Each generation has a defining moment. Tonight is ours. For years to come, people will say, "Where were you when Celebrity Apprentice crowned its first All-Star?"
Some will smile wistfully at the memory. "Ah yes," they'll say, "that was the day a great man introduced a great ice cream flavor." Others will shake their heads and curse the fickle winds of fate. "That was the day," they'll say, "that a great man got screwed out of his rightful reward. I haven't eaten ice cream since." A few will regard the question with concern. "Is this something that actually happened?" they'll ask.
Oh yes, we'll tell them. The All-Star Celebrity Apprentice Live Season Finale was something special. It was the night we learned that the flavor "maple" is "too specific." That Penn Jillette knows how to play bass. And that Trace Adkins is the reigning All-Star Celebrity Apprentice.
It's important that we remember this day, because in the future people will look to us for answers. "How did it all come to be?" they'll ask. "How did Donald Trump decide who would be his first All-Star Celebrity Apprentice? Was it preordained, like the Buddhist lamas?"
We'll laugh a bit because, seriously, that's a stupid question. But we'll answer them anyway. Donald just makes it look that easy, kids. No one knows what he sees when he looks at minor celebrities desperately clawing their way through the bowels of reality television. But Donald Trump knows amazing when he sees amazing. He can't explain it. So don't ask him. It'll just piss him off.
Tonight Donald will apply his nebulous criteria to Penn Jillette and Trace Adkins. He opens the show with a bit where Penn Jillette juggles fire for a crowd on the street, and Trace Adkins plays his guitar. We're led to believe that Donald accompanies Trace on the harmonica, but we're skeptical.
Donald enters an auditorium, where he's greeted with thunderous applause from a live studio audience. LIVE! So that's pretty exciting. Only "portions" of tonight's show are pre-recorded. You can usually tell which portions are pre-recorded because the live portions are really bad.
Donald descends the stairs from the back of the audience to the stage. Someone should have installed a railing, because he's tottering down those steps like they're made of ice. Come on grandpa, we only have two hours.
The announcer tells us tonight is a battle between Nashville and Las Vegas. We had no idea the cities were in on it. No one says if this is part of a long-standing feud or something that just recently bubbled up.
Regardless, the competition requires Penn and Trace to each develop an ice cream flavor, make a promotional video, and throw a fundraising party. Last week they finished the flavor and video parts. Now all that's left is hanging streamers, hiring wait staff and getting people and their money in the door.
Not so fast, says Penn. My video needs to be shortened by nine seconds. This could be a crisis of epic proportions. Or, we could just cut out the funny part with Dennis Rodman and show it at the party as an outtake. He chooses the latter. Rational, but boring.
Now we check in with Team Trace to see if he can get a good crisis going. Oh no! Tim Tebow is bringing $200,000 to the event, but he'll barely make it on time! Catastrophe looms for Team Trace.
Meanwhile, Team Penn decorates for the party. Where do you want your standee? Lisa asks Penn. Are these enough balloons? asks LaToya. Penn doesn't know. This could be horrible. Many otherwise lovely parties were ruined by oddly-placed standees and too many balloons.
While we contemplate all the potential horrors awaiting the finalists, Donald and this season's losers are chatting LIVE. Omarosa, asks Donald, are you an unpleasant shrew for real, or is it just for our entertainment? It's all an act! says Omarosa. When being an unpleasant person is considered skilled labor, you should probably rethink the whole free market system.
Claudia Jordan and Omarosa are no longer friends. So don't invite them both to the same party, or it's liable to get awkward.
Donald wants to know if Stephen Baldwin meant all those mean things he said when he was fired. Stephen blabbers something about being an "emoter," and Donald seems satisfied. Stephen goes back to texting on his cell phone.
Donald wants to know why Brande was such a loser this season. "It was not harmonious," says Brande. Yeah whatever, says Donald. Let's get back to the pre-recorded stuff, because we're dying out here.
Team Penn's party starts out well. Lots of people are bringing lots of money. In fact, several people donate so much money that they have to use giant checks.
Team Trace's party is also going well. Yet the checks are all normal-sized. Nashville people don't go for giant checks. Nashville banks don't even sell them anymore.
Tim Tebow still hasn't arrived. Only ten minutes remain. After that, his $200,000 donation will only benefit the American Red Cross and the millions of people they serve. Trace Adkins won't benefit at all. So, really, what's the point?
We go back to Donald, his minions and the LIVE studio audience. Dennis is wearing a large blond Mohawk wig, a blazer with what appears to be a Hawaiian-themed print, and lots of makeup. "You're looking very sharp!" says Donald. "He looks good, doesn't he folks?" No, actually, he looks like a crazy old woman.
Dennis wants us to know that Bret Michaels should be with them for the finale, and that Kim Jong Un's an OK dude. At least that's what we think he's saying. Maybe he thinks Bret's an OK dude and Kim Jong Un should be at the finale. Either way, he looks like a crazy old woman.
Back at the parties, coronation pageant music plays as Donald Trump arrives. There aren't too many steps at the party entrance, so he moves pretty fast.
Penn begins his presentation by doing a magic trick with Teller. Then he shows his video, in which he and Teller do what seems to be the same trick. Is that the only trick they know?
As planned, Penn then shows the "outtake" from the video where we see Dennis Rodman with ice cream ingredients on his pants. Hi-larious, says the audience.
Trace's video is a moving story of a young woman and her feeble, demented grandpa. Grandpa's terribly confused by the name of her ice cream. What, he says, is a "mash-up?" Is it some kind of chemical preservative?
No grandpa, she laughs. It's when you mix up different things. Like maple flavoring and macadamia nuts. What about dances? Can you mash those up too? says grandpa. Oh please God no, we say. But the girl is kind, and she videotapes crazy grandpa Gary and his mash-up dance.
After the video is shown, Trace sings. Wynona Judd is in the audience, which the show reminds us about 10,000 times. She wears a flowing, heavily brocaded robe with a furry red collar. Even Dennis Rodman wouldn't wear that outfit.
Gary Busey closes the show by singing "Don't Fade Away." It's pretty bad. Stick with the mash-up dancing, grandpa, cause there's no way this video's going viral.
It's time for the boardroom, where we learn what the Walgreens executives thought of the finalists' performances. Not that it matters. We've got lots of time to kill though, so why not?
The executives loved the name "Magic Swirtle," and they liked the flavor too. The video and presentation talked about the product and were both "on point."
One negative, say the executives, is that the "packaging blended with the other packages." We don't know what that means, but it sounds very serious. No one wants ice cream that they can't find.
Walgreens loved the "star power" of Gary Busey singing, and thinks that Trace's video has a "great chance" of going viral. The name "mash-up" will bring in a whole different demographic, they think. Moms will be shopping for ice cream at Walgreens, and as they're reaching for the Ben & Jerry's "Old Person's Vanilla," Junior will say, "Mom! Look! Walgreens has an ice cream with 'mash-up' in its name! Finally, an ice cream flavor that really gets me."
The executives felt, however, that "maple" is "too specific" as a flavor. Walgreens prefers to be vague about its ice cream.
Penn raised around $500,000 and Trace raised around $560,000. It seems that Trace had $100,000 deducted from his total, but it's not clear why. Maybe the check from Tim Tebow was for $100,000, and came in after the deadline. Who knows? Donald doesn't want to talk about it, so it must not be interesting.
Donald asks who in the boardroom didn't win any money this season. No one says anything. I mean for your charity, says Donald. Oh, OK, that would be Gary, LaToya and Dennis. All of them, losers. Donald gives each of their charities $20,000. Or at least he says he will.
All of you, says Donald, are "tremendous people, tremendous winners." Not "winners" like people who actually win, of course. Just "winners" in some kind of vaguely patronizing way. So go home now, all of you, and do something with the fame that I've given you. Don't squander it on something stupid like The New Hollywood Squares or a guest spot on CSI.
Back at the LIVE show, Donald announces that Walgreens is donating $100,000 to the charity of the person who sold the most ice cream. The winner is Penn, of course. No one wants a maple flavored ice cream. It tastes way too specific.
We're shown a montage of Gary's acronyms. Donald asks Gary about the mechanical dog thing, and Gary says he made a lawnmower out of it. Or something. HA HA HA! says Donald. Your mental illness amuses me, Gary. I may have to bring you back for another season.
Next we're shown a montage of Omarosa. It makes us miss Gary.
LaToya and Omarosa start shouting over each other regarding comments LaToya may or may not have made about Omarosa's dead fiancée. HA HA HA! says Donald. Your poor self-control amuses me, ladies. I will definitely bring you back again.
Next up, filler about Opportunity Village, followed by filler about the American Red Cross. Then we get filler of Trace Adkins singing while Penn accompanies him on bass.
Donald donates $100,000 to the American Diabetes Association, which was Lil Jon's charity. His mom just passed away from complications due to diabetes. So obviously this is the perfect opportunity to single out Lil Jon and announce his grief to the world. Then we'll have a long standing ovation as the camera guy sits in Lil Jon's lap and gets a solid minute of him weeping. We're guessing Lil Jon would have paid $100,000 just to prevent that moment from ever happening.
Say Penn, asks Donald, do you remember how you said all that nasty stuff about me in your book? How you made fun of my hair and called me insecure? Let's talk about how much you regret that.
I don't regret telling the truth, says Penn. But since then I've changed my mind about you. I've written you a letter of apology, and now I love your hair.
OK, says Trump. I forgive you. But you lose. I'm not punishing you for publicly criticizing me, Penn. I'm just rewarding Trace for not publicly criticizing me.
Thus ends another season of Celebrity Apprentice. Sundays will seem cold and empty without Donald and his pack of underemployed entertainers. Fortunately, Celebrity Apprentice has been renewed for another season. The magic continues ...