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‘Celebrity Apprentice’ recap: who’s the crazy one now?

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Dionne's departure

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The two local “Celebrity Apprentice” contestants made Atlanta proud during Sunday night’s episode. As opposing project managers, both NeNe Leakes (for the women’s team ASAP) and Lil Jon (for the men’s team Backbone) created well-liked commercials for telecommunications company ACN.

Unfortunately, one team had to lose and it was NeNe’s. But NeNe was not on the chopping block. Instead, it was contentious, wearily stubborn 70-year-old Dionne Warwick.

While the concept of the show is really nothing more than “The Surreal Life” dressed up with business tasks, it does reveal interesting aspects of celebrities we wouldn’t otherwise see. Sadly for Warwick, a beloved R&B legend, we saw a cranky, unpleasant woman who didn’t always pull her weight on tasks.

During this task, Warwick’s downfall was deciding to cut out early on NeNe’s team while they were editing the commercial. In the boardroom, when she heard that Hope Dworaczyk and NeNe thought she was the weakest player, she threw up her hands and said no mas. Trump hates that type of behavior and she was out.

Even worse, after hugging NeNe goodbye outside the boardroom, she called NeNe a “coward, baby,” for not telling the truth. But NeNe was telling the truth. Dionne told her straight out, “I’m going!” and didn’t ask to leave, like she portrayed it.

In the post-elimination cab ride, Warwick showed her passive-aggressive nature by saying: “Sometimes ladies have a habit of not quite being straight up. I just don’t like craziness — unless I’m the crazy one!”

Otherwise, we saw the assertive, positive sides of NeNe we grew to love on “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” not her angry side. She was focused, on task and showed leadership skills as project manager. She delegated well and realized quickly that only Marlee Matlin and Star Jones on her team were really useful in terms of the real work. LaToya Jackson was left with time management while Hope and Dionne handled props.

During the boardroom, Matlin was deeply impressed by NeNe as a video director: “You’re one of the best directors I’ve ever worked with. She listens. She’s very approachable, very accommodating. She was a star!”

Trump joked, “You’re going to ruin your image!”

ACN wanted the two teams to create 30-second televised ads for its video phone. The teams took entirely different approaches. With the ACN executives emphasizing emotion over functionality, NeNe’s team decided to go the emotional route. They had a daughter in France kibitzing with her parents in the United States via video phone. Her mom happens to be a deaf, Academy Award-winning Marlee Matlin signing her way through a conversation. It worked.

But the men, led by Lil Jon, opted for humor. The set up is a son announcing to his parents that he is getting married  but the kicker is his fiance is a dude, a dude that looks like Jose Canseco. Canseco already wore a dress during the second challenge. Now he added eye liner and had his hair primped up to play “Pedro.” It was actually funny and management thought it could go viral.

Lil Jon, ever the MC, was a lively host, hyping up the ACN crowd. He also got praise from Richard Hatch, of all people, as a leader.”He was efficient. He was effective. The man manages beautifully. He tasks people. He listens to people. He organizes in a way that is commendable.”

Lil Jon defended his choice of commercial in the face of Trump’s contention they were being too risque. “I’ve been in business for many years,” he explained. “The people who succeed are those who take chances. ACN has all the same kinds of commercials. They came to us for something different. Their slogan is life without boundaries. That means thinking outside the box. If they don’t like this commercial, they need to change their slogan. I put all on black in Vegas. Sometimes, you gotta take chances!”

In the end, Lil Jon was right: 53 percent of the 450 ACN employees preferred the men’s commercial over the women’s safer route.

And Lil Jon won $40,000 for his charity: Decatur’s United Methodist Children’s Home, a safe haven for abused children and youth.

Other notable moments:

- The women at the start of the show were still reeling from the previous task, which cost them Niki Taylor. “We lost against Gary Busey,” NeNe exclaimed. “How did that happen?” Mark McGrath felt his team won despite Busey.

- The men kept bickering but shut up when the women came back.

- Hope has shown no signs of life after four challenges. Her personality (or lack thereof) has been utterly overshadowed. She will be gone soon enough.

