Tv Time 101

Controls your remote

Celebrity Apprentice Recap: Episode 3 “Unhappy Campers”

Posted by ImaJustSaying on March 21, 2011

‘Celebrity Apprentice’ recap: Light shines on Gary Busey’s ‘hummingbird mind’

By Mark Maurer/The Star-Ledger

NBCEast Orange native Dionne Warwick casually shops for items to decorate the interior of an RV for the latest "Celebrity Apprentice" challenge.


Last time on “Celebrity Apprentice,” Lisa Rinna was ousted in a sneaky diva-fronted coup the week after David Cassidy’s exit. Facing harsh rebukes from their cohorts, neither Lisa nor David took command – when it mattered most – in the boardroom.

This time around, both teams struggle with a lack of cohesive direction. The remaining 14 contestants have to stage an interactive outdoor experience promoting RV retailer Camping World, given two campers per team on a vacant spot in midtown Manhattan. Marcus Lemonis, the chairman and CEO, is judging them on the brand message, originality and the overall presentation.

The men’s team Backbone elects their wild card Gary Busey to the helm, while Niki Taylor volunteers to manage the women of ASAP. In negotiating for the campers, Backbone takes a lofty $200,000 tour bus and ASAP nabs two homey, family-size RVs.

The camping lifestyle poses a racial disparity off the bat. “Well, I’m black. I ain’t never slept outside,” says ASAP’s comic relief NeNe Leakes. Meanwhile, Lil Jon admits the same truth to his team.


Once inside one of their RVs, Gary and Lil Jon disagree over marketing the image. Interrupting Lil Jon’s idea about multi-experience vehicles, Gary gets bad vibes from Lil Jon, viewing him as an “antagonist.”

Sure enough, Gary’s nonsensical rambling confuses the team, especially Richard Hatch, John Rich and Mark McGrath. In the van, John and Meat Loaf improvise a country jingle about Camping World. Jose Canseco snaps that it’s “too hick-ish, country-ish,” and Richard, from the backseat, says that particular song’s audience might be uneducated. John grows sensitive when others pigeonhole his fan base.

The guys arrive at the store and are in and out before the women leave. Gary’s gawking at a pack of walkie-talkies leaves John speechless.

Mark tries to secure hedges and trees for the makeshift campsite and gets approval from Gary to spend $400 to $500. Richard then approaches Gary for $875 to pay for shrubbery that he just ordered. Noting the overlap, Mark checks with Gary, who has no recollection of their conversation. Mark then calls to cancel but, instead, his plant guy hooks him up for free. To Gary, that was far from a mistake – and even if it was, “Mistakes are a gift.”

Team adviser Ivanka Trump shows up to find Jose lounging in the camper, deflated of energy or enthusiasm. In the office, John calls in an order for three banners and a pamphlet, each of which lack a connective theme. Pacing nervously in the trailer, Mark sulks that the task has devolved into chaos. He goes outside to capture cellphone video evidence of Gary and Jose in a carefree game of catch as the deadline looms. (Mark remarks to the camera that Gary has a “hummingbird mind.”)

Meat Loaf, left, and Gary Busey strive to get on a similar wavelength when discussing the theme of the night's "Celebrity Apprentice" challenge.


The men are in brighter spirits the next day, as the Astroturf and shrubs arrive at the faux campsite. Mark and Meat Loaf lead RV tours for prospective customers. The veritable sell-out line of the night goes to Meat Loaf, leaning over a luggage compartment: “There is so much storage (space), you could store your meat loaf in here!” When Lemonis visits, he puts Meat Loaf on the spot for not knowing that one of the RV’s external compartments contains a TV. One of the team’s banners sealed over the section.


Niki’s vision for the task is “camping in the 21st century.” But, due to the celebrities’ limited camping experience, no one knows what exactly that entails. Lemonis tells them the focus should be on his company, not merely the RV lifestyle.

At the store in Brooklyn, the women snatch up almost all the supplies in stock, and soon find themselves overwhelmed with carts and carts of items. Meanwhile, the detached but testy Dionne Warwick wanders at a glacial pace down each aisle.

Star Jones, this season’s Annie Duke of sorts, claims Niki is too disorganized. While models Hope Dworaczyk and Niki are away working on brand marketing and snacking on fresh fruits, Star attempts to oversee the team’s decoration of individual rooms in the trailers. Dionne and La Toya are unhappy with their room set-up and get approval to visit Bed Bath & Beyond with limited time to go. In place of the men’s greenery effort, Star orders balloons as outdoor decoration.

Niki, almost too bluntly, tells team adviser Donald Trump Jr. that there have been no issues, and so if they lose, she would be to blame. When he asks Marlee Matlin who is the weak link, she pinpoints Dionne for not being assertive or proactive. The 70-year-old does her job, and that’s about it, Marlee says.

