Clay sings "Suspicious Minds"
Celebrity Apprentice Recap:
And Then There Were Two
I would like to begin with a correction here: While my fandom for Clay Aiken goes back nearly a decade, I have not been following his foundation all that closely in recent years. I stand corrected. Apparently Clay's motto for the Inclusion Project camp has always been "Let's Play" and he already wanted to do a carnival for his annual fundraiser anyway. So Penn and Aubrey did not really provide any original ideas on those two fronts. These editors mislead us - but we knew that.
Teresa and Adam head to a magnificent costume store and Adam is freaked out by the owner's office, festooned with phallic symbol. He survives this deep emotional trauma to pick up some eighties costumes. Teresa thinks Adam is funny. All she wants to do is laugh and enjoy life.
Penn still thinks Clay's concept for the PSA is maudlin. He has a better idea - and it is actually better. Three children play in a circle. The wheelchair is on the sideline. You don't know who it belongs to. Clay, fortunately, loves this. Maybe he loves the fact that Penn backed up his negative criticism with a positive alternative, but there's no question about it. This concept is going to be very effective, and everybody is happy with it.
Paul is not sure what to do with himself... yeah, he's as proactive as ever, that Paul... so Lisa suggests that he call friends to buy tickets. Teresa is also an effective fundraiser - see, she does well when it doesn't involve puppets. Ivanka comes in to check up on them so that Arsenio can drool a bit. Ivanka reports that Team Arsenio are doing very well with raising money. Arsenio tells Ivanka again all the things he's doing, which we already know about, but he has to do this because they can only spend FOUR HOURS on one task if they repeat themselves over and over again. Padding? Oh, yes. Arsenio thinks that music only plays to certain people, but comedy plays to everybody. Well, yes, Arsenio, if the comedy is clean. You have Lisa Lampanelli on your team. I am not sure I agree with him here.
Although it's true that not all music appeals to all people. Debbie and Clay are in their war room, working out a medley of poppy 80's music and pitching it to glam rocking Dee. Dee's face is priceless. How can they fit Dee in there? Debbie's got it! DISCO! Hell no! Uh... would... funk, work... Dee? Oh, funk that. How about Highway to Hell? No? The guy who ended up recording an album of Broadway tunes is not feeling this set list, which does play into Arsenio's point. Then little Don shows up and turns down the opportunity to sing on the grounds that this just ain't happening. Clay talks up his performers and Penn announces that he's got Teller coming. Oh, goody. I have permanent affection for Penn and Teller, as does my husband, and you have my permission to throw things at me if you are tired of that story. After this week I will probably never tell it again. Thanks, Clay, for bringing it up. They've got the PSA going, the variety show... but they aren't really working too hard on the fundraising yet. Oops. Uh oh. Eek.
Arsenio, meanwhile, is working VERY hard on the fundraising. He's got a big rolodex and he's working it like mad. Everybody is on the phone with famous people. OK, now Clay's beginning to look at his donors. His ordinary foundation donors are already tapped out, and he's nervous. So am I. I don't suppose Simon Cowell has a few grand to spare? No? I was afraid of that. We hear a lot of people saying no. I'd be more nervous if I did not know these editors lie.
Team Arsenio continues to make calls in the van. Lisa makes a joke about Arsenio's flagging career. Hey, honey, if you were A-list, you would not be on this thing. Hush now. They arrive at the warehouse and Arsenio sees how bare and blank it is. He hopes Teresa can make a party happen here. Fortunately, Lisa got this guy from NY Lounge Decor to help, and she also hired a caterer. Arsenio is kind of leaving them alone and letting them do whatever they want in terms of decorations. Teresa is the food expert because a ghost writer writes cookbooks and puts her name on the front page. Maybe they are actually her recipes, I don't know. Teresa chooses a menu that would make a vegan cry, and Arsenio wants to know what she's going to feed the Muslims. Go light on the pork. Arsenio trusts her, but says that when you trust people, it can go wrong. Foreshadowing? Is the friendly local deep-pocketed imam going to show up and complain about the food? We see that Arsenio is a hands-off manager; he does not micromanage. He seems to have a trusting mind. They are drawing a contrast here.
Aubrey is now also in the warehouse, describing her vision to the NY Lounge Decor lady. Aubrey is still a big fan of Aubrey. This is becoming REALLY tiresome all the time. She describes what she wants to do to Clay, talking so quickly I can barely follow her... but Clay... actually questions things. They don't have time to change into costumes, Aubrey... pull her back. Will we have time for the balloons? Aaaaah.... NO. We are NOT PAINTING THE WHOLE ROOM, Aubrey. NO. Aubrey wants to call an army to paint. I think they need to call an army to donate. And of course, when Clay says no, Aubrey takes it personally. Clay did not get the memo.
Aubrey is always the project manager, Clay, whether she is or not. She's always the boss. That's the only way she can be the only person who ever gets anything done. If she's PM, you obey her. If you are PM, you obey her. Got it? Ah, this is why Arsenio did not want to work with her. Or Diddy. Or anybody else. But Debbie has another idea... how about a mural on one wall? A 77 foot mural on a day's notice... Clay likes this, but he wants to see a sketch.
Debbie finds it incredibly offensive that Clay wants to know what he's getting before he commits to this. Does he really need to have such a suspicious mind? Mind you, we have been watching repeated episodes in which PMs find disaster when they trust blindly and don't oversee what is happening. The contrast is becoming clear: Arsenio and Clay have very different management styles, and that is part of the story of this finale. We will see if Arsenio's trusting technique works for him, and if Clay pisses off his entire team by reining in what they do.
Didn't Clay get in trouble for Leading By Consensus a few weeks back? Isn't that why he lost a task as PM? Didn't John Rich wonder if he was a follower? What is the message they are sending here in terms of management style?