- LaToya is being under-estimated, true that. She is a bit too quiet and low-key for this show but she showed a little fight when NeNe started carping on her.

- Busey continued to irritate Lil Jon and Meat Loaf with his inability to focus at times.

- Canseco is just plain strange, his facial tics notwithstanding. During the meeting with ACN executives, he asked whether they could do a commercial where someone communicates on the video phone to… aliens. And he seemed serious.

- Next week: Meat Loaf blows up against Busey!

RATINGS (from NBC press release)

“The Celebrity Apprentice” (3.0/8 in 18-49, 8.5 million viewers overall) delivered season-high 18-49 and total-viewer results and is up versus the same night last year by 7 percent in 18-49 rating (3.0 vs. 2.8) and 16 percent or 1.2 million persons in total viewers (8.471 million vs. 7.307 million).  Heading into last night, “Celebrity Apprentice” this cycle was matching its year-ago 18-49 rating and generating growth of 11 percent in total viewers.  “Celebrity Apprentice” was up 67 percent versus NBC’s non-sports average in the time period prior to the “Apprentice” premiere in 18-49 rating (3.0 vs. 1.8).

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By Rodney Ho, rho@ajc.com, AJCRadioTV blog

129 comments Add your comment

Aggie

March 27th, 2011
11:58 pm

FInally! Dionne has been rude, unapproachable and full of herself since day one. And Starr Jones appears to only have problems with you if you’re white. They both should have their butts kicked for treating Lisa Rhinna the way they did. What goes around, comes around. I hope Starr is next. Then the scheming could stop and these ladies could really do some good for their charities. I agree, Hope needs to step it up, but the drama is killing this group of smart women, and there’s only two that have really caused it. Kudos to Nikki Taylor for her graceful exit. She showed what a true lady in business should be.

MARYANN

March 28th, 2011
12:02 am

I AGREE DIONNE HAS BEEN FULL OF HERSELF SHE HAS A CHIP ON HER SHOULDER BIG TIME SHE IS SO RUDE AND THINKS SHE IS GREAT AND BETTER THEN EVERYONE ELSE. WELL NOT SO YOU CAUSE MORE TROUBLE THEN ALL THE WOMEN.

utellum

March 28th, 2011
12:10 am

I am so glad Dionne is gone!…What a witchy attitude…Im not NeNe’s biggest fan, but girl you were awesome tonight and i fell in love with your tender side. However, you don’t need to feel bad about Dionne, She is so hateful, and you didn’t deserve that disrespect!..She was the coward tonite. Keep your head up, NeNe & stay strong….

Faye Bush

March 28th, 2011
12:11 am

I AM SOOOOO GLAD DIONNE WAS THE ONE TO GO HOME. SHE IS RUDE, SELF CENTERED AND A PRIMA DONA. SHE IS WAS NOT THERE FOR HER LOOKS SHE WA THERE FOR A CHARITY WHICH APPARENTLY SHE CARES NOTHING ABOUT. SHE IS ALSO A LIAR. I WENT BACK AND WATCHED THE SHOW AGAIN BECAUSE I TAPED IT. SHE DID NOT ASK PERMISSION TO LEAVE SHE TOLD HER THERE WAS NOTHING FOR HER TO DO AND SHE WAS TIRED. IF YOU CANT’ HANDLE THE HEAT GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN. I DONT THINK SHE WANTED TO BE THERE ANYWAY. I THINK SHE THOUGHT IT WAS BENEATH HER. SHE NEED TO BE KNOCKED OFF HER PEDESTAL.

Tim Emerson

March 28th, 2011
12:36 am

Best Episode yet and great for my ACN home based biz, If you need a Video Phone as shown on the show tonight please email me and I can give you the information mrtimemerson@aol.com. Tim Emerson

Addy C

March 28th, 2011
12:41 am

I’m sure Dionne’s agent regrets putting her on Celebrity Apprentice … it’s too bad the image she portrayed on this show trumps (sorry couldn’t resist) all the positive I remembered about her back in the day when she hosted Solid Gold.

isabel

March 28th, 2011
12:55 am

PLEASE CORRECT THE ERROR OF THE MISSPELLING OF ACN….
THANK YOU,
ISABEL

KimZ'sPackage

March 28th, 2011
1:22 am

One Bi.ch gone 2 to left to go. NeNe and Star need to go fast. Dionne is to old to be HIP unless it means HIP REPLACEMENT. The guys have more just NUTS on their team, but the women are losing and they are too caddy to each other all the time.

