« Previous Post | Show Tracker Home | Next Post »

'Celebrity Apprentice' recap: 'Where's Barbara Walters now?'

NUP_143142_0068 Sunday night might have served as a teachable moment for Donald Trump: Don't mess with President Obama. And not only was  the Donald skewered at the White House correspondents dinner but also last night his show was trumped by historic news of the death of Osama bin Laden.

The timing was anything but fortunate for "Celebrity Apprentice" viewers east of the Rocky Mountains, who caught only part of the showdown and missed who was sent packing. Those of us out west were able to see one villain vanquished only for a new one to emerge on what was an absolutely magnificent evening of reality TV.

I expect fans to be split into two factions here over who the villain is: NeNe Leakes or Star Jones?

I have to admit, I'm in Camp NeNe. I also readily admit her faults — she flew off the handle like a madwoman in front of the client (not so good) and got a little too riled up. But that's why I love her: She keeps it real, and she won't back down. She's God's gift to reality television. And to be fair to Jones, I thought it was noble of her to put personal differences aside to work on the task at hand.

For those whose regularly scheduled broadcast was interrupted, Leakes went off on Jones at the start of the evening. It was the result of Jones' manipulation in the boardroom last week, in which she practically coerced Leakes into helping her rid the team of La Toya Jackson (hold on for more on Jackson, for sure).

The towering Leakes bent herself like a desk lamp to inform Jones that she would be the one to stand up to her, even though the rest of the women had backed down. Too bad she did all of this in front of the executive for the hair products company they would be working for. "Where's Barbara Walters now?" Leakes says, taunting Jones. 

Leakes said she was upset because Jones had essentially preordained her to be project manager, as though it was part of the nefarious plotting Jones had been up to all season. (She did become project manager, as did Lil Jon for the men — after losing a game of rock-paper-scissors.)

Moments later, though, it was like Leakes had completely forgotten. They had gotten their assignment — to put on a hair show using this company's products — and she had kicked off a dance party with the woman, centered on her theme of "Shake Your Beauty." (I kept waiting for Dwight Eubanks to pop up with offer some pithy commentary, like a "fashion show with no fashion" all over again — "Housewives" watchers know what I'm talking about!)

The men, after some initial worries and wandering to nowhere with Meat Loaf, came up with a fun, patriotic-themed event. They also managed to get inside the women's heads by calling back Niki Taylor, who had been fired weeks before. If you don't recall, Taylor was a class act after her run as project manager, sacrificing herself because she said the blame for her team's loss could be assigned to no one but the manager. Now, she had some of her former teammates mentioning betrayal.

Another twist came when La Toya Jackson, who was fired last week, had a sit-down with Trump in his office. (Side note about his office: Were you as underwhelmed as I was seeing his personal office? On the "30 Rock" scale, it seemed more Liz Lemon than Jack Donaghy. I had pictured a desk of solid gold, a shark tank — at least a bust of himself on the shelf.) She proposed that she have a second chance; she got it — she's back on the show, on the men's team now, and turned out to be one of Leakes' biggest advocates in the boardroom. That in itself is a shocker, considering how just a couple of weeks ago Leakes' big target was Jackson.

The women lost what should have been a sure thing for them. Left in the boardroom were Leakes, Jones and Hope Dworaczyk.

Note: I made no mention of Dworaczyk before now. Like I said last week, she's basically become a piece of furniture on the show. Or, as Leakes put it, the intern there to do whatever Jones commands. When she did speak on the show, it was to whine about Leakes, as though she were Leakes' target. (It's quite clear that Leakes could not care less about her.) And Dworaczyk, who whined about always having to be the model (she's a former Playmate), stunk as a model, walking around the stage like a scarecrow with robot legs. 

Despite the NeNe-versus-Star showdown, it became clear that — SPOILER ALERT! — Dworaczyk was the one who had no place being there. No matter the vitriol between them, and how crazy they may be, Leakes and Jones are far superior players. Jones has, regardless of her manipulative ways, been a workhorse; Leakes has proved to be talented and hard-working and, when she's not confusing another player for Kim Zolciak, is never tardy for the party. Ultimately, Dworaczyk — who, Trump says, is a huge star now because of "The Apprentice" — was sent packing.

