. So the guys won the challenge by about $200,000, even though the women on the show broke a show record for the amount of money raised on the show in Week 1 by themselves.
The beauty part? The donor was anonymous.
(2) That woman from the band Danity Kane is under the impression everyone knows who Danity Kane is. No one is under that impression. She proceeds to namedrop her number of Twitter followers.
After it escaped the clutches of the MTV reality show “Making the Band,” Danity Kane churned out unforgettable hits like “We Don't Have Any Hits” and “I Can’t Even Tell What Kind of Music You Play From Your Wikipedia Page.” Despite these chart-toppers, no one knows who Aubrey O’Day is. Well, they know her from the back of those FDA warning pamphlets about the detrimental effects of the overuse of hairspray. Side effects include:
(A) Being immediately catty on "The Celebrity Apprentice."
(B) Being pretty good at her task on "The Celebrity Apprentice." (She surprised America when she actually put aside her ego and drew people into the restaurant.) And,
(C) Looking like that.
(3) Cheryl Tiegs is far too nice of a person for this show. Everyone agrees. She leaves. No one is sad.
There was technically no elimination this week, as Cheryl Tiegs quietly excused herself after realizing she spent her week tepidly stepping over a crumbling heap of falling stars and trying not to cry.Adam Sandler may never take down his Cheryl Tiegs poster. But the Donald did last night. She’s off the show.
(4) Victoria Gotti is exactly what you hate about people. Victoria Gotti is great at everything!
The daughter of infamous Mafia boss John Gotti is on this show to intimidate Donald Trump from ever eliminating her. And she’s one-for-one.
She was an hour late to the very first day of the show. She said her doctor "thinks (she) tore either the retina or the cornea” the night before. (It appears her doctor is a lost cat.) Now she’s fine, of course, sunglasses-free, calling her friends about a quote on a car during shooting.
And she’s still on the show. Don’t ask questions.
(5) George Takei’s quiet confidence will win your heart, crush some souls.
Former "Star Trek" star George Takei is one of the only decent people on the history of reality TV. Because of this, Teutul decided to call him “quiet” and “meek.” Takei then let the cast know that he escaped an internment camp as a child and that’s why he’s here: to raise money for the Japanese-American National Museum. It left Teutul scrambling and made it look like Takei -- who was diligently making and selling sandwiches the whole episode -- look like a frontrunner to win the entire show. Well, it at least had us wondering why he’s subjecting himself to being on it in the first place.
Cameos and other very, very important notes: Arsenio Hall still does that “hoo-hoo-hoo” thing when entering rooms. … Wyclef Jean showed up to play guitar with Debbie Gibson and Aubrey O’Day. This is what rock bottom is. … Andy Cohen and Russell Simmons showed up to each buy several-thousand-dollar sandwiches. … Quote of the week, from Adam Carolla: “I had neighbors who were Trekkies. They were alcoholics.”
"The Celebrity Apprentice" airs Sundays at 9 PM on NBC.