Mimi kahn

March 28th, 2011
4:53 am

I hate nene.

carlaroqs

March 28th, 2011
7:59 am

i am glad that lil jon’s charity was the winner in all of this. everyone is so busy tripping about the personalities, the fact that hip hop’s lil jon– won a competition and that his charity helps children. kudos, boy!! dionne needed to go and hope should be next. latoya is the funny horse here, because her quiet ways could win it for her. kimZ, slow down, you are funny, but sometimes hard to follow w/your spelling. nene did represent– i was totally surprised. i do not think she was crying tho, because she thought they’d lost. i think she was crying because the crazy men’s team worked together well, and she knew her people did not all help on the same level. interesting side of her to see though.

tim

March 28th, 2011
8:33 am

Bye bye Dionne!

Communicate with aliens? That would be Star cuz she looks like one. Oh, the wonders of plastic surgery.

bevvie

March 28th, 2011
8:43 am

I have seen nothing to indicate that Starr has singled out whites to dislike. After all, it was NeNe who said that Lisa was being set up because she needed to go. I was sorry that Dionne turned out to be so cantankerous! Not a good side of her personality! And Starr does not look like an alien. Bless her sweet heart, but it is LaToya who looks weird from so much plastic surgery!

smiley

March 28th, 2011
8:49 am

Did not think men”s commercial, funny! If you have had an experience like this, it is very personal,and I believe most families would like to know, in a totally different way. I don’t think the men should have won. This is just something that should not be made fun of, sorry I have no sense of humor, here!

Don't like Nene, but this time, I approve

March 28th, 2011
8:55 am

I had always heard that Dionne was a witch; heard this when living in NY/NJ area decades ago. I was appalled at DW’s conduct! Shame on her. You must be rough if you make NeNe look decent and not ghetto.

Who is this Hope girl? So quiet.She’s just floating by on the show. What’s she famous for? how come Donald mostly just talks to the Black women? Hope–speak up!!

Lil Jon come from behind the dark

March 28th, 2011
8:58 am

I wonder what “Lil Jon” looks like without the sunglasses and the dreads. Anyone ever see his eyes…?!!! Does he ever comb his hair…like a man…? Geez.

CA

March 28th, 2011
9:00 am

Dionne should have been the first person fired PERIOD. She has a look of contempt for everyone and it is extremely difficult to communicate with someone who looks at you as if you are a nincompoop.

Next week Meatloaf v. Busey. Grab your popcorn!

carlaroqs

March 28th, 2011
9:00 am

@dont like nene–you are hilarious! i think hope was/is one of heffner’s “models”. she needs to float on off. the don is just a flirt-did you miss his praising of lisa’s lips?

petunia

March 28th, 2011
9:02 am

Buh Bye Bitch Warwick…..Hope Starless Jones is next

O.Pinionated

March 28th, 2011
9:08 am

I don’t know or care who Lil John is, I just wish he had sense enough to know that the saggy pants and the shades are not appropriate for any boardroom, except possibly in the rap arena. I know the men won last night, but I personally, preferred the women’s commercial. Nene did a great job as project manager, and I was glad to see her and Star Jones working harmoniously together. I didn’t really have a strong opinion about Star before this, but she really is very smart and exudes strength and leadership.

Ellen

March 28th, 2011
9:11 am

Star Jones is the reason why the women can’t win. She takes over every task even though she is not the Project Manager! She is too conservative and can’t think outside the box. She stifles innovation and brainstorming. Jones needs to try to be a team member, allow other members to think and speak.

Coo coo for cocoa cocoa puffs

March 28th, 2011
9:22 am

After watching (TAR) The Amazing Race, I somehow ended up watching The Celebrity Apprentice. I normally watch (TUB) The Undercover Boss but I just couldn’t stomach watching a CEO walking around in poop all night. Anyway, I was surprised TCA actually kept my attention. I thought it would be a boring program of celebrities ranting and raving about foolishness. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see celebrities acting in a competitive, strategic and somewhat professional manner while pitching ACN’s video phone product in a chance to obtain funds for their favorite charity.

Now to the point of who is the crazy one? Now, crazy is all relative to me. I mean, some people thought Einstein was crazy when he mention his theory of E-=MC2. Don’t forget the Wright Brothers, what did people say when they said, I believe I can fly. Or Ford, when he thought his
invention would be a better means of transportation than the horse and buggy. So, if we are talking
about who is the most creatively crazy person on the show? I would have to say, Lil Jon’s crew because they thought outside the box. Now, if you are asking me who is the – coo coo for cocoa cocoa puffs – crazy person on the show? Well, I will leave that up to the rest of the folks to decide that one.

big sidney

March 28th, 2011
9:23 am

I am of Dionne’s generation and I’ll tell you she is NOT an icon, she is a witch with a b. She is so full of herself and that is such a mistake. She has nothing to be proud of or to inflate her ego over. Most people under 50 don’t even know who she is except maybe for her marijuana arrest. I am so glad she is gone. I went back and watched the segment again and she flat out lied. She was the coward.

Zoe

March 28th, 2011
9:27 am

After tuning in for 5 minutes last week I decided to opt out. Typical mainstream tv garbage. Amazing how low Mr. Trump has to stoop to make a living these days.

Miss Manners

March 28th, 2011
9:57 am

I don’t think Dionne was hateful or rude, mind you of her age. She is one who don’t like mess and can read people and just want to do what was asked of her. I thought it was petty of Nene to talk about the team behind her back and not say “whatever” she felt in their face being that she keeps it real. Dionne was corrent, Nene acted as a coward, she wasn’t honest not so much about when Dionne left but how she felt. No she’s not a babysitter but if she felt that strongly about the matter she should have communicated her expectation. She was the leader in the episode.

Mitzymy

March 28th, 2011
9:58 am

I am glad Dionne is gone. She should have been the first to go. I didn’t watch much of the show, just the last part when Little Jon was presenting and I was amazed that he was as intelligent as he was. I think Trump thought he was going to make a fool of himself. I too wonder why Trump always interviews the Black ladies. He is the one who is showing his true colors!!

Cammi317

March 28th, 2011
10:00 am

I was sooooooooooooooooooooooooo happy to see Dionne go. I could not stand her. She was mean, nasty and stubborn. A big bully who needed to go.

Winner

March 28th, 2011
10:04 am

@O.Pinionated – Lil John wears shades ALL THE TIME. Not because he’s a rapper, but because he has ugly, bugling eyes!

Jodi

March 28th, 2011
10:09 am

I love The Celebrity Apprentice. I love watching all the personalities emerge. I really had no clue as to who NeNe is, but I like her. Dionne Warwick should be ashamed of herself. She acted like a spoiled, lazy bitch with major attitude. She also lied in the boardroom about her early exit. We need Joan Rivers back! Despite her age, she never complained about being tired and worked like a dog for her charity! Star Jones is a bright woman but she tends to take over too much. The rest are just weaker players. The men continue to win to because they are more creative, and cohesive, despite having some pretty wacky contestants. The true weak link on the men’s side is Jose Canseco. He is just Lazy! Can’t wait for next week to see Meatloaf and Gary go at it!

Winner

March 28th, 2011
10:13 am

What is absolutely amazing is that Dionne is gone and silent Holly is still there.

Curious

March 28th, 2011
10:19 am

Yea Dionne is gone. She challenged “The Donald” and lost, and she did flat out lie. She did not ask NeNe if she could leave. So she is the coward for not owning up to it. I am not a big fan of NeNe either but she did show a more humble side last night. She can go up against those ladies of Housewives, but she knew what not to do on the show. Although she still showed some of her personality, she also showed she can be gentle. I think her crying was a sign of humility because she thought she had maybe mess up and she is there for her team and it’s not about her for a change. She did a very good job as the PM in giving out assignments and being in charge. Latoya was the one to mention to NeNe that her vision was blurry so she WAS limited in doing a task, but she said she wasn’t.
Surprised that the men commerical did good, I also thought it was very risky….but it worked. Also agree….who is this Hope person and where did she come from? When “The Donald” ask her who she thought should go she even said Dionne. I think she was throwing Dionne under the bus because the others said she was not a team player. It wasn’t like her and Dionne had an issue because they had the task of together getting the prompts for the commerical.
I say again KUDOS to NeNe for a job well done!

My First Time

March 28th, 2011
10:25 am

This was my first time watching celebrity apprentice. I think the men’s team did a great job. I loved their commercial. I was really impressed with Lil’Jon. NeNe on the other hand…I agree with what someone said earlier, I think NeNe was crying because she failed as the PM. She is not a leader – NeNe take notes from Lil’Jon.

Jazzi

March 28th, 2011
10:32 am

Shame on Dionne. She should know better. But on the other hand, it has been said that what’s in you, will eventually come out. Let us not forget that she is the auntie of Whitney Houston. (Crack is whack). Dionne also stated in 2002 that the marijuana joints seized by airport officials from her cosmetic bag were used to treat glaucoma. This was during the time that she was working for the Psychic network. Wonder why if she was a mind reader, she didn’t know that she would get caught?

Miss Manners

March 28th, 2011
10:38 am

yeah NeNe shouldn’t have thrown her members under the bus as the PM she should have asked LaToya to do more if she felt she needed to. Latoya shared with her about her eyes possible because NeNe is approachable, but then she’ll stab you in the back. Those things NeNe said about Latoya behind her back, she should of said in her face. The things she said about Dionne, she should have said in her face, that made her a coward if she felt so strongly about how they felt she could have used her position as a professional and expected more and pushing them to be leaders. They lost because of the don’t stick together, and I believe that’s why NeNe was crying. She heard how the men worked together and she started the discord among the ladies, she was guilty of not encouraging yet she was creating division. Because if they were a team as she continued to indicate then then team should have said something to Dionne when she left out. When Dionne was doing her task she didn’t ask for help, she did her job, she don’t want to deal with the foolishness. Go Dionne.

BlueDolphin

March 28th, 2011
10:41 am

I was very shocked that the men’s team won, but both teams did a great job! It is sad to see that women cannot work well together. The fact that then men did not want the women to see them bickering was commendable. Nene was wrong for saying that LaToya wasn’t contributing. There were not many tasks but homegirl was keeping up with the time. Dionne should have left last week, I believe the women’s team will begin to work better together with her gone. I understand that everyone respected her, well not really because I do not know what she was famous for, she was a psychic right? Anywhoo, I cannot wait to see Meatloaf and Gary go at it next week. That man, Gary, is scary I praise the men for putting up with him for this long. All last night I kept asking myself if I had every seen Lil Jon’s eyes, lol. However, he is carrying himself in a way I didn’t htink he could. I am loving the men’s team right now they work so well together. Even Richard has become easy to work with since they told him about himself.

Real Talk

March 28th, 2011
10:44 am

Tim Emerson, Nice try sir, but I’ll stay with Skype…The price is better, it’s free!!!

GlenP

March 28th, 2011
10:52 am

@O.Pinionated, Lil John is the real deal. Lil John wearing a suit in a board room would be just as phony as Prince Charles wearing dreads and saggy pants in a board room. The dude is who he is…and that’s good enough for me. Lil John is the same guy on TV as he is in person. Go to Vision Studios and hang out for a couple of days. You will see Lil John come in and hang out with young aspiring producers, rappers and musicians because he can be a good influence. No drugs, no BS, just a good role model giving his time to the people he loves.

Winner

March 28th, 2011
11:00 am

Nice post, GlenP!

GlenP

March 28th, 2011
11:07 am

@Faye Bush, WHY ARE YOU SHOUTING! YOU SCARED MY DOG!

carlaroqs

March 28th, 2011
11:15 am

again, lil jon’s charity is the United Methodist Home. he chose to raise money for that charity because his mother adopted two foster kids- a boy and a girl- when he, lil jon was growing up. again, he stated that the 40,000 he received last night for the organization would allow them to house additional families. now, many of you may not approve of certain lifestyles, but lil jon makes more money than anyone on this blog and i am willing to bet that he has already donated much more than the 40,000 that he rightfully won last night to that Home– glasses, pants, etc, and all! do not mistake portraying a certain image as being equitable to being ignorant and without skills or an adequate upbringing. he is doing his thing as himself and is garnering more respect than that lil whiner – i dont even know his name, on apprentice, more respect than the baseball player and wayyyyyyyy more respect than scary gary. dagggg, Atlanta– support your people. his win brings money straight to decatur, ga!! if all things were fair, since ACN was “upset that both teams could not win”– then, they should have donated maybe 10,000 to the losing team as well.

Winner

March 28th, 2011
11:27 am

@carlaroqs – I was thinking the same thing. Why didn’t ACN donate a little to the losing team since they liked both of them?

And, you’re absolutely correct in one’s outward appearance. Don’t let it fool you. Lil John is respectful and humble. He will never forget where he came from. Remember the old adage, never judge a book by it’s cover. Same goes for Lil John!

Lyla Singfield

March 28th, 2011
11:36 am

I like the way Richard Hatch kept talking about how good-looking Jose is. I agree. So hot. It sucked that John Rich was no negative, and afraid about doing the “gay” commercial. His comments were unnecessary. It was humorous, and it got a win for them. If they had lost, John would have been griping and complaining saying that he knew that it was a bad idea.

Winner

March 28th, 2011
11:40 am

@Lyla – I disagree. If he would have lost, he would have stepped up to the plate (w/o griping) saying he knew the commercial content would either be embraced or kicked to the curb.

Jose looks like a twitching Fred Flintstone (LOLOL).

'trtainmntatitzbest

March 28th, 2011
11:42 am

How can anyone say NeNe and Star should go next. Who and What would we watch after that. Luckily Trump and his producers know which characters are needed keep the ratings up (crazy Busey).
I forget Hope is on the show and LaToya is too soft even without laser problems. Dionne is miserable.

ATLPeach

March 28th, 2011
11:47 am

@Blue Dolphin, you’re obviously VERY young…Dionne Warwick is a singer. She also hosted a show many years ago when I was a kid. She’s had several major hits and at one time was probably as big of a star as Aretha Franklin.

I’m glad to see her go also, but the women’s team doesn’t work together. It won’t matter that she’s gone. For Nene to say that people MUCH more successful than her have no skill set. They must have something to have gotten as far as they have. She’s just now making a little bit of money. What she said about Star was just wrong. I just don’t care for this woman. She’s mean and jealous. Happy for Lil Jon though.

Anyone, anyone...

March 28th, 2011
11:59 am

Got of pic of LJ WITHOUT the sunglasses?

sha

March 28th, 2011
12:02 pm

Good Job NeNe!!!! Make your Haters Your Motivators!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

meyouand she

March 28th, 2011
12:20 pm

Nene needs to go home and be a parent to her minor son. She has failed at raising her oldest son. He is following in her footsteps;a parent out of wedlock with no education.

Ms_Decatur

March 28th, 2011
12:30 pm

Grandma Warrick should have gone home last week! Maybe if she stopped smoking all that weed should could have focused better on the tasks that were given to her. I’m just sayin’…….

Trish

March 28th, 2011
1:07 pm

I don’t think the women are any crazier than the men. I think the problem is the women are thinking with their hearts (ahh that’s so sweet)and not allowing any pizazz in. Come on ladies, beef it up! All of them are crazy, ESPecially Gary!

mamaj

March 28th, 2011
1:39 pm

@ Zoe; you watched for 5 minutes last week, and you just got around to determining that it was typical TV garbage? You are slower than a mug.