The war between dueling villains continues. In the strange world of reality TV, the survival of a villain is the reason for celebration. 

— Rick Rojas

Photo: NeNe Leaks with Eric Trump on "Celebrity Apprentice," talking trash about Star Jones, which shouldn't come as a surprise. Credit: Douglas Gorenstein / NBC 

Comments () | Archives (32)

Thank you for the recap! Love this!!

GREAT recap! My sentiments exactly. And as an east coaster, thank you for letting me know who was sent home, as we all missed the last 12-minutes or so due to Mr. President triumphing over The Donald.

I was turned off last night at the behavior of NeNe on celebrity apprentice. The fowl language made her appear ghetto,low class and lack inteligence. Their are plenty of ways to communicate your feelings and dislike for an individual than using fowl language. Unfortuntely, this is the sterotype behavior many believe to be true of black women and expect it. NeNe talked about Star reputation but what about her own reputation especially after celebrity apprentice. What is so "real" about NeNe using abusive, bulling language. Do many think she is the depict of the real "black" women. I appauled Star for her grace, dignity and class in that situation. All black women are not uneducated and use bullying,abusive fowl language to express themselves. Its very interesting how many black women are viewed. I consider myself educated,intelligent and beacause I conduct myself in a gentle, loving, respectful manner towards others, I've been told and is considered fake. Is it because I do not act like the angry, attituded, ghetto black women I'm expected to be. Their isn't anything wrong with Star, she's smart,educated,inteligent and is in a place of position in life sharing experiences as many caucasion male and female. Why should she be hated,disliked or considered fake because she is not the typical black female. Many view Oprah the same way. The black community need more positive black females in viewpoint such as a Tyra Banks, Star Jones and Oprah Winfrey and their is nothing fake about that.

In real life Ne-Ne would have never lasted a minute after her ranting at Star during the beginning of the show. Companies do not let behavior like that go very far. Its breeds negativity and it's disruptive. No questions asked...gone!

u go nene

v entertaining show.
that is until it was interupted by far better news.
wife asked what the heck does Obama want now & I surmissed maybe he was going finally step down as POTUS and relief us of our pain & suffering.
..well now we know...and I staill 'aint voting for him!

I was ticked when they interupted, but let's be real, a dead BinLadun trumps a fight in the board room. Welcome back LaToya. What a coo. And Star and NeNe live to fight another day. That's what makes reality TV fun.

"An absolutely magnificent evening of reality TV."

"I have to admit, I'm in Camp NeNe. I also readily admit her faults — she flew off the handle like a madwoman in front of the client (not so good) and got a little too riled up. But that's why I love her."

NeNe has exhibited such borderline behavior that it's shocking. Star Jones is just a mean, arrogant person. The highlights of Celebrity Apprentice and other reality shows are usually bad behavior and/or serious psychological disorders. I find it appalling that someone calls that "magnificent" TV and loves someone for her disturbing outbursts.

OMG -- Hilarious recap!!

It is so obvious that Nene is being tested by the powers that be in NBC for ratings. NBC owns Bravo -- which airs the Real Housewives of Atlanta in where Nene was a breakout star. Fans were a buzz over her crazy antics with good/bad posts on Bravo blogs, she created drama with the never ending feud between her and Kim Zolciak, and whatever comes out of her mouth is hilarious. Let's face it: Star is the prissy, uptight Student Body President girl with high ambition we all knew in high school. Nene? She was the girl whom you did not mess with in high school. She hung out in the girl's bathroom talking trash and smoking. But I also love Nene. She is very emotional (duh) but completely truthful. With her, it is what you see is what you get. She does have a heart of gold under all of that rage. She needs therapy for sure. But oh my -- she is ratings GOLD for NBC!!!! Go Nene!!!

its not cool for anyone to lable any other person, based on the language they use,for some one to say what is ghetto and what is not ...who gave any one the right to say that NeNe is less inteligent because of what she said to Jones.. or that she is ghetto. or that Jones is so much more classy then NeNe...NeNe was upset for being setup by Jones(get it)...Black women stop haten on each other,stop judging each other, let me be me and you be you...Stop the old negro Lynch theory,black women ..stop it!!!

Too Darn Funny! Did President Obama plan this little interruption? I mean, lets face it, "The Donald" has been dogging the President for months now about that birth certificate. It just seems a little too convenient that his news conference interrupts the last 15 minutes of the Celebrity Apprentice. I, however was pissed off because I set and watched that show for 1:45 minutes only to miss the very ending of the boardroom. Yes, BinLadun does trump The Trump, but the timing of the news conference could have been better. I mean we have waited 10 years for them to get that guy. Couldn't they have waited 15 more minutes to tell us about it?

Odom and Deborah, it's spelled: intelligent & intelligence. Also, Nene Leakes is a TOTAL embarrassment and it's ashame that the public keeps supporting her ignorance! I pray that the public and the media end up saying NO MORE to her stupidity!

Ne-Ne is right about star she is one nasty lady,you sure don't need a friend like that.

i would love to see omarrossa and nene battle it out on next seasons apprentice..omarossa is a combination of nene and star jones,,she can be pretty, classy,smart and at the same time large and in charge ,loud and obnoxious, and ghetto all in one great package..she would eat nene for breakfast

In response to Em who posted the following:
"Odom and Deborah, it's spelled: intelligent & intelligence. Also, Nene Leakes is a TOTAL embarrassment and it's ashame that the public keeps supporting her ignorance!"

Yeah, Em, it's spelled a shame. Two words. Ashame is not a word. Seems you should be more worried about your own spelling & ignorance and less about others!

This is "RealityTv" whatever that is!!! But Celebrity Apprentice is much watch TV for me!!! I love this show!!!! NENE and Star Jones shows two different sides of strong woman playing this game and stop making it racial! They are trying to keep ratings up by playing a role and also along the way make money for their charity. Let's stop seeing more into this than it is. As far as my President Barack Obama, he is not God, he can only do as much without the support of those Republican Senate and House of Represetatives, so tell me, how can you win, if everyone is against you. I love you President, but you can only do so much, with so many others against you.

No laudable fiendishness here but an astute Ms. Dworaczyk who spoke to the very heart of the episode identifying the irony of NeNe's abusive behavior.

There it is- NeNe displays the face of abuse, the voice of abuse, the words of abuse, the posture of abuse- the whole intimidating vibe of violence and AlphaStar's reaction was typical of the abused. There's real domestic abuse in the House of ASAP.

Help is there for Ms. Leakes through her own charity 'Atlanta Mission in Support of My Sister's House for Women Against Domestic Abuse' and for anyone in any city who is living in that kind of bullied/terrorist place.

It's amazing how people like NeNe Leakes because she "keeps it real". What I have learned about NeNe from watching Real Housewives of Atlanta and Celebrity Apprentice is that she can mouth off and talk about people and that is "keeping it real". But, if someone says something about her, they are "not keeping it real". The are evil, backstabbing B's. NeNe is the last person I would want to work with on a job. There is such a thing as professionlism, civility, and maintaining a working relationship with someone even though you don't like them. Celebrity Apprentice is a game and the celebriteis are there to win. Star is there to win for her charity not to become BFF with NeNe. Losing your cool and going off is not the way to win. Going off in front of the client is a definite NO NO. How can anyone approve of that type of behavior and say, "she's keeping it real."? Play the game with intelligience not street behavior.

They're all gladiators for bloodsport really but NeNe has shown her beautiful soul, innate leadership skills, charm and vulnerability just like Mr. Meatloaf, who probably would rather be called by his name- Michael, maybe. Editing wanted people to see the hug and that handshake. . . .maybe an arm wrestle, not sure what happened there, must tune in next week.

Something to remember: The Celebrity Apprentice is a game of strategy. Some play better than others. Mr. Trump knows this better than the contestants. My bet is on Star Jones. You can see the wheels turning in her head.

1 2 | »


Recommended on Facebook

In Case You Missed It...


Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.




Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: