So it's back..."Celebrity Apprentice," Donald Trump's vanity card that refuses to die, but instead keeps dredging up celebrities that want to make a difference, while getting attention and being on TV, of course.
As it always goes, the men are pit against the women, because that's just how The Donald likes to do things. There's the usual hemming and hawing about team names, which was a little more exciting this season with Adam Carolla's hilarious ideas, but the men eventually choose the name "Unanimous" and the women go with "Forte." Team leaders are also chosen with Patricia Velasquez heading up the women, and Paul Teutul, Sr. leading the men. Marco Andretti had to drop out of this challenge after the death of a close friend, so his dad Michael stepped in to help out where needed.
This week's challenge is which team can raise the most money by selling sandwiches. Right from the beginning the men seem to have the advantage because their one sandwich concept seems simple and pretty yummy, and their ideas of driving traffic into the event are straightforward and fun. Paul boasts a very ambitious goal of raising $500K, which impresses Ivanka.
The women on the other hand, seem to be a bit of a mess. Everyone's throwing out horrible, trite and overdone ideas, finally going with making the sandwich store "Da Club" and having a red carpet, and the whole shebang.
Prepping begins on both teams, and the guys once again seem to gel better than the women. There's a little bristling from George Takei as Paul keeps referring to him as "Star Trek," but it doesn't last all that long. Cheryl Tiegs looks like the obvious weak link on the women's team, and there just might be a catfight a brewin' between Aubrey O'Day and Debbie Gibson.
The challenge starts and both teams are quite successful. Team Unanimous has a clear advantage with professional carnie himself, Penn Jillette, but the women are raking in some serious cash as Patricia calls in some favors from friends. Victoria Gotti has some kind of issue with her eye, and she goes AWOL for a while. Surprisingly, Clay Aiken is the champ of the upsell! Who would have thought?
There is a surprise element to this challenge, and that's the Rachel Ray factor. Each team needs to bring their best "sammitch" as Arsenio Hall calls it, and Rachel will choose which one she likes the best. The winner will win a bonus $35K added to their total.
At the end of the day each team feels like they have done their best, and it's off to the boardroom they go. Team Forte learns that they have set a first challenge record for fundraising, but it isn't enough to best the guys, because Paul had someone donate over $300K, and they won the Rachel Ray challenge, so they win. Patricia has to bring two of her teammates back into the boardroom with her, and she chooses Cheryl Tiegs and Victoria Gotti.
After some low-key bickering, and Patricia interrupting everyone, Cheryl admits that cut-throat reality TV probably isn't for her, and she's ultimately fired for it. Nobody seems too upset and shocked by this, so it's probably for the best.
So this was a very low-key start to the new season. Hopefully the claws will come out next week and there'll be a little drama.