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Celebrity Apprentice: “Off the Hook”

March 27, 2011 08:31 PM by Shayla Perry

Tonight on an all new Celebrity Apprentice, the celebrities get ready for their close-ups when they’re tasked with creating 30-second commercials for a video phone. Will Oscar-nominated Gary Busey’s “genius” talents come in handy for team Backbone, and which celeb does Donald Trump send packing? Keep reading for everything you missed!

This week on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice, after Niki Taylor’s graceful exit from the competition, the ladies are still surprised that they have once again lost to team Backbone (and to Gary Busey), but eager to prove themselves as worthy opponents.

Gary Busey presents his charity with not one, but two, checks for $20,000 and then meets with Trump and the other contestants to learn about the next task.

Tonight, they will be creating  30-second commercials for ACN’s new video phone, then present their commercials to an audience of 450+ ACN reps. They will be judged once again on creativity, originality, and brand messaging.

Project Managers for this task will be Lil Jon, who has much experience working in commercials and directing videos, and NeNe Leakes.

Immediately getting to work, team A.S.A.P. wastes no time learning about the product. Surprisingly, Dionne Warwick volunteers an idea: Her in the studio working on an album, with her engineer communicating with her via the video phone. The team loves it!

At Backbone headquarters, Jose Canseco brings up the idea of communicating with aliens, which the ACN execs aren’t too impressed with.

When they meet with ACN, the execs make it clear that they’re looking for an “emotional connection,” which causes the ladies to rethink their idea.

The men are going in another direction, against John Rich’s better judgment. Lil Jon wants to do something “hip,” and suggests that they make their commercial comical. He wants to have a son call his family to announce his engagement, then show his fiance is a man. Rich feels that while it’s funny, it may not appeal to the ACN audience as a viable commercial spot, and thinks that they should do something emotional as suggested, but doesn’t speak up.

Thinking of new ideas, Marlee Matlin suggests having a 16-year-old daughter calling her deaf mother, and being able to sign to her, which everyone loves– even Dionne Warwick.

Star Jones takes on the task of putting together the PowerPoint presentation, when Hope says that she’s not comfortable with that job. Hope and Dionne instead head to the prop house to get the items needed for the commercial, while the others work on casting.

Trying to get the logistics down for the shoot, Lil Jon and Meat Loaf have trouble talking without Gary Busey interrupting them.

A.S.A.P. has managed to select their actors, but Hope and Dionne still aren’t back with the furniture, which is holding up production. NeNe Leakes takes Marlee Matlin and Star Jones aside to tell them that they’re the only ones who actually have contributed to the task, and Marlee agrees that the three women are basically holding up the team.

When Dionne and Hope get back with the furniture, Dionne takes issue with Marlee for offering her help in styling the set, which Dionne says is “her task.”

The women quickly begin to film their spot, and NeNe Leakes learns that she has a new love–directing. But LaToya Jackson feels that her teammates have underestimated her, and doesn’t like that she doesn’t have a bigger role in the project.

The shooting over at Backbone isn’t going as smoothly, with Gary Busey having trouble staying focused– and keeping “Big Wednesday” under wraps.

A.S.A.P. is heading off to the editor, but with NeNe Leakes and Marlee Matlin doing all of the work, Dionne Warwick decides that instead of staying with the team, she’s going to go home to sleep.

When Donald Trump, Jr. shows up, he asks where Dionne is, and NeNe tells him that she left, which disappoints him, and he’s not happy that NeNe, as the manager, let her off the hook.

With their commercials done, both teams now prepare for their presentations. NeNe Leakes is presenting for A.S.A.P., although she wanted Star Jones to do it, Star feels that NeNe, as PM should have some part of the presentation. But when Star tells NeNe that she’s being too “sexy,” when offering pointers, NeNe starts to become irritated with the former View co-host.

After their presentation, the women’s commercial gets a good response from the audience of ACN reps, and now it’s time for team Backbone. Will their bargain pay off?

Lil Jon comes out and hypes the crowd as only he can, and they love the commercial. But will ACN actually want to use it?

The 450+ reps then vote for the commercial they liked the most.

When meeting with the ACN execs, Trump says that he absolutely thought the women won–until he saw the men. So who won?

In the boardroom, Richard Hatch is super confident in his team’s performance and says that Lil Jon was “the best” as a leader. When asked if their subject matter was too risky, Richard says no, to which Ivanka Trump disagrees, noting that the men knew that they were taking a big chance.

As Trump continues to praise the team’s performance, their risk, and Lil Jon’s use of the buzz word, “viral,” which the executives loved, NeNe Leakes begins to tear up.

Dionne speaks about NeNe’s performance as a PM, saying that she did a great job, and Donald Trump says that her tears are fitting, since the ACN execs loved the emotion they put into their commercial.

NeNe finally tells Trump that she was so emotional because after discovering that her teammates, Marlee Matlin and La Toya Jackson were both victims of domestic violence, as she was, she became even more dedicated to winning the challenge and being able to donate that money to her charity.

Marlee Matlin gives NeNe perhaps the best compliment, telling Trump that NeNe is the best director she’s ever worked for– not bad coming from an Academy Award winning actress!

Donald Trump asks Dionne why she went home, and Dionne says that she asked NeNe before leaving, but NeNe says that she doesn’t remember being asked.

Soon, NeNe’s tears are replaced with eye-rolling when La Toya Jackson starts talking about her task. NeNe says that her son could have done that job, and Marlee sides with her, telling Trump that there wasn’t much for La Toya to do in this particular task.

Finally, the winner is announced. Though the votes were very close (53%- 47%), it’s the men that win once again. And again, ACN will be donating an additional $20,000 to Lil Jon’s charity.

In the boardroom, the women are faced with the realization of their 3rd loss in a row, which Star Jones partly blames on La Toya and Hope’s inability to lead. When asked who doesn’t contribute on the team, Marlee Matlin surprisingly singles out La Toya, because she’s very “quiet and humble.” But NeNe says that it’s Dionne Warwick that the team can do without.

Dionne says that it’s not a problem with stamina or indifference, as Ivanka Trump suggests, and again says that she wouldn’t have gone had NeNe not said it was okay.

Hope is asked who should be fired, and she names Dionne Warwick. When Dionne is asked, she also names herself, and practically tells Donald Trump to fire her, saying that she doesn’t want to impede the team’s progress.

Star Jones is bothered by Dionne’s actions, accusing the legendary singer of abandoning her charity, The Hunger Project.

Finally, Donald Trump fires Dionne.

When leaving the boardroom, Dionne calls NeNe Leakes a coward, and says that she lied about saying that she could go home. But when NeNe starts to argue with her, saying that she didn’t remember things happening the way Dionne does, the singer says that she doesn’t want to talk about it, and leaves.

Will the ladies finally be able to pull of another win with Dionne gone?

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Photo credit: Bravo

Topics: Celebrity Apprentice, NBC Reality TV Shows |

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