The premiere may have been somewhat civilized with everyone being on their best behavior, but on the Feb. 26 episode of “The Celebrity Apprentice,” the claws came out on both sides, with both team leaders getting on the bad side of the last people they should be making enemies with.
The teams, lead by Penn Jillette and Lisa Lampanelli, had to produce a medieval-themed show that the audience would vote on for best performance. The men of Team Unanimous managed to keep things pretty peaceful preapring their jousting battle and were full of support for each other and their team leader in the boardroom.
Or they were until Donald Trump stirred the pot, insisting that Jillette name who he would bring back to the boardroom with him if they lost. Forced to throw a couple of guys under the bus, Jillette named actors George Takei and Lou Ferrigno.
Dude, that’s the Incredible Hulk you just made angry … very angry. And you won’t like him when he’s angry.
Ferrigno was deeply offended and despite Jillette’s best attempts to appease him, telling him he only named him because Trump forced his hand, Ferrigno passionately defended his place on the team. And clearly was not going to forgive and forget.
The ladies, however, skipped the whole civilzed thing and went right for the jugular. Victoria Gotti found herself in hot water again, this time taking offense that Lampanelli chose her to be stage director for their show rather than an acting role. The daughter of infamous mafia figure John Gotti threatened to request a move to the men’s team as she felt slighted.
Problem is, Lampanelli thought she was giving her the most important part of the show. And, well, she’s freakin’ Lisa Lampanelli — a woman not exactly known for tact or treading lightly. There was no way that would end well.
Lampanelli had more than one blow-up during the preparation, as she made it clear she was running the show and ruled with an iron fist. The ladies put on a “Real Housewives of New Jersey” parody utilizing their team member Teresa Giudice and capitalizing on the fact that they were playing to a New Jersey audience.
The ladies did some fancy sword fighting, requiring a few, shall we say, blurred moments with wardrobe malfunctions, and in the end, Giudice gave them what they wanted. When Lampanelli, playing Trump, told her she was fired, she went ballistic and flipped the table over.
That was a crowd pleaser.
Unfortunately, for Team Forte, not enough of a crowd pleaser, and the men won their second challenge in a row. That meant the ladies had to face an elimination, and Lampanelli brought Gotti and former Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza back to the boardroom with her. Mendoza found herself in the eye of the hurricane as Gotti and Lampanelli fought back and forth to make their case for staying.
In the end, mafia daughter Gotti was sent packing by The Donald when even Mendoza, who has a serious personality conflict with Lampanelli, had to pick Gotti to be the one to go.
Other show highlights included Dee Snider falling off his horse and breaking his finger when the horse got spooked. And why was it spooked? Because someone played a tambourine — Clay Aiken, to be precise.
Obviously tambourines and horses don’t go together.
“Celebrity Apprentice” airs on NBC Sunday nights at 9 p.m. Subscribe for updates on the contestants and all the latest video clips.