Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Celebrity Apprentice: “Ad Hawk”

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What happens when both teams work in relative harmony, resolve prior disputes, respond well to the prompt at hand, and craft not-embarrassing final products that the client likes? Well, there isn’t a tremendous amount to write about, but Lisa Lampanelli and Lou Ferrigno, ever obliging, play the roles of sad volcano and cursing tornado to drum up more repetitive drama than anyone ever asked for.

After last week’s double-shot, The Celebrity Apprentice dispenses with the cliffhanger of these times: Aubrey’s exit. Those historic tensions lead to a calm reconciliation between Aubrey and a chastised Arsenio—an apology either so genuine or so perfunctory that more than half of it is shrouded in voice-over.

To avoid any other heartfelt apologies, the episode moves right onto the task of the week. The challenge: Entertainment.com, a coupon service with an annual fee (vs. Living Social and its ilk), wants an ad that sells its online services to the general populace, and the teams have an allotted 60 seconds to do so.

Teresa’s team shoots for the kind of double entendre that only ever seems to appear in Super Bowl ads—“Aubrey O’Day’s iPad Gets Felt Up (Putting It Nicely) For Coupons”—starring Paul, in normal guy drag, as Aubrey’s dad. Dayana’s team, meanwhile, pitches a romance whose various stages intertwine with Entertainment.com. This is something like the Google ad that charmed a nation (“Parisian Love”), except if it were a local ad seen before the trailers at a movie theater.

Again, the teams work well together, and the ad concepts aren’t the worst. This is something of a novelty in and of itself—Dayana and Lisa coexisting; Arsenio and Aubrey treating each other with the human dignity exchanged in an apology on The Celebrity Apprentice—as the show trolls for some small conflicts to latch onto and blow up. The editing, as a result, casts Lou and Aubrey as the oracles of Entertainment.com’s concerns with the ads, though to limited effect, because their critiques are completely isolated from the actual ads, and by the time the two-hour show lumbers to the boardroom, it’s hard to remember exactly who said what to whom. Aubrey’s last hour siren of alarm over the “old fashioned” line, for example, sounds ludicrous at first—but then the commercial runs and it is terrible. She’s right! It’s completely insane. Paul bursts through the doors and demands to know what the hell’s going on. She immediately calls him old-fashioned without any context, and even if there were context, that’s no inducement for online couponing.

Anyway, it’s all beside the point, as Aubrey and Arsenio are free to apologize in random hallways, while Lou, Dayana, and Lisa face heat.


Trump pillories the team’s decision to use actors rather than team members—specifically and oddly, Dayana and Penn—for the commercial. The phrase “well-known,” I believe, actually floated about the boardroom at that point. I realize to question America’s ability to recognize the titular celebrities on The Celebrity Apprentice is to cross the streams, invalidating several physical and Biblical laws through which we understand our society and ourselves, but the idea that Penn Jillette and Dayana Mendoza would not only perform the copy better, but sell a product by virtue of America's familiarity with them seems questionable at best. On the other hand, as a friend pointed out to me on Twitter, “I think Trump just responds well to the idea of an old, dumpy man and an impossibly hot pageant queen as a couple.”

But this is nothing compared to the hellish and endless row that Lisa and Lou get into. There’s a restaurant near my parents’ house that I like, and one of the walls features this awesome mural of the family who owns the restaurant, with what appear to be Andy Pettitte and Pagliacci at a vineyard. I’d like to commission a companion mural, Last-Supper-style, of Lisa and Lou yelling at each other, with Penn and Dayana averting their eyes in sheepish discomfort. The nonsensical nature of Lisa and Lou yelling at each other is to be accepted, but the assault of 30 rounds of it is not—and showing Don Trump Jr. and Dayana looking beleaguered is not really a remedy for the endless repetition.


Margaret mentioned Dayana’s crack strategy when she finds herself in the final three last week: Just let the other two attack each other—and that jimmies the lock for her this week, in what could have been a exit blow. After all, she failed to manage the, er, personalities of her teammates in a manner that maximizes efficiency and quality. But Lou makes what turns out to be the fatal mistake of not preferring his own team’s ad after he’s slammed, and sails out into the night, ready to buy a year’s worth of coupons on Entertainment.com. Thank God there will be no heartfelt apologies between Lisa and Lou.

Stray observations:

  • Margaret will be back next time!
  • I’m not a regular viewer, though I did catch up with a lot of the season this last week, so apologies if I’ve messed up something terribly.
  • Every fight, on any show, should end with a cut to Paul Teutul eating a strawberry.
  • “All I have to do is move my fingers up and down? That’s the perfect spot.” I really can’t believe how dirty that ad was. I don’t want to sound like Sarah Plain and Tall, here, but damn, Sam.
  • “Times Square is an amazing place. You eat, you shop, you do lots of different things in Times Square.”
  • Lisa and Lou fighting ended with me, laying on the floor in front of the television with my head in my arms, mumbling, “Please stop.”