April 24, 2011 09:51 PM by Shayla Perry
Tonight on an all new episode of Celebrity Apprentice, team Backbone may have lost the last challenge, but with Gary Busey gone, the men feel confident that they’ll be able to soar ahead of the women, who’ve been riding high for the last few weeks. And with tensions mounting between NeNe Leakes and Star Jones, it seems that though there are only three men remaining in the competition, team Backbone may actually have an advantage.
This week on NBC‘s Celebrity Apprentice, the men may not have won the Omaha Steaks challenge, but with Gary Busey now off the team, Meat Loaf, John Rich, and Lil Jon are ready to take charge of the competition once again.
NeNe Leakes, however, is not feeling as celebratory as the rest of the contestants. After La Toya Jackson told Donald Trump that she’s the one person on the team that she hasn’t befriended, the Housewife thinks that she’s being unfairly labeled as negative and mean, when (according to her) she’s been nothing but nice to everyone throughout the show — so far.
After delivering her donation to Best Buddies, Hope Dworaczyk and the rest of the contestants meet with Donald Trump for the details on their next challenge (and a slight plug for his potential presidential run).
This week, the contestants will be creating a 4 page ad for Trump’s Hotel Collection. Each page of the advertisement must also be able to stand on its own. They will be judged on creativity, originality, brand messaging, and their overall pitch.
Project Manager for team Backbone will be John Rich, with Star Jones serving as P.M. for A.S.A.P.
The execs (including Ivanka Trump) have made it very clear to both teams that they’re looking to do something original for their ads, with the high-end lifestyle being the focus.
With more experience, having stayed in several Trump hotels over the years, Star Jones takes charge of the team right away, coming up with the tagline of “Individual Elegance. Collective Luxury.” But after further expanding on her concept of what the ads will look like, LaToya Jackson worries that it’s not too creative, but doesn’t speak up.
Over at team Backbone, with less manpower and not much time spent at Trump hotels, John Rich, Lil Jon, and Meat Loaf struggle to come up with their visual concept, but know that they want to include “Live the Life” on every ad.
In a strategic move, Star Jones says that she wants NeNe Leakes and LaToya Jackson to pair up and go shopping, but NeNe tells Star that she’s not comfortable with that. LaToya explains to NeNe that she didn’t mention her name in the boardroom because she didn’t think that NeNe liked her. After LaToya went into more detail about how she’s felt slighted throughout the competition, NeNe begins to understand her point of view, and the two hug it out. But NeNe’s still keeping her guard up.
Meanwhile, Backbone is meeting with Eric Trump and trying to explain their idea to him, but Eric worries that it’s a bit long-winded.
The ladies get to work – and by work we mean getting manicures, having some fabulous Ivanka Trump jewelry brought in to them, and getting their hair and make up done.
After sending Meat Loaf to work on the photo shoot, John Rich and Lil Jon team up on the verbiage and graphics for their ads.
Team A.S.A.P. is starting to run behind on time, with NeNe Leakes and LaToya Jackson (who became BFFs on their shopping trip) having just returned. NeNe is in charge of Hope’s bathtub shoot, but apparently, Star didn’t get that memo and begins to take control, which sets Ms. Leakes off!
During their lunch scene, Star is annoyed when LaToya’s table looks a bit sparse, but they manage to pull things together at the last minute.
Things aren’t going much better over at team Backbone, with Lil Jon and John Rich not at all satisfied with the photos of the butler that Meat Loaf directed. There’s not much time left, but with so much text, John Rich wants to make sure that their ad is free of any spelling mistakes, so the men go through them word by word to correct any errors.
With their ads done, it’s now time for both teams to present their pitches to the executives.
Team Backbone is up first, and John Rich has each of the team members describe their unique experience staying at the Trump hotel during the competition, and afterward, he’s feeling pretty confident in their performance.
Star Jones is the main presenter for team A.S.A.P., with each of the women chiming in with various words that describe the Trump hotel experience.
Though the executives thought the women’s ads and presentation were a little on the corny side, they weren’t satisfied with the ads that the men created either; especially since there were too many words – and yes, still some that were misspelled. So who will win this one?
In the boardroom, Donald Trump asks NeNe Leakes for her opinion on the team as a whole, and NeNe says that while Marlee Matlin is the smartest and strongest team member, she thinks that she and Hope are often “up Star’s ass.” Surprisingly, NeNe claims that LaToya Jackson isn’t afraid to stand up to Star and that she’s seen her do it before.
John Rich says that his entire team pulled together to do an amazing job, but both Backbone and A.S.A.P. are shocked when Donald Trump tells them that the execs didn’t like either of their campaigns.
After rattling off the LONG list of negatives for both teams, Trump shows each team their competitor’s ads and has them critique them.
With no real winner, the definite loser of the challenge is team A.S.A.P.
Star Jones tries to make an argument against one of her team members being fired – probably because a lot of the concept was hers – but Trump tells her that it’s not exactly the time to make that case. When pressed, NeNe isn’t able to tell Trump who should be fired, but LaToya Jackson has no problem saying that it’s Star that should be sent home. Marlee Matlin, however, says that LaToya should be fired because of her performance throughout the competition, and NeNe quickly agrees (so much for BFFs!). Trump, Jr. argues that the same could be said about Hope, and the Donald points out that in more than one task, the executives felt that LaToya Jackson was the one the out-performed them all.
With that, Star Jones selects LaToya Jackson and NeNe Leakes to come back to the boardroom with her.
Knowing that Star is playing the game, NeNe Leakes tries to decide how she’s going to handle herself when facing Trump. Will she side with Star, or LaToya?
After thanking Trump for the experience and for being a business mentor to her, Star Jones immediately tells him that NeNe can describe LaToya’s performance. NeNe looks confused as to what she’s supposed to say, but then tells Trump that LaToya is not a strong competitor. LaToya points out all the times in the competition that Star’s bad decisions caused them to lose, but Star quickly blasts LaToya for not doing much of anything. Despite his newfound respect for her as a businessperson, Donald Trump tells LaToya Jackson that she’s not prepared for how intense the competition is going to get, and that without her, the women will have a better chance of beating the men. So, it’s LaToya Jackson and NOT Star Jones who is fired.
Upon leaving the boardroom, Star tries to talk to LaToya, but she ignores her. NeNe asks LaToya for a hug, and the two embrace in front of the elevator, with LaToya telling NeNe to be careful of Star in the remaining leg of the competition. Teary eyed, NeNe tells Star that she needs to change the way she’s playing the game, explaining that having to say good-bye to LaToya was difficult for her, especially after the bond they made. Star says that she’ll start listening to others more, but now that NeNe has seen that she’s willing to hurt others to win, she’s going to be playing a little differently herself.
Look out Star!
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Photo credit: NBC