Watching Celebrity Apprentice Sunday night was further proof that Donald Trump has decided this season to let the inmates run the asylum. It’s clearly nothing but good TV now, as it doesn’t have anything to do with good business acumen. Watching Field of Dreams taught viewers, “if you build it, they will come.” Donald Trump and producer Mark Burnett built this season’s asylum, and the crazies are definitely showing up to play.
Trump fired Dionne Warwick last week in a long-awaited move. He should have done that weeks ago. This week he had a chance to right his wrong from the first week when he kept Richard Hatch and fired David Cassidy. Hatch proved himself that week to be a bully when he was in charge, and since then he’s shown he’s not a good employee either. Not being in charge, he wasn’t going to work hard or go out of his way to help anyone else.
Before the task even started, the men’s team lost Jose Canseco. His dad, sick with cancer, took a turn for the worse. Canseco knew his place was with his dad, not spending time with the crazies in the Celebrity Apprentice asylum. He talked to Trump, shook his hand, and resigned, but not before Trump gave him $25,000 for his charity.
Trump called everyone into the boardroom, discussed Canseco’s departure, and gave everyone their next assignment. The teams were tasked with creating their own art galleries. Each member of the two teams would create at least one piece to sell at the gallery as well as a baseball hat. The creator of the best hat would win a bonus for his charity, and the team that won the most money would win the money that both teams raised for the charity of the project manager.
The buses dropped the celebrities off at the art supply store, and they all scattered, getting the materials needed for their own individual art projects. John Rich had the line of the night, holding up bottles of glue and stating, “Don’t sniff this stuff; it’ll make you crazy.” This dissolved into classic Burnett editing, as the scene switched to Gary Busey wandering around the store looking completely lost.
Busey then released a little crazy onto Meat Loaf, who clearly wasn’t having any of it this week. He’d had his fill last week with Busey interrupting him as he tried to talk. This week, Busey asked Meat Loaf if he was picking up canvasses for everyone. Clearly, everyone was getting their own stuff. Meat Loaf was tired of Busey’s entitlement and expecting everyone to take care of him. Meat Loaf said “no” and quickly walked away, only to let loose with his anger over the situation to Mark McGrath.
Once everyone gathered to start designing their art, Meat Loaf couldn’t find his supplies that he bought and immediately assumed Busey had taken them in another bout of entitlement. To say he went off on Busey is an understatement. He let go with a barrage of profane words that were so bad, it was more or less one long beep during the scene as editing kept a blurry spot over his mouth through much of it, not even wanting viewers to lip read anything he was spewing.
McGrath literally held Meat Loaf back from “tearing Gary Busey’s head off.” Busey remained calm throughout, and John Rich, the project manager, removed him to the safety of a hallway, while Meat Loaf calmed down. Meat Loaf’s supplies were eventually found in a bag hidden under some other things, and Busey went up to Meat Loaf to talk to him. He still wasn’t in the mood.
The second line of the night went to Lil John who looked at the hat that Richard Hatch designed with small purple flowers painted on it and large red flowers glued on. He commented, ‘Damn Richard, that’s a really gay-ass hat.” It’s clear he wasn’t an artist, but there wasn’t even an attempt there to pull out any creativity. His regular art pieces weren’t much better.
It seemed like the women’s team was headed for trouble and their fourth loss in a row, as they were late leaving for the gallery, and the paintings and hats didn’t even arrive until minutes before the scheduled opening time. They delayed the opening, then left many of the paintings on the floor. The men’s team had everything set up and had a full house as project manager Marlee Matlin opened the doors to people who definitely weren’t happy to have been kept waiting.
There was no sign of a sour economy at these galleries. The women were racking up $99,000 credit card charges. They were only limited to $99,000, as that’s the most you could charge in an online payout. Then men’s team didn’t know that, it seemed, and were only asking $5,000 for many of their pieces, although they did get one very large donation over $400,000. It seemed $5,000 was the minimum, but Hatch panicked and dropped his price to $1,000 just to get a sale. They sold out eventually, but if he’d held out, he probably would have made the money.
In the boardroom, the teams, each knowing how well they did, voted to let the loser keep the sales for his or her charity. The men’s team definitely thought they won with over $600,000 in sales. Instead, it was the women’s team, with their sales being just $14,000 shy of a million. Trump gave Marlee the option of him firing someone from the men’s team or not, since they’d already lost Jose. She showed business savvy in wanting someone else to be fired. She knew her team was getting stronger and felt it would benefit them to get the team numbers closer.
Everyone agreed Hatch made the least money of everyone, but the guys all wanted Busey to be fired. Knowing it’s going to get very cutthroat in there, they wanted him gone know, not feeling that he’s always pulling his weight since he’s apt to lose focus. Marlee went to bat for him, saying she’s known him a long time, and while he might lack focus, he’s extremely intelligent, more so than anyone realizes, and she thinks their team will need that in the future.
It would be easy to say that Trump decided to make it about the money and fired Hatch, but this season it doesn’t appear to have anything to do with business. He wasn’t putting everything he had into the tasks where he wasn’t in charge. He surely had people he could have called on to make a donation. Surely Burnett and Jeff Probst could have been called in here to make a sizable donation. He was also clearly wrong when he said he was about to be exonerated for his tax evasion, since he’s back in prison for it.
Yet, it’s not about any of that this season. He was fired because he chose to ignore the fight. He was shown just going on with the task and not paying attention to Meat Loaf’s barrage. That’s not what Trump is looking for this season. He’s not looking for good people or business sense. He’s looking for drama, and leaving both Busey and Meat Loaf in this game is going to lead to that. Hatch was simply the least crazy in this asylum, and that’s a scary thought.
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Photo by Virginia Sherwood/NBC