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Annie Duke Celebrity Apprentice: Getting Dirty With Midgets

Written by:
Guest
Published on:
Apr/06/2009

So, this week on Celebrity Apprentice the task was to create a viral video for All Detergent. As I suspected going into task delivery, the teams got shuffled up. I stayed on Team Athena along with Melissa Rivers, Brande Roderick, Tionne Watkins and Jesse James. Team Kotu becomes Herschel Walker, Clint Black, Joan Rivers, Khloe Kardashian and Natalie Gulbis. Brian McKnight was away at a concert but I assumed whichever team lost the task would end up with Brian on their team when he got back. Melissa volunteered to Project Manage Athena (since she has experience in production) and Clint volunteered for Kotu.

So, let me start with Athena because, once again, the less interesting stuff happened on Athena. As we were heading over to the war room, we started throwing out ideas. So we come up with this idea that Jesse could get scrubbed in a bathtub by midgets. Now, the original idea was Joan getting into a bathtub, little people scrubbing her with All Detergent, and Brande coming out of the bathtub. That would have been hilarious. But we didn't have Joan on the team anymore, which really bummed me out because I figured Joan was the ace in the hole on this task. The reason we were focused on midgets was that the detergent was called All Small and Mighty and, as Isaid repeatedly over the course of the task, you can't really say All Small and Mighty and viral in the same sentence and not expect to get little people. And, as you notice, KOTU wanted to use a midget as well but after the first guy couldn't act the agency had no more options to send them since Athena had already booked the other three they had available.

At first, Jesse was very resistant to get scrubbed by the little people. To be fair, we did want him in a Speedo in a bathtub so the concept did evolve from what he initially refused to do. Let me tell you, when he was initially refusing to do it I was pissed off! I was very happy when Jesse got moved to our team (and even more sad to see Natalie move over to KOTU) but when Jesse said no to concept that the rest of our team liked I was really annoyed that he wasn't being a team player. That being said, we did finally convince him and once he said yes he was the best addition to the team ever. Slightly bumpy start but then huge asset after that. And, yes, he is a totally awesome dude, too.

So, the concept is that we will have three little people dressed as All Bottles. I was put in charge of brand messaging. Tionne and I were also assigned to get the costumes and props. After doing the brand research I needed to and after Tionne found the places where we could get the costumes and props, T and I went off to do our errands while Jesse, Melissa, and Brande stayed behind to write the script. While I was gone, Melissa obviously took some shots at me in her interviews, saying she wanted me out of the room because I was disruptive and wanted to run everything. As usual, she said all that behind my back and not to my face. One of the reasons I love Brande so much is that the one time we had an argument she told me she was pissed off and why she was pissed off right to my face. She was direct and I love that. Melissa, on the other hand, could not have been nicer to my face at this point in the game. Yet, obviously, she was somewhat sniping when my back was turned. Lucky for me, every time we had been in a boardroom, Trump had asked the PM if I overstepped my bounds or stepped on their toes. I think Trump kept asking that because he suspected I was the type who would want to be the leader on every task. Yet, every PM who was asked that insisted I was very deferential, including Khloe on the Zappos Challenge. So whatever Melissa was saying about me wanting to be in charge, she was confusing that with me being willing to stick my neck out and get my ideas across. I actually specifically always deferred to the PM because I had seen on the previous season that not doing that was a huge mistake in the game. And, anyone who has watched the last three episodes has seen an Annie that was in the background, causing no conflict and doing whatever the PM told me to do. So, I obviously knew how to subordinate and not take over.

So, anyway, Tionne and I went off to get electric blue unitards, yellow wigs, blue gloves, and high tops for the actors to wear (so they would look like the All bottles). When we were at Home Depot getting the Scrub Brushes (we found yellow ones!) Tionne found these electric blue rubber gloves the same color as the unitards and she also found these yellow hard hats. I really enjoyed the afternoon with Tionne. I hadn't gotten to spend much time with her before plus she had been sick coming into the show with a horrible sinus infection. That was finally clearing up at which point the real Tionne was emerging. She got her energy back and she is really freaking hilarious. She did a great job finding all the costume stuff and I had a really good time getting to know her better.

