Celebrity Apprentice Recap: Joan Rivers Returns, Brandi Glanville Brawls With Kenya Moore, And Two More Stars Fired!

Truth rating: 10
Celebrity Apprentice Recap January 19 2015

By Shari Weiss


Celebrity Apprentice Recap January 19 2015


Monday’s back-to-back new episodes of “The Celebrity Apprentice” featured the return of Joan Rivers, a brawl between Brandi Glanville and Kenya Moore, and the firings of two more stars. Get the full recap here.

Rivers, who won the second season of “Celebrity Apprentice” (the franchise’s eighth season overall) in 2009, served as one of the guest advisors during the current season, which actually filmed in the winter of 2013/2014. The season’s airing, however, was delayed until this year, and the broadcast now marks Rivers’ final onscreen television appearance following her death last September. See video below.

Now halfway through the competition, Rivers was appropriately chosen to assist during a fashion-themed challenge, in which the teams were asked to create a marketing event for Ivanka Trump’s shoe line via a mobile boutique, with Ivanka also serving as an advisor and getting to choose the winners. A not-pleased Sig Hansen quipped, “Our tasks have been so feminine lately, I can’t find my penis in the morning.” Kenya Moore immediately stepped up to lead Ian Ziering, Johnny Damon, Leeza Gibbons, and Brandi Glanville, while Vivica Fox reluctantly volunteered to be project manager for the second time, overseeing Hansen, Shawn Johnson, Geraldo Rivera, Kate Gosselin and Lorenzo Lamas.

Moore was extremely excited and determined, and ready to play up Ivanka’s slogan, “Power Up,” with “Power Up Your Sole” (get it?). She suggested replicating the inside of Nordstrom, since that’s where the shoes are sold, but Gibbons was concerned they were going too old-school instead of targeting millennials. Moore was set, though, and quickly sent her colleagues out to accomplish different responsibilities. Examining their truck space, Moore had a grand vision, but Gibbons was still mixed on whether the ideas were coming together. Ziering was happy to help facilitate, but Glanville, too, felt confused about the concept. Moore, however, just assumed her nemesis was “bothered” by her creativity.

The weather, unfortunately, was less than desirable on the day of the event, and the contestants were forced to set up in the rain. Gibbons was convinced they wouldn’t meet their deadline, and that Moore was focusing on the wrong aspects. “At the end of the day, it’s a team effort. And I don’t want my team to lose,” Glanville told the camera. Moore was happy that her finished result looked like a “high-end boutique you’d see on Rodeo Drive,” complete with health drinks, a masseuse, and a digital display. When Rivers visited, Gibbons largely led the tour, and felt that she and Moore were finally on the same page message-wise. Then, when Ivanka came with a Nordstrom executive, Moore was eager to impress, and felt at the end it was all a success. “How can I lose?” she gloated to the camera.

As per usual, Rivera was full of ideas, and Fox was receptive, and also agreed with Johnson’s suggestion of turning their location into a Nordstrom dressing area, but was also turned off that the athlete hadn’t agreed to be project manager at any point. Looking at their mobile truck, Fox was dismayed to see it was smaller than she expected, leading her to adjust their concept. Rivera passed on the news to Gosselin and Johnson that they would now have a coffee bar would outside as main focal point, leaving them feeling blindsided and questioning Fox’s decisions. “I’ve had just enough of Shawn,” Fox complained afterward of Johnson’s apparent attitude. Tensions continued to rise, with Gosselin and Johnson believing they were on a “sinking ship” and being “pushed out” of the process.

Fox, however, was happy with how things were turning out as they decorated at the scene, and even happier when the sun started to come out. Though Gosselin still felt there was a disconnect between the truck’s shoe display and the coffee set-up outside, the free drinks seemed to draw people in. By the time Rivers showed up, though, Johnson felt the “atmosphere” was good, and that the comedienne seemed “pretty happy” and “impressed.” Hansen, however, thought things looked “like a giant café,” with the shoe aspect taking a backseat, as it couldn’t be seen unless someone went inside the vehicle, whereas the other team had an inside-outside display.

Back in the boardroom, Donald Trump praised Rivers for being “such a great champion,” and noted he hoped Moore and Fox would be liker her. Moore was confident she made both Rivers and Ivanka proud, and even praised Glanville for working “well with others this time.” Glanville agreed they “came together and put differences aside,” and said her fellow “Real Housewives” star did a “good job.” Ivanka praised them for their slogan, admitting she preferred it to Fox’s sayings. Fox said she had “resistance” from Gosselin and Johnson, but “took responsibility” for changing the main idea on them, though she wouldn’t give them much credit for what the duo did accomplish. Asked by Trump whether Johnson had been stepping up, Fox became emotional, perhaps with their last spat (over Johnson’s period) still on her mind, and cried saying, “I don’t want to be the mean girl. I really don’t.”

Ivanka praised Fox’s team for being “on brand” and attracting women that represented her target demographic, but criticized them for treating the shoe product as an “after-thought.” Rivers agreed, thinking the coffee was more of a distraction. On the other side, Ivanka felt Moore’s piano-and-massage experience didn’t “feel right” for her clientele, but that she “went above and beyond” with creatively using the shoe products. And that was enough to give her the win, and a payday for the Detroit Public School System.

With their loss official, Fox explained they honed in on capturing Ivanka’s image and spirit more than integrating the shoes. Gosselin and Hansen both pinned the loss on Fox, and the “Kate Plus 8” star stood up for Johnson. Ivanka, however, though the Olympian was laid back to a fault, especially compared to Rivera and Lamas, who maybe had a disadvantage with this task, but still appeared energized and enthusiastic. Rivers said she herself saw “great leadership” from Fox, but she couldn’t (potentially) escape the boardroom before first keeping Gosselin and Johnson in jeopardy with her.

Fox defended her actions as project manager, saying it was a “team effort” and she “stepped up,” for which Trump praised her. She deemed Johnson the weakest, and surprised Gosselin by praising her in comparison. Johnson tried to make the case that it was strategy to stay in the background, but since both Fox and Gosselin previously won as project manager, Johnson was the odd woman out. She explained that she was still vocal, and shared her original idea for recreating a Nordstrom dressing room, which Ivanka loved and said would’ve given the product integration they needed. Trump told her, “You should’ve been project manager. I bet you would’ve won.” But because she didn’t step up, he told her, “Shawn, you’re fired.

For the second task, the teams had to make a viral video for Chuck Full O’Nuts single-serve coffee using GoPro cameras, with the criteria focusing on creativity, brand messaging, and entertainment value. It seemed a “no-brainer” for Lamas to take charge of Fox’s team, while Gibbons took over for Moore. Lamas admitted he never made a viral video before, but thought his previous directing and television experience would be an asset, and quickly decided that the product’s jingle should be included, as sung by Rivera. The news veteran pitched taking the brand into the modern day, using the old-school song and then turning it into a more hip version. They all quickly agreed on the concept to highlight the company through time.

Lamas and Fox explored their kitchen set, while Gosselin, Rivera, and Hansen handled props, with Rivera enthusiastically turning up in his tuxedo to play the main character. They quickly got to shooting, but Lamas was frustrated when Gosselin, taking on on a 1950s’ wife persona, seemed to take too long to get camera-ready. She and Fox again found themselves annoyed with each other, and while Lamas was pleased with the finished look, he worried too much time had been wasted, and some shots had to be cut from his plans. When it came time for the musical component, Lamas discovered Rivera was “rhythm-challenged,” and he rejected some help from Hansen, who felt “under-utilized.”

Gibbons tapped Ziering to direct their video, in hopes of stopping him from being “overly-aggressive.” The actor still had a zany idea that his team mates weren’t going for, and Gibbons instead suggested playing on Glanville and Moore’s rift. Moore was hesitant, but ultimately agreed to go along with the concept in which the women’s catfighting would be viewed through a male’s fantasy. Gibbons was happy to push the line, though part of her feared they were crossing it.

They created their own mock coffee vendor in Manhattan as the initial site of their commercial, but Gibbons felt “belittled” by Ziering’s direction, even though he felt he had the most valuable experience to offer. With the clock ticking, Moore worried that their leader wasn’t reigning Ziering in enough. Glanville admitted she was “slightly excited” to fake-brawl with Moore, and though she didn’t want to get hurt, she did want to “beat the [expletive] out of” her colleague. The stars seemed to relish their roles, but perhaps a bit less so when it came time to roll around in bed together in lingerie. “I’ve done this before, but not with someone I hate,” said Glanville, worrying she’d get hit by Moore’s “giant knockers.”

Ziering was frustrated in the editing room, unhappy with several of the shots, and Gibbons feared she let him “take charge” too much. Tensions rose when he asked Glanville to leave, getting pissed off at her suggestions, and rejecting her concerns that their video was “too provocative” without enough brand messaging. For the other team, the post-production process went a lot smoother, and both Lamas and Rivera were thrilled with the final result. “If the product doesn’t get picked, I can’t blame anybody but myself,” Lamas told the camera.

While Ivanka and brother Eric appeared amused by Gibbon’s completed ad, the Chock Full O’Nuts executive was pretty stone-faced. In contrast, he cracked a small smile after viewing Lamas’ piece, particularly as the group ended their presentation by singing the slogan. In the boardroom, Gibbons said her team had no “weak links,” and received high praise from Glanville, who in turn was given kudos along with Moore for putting aside their differences to work together. That changed, however, when talking with Trump, Moore slammed Glanville for allegedly hurling insults to her over the weeks, and said she wasn’t sitting around bringing up how Eddie Cibrian left her for LeAnn Rimes, though, now of course she just did.

It was eventually revealed executives thought Lamas highlighted the product well and that Rivera was a star, but the video played it too safe and felt more “commercial” than “viral.” On the other side, the feedback given was that Gibbons’ big sexual risk paid off and had the “potential to go very, very viral,” and they loved the use of Glanville and Moore. The one negative, however, was skimping on the brand messaging. But Gibbons’ team was overall much better, to the point where the execs felt it wasn’t even much of a competition, and she received the win for her charity, Care Connection.

Lamas, who interestingly chose to “withhold” his opinions on who on his team failed until finding out the results, went on to admit he was very “surprised” by the outcome, believing they hit all the criteria, and Trump even said he liked their ad a lot. Fox was upset to see “T & A” had won out, but blamed Gosselin for their loss, since her time in prep seemed to stop them from filming more material. To her credit, Gosselin didn’t blame Fox for anything, but put it all on Lamas, since he was at the helm.

The actor confessed he didn’t feel “comfortable” keeping any of his colleagues in jeopardy with him, because “everyone was a star,” but also insisted he wasn’t “ready to go.” But since he wasn’t willing to blame anyone else, Trump told him, “Lorenzo, you’re fired.” Lamas admitted afterward that Trump made the “right choice,” and said he was the only one who deserved to go home. What do you think of tonight’s results?

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