By Collin Kelley
The Star vs. NeNe battle fizzled out on last night’s Celebrity Apprentice after NeNe walked off the show. The Donald attempted to diffuse last week’s drama by moving NeNe to team Backbone and Meat Loaf to ASAP, but the real housewife wasn’t having it. NeNe accused Trump of caving in after Star refused to have a tête-à-tête with her, so the last we saw of NeNe was in the back of a Yellow Cab headed for the airport. Later, in the boardroom, Trump called NeNe a quitter and said Star had kicked her ass.
Last night’s episode was a grueling, unnecessary three hours long. There were two challenges and two people got fired. The first was a fundraising challenge and both teams quickly realized they had tapped out all their big money donors earlier in the series. La Toya, now on team Backbone, left messages for Larry King (who apparently didn’t call back) and a got a lukewarm reception from Kathy Hilton (Paris’ mom and hotel billionaire) with a pledge of only $1,000.
The fundraiser was tied into a comedy show and John Rich managed to get Jimmy Fallon to show up and sing a song about being fired, while Star called 30 Rock’s Tracy Morgan (who used to lampoon Star on Saturday Night Live) and filmed him saying boring stuff on her Flip video camera. If the challenge had been about who got the most laughs, team ASAP would have been screwed.
Meat Loaf had another emotional breakdown, fearing the team was going to lose and his charity would suffer. He went to pieces, and Star and Marlee were concerned he was going to make them lose the challenge because he basically shut down. Star tried to use her lawyer skills to broker a deal with Trump so both teams could keep their money, but Trump said no.
At the end of the challenge, team ASAP managed to rake in over $100,000 and Meat Loaf got to cry some more. Meanwhile, team Backbone had to give up another player and Trump decided to fire La Toya again.
For the second challenge, the teams had to film a TV commercial for OnStar, which is now available for any car via a rearview mirror contraption. As Backbone’s commercial suggested, you can now have OnStar in any old piece of junk. Meat Loaf’s breakdown was obviously a cover while he sapped Star of her will to live, because Meat took over the challenge (despite Marlee being named project manager) and got a big attitude about it. Surprisingly, Star and Marlee just sorta sat back and let him go with his idea about a cop looking for donuts on Marlee’s OnStar.
Meanwhile, Backbon was down to just Lil Jon and John Rich and they did a fairly slick looking commercial with special effects and Lil Jon’s grating voice shouting about the product. The OnStar execs didn’t really like either commercial, but they went with Backbone. That meant someone on ASAP had to go home.
Star seemed to buckle under the pressure after Meat Loaf shifted the blame to her for not coming through on brand messaging. Star got a big dose of her own medicine, and she was unable to defend herself despite the fact that Meat Loaf had made them lose the challenge and Marlee had just let it happen. Star got angry when Meat called her “sweetie,” saying it diminished her as a professional woman, and Trump didn’t like that one bit. He said Star was over-reacting, trying to be too politically correct and I think NeNe’s accusations that he had kissed Star’s ass got to him a little bit, so he fired her.
The first part of the season finale airs next Sunday on NBC.