After we got all the stuff, we brought it all to the laundromat where they were setting up to film. I wasn't at the war room when Don Jr. came by so I don't know how true the edit was on the meeting but if it was edited fairly I wish Melissa had paid more attention to Don Jrs concerns about taming it down a little because in that case we could have left off that end bit with the midgets swearing. That is not to say I don't stand behind the video, because I do. Melissa and Jesse did an amazing job writing it and it was really, really funny (as you saw when it got played in the boardroom). But Brande seemed to pay attention to what Don Jr had to say since she was concerned it might be too out there so it seems liek maybe the edit of that meetin was fair.Again, I don't know. I wasn't there.

Anyway, we got back to the set and dressed up the midgets and the rest of the day was just ridiculously fun. Jesse was a good sport and had a blast the whole day. He was awesome in the video. The midgets were amazing and game for whatever we did. Melissa did a really great job directing and producing. I made sure the branding was there. Everyone contributed and we all had a blast, never stopping laughing the whole day. Editing the piece was even more fun because even after watching it over and over we still thought it was hilarious, the sign of a good viral. I can't remember the last time I laughed as long or as hard as I did those two days.

We had a harmonious team, and we produced a really funny product. It was a great day.

Now on to KOTU. Oh my lord. During the whole task, Melissa was getting texts from her mother telling her what was going on. We were also getting reports from Khloe and Natalie. By saying they were telling us what was happening, they weren't selling out their team by telling us their ideas. They were texting us about what was happening with Clint, that Clint was locking them out of the process and being a complete dictator. The interesting thing about this challenge was that I was so upset that Joan had been moved to the other team when I heard what the challenge was. Joan Rivers starring in a viral video would surely get passed around by the target audience. We substituted Jesse but I figured Clint would obviously have Joan be the star and I knew we would lose to that. Joan was a huge asset for them. Also, this is right up Joan's alley for what her wheelhouse is in the writing department. Joan is obviously known for being outrageous and pushing the envelope. And viral videos are meant to be outrageous. So here is KOTU with the most obvious star for the video and the most obvious writer for the script. I figured we were fucked.

But then it turns out we weren't because Clint became a dictator, not a project manager, and decided to do the whole thing himself. And by himself I mean he locked out the rest of his team from doing anything, literally he locked them out of the editing bay. Clint wrote the piece (which was a dirty joke about masturbation which was not funny, offensive, and didn't even make sense), he directed it, he made all the decisions about the actors and the editing. He was a one man show and despite his teams constant objections to the idea (and Ivanka's objections as well) Clint refused to listen to any of them and just went full steam ahead. Ignoring the biggest asset he had on his team (Joan) was completely ridiculous and, frankly, disrespectful. I can't say it enough, I thought Athena was sunk. In the target demographic there is no way we could compete with a Joan Rivers viral (even with Jesse starring in ours). All her ideas were very right on target and funny that she threw out on the show. Clint should have listened.

So, we get into the boardroom and, obviously, Joan was really harsh on Clint. No love lost between those two. Joan got very personal. Instead of focusing on why Clint failed as a project manager (as Khloe and Natalie did) Joan focused on why Clint failed as a human being, talking about how she never wants to see him again and that he is a bad man. Personally, I believe that no matter what your personal feelings are about someone that the boardroom is supposed to be about the task and who did their job well and who didn't. So I felt Joan stepped over that line several times in the boardroom with Clint. While I wholeheartedly agree that Clint really screwed up as PM in a huge way, I feel the comments should have been kept to just that, the copious ways in which he screwed up as PM. The deeply personal comments made me feel bad for Clint in there.

Athena had no drama in the boardroom. We had all gotten along well and all stood by our product. In fact, when they showed our video the other team was laughing their asses off and we were told that Perez Hilton loved our video (thank you, Perez!) and hated KOTU's. Seemed like a sure win. NOT.

The All executives hated both virals . While they loved the branding in ours (yay! I was in charge of that) they thought the rest was offensive. Now, I take offense to that in a lot of ways. Our video was great. Melissa did a fantastic job. Jesse did a great job. They wrote a really, really funny and, more importantly, viral video. Everyone on our team was on board and thought the thing was hilarious. And Perez thought it was really viral and really funny. So, my only explanation is that the All executives wanted a commercial and not a viral. I am not sure they understand the difference between a commercial and a viral because there is no question that we produced a viral, we gace them what they asked for. As I said the whole task, you can't really say the words viral and All Small and Mighty in the same sentence and not expect little people dressed up as All bottles. Both teams went to the midget thing, afterall. I also feel like if All didn't like either of them then Perez should have been the tie breaker. Why was he there otherwise?

So, we find out both teams lose (no surprise on the KOTU side). So both teams have to send people into the boardorom. Melissa picked Tionne, because she volunteered, and Brande. I think Melissa knew that I couldn't get fired since the branding was the only thing praised with our video and Jesse couldn't get fired since he had done an amazing job and worked his ass off. Brande got chosen kind of by default just because she hadn't contributed quite as much as the others.  Melissa got shafted, as far as I am concerned. She should have won as PM. But Tionne is really the one who got shafted here. Tionne did an excellent job on this task and had just come off a great week as project manager. She was just coming into her own in the game having finally gotten over her really bad sinus infection. When Melissa asked for volunteers, Tionne was the only one who wanted to support her in the boardroom which was a really nice gesture. Look, I knew not to volunteer. I know how Trump reacts to that. At the same time, Tionne didn't volunteer to be fired, she volunteered to be by Melissa's side. That makes her a really good person (better than I am for sure) and I was sorry to see her punished for that. Melissa knew she got a get out of jail free card on that one for sure. Trump made it clear that if T hadn't volunteered that Melissa would have been fired.

Then there was the KOTU firing. Clint, to his credit, didn't bring Joan in the boardroom with him. He was smart enough to know that Trump would never fire her for this task. So he chooses Khloe and Natalie who did absolutely nothing wrong. Also very much to Clint's credit, he told Khloe and Natalie that he was absolutely the only one responsible for the failure and he would take the bullet, as he should. Whatever happened in the task up to the point, I feel like there was definitely some redemption here for Clint because he didn't make any excuses. He took 100% full responsibility for what he had done.

In the boardroom, Trump commended him for just that. It was clear Natalie wasn't getting fired since Trump was quizzing Natalie about Clint's performance and not criticizing her at all. I really commend Natalie here because she kept her comments completely on the professionial level. She slung no personal insults towards Clint at all, just really descrbing his failures as a leader on the task. Then there was Khloe. As you are sitting there completely expecting that Clint will get fired (after all he was basically insisting to Trump that he take the bullet) Trump starts this conversation with Khloe about her DUI. Now, I want to make it clear that Khloe is doing everything required of her in regards to the DUI and I happen to know that she is deeply regretful of driving drunk and is making reparations. Trump didn't care and fired her for it.

I can only say in regards to this WTF??? How does Khloe's DUI have anything to do with the game? I have to say I was completely confused. Clint admitted it was all his fault. He LOCKED his team out of the editing room. Short of breaking down the door, his team had no way to even give any input in the project. There was no one else to blame but Clint. Instead of Clint getting fired, though, Khloe got fired for something she had done 6 months before she even came on the show. I found the whole thing bizarre. And, needless to say, I was shocked, everyone was shocked, when Clint walked out of that boardroom safe. I guess sometimes Trump acts in mysterious ways.

One thing, as a closing note...Herschel came up with a ridiculously funny idea for his team's viral that wasn't shown on TV. He wanted to get into a bathtub, have midgets scrub him with All detergent and then he gets out of the bathtub a white man. I thought that was hilarious (and similar to the Joan Rivers/Brande idea we had). Too bad Clint didn't listen to that one. I am sure the All executives would have found it offensive but at least KOTU would have produced something that was really funny.

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