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'Celebrity Apprentice' recap: In the boardroom, the weakest links survive

NUP_143139_0009 La Toya Jackson said the women were out to get her as she took the helm as project manager on "Celebrity Apprentice" on Sunday night. They ignored her orders. Disrespected her authority. Ostracized her from the very group she was supposed to run. 

Or -- and this is a big "or," so bear with me -- maybe Jackson proved that she was woefully inept as a leader, and, basically, as a normal human being, fumbling with the simple concepts of planning and budgeting. 

Oh well, it didn't matter: It was a poor night for logic and common sense all around, in what culminated in a very confusing and frustrating sit-down in the boardroom. The wrong team won, the wrong person was sent home -- no question.

This week, it was another creative challenge as the two teams had to create interactive marketing booths for Australian Gold, a sunscreen company. Executives from the company were judging the teams on their creativity as well as on how well they represented the Australian Gold brand. 

The men were led by Mark McGrath; the women by Jackson, standing up after being dogged last time in the boardroom. 

The men, as they had in previous creative competitions, took a big risk: They chose a pirate theme, with John Rich rounding up some wenches and a dwarf pirate. It was bold, to be sure, and they all really got into the act, drawing a considerable crowd around them. But, the Australian Gold executives decided, it strayed too much from the brand's usual message, and the koala mascot was nowhere to be found. 

Somehow, the women won. They not only took no risks, their display barely made sense. Jackson showed a complete lack of leadership ability -- or just plain sense. She had no theme, then -- once something was cobbled together -- changed at the last minute. And, my goodness, why on Earth did she ask for 6,000 pounds of sand?

The display ultimately looked like a child's project, without any cohesive theme, and it looked amateurish to boot. But, thankfully, NeNe Leakes -- the one speaking truth to power this week -- wore a koala suit, so they were all good. 

In the boardroom, the Donald's opinions were completely confounding: Why must he be so supportive of Jackson. She proved to be nothing more than furniture in previous tasks, and when the team stepped up to keep this project from being more of a failure than the men's, the Donald continued to effusively praise Jackson and defend her. 

I have to give props to Leakes for speaking up, and for being so hilarious. (Also: Did anyone else notice that Star Jones was on printed-materials duty again? She sure does love her graphic design!)

In any case, the women squeaked by, and I'm willing to bet this whole debate over Jackson has only been postponed a little longer.

It was the men who had to stay behind. The once cohesive and dynamic team is beginning to crumble. It all boils down to Gary Busey, but once again the Donald refused to see that. Busey is the ultimate wild card -- you never know what he'll do or say. He operates in a world all this own, and in a show like this -- and as competitive as this one — that's dangerous. Every day that Busey is still around is a good day for the women's team.

McGrath tried to pull a Niki Taylor in choosing the dignified high road of taking responsibility as project manager. But it didn't quite work. First of all, McGrath has been a sort of grating presence throughout the season. He's a whiner and a complainer; he's always the first to freak out on a task. And he did a respectable job as project manager, but his move -- to me, at least -- didn't come across as noble and as genuine as did Taylor's.

After his teammates said that the problem was indeed Busey, McGrath tried to squirrel out of his previous statements. But Trump wouldn't have it. No matter that Busey has proved to be a burden and lacked any focus -- can you name any contribution from Busey? -- he survived.

Ivanka Trump told her father that she thought he had made the right choice. In a way, she was right. He did make a good choice; if the rubric is who will keep people tuning in to see fireworks and nonsensical statements, Busey is the best choice.

McGrath may have done a decent job and may be a star outside the show, but this is reality TV. When the alternative is a time bomb waiting to explode, working with a team that can't stand his presence, that's always a winner. And next week, he's project manager. 

What do you think, Show Trackers? Do you agree that it's Busey that should have been sent home? Should the women have won the competition? Do you think Jackson was a lousy project manager, or was she right that her teammates were just out to get her? 

-- Rick Rojas

Photo: Lil Jon was assigned to babysit Gary Busey during the project on "Celebrity Apprentice" on Sunday night. Credit: Douglas Gorenstein / NBC 

Comments () | Archives (35)

The wrong team definitely won. What were the hot shots at Australian Gold thinking about? The men's presentation was so much better.

If Gary Busey's behavior turned them off, he should be the one fired. He's a loose cannon. Donald Trump fired the wrong person but it's not the first time Donald got it wrong. Maybe Donald suspects that Mark McGrath wasn't born in this country.

Gary hasn't done anything wrong besides be annoying and strange. He is a team player and does what he is told to do. They just look to throw the person they believe is the weaker player, emotionally or intellectually, under the bus but I'm willing to be he won't totally screw up on the task when he is project manager. It would not surprise me if his team decided to throw the task to try to get him fired, but they should rethink that idea.

Gary Busey is erratic and most of the time. out of line....he should have been the one fired! Donald, er, mr. Trump has allowed him to remain way too long, which is a hinerance to the mens team......the men should have won, but the
sponsors obviously are afraid of change...too bad!!!!!!! Bad choice by the Donald....

Latoya was a poor project manager. The idea of the snow and the sand was good, but it looked messy. She made changes at the last minute. She should go. Donald needs to quit defending her.
Gary B. is an accident waiting to happen. Yes, McGrath is a little whiney, but Gary B. should have been gone weeks ago. It is not about intelligence-he has little focus, and goes on his own, doing what people tell him, but he spoils it by talkig so much and also talking too much. He acts so meek in the board room when he is a loose cannon. Donald should have fired him last night. Wrong move Donald. And I would have listened to both my children last night.


Gee - not too jaded are you Rick? Let's not forget the power of editing the show to prompt viewership. Also, if you don't learn from history, you'll be bound to repeat it. as in - Trump does NOT like it when people try to fall on the sword & then try to back away minutes later (just this year it happened on the ladies team. Maybe not with a team leader, but still the same theme.) If you ever used a word like "apprently" in your article, it would have been more appropriate. Just my thoughts....

Yes,the women are out to get La Toya,and then it will get more nasty when she is gone.Also Garey Busey does not have a good memory.His head trauma from that motor cycle accident did that to him.He was not like that before.He was a wild man but had his memory and was a good actor.This does not change the way he rants,but lets see if Meat will have a stroke from this,.He has a temper beyond Garey's wierdness.

I think NeNe is a loud mouth and have no class. When she was project manager she sat up there and boohoo. After that she criticize everyone else. True LaToya is not a good leader but I think NeNe went overboard arguing with her in the board room.

LaToya had her own slow and disorganized way of doing thing and had absolutely no concept of cost.. However, she would not allow the rest to walk all over her..which I respect. She did listen to the theme from the exex's and although not the greatest project every done she did come through with what they wanted. McGrath got the pirate t hing in his head even though Gary said it was wrong and so did the country singer...Thye never used the logo but instead put up a pirate flag....treasure???please......pirate knives..pleez. McGrath deserved to go.

"They ignored her orders. Disrespected her authority." What you talking about? They didn't everything she asked, but were confused as to what the concept was about. But they won because they did what the company asked for. They just lost points for not working as a team.

Jackson is a complete and total idiot. She's worthless. She is only known because she has ridden the coattails of her brother. Busey is a liar as well as a troublemaker and I think he's doing everything he's doing on purpose.

Lets face it ... with Trump's latest actions with the birthers ... did you really expect a logical outcome in the boardroom? *lol*

This is a disgusting and very foolishly written article, Latoya Jackson did a better job than Mark McGrath and she handled a bunch of mutinous women far better than Lisa Rinna did, she deserved victory. If there was anyone to leave, it was Gary Busey, Mark McGrath his foot in his mouth in the boardroom, this is basically what caused his departure. Having said that, please let us as readers push for true journalism!

LaToya is an idiot but she knows how to present herself to the people that count. The Trumps liked her and so did the sponsor. She presents herself with class and Nene presents herself like a big-mouth bully that you don't want to be associated with. LaToya was smart like a Fox. They liked her them of combining winter and summer, which she came up with on the way to the illustration. She probably felt she couldn't trust her team because of the way the stabbed her in the back last week. I can't wait to see what kind of ignorant spouts Nene will say about the poor deaf lady after they get rid of Latoya. I already can figure what they'll say about the Model. Good for you standing up for yourself LaToya, even as an idiot you have more class than Nene/Hehe

Well, McGrath may be a whiner, but come on, getting rid of him over nut job, liar, Busey? Seriously? Does Trump not even look at the tapes? No, you are right, it's all about ratings, but after that ridiculous episode, ratings go down by one person. And what the heck were the executives at Autrailian Gold thinking? Beach and Snow? Or did they really want an event that drew people in to see their products - Trump, AG - YOU'RE FIRED! Back to Panama Jack for me....and no more watching pathetic Busey and the very nasty women on ASAP (not a team by any stretch) - Marlee should be embarassed being there.

For a business person, who roots for skills to prevail, this season has turned into a comedy. But none of the contestants are laughing. La Toya, like Busey has moments of brilliance (during their trainwreck performances) and remain sincerely convinced that, despite what everyone on their team says, they are the stongest performers and the reason their team won. Like the nearsighted Mr Magoo walking through a sawmill with his head in a newspaper. La Toya can say "See we won!".

latoya has been alot of help, she isn't the mose vocal person but they won the RV task and last week and this weeks task because of HER so if you want to point at someone refer to Hope, the model who dows nothing but shop.

LaToya was so mistreated by her peers on her team, it was disgusting to watch. At the end of the day, it was LaToya's vision for a summer/winter approach that won the sponsors over. Star and Nene are vicious, and Marlee was barely better.

I think the hateful things that Nene said to LaToya, afterwards, when they were in the suite were uncalled for and evil. I want to see Star Jones whip Nene Leakes butt and put her in her place.

They all owe LaToya an apology.

I was suprised that the girls won. Latoya seemed all over the place..but it did kinda come together in the end. I liked the men's idea! They really should have won that one. As soon as Mark said that he'd have to take responsibilty for what happened...I knew he was gone. Because everyone makes that statement..then when they find out they lost and now might go home...they start changing their tone. He definitely shouldn't have went home...but Busey's crazy comments were really enough to send him home. Yeah he says really out of context stuff...but it's not a big enough reason to send someone home yet. I'm over the Busey crazyness..but next week looks interesting. I'm ready for the women to lose..

Rick you are dead on. Latoya and the girls should have lost. Gary should have been fired.. But if you want to keep the drama and ratings you do what the Donald did..

Trump kept Busey for one reason only - he makes for funny TV and ratings. McGrath was a much better contestant. LaToya was a complete disaster as project manager and shouldn't have won. I did think NeNe made some very inappropriate remarks during their argument (i.e. calling her Casper)

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