May 08, 2011 10:27 PM by Shayla Perry
This week on a SUPER-SIZED episode of NBC‘s Celebrity Apprentice… Stop us if you’ve heard this one: What do you get when you cross a bitter LaToya Jackson, with NeNe Leakes and Star Jones, who are unable to even work on the same team, and throw in Jimmy Fallon and Tracy Morgan for three hours? One heck of an episode! Keep reading for everything you missed!
Three hours, two challenges, and three celebrities getting sent home?! Buckle up, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride!
After a bitter boardroom battle and the elimination of Hope Dworaczyk, NeNe Leakes and Star Jones attempt to have a private conversation off camera, but it seems that Star has second thoughts, and decides to go to her hotel room instead.
LaToya Jackson is back, but Marlee Matlin, for one, isn’t exactly happy that she’s been given a second chance, or that she’ll be playing with the men, who now have more team members — that actually get along!
The next day, Lil Jon presents his charity with the winnings from TWO tasks ($80,000!) before meeting with Donald Trump and the rest of the candidates for details on tonight’s challenge.
Trump immediately asks if NeNe Leakes and Star Jones will be able to work together. Though NeNe says that she had already reached out to Star and was ready to move on, Star has decided that for her safety, it would be best that the two no longer play on the same team. SO, Donald Trump has Meat Loaf and NeNe Leakes switch teams.
With that settled, the Donald gives them the info on their task…
Tonight, each team will produce a comedy show that includes 3 comedians. The teams must sell 50 tickets to their shows. The value of the tickets is up to the teams, but the one that brings in the highest amount in ticket sales will be declared the winner. Ivanka Trump and Mad Money’s Jim Cramer will serve as advisers.
Project Managers will be LaToya Jackson for the new Team Backbone, and Meat Loaf for Team A.S.A.P.
Off to a not so great start, Backbone is already missing a team member — NeNe Leakes, who’s decided that she needs some time alone, but neglected to tell anyone. Her teammates call around for her, but don’t get an answer, so they move forward with the task, calling as many high-profile contacts as they can.
John Rich has exhausted a lot of his contacts with the other fundraising task, but he has one ace in the hole — Jimmy Fallon!
A.S.A.P. (+ Meat Loaf) is on the phone as well, and Marlee Matlin has the idea of doing a little stand-up of her own, “Deaf Comedy.” Love it! Star Jones quickly says that she can also deliver someone for the show — Tracy Morgan. Jim Cramer watches as the team celebrates their big “get,” but thinks that they’re settling, since they only plan on using a video of Tracy, and never even asked if he’d show up in person.
Still no NeNe, but Backbone continues to press on, as John Rich and Lil Jon secure as many donations as they can. Project Manager, LaToya Jackson, however, is having trouble getting money from her contacts. Ivanka Trump enters the room and asks the team how things are going, and they let her know that NeNe is M.I.A., which she finds rather disappointing, but she’s still impressed by the team’s ability to work well together despite the shake-up.
Star Jones meets with Tracy Jor– Morgan, who often portrayed the former View co-host on SNL. Star gets a quick video of Tracy, not telling jokes, but talking about his job as a comedian. Hopefully there’s more to it than that!
Meanwhile, Donald Trump is also making a phone call…to NeNe Leakes. NeNe says that she’s not happy with Trump’s decision to accommodate Star Jones, and informs him that she’s not coming back to the show. Trump tells her that she’s very capable, and for her to leave at this point “is stupid,” but there’s no changing her mind.
Her new teammates continue to try to get in touch with her, and finally, NeNe sends LaToya Jackson a text letting her know that she’s done. The team is disappointed with her decision, and feel that by quitting, not only has NeNe let them down, but she’s also let Star win.
Moving on, all of the contestants sit through auditions and select their three comedians before returning to their War Rooms to continue bringing in their donations. Meat Loaf, who’s grown very fond of Star Jones’ dog, is gaining momentum, and finally starts getting large sums of money; quickly realizing that if he doesn’t win this task, the money he’s raised will go to LaToya Jackson’s charity and not his.
But things aren’t going as well for LaToya as Meat Loaf thinks they are. Though she has some friends in high places, she’s having a hard time asking for money. So having friends like Kathy Hilton, doesn’t exactly mean much if you’re only getting $1,000 from them.
The pressure of winning the task is getting to Meat Loaf, who’s secured a lot of donations from people associated with his charity, The Painted Turtle. Afraid that they’ll lose the task, and therefore lose the money meant for the organization, he breaks down in tears. But his new teammates try to console him by telling him that there’s a chance Donald Trump will once again allow the losing team to keep their donations. Star Jones also tells Meat Loaf that she’ll fight for him to be able to keep that money — win or lose.
The team calls Donald Trump to plead Meat Loaf’s case, but Trump says that that’s the way the game goes, and suggests that the rocker simply try harder to make sure that he wins for his charity. But that’s not what Meat Loaf wants to hear, and he continues to get emotional about the issue.
Backbone is still bringing in the big bucks, with a $20,000 cash donation from a friend of John Rich. And to keep the momentum going, Jimmy Fallon arrives and brings a $10,000 donation with him! Jimmy then entertains the team with a little song he wrote for the occasion.
Marlee Matlin and Star Jones finally manage to motivate Meat Loaf to start working on getting that win for his charity, but after seeing their leader at his weakest point, Marlee’s now concerned about how the team will perform.
Team A.S.A.P. is up first, and Meat Loaf hits the stage with TONS of enthusiasm and introduces the team’s comedians. After they each do their sets, Tracy Morgan’s video is presented, and unfortunately, it’s not much more than Tracy and Star both saying the his famous line, “I’m a lawyer.” Luckily, Marlee is able to bring back the funny with her “Deaf Comedy.” The ladies are happy with the overall performance, but Meat Loaf’s mind is back on the kids.
It’s time for Team Backbone to take the stage, and LaToya Jackson, speaking as loud as we’ve ever heard her, introduces the show. After their three comedians perform, they bring in the big guns — Jimmy Fallon. Jimmy, of course, does an outstanding job with his special Apprentice song, getting the audience to participate and everything.
It’s clear which show was better, but it’s all about the money, not the funny! So who wins?
In the boardroom, Trump begins by telling the teams that NeNe has left, then asks Meat Loaf if he’s doing any better. The rocker begins to tear up again, and the Donald explains the situation to Jim Cramer and Ivanka. Meat Loaf shares his thoughts about the charity and why he’s so compassionate about it, and again, Trump reiterates that the competition is about charity, but it’s more about winning. Meat Loaf then thanks his new teammates, especially Star Jones, for the support they offered him throughout the task, and Marlee Matlin expresses how much she appreciates having him on the team.
Donald Trump then takes a moment to address NeNe Leakes, who’s not there of course, and tell her that she’s fired, and that Star Jones kicked her ass. (Can you fire somebody that’s already quit?)
Ivanka brings up the fact that Hope was fired because everyone thought that NeNe would do well, and that it’s unfortunate that she had to go if NeNe was just going to quit. We’re sure Hope’s just fine with the way things ended up, though!
Trump asks LaToya Jackson about her experience on team Backbone, and after hearing from her and her teammates, the Donald tells her that he’s gained a lot of respect for her, and John Rich agrees that Jackson exemplifies the team name “Backbone.”
In a surprising, feel good moment – after telling Trump how confident he is in his team’s performance, John Rich turns to his former teammate, Meat Loaf, and tells him that if his team loses, he’ll personally match the amount of money Meat Loaf raised and donate it to his charity, which brings the rocker (and us!) to tears.
After Meat Loaf thanks Donald Trump for the life-changing experience that’s brought him such great friends, the fundraising totals are announced.
A.S.A.P. brought in $102,080, and Team Backbone raised $82,500. The win brings all of Team A.S.A.P. to tears.
As A.S.A.P. pops the champagne and celebrates, Lil Jon, John Rich, and LaToya Jackson face Donald Trump in the boardroom. John Rich quickly lets everyone know that he raised more money than anyone on his team, despite having just about tapped out his resources in the last two fundraising challenges. When asked who she would fire, LaToya says that both men are extremely strong and she doesn’t know if either of them should go. But Lil Jon says that the Project Manager should ultimately be fired. After praising her performance on the show, and her record as the first person to be re-hired on Celebrity Apprentice, Trump then praises her for being the first person to be fired twice on Celebrity Apprentice.
As she exits, LaToya pays homage to her late brother, Michael Jackson.
And we’re down to 5!
There’s much love all around, but it’s getting down to the wire, and everyone remaining is there to win.
For their second task, the contestants will be producing promotional videos for a new OnStar product available at Best Buy. They will be judged on originality, product integration, and brand messaging. $40,000 will go to the winning team’s Project Manager.
Project Managers will be John Rich for Team Backbone, and Marlee Matlin for Team A.S.A.P. — a rematch! Who will win this time?
Lil Jon and John Rich immediately get to work, meeting with the OnStar execs to get the info they need for the task.
Team A.S.A.P. meets with the executives as well, and for the first time, Star Jones takes a backseat — at first. After Meat Loaf asks if the product can be used on bikes, she feels the need to step in.
John squared starts putting their script together, but John Rich is sick and having trouble concentrating and working through the pain — especially with all of the banging going on in the background.
In his element, Meat Loaf takes charge of the production “like a tornado on crack,” as Marlee Matlin puts it. His idea is “ambitious” (read: confusing), and the production team doesn’t think that it can be done in such a short amount of time.