Dionne’s attitude flares up during the team’s presentation. She doesn’t like that Hope is giving a tour in her part of the trailer. A flustered Niki finds Dionne condescending. Relaying the issue to the ubiquitous Star, Dionne flashes her demon tongue, saying, “’I got your number, hussy.’”


Lemonis reports back to Donald Trump with the results. ASAP demonstrated a high level of product knowledge, especially La Toya Jackson who outperformed some of his own employees. But the brand name was relegated to the outskirts of the site, whereas Backbone’s signage was out in the open. He also thinks Backbone was enhanced by John’s music, Jose’s playing catch with the customers and the landscaping. However, the campers inside were absent of pillows, comforters or a woman’s touch, Lemonis says.

NBCOn "Celebrity Apprentice," NeNe Leakes is put in charge of attracting people who are interested in touring Camping World's RVs.

In the boardroom, Star says she was thrilled with her smart and capable team. Richard, John and Lil Jon recognize Gary’s weaknesses as a leader. “It literally was a trainwreck,” Lil Jon says.

Mark believes they’re strong enough to overcome their wacky project manager’s inadequacies. In that respect, the Sugar Ray frontman is right. Gary Busey and Backbone surprisingly pull off a win, Trump says.

Camping World donates $20,000, so a total of $40,000 goes to Gary’s charity, the Center for Head Injury Services. On the way back to the room, Gary and Lil Jon continue to argue. Gary’s chief complaint is that the rapper is among an alliance that refuses to look him in the eye. Yes, Gary, it’s not easy to receive eye contact from someone whose trademark sunglasses are permanent.


ASAP sticks around in the boardroom but not for long. Niki can only blame herself and, therefore, takes full responsibility for the loss. Contrary to the last ASAP showdown, there is no fight to be had. Niki is fired, and Dionne mysteriously hangs around for another week.

The results were unexpected, since ASAP was better at decorating the campers’ interior, and the Backbone team remains rife with conflict.

If Mark had the chance to show Trump the video of Gary and Jose goofing off, it would have been far more compelling than John singing his rudimentary tune. And Jose got off scot-free for essentially throwing a baseball around, and napping, for the challenge’s duration.


The teams have to write and produce a 30-second video for ACN Video Phones – spots that will be judged by 450 sales reps, according to NBCUniversal. Dionne and Gary remain targets for their respective antics, and NeNe cries in the boardroom.


The third week is an appropriate time to make endgame predictions. John and Marlee might have the best shot at going far. Trump has favored country singers in the past: Trace Adkins placed second in 2008, and Clint Black took fifth in 2009. So far, John’s been a hard worker and shown strong communication skills, but with maybe a brusque assessment of Jose’s non-athletic capabilities last week. The point being, he has yet to ruffle too many feathers and is playing a competitive game.

Marlee has levelheaded stamina in times when her more outspoken teammates go overboard. She called out Dionne for attitude in the boardroom last week when everyone zipped it. Her bravado comes from a place of sanity. This prognostication may change the minute either of them serves as project manager.

What do you think? Leave your comments below.


8 Responses to “Celebrity Apprentice Recap: Episode 3 “Unhappy Campers””

  1. dy said

    I’m tellin ya, I like John Rich. I called him the first episode, he will have to screw up big time for him to be fired,and I really don’t see that happening.

    Good recap IJS. 🙂

  2. Dani said

    I am so loving CA this season. Gary won last night but by no fault of his own. I don’t want to be too hard on him because I really do believe he is the way he is due to his brain energy. Guy is entertaining as heck though. Jose lacks motivation. John Rich is sharp and well spoken. I kinda like Meatloaf too.

    The women are a whole different story. It is gonna be hard to take Star down even though she is far from my fave.

  3. Dani said

    I meant brain injury. Where is my head at? Maybe I have a brain injury too.

  4. I agree!! John Rich is a total sweetheart and the epitomy of a southern gentlemen! He could strum my chords ANYTIME!!!

  5. @tweatcyn said

    Great Recap IJS! I feel so much more rested today, than I did last Monday. : )

  6. Good for you Cyn! I loved this episode.. such a great season so far!

  7. wildheart said

    Love John Rich so far. Nene is (for her) fairly low key to this point. I really want someone to stand up to Dionne …she is really rude. Never been able to stand Star but she is smart and wily, I’ll give her that.

  8. dy said

    John Rich is my boy Widheart..Love,Love,Love him..

    Star is in it to win, she will take them all down, one by one…NeNe has Stars number though,she knows that Star, can’t help but try to run things and thinks her way is the best way. But then NeNe is out of her league if she thinks she can tangle with Star,she will chew her up and spit her out. JMO.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: