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'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)

NeNe is an embarrasment. Her vocabulary is obviously very limited. She's a big and I do mean big bully. Donald Trump is using her ignorance to boost his ratings. Star held her dignity and represented herself very well. Now that was a class act.

NeNe can't stand the fact that Star uses strategic planning. It's driving her crazy. NeNe does not possess the intellect and that is why she is so combative. That is all she know how to do. She is actually struggling and depicts mood swings all over the place. She appears to be dangerous. Maybe she should choose another charity because she probably will be on the other end of hers. I can't even imagine her being abused. Her actions are very loud and abusive.

I don't see anything shown on TV thusfar which backs Ne Ne's theory of Star being back stabbing. So what if Star asked Ne Ne to be project manger..Ne Ne is a big girl and could have said no...afterall, Ne Ne claims she is the only one to stand up to star...but she herself felt incapable of saying no to Star? Does not make sense. Ne Ne is just a bully just as she is on the Atlanta Housewives. She intimidates people with her size, just like all bullies do. For everyone who agrees with Ne Ne.... you are just jealous of Star's ability and composure, like all bullies, you are driven by your own insecurities, and jealous in nature of those who you feel inferior to.

You like NeNe because she "keeps it real" ????? Apparently, you don't know mental illness when you see it. The country is fighting a losing battle on children bullying children and you have the nerve to admit that you like NeNe the "needs some medication" Bully! Now, we know what type person you really are, too.

i just love this website.

Maybe you should all be watching Herman Cain, a person who didn't inherit wealth, instead of a buffoon who did.

Look it's a tv show. However, NeNe is who she is. But if you remember at the end of the show when LaToya was voted off NeNe did try to talk to Star. She said that "turning on friends is not worth winning the game" (meaning Star should not have turned on LaToya) and Star returned with "I don't like to lose!" And the very next morning Star recommends to team ASAP (and NeNe) that NeNe should be the next project manager. Even before Donald announced the task. And I don't believe for one second that it was because Star wanted NeNe to win money for her charity. Bull! Star's not that nice. I think NeNe saw right through Star's fakeness and read her ulterior motives. She much smarter than you think........

Nene should have been fired for her display in front of the client. I am glad so many of those posting see her for who and what she is. She is insecure and is jealous of anyone who has achieved success. Nene has limited education and no real skills. As a result, her options are limited. She is very sad. It appears that the only way she can "get paid" is by making a spectical of herself. People tune in to see just how foul and ignorant she will be fron week to week. She is not "keeping it real" she is merely putting on a clown show.

Nene is a big cry-baby bully. Good for Star for not wanting to resolve her issue with Nene. Nene can dish it out but can't take it. She did what people like her do when thing don't go their way run, run, run, run. Nene was out of her league, therefore she use her bulling to seen more important .

To be honest, NeNe is just as hateful, mean spirited and low class as ever. Where is the class. I know this is reality tv but come on where do you draw the line. NeNe is just as negative as she was on Housewives of Atlanta. She has such an angry spirit but yet she likes to think she is the victim. She is a very abusive with words and quite honestly she uses her size as a bullying tactic to intimidate people. Where is the etiquette?
NeNe Leakes is very self centered and if she does not take a look at herself in the mirror very quickly, there will be no one who will want to work for her. When you throw your own husband under the bus, you will throw anybody under the bus but yet you are keeping it real by whose standards.
Viewers are beginning to cringed when they see NeNe on anything because you know she will badmouthed someone or come with unnecessary drama. Who wants to be known for that but maybe she needs a paycheck by any means possible. Wow!!!
Lastly, to watch Mrs. Leaks insult LaToya Jackson and her family, Star Jones and others in such an unforgivable manner on national television was truly a slap in the faces of women of color. Who does that and think that is okay. In corporate America, that will not be tolerated. The sad part is Mrs. leaks wants to make it so bad she is her own worst enemy. I honestly feel sorry for her because she really does not feel like she is the way she is.

good for u latoya you showed so much class although the show god bless and good bye star thank god

Ne-ne is just a Diamond in a ruff!!! Ne-Ne, I Just love you!!! I hate the fact that you quit. As you see and has always said Star burned her own self. Star thinks she a slick a@#. Star is a Educated fool! You can't just do people like that. We must learn how to choose our battles!! What and when to say it? Ne- Ne your still the Bomb!!! Always stay REAL!!!!

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