The New Celebrity Apprentice is back with Arnold Schwarzenegger as its host and contestant Carson Kressley competing in the board room. This season, Kressley will be blogging exclusively about each and every week for PEOPLE – check back weekly and follow him on Twitter at @!
Okay kids, blog time for the third episode of The New Celebrity Apprentice!
Team Arete was coming off of two wins. We were feeling energized and unstoppable. It was another sunny and perfect day in L.A. (no spoiler alert needed for that statement!) and we received our task from Arnold (I know! I know! We are supposed to call him “the governor,” but I just can’t get Kindergarten Cop out of my head) and two execs from Welch’s grape juice.
We were tasked with creating a brand showcase (What the hell is that? I thought to myself) featuring the grape juice and its health benefits. Our advisor would be celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito: an NBC darling since his days on the reality show The Restaurant. I hadn’t seen him in a while, but dayum! I’ll have what he’s having! I don’t know if he’s mastered the art of male Botox (if so, I need a tutorial) or if he’s been sleeping in formaldehyde, but he looked svelte and sexy. At this point, all I can think about is Rocco and his skinny dress pants and well-fitted blazer of Italian origin. I remember hanging out with him after an NBC event years ago and he said to me he would come over and cook a meal with the ingredients I had on hand in my fridge. I told him,”Unless you can whip something up with Moet and Sour Patch Kids, you’re outta luck.”
Anyway, I digress. Now, I have to make this point — due to time constraints, the show isn’t able to really show the amount of work that goes into preparing each task. In the edit, it looks rather easy breezy. The team leader assigns jobs, you do it (or you don’t) and then someone from the losing team gets fired. Trust me when I say there are about a million more hours logged in by each contestant to bring these tasks to completion.
Just talking about it makes me tired! I need a Sour Patch Kids and champagne-energizing smoothie!!!
So our team is being led by MMA sensation Chael Sonnen. Now, he’s not some old retired athlete that wears Hawaiian shirts and does Lipitor commercials. He is a current MMA fighter that regularly turns the faces of other tough MMA fighters into bloody Picassos. To cut to the chase, I’m kinda terrified of Chael.
Now, Chael is a nice guy. He has a lovely wife and the cutest baby you have ever seen. He’s lovely, really — just lovely. But that’s Chael, the dad and husband. Chael the competitor is totally different — the Jekyll to Mr. Hyde, if you will. And his alter ego says things like, “I’ll cut their heads off.” What?!?? Cut our heads off??? Now I just don’t know which Chael is going to show up when. For now, I think I’ll stay on their good sides.
We decided to do a daytime talk show that’s high-energy, fun and informative. And one that integrates the brand into the show without hitting people over the head with it.
Chael did a great job of delegating and keeping calm, cool and collected. We were a pretty focused group and we each did our jobs. I hosted the show and came up with the order of go, created cue cards, and most importantly kept the audience engaged. Matt Iseman — who really is a doctor — was a fantastic medical expert. This guy just gets more impressive each episode! He’s like a labradoodle: smart, fun and very likeable! Vince and George got the band back together and patched things up from last week. Let’s see how long that lasts (about as long as 5th Harmony).
Eric Dickerson was out the week before for a prior commitment. That didn’t seem fair to me —getting to miss two days of working hard — but in the end, I think this really hurt him. He lost the inertia early in the game. I get it. It’s like missing the first couple days of school. It’s hard to catch up.
I think they painted Ricky as the naysayer Lisa Leslie of the men’s team, but I have to come to his defense. Ricky is very analytical and sits back and really analyzes the team’s approach. His criticism is always constructive and well-intentioned for the benefit of the team. The women’s team, not so much.
Speaking of the women’s team, can I tell you what a fan I am of Laila Ali. She is smart, hard working and doesn’t pull any punches. I don’t really know what pulling any punches means, but I think it means she’s honest and I really wanted to use a boxing pun. You’re welcome.
Laila has everyone on board with the exception of Lisa, who always seems to be the queen of CYA. She never really seems to be behind the rest of the team. And after last week’s board room, tensions are still a little high to say the least. Let the cat herding begin!
On game day, the women’s presentation went well. In my opinion, Leila and Porsha brought the liveliest, most engaging moments. Lisa seemed stiff and stern. Kyle, I just adore. She is the realest and has become a great, honest and dry narrator for team Prima. After seeing their showcase in the boardroom, I was impressed. Not wowed. But impressed.
Honestly, I thought we created a better showcase for Welch’s. The audience was on their feet singing along about the healthy properties of polyphenols, laughing, learning, moving. They were literally drinking the Kool-Aid so to speak! Umm, I meant grape juice. You know what I mean.
Maybe the gals did better in their bid to connect the product to millennial moms (and no, Brooke, I’m pretty sure you’re not a millennial, although I try to pass myself off as one as well) or maybe it was some TV magic to keep it interesting.
As usual, I worked my well-tailored butt off, so I knew I wouldn’t be called on the board room carpet. Chael made the right call bringing Ricky and Eric back for final review. And I think it was pretty clear that Eric wasn’t that invested in the competition and needed to go.
And the next challenge was at hand. Time to sharpen my pencils and pull together another business casual look for the ages!
So team Arete was a little discouraged after our loss. But upward and onward we went under the leadership of Matt Iseman for the Kings Hawaiian challenge. Goodbye losing, and aloha to the deliciously carby taste of victory once again! We were on a roll! Bread pun intended!!!!
So the guys really got their mojo back — despite a few drama mamas. Jon Lovitz got a bit testy when we didn’t give him enough time to explain his concept. Clearly he’s an artist. But we just didn’t have the time for any extra hand holding. And out of the blue, Vince Neil started going after Jon. Kind of unnecessary in my book because our project manager knew that Jon delivers and didn’t seem to have a problem with him. Not sure what gives!
Boy George in full-on Amish football regalia had a meltdown, literally waiting for his shot in the football video. People, it wasn’t that hot and we were all busy. Matt did his best to tell him to take a chill pill, but I guess this is the time in the taping schedule when everyone is getting a little tired and testy.
How about me cracking my elbow??? I thought I could have gotten a little more mileage out of that, no??? I mean, did I actually have to die or something to get a little more camera time? Sheesh.
The X-rays showed it was just a bad sprain and after the medicine kicked in, I was back in business. Well, for the most part. A sling ruins every cute outfit — especially the cute neon Hawaiian printed Mr. Turk jacket I rocked for the presentation to the Kings Hawaiian execs.
Over on the women’s team, chaos reigned! The best part was Laila schooling Lisa on not being weird and passive aggressive. You gotta love and appreciate Laila for being so direct and quite lovely about such odd behavior from the “alleged” director Lisa.
Poor Snooki. After seeing this episode, I want to give her a good slap Moonstruck style and say “snap out of it!” She is so smart and funny and a great mom who has accomplished a lot in her short life. She totally needs to know that, yes, in fact she can keep up with any of the women on her team. I’m going to miss her.
The New Celebrity Apprentice airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on NBC.