Managing to pull through despite the pain, John Rich and Lil Jon come up with a concept and begin to work on the actual production, but when Lil Jon’s ideas start getting a little too large, and he’s unable to communicate them to the production team, John Rich is afraid that they’ll end up losing.
Star Jones is beginning to have trouble with her new teammate’s work style, and doesn’t like that Marlee has allowed Meat Loaf to take over. Meat Loaf worries that Star is purposely procrastinating to get him fired. And when it comes time for her to shoot her scenes, it takes FOREVER, and Meat Loaf quickly realizes that if they lose this task, Star is going to try to blame things on him.
Donald Trump, Jr. arrives and asks Meat Loaf how things are going with his new team. He and Marlee both tell him that everything is going smoothly, but Trump, Jr. sees that it’s not as great as they’d like him to believe.
Marlee and Meat Loaf try to get a final shot of the product before they have to begin editing, but Star tells them that they don’t need the shot, since they have the graphic they need on the logo, and they rush to edit their work.
Lil Jon and John Rich are also in a hurry, but they’re happy when they get to the editing studio and see that A.S.A.P. hasn’t arrived yet. Once they get started, however, Lil Jon’s special effects don’t work out as well as he thought they would, and the two have different opinions as to what should be done. John Rich knows that trying to make it work will take up too much time, but Lil Jon doesn’t seem to want to give up.
They have LOTS to do, but there’s a fire, which has slowed traffic, so A.S.A.P., gets out of their car and tries to make it on foot, arriving with just enough time to get their spot edited.
Team A.S.A.P. presents their project to the OnStar execs first, and Meat Loaf is quite pleased with his concept.
Backbone is next, and John Rich gives a brief pitch before their video is shown. The special effects seemed to have worked, but did the executives like their idea?
In the boardroom, Donald Trump points out the fact that John Rich and Lil Jon have worked so well together throughout the competition, and the country star emphasizes the importance of their compatibility, which breaks stereotypes and possibly brings hip hop and country music audiences together.
After viewing A.S.A.P.’s promo spot, John Rich says that the team didn’t do what they were supposed to, which was to let people know that OnStar is available at their local electronics store.
The men’s video is shown next, and the other team says that their spot is good, but different.
Though the execs liked both videos, they weren’t happy that the woman driving the car in Backbone’s promo wasn’t wearing a seatbelt — not good when you’re advertising a safety product.
But, even with that glitch, Backbone’s promo was the winner, bringing John Rich to almost $700,000 for his charity, St. Jude’s.
And, “The Jonz” have made it to the final four!
In the boardroom, Marlee Matlin expresses her disappointment, explaining that Meat Loaf’s different “style” may have played a role in their loss, noting that it wasn’t bad, by any means. Star Jones says that she felt that by Meat Loaf wanting to make the video more comical, he was also saying that he was willing to take the fall if they lost, since the team wasn’t accustomed to going in that direction. But when Trump, Jr. asks who was supposed to handle the product integration, Meat Loaf points to Star, and Marlee explains that there was a shot that didn’t make it into the promo that would have helped them in that regard.
When asked who she would fire, Marlee suggests Meat Loaf, but Trump tells her that as Project Manager, she should have been able to reign him in and take charge if he was such a problem. Star Jones agrees that it’s Meat Loaf that should be sent home.
Not surprised at all, Meat Loaf says that Star Jones should be fired because she failed in branding and product integration. Of course, Star argues that point, telling Trump that the only reason it’s mentioned that the product is available in stores, is because she added it at the last minute. She also argues that there was a shot of the product, but Meat Loaf decided not to use it.
Trump asks them all to leave the room, and outside, Star tells Meat Loaf that she can guarantee that the shot is on the disc. The two continue to argue about their roles in the project, and Meat Loaf begins to yell at Star, who walks away, visibly upset. Star finally tells Meat Loaf, “enough,” which sets him off. Little do they know, Trump can hear everything going on.
When they return, Trump asks Meat Loaf what their argument was about, and Meat Loaf says that Star wouldn’t even look him in the eye when he tried to talk to him, which told him that she wasn’t telling the truth. Star tells Trump that she took offense to Meat Loaf calling her “dear,” and “sweetie,” during the argument, but knowing that she’s been called far worse, the Donald’s not buying it.
Jones continues to argue that she did everything she was supposed to do, but with the executives not happy with the lack of a message in the video, Trump felt that he had no choice but to fire Star, which shocked Marlee Matlin.
What did you think of tonight’s super-sized episode? Do you think NeNe Leakes, LaToya Jackson, and Star Jones should have been fired?
Want more? Follow our tweets on Twitter and “like” us on Facebook! For other great Reality TV News, please feel free to check out SirLinksALot: The Apprentice Links and then come and discuss the show on our reality TV message boards.
Photo credit: NBC