Celebrity Apprentice Power Rankings: Week 2
Author: Mack Rawden and Jessica Grabert
published: 2011-03-16 12:19:05
This week’s competition was a study in contrasts. The challenge was to create a children’s book to be acted out and read aloud in front of a gang of four and five year olds. The men, under surprisingly good leadership from Meatloaf, were mostly organized and focused throughout. They quickly settled on a story theme of Lil Jon dealing with bullies on his first day of school. There were a few random squabbles, mostly between Meatloaf, Gary Busey and Jose Canseco, but on the whole, they all bought into the concept and executed the planning stages very well. Not so on the women’s side. Project manager Lisa Rinna, apprehensive from the start, couldn’t even effectively narrow down the concept. Dionne Warwick wanted a theme of being yourself. Niki Taylor thought it was too advanced for the age group. Marlee Matlin wanted to do a story about understanding deafness. Dionne said it would just bum the children out, leading to a heated argument, eventually settled when Lisa decided to go with Dionne’s plan, probably because she was the loudest.
Hampered by some stiff acting from Jose Canseco, ill-advised confetti that scared the children and a mediocre reading from Meatloaf, the boys had a few more problems than the women during their actual performance, but because they executed so well initially, their planning was ultimately enough to beat the women. Lisa, Star and Dionne headed to the boardroom in what should have been a somewhat equal battle but quickly turned into a one-sided bloodbath. Rarely, if ever, have I seen a boardroom so improperly played.
Throughout the duration of their time in front of The Donald, Lisa was continually abused by the other two women, especially Star who relished turning the knife. Here are some of the points Lisa should have but never really brought up. Dionne and Star spent an inordinate amount of time trying to get their names put on the front of the book. This not only demeaned the rest of the team’s contributions but spoke to an inherent selfishness present in both women. Dionne also fought very hard for her concept, one ultimately rejected by the judges which very overtly factored in to their ultimate losing. Beyond that, Starr was the one who chose a tiny font, a colossal misstep the judges spoke at length of in their decision to pick the boys. But no. She just sat there, admitted she had a lot to learn and waited to be fired. How disappointing.
The Celebrity Apprentice Power Rankings are an ordered compilation of weekly lists put together by Cinema Blend writers Mack Rawden and Jessica Grabert. Each week after viewing the episode, they each rank the competitors in order. Sixteen points are given for a fist place vote, and this week, three were given for a last place vote. Two competitors have already been eliminated; therefore, they automatically occupy the bottom two slots. Here’s how this week’s voting panned out, complete with analysis on how the celebrities might fare moving forward.
#1) John Rich (31): Yet another very good week for the country musician. He’s the one who physically sat down and wrote the children’s book, incorporating rhymes and pleasing the judges with its artful skill. During the first episode, he raised the most money. This week he wrote the best book. I’d like to see how he’ll fare as project manager, but for the time being, his output and effort are unmatched among either team. Not enough can be said about truly being a team player. While others bitch and moan at the tasks their given, he shuts his mouth and executes. Others should take notice.
#2) Niki Taylor (29): So far Niki Taylor has exuded a competence with kids. During the pizza challenge, she discussed how she was an expert in the kitchen because of her kids. This week, when the two teams had to create children’s books, Niki was the sole team member who really understood what preschool-aged kids are about. Or, at least, she was the only one willing to offer a criticism when Dionne, Lisa, and Star hatched a plan to create a complicated “be yourself” themed book. Niki has been fairly quiet thus far, but if she can lead with dignity, she’ll do well as her competition wanes. Only time will tell if she’s a leader or just a great mom.
#3) Richard Hatch (27): Richard caused a lot of waves during his losing run as project manager on the first episode. Many speculated he might be too much of a lightning rod to last, but he completely changed gears this week, politely helping out when needed and pulling his weight. It takes a smart man to know when to be vocal and when to blend in, and he’s walked that tight rope very deftly these first two weeks. I expect him to continue silently contributing until he finds a task uniquely suited to his skill set. When that happens, look for the claws to come out again. Can you imagine a boardroom between Star and Richard? That verbal shitshow would be the highlight of the season.
#4) Marlee Matlin (26): After Star and the now-defunct Lisa, Marlee is the only female contender willing to go to bat in the boardroom. Sure, Nene and Dionne occasionally voice a bitchy side opinion; but, like Star, Marlee has the capability to explain a situation in her own perspective. She’s not someone who just chimes-in to agree, but this occasionally leads to detriment. This week, she got a little too invested in the idea that her team should do a “deaf lion” themed book, and she caused a little drama by not dropping the topic after the team had already decided to roll with another theme. Marlee’s tough, and she could go far, but she needs to figure out when to pick her battles.
#5) Mark McGrath (25): Mark’s well spoken, and he’s friendly, both in the boardroom and during challenges. He’s already shown his off-the-cuff speaking capabilities on Don’t Forget The Lyrics, a show he hosts. So far, he hasn’t been a big presence in the boardroom, but he has shown a willingness to speak up. McGrath is the type of small celebrity that doesn’t seem to want his achievements to be forgotten, and so he might work doubly hard to do well on Celebrity Apprentice. Tune back in to see if this theory is refuted after McGrath takes his turn as project manager.
#6) Star Jones (22): Star and Hatch are cut from the same people-hating cloth. Unlike Hatch, who plays tough but fair, Star is catty and underhanded. Just because she’s extraordinarily unlikeable, doesn’t mean she’s going home. With tough-as-nails competitor Lisa Rinna out of the way, Star will likely be able to get away with murder in the coming episode. I wouldn’t be shocked if she made it into the finals, but I also wouldn’t be shocked if she got thrown under the bus by another competitor at some point, who is still holding her trump card.
#6) Meatloaf (22): Meatloaf might not be the most effective leader, but in these early challenges, if you’re passionate, somewhat organized and delegate properly, you can usually win. Meatloaf proved that hypothesis this week, and now that he’s won as project manager, he should be able to coast for the next few weeks as others take their turns at bat. I’m still not convinced he can actually win, but I’m also not convinced anyone will be excited about throwing him under the bus in the boardroom. He’s just too good-hearted, affable and somewhat competent. Someone normally screws up epically. Meatloaf doesn’t seem the type to implode. That calmness should serve him well, at least until more than half his competitors are eliminated and there’s an increased onus on everyone to really perform.
#8) Lil Jon (18): Of any competitor thus far, I’d most closely equate Lil Jon’s performance to John Rich’s. Both men are yet to become project manager, but each has pulled his weight very effectively thus far. Lil Jon has just been a little less skilled in doing so. He raised the second most money during the initial challenge, and this week, he seemed to capably carry off his portion of the children’s program. I’d like to see him take on a little more responsibility moving forward, but it’s hard to fault someone who effectively contributes each week.
#9) Hope Dworaczyk (16): Hey, I finally noticed Hope this week! Not only did she come up with the idea of the lion not being able to roar, she made one awesome bitch comment about how she conceived it just as much as Dionne but would never bullshit herself and claim she deserved credit on the front of the book. I appreciate the sentiments and her willingness to be a team player, but I wish she would have opened up her mouth in the boardroom and said just as much. I realize the notion of staying out of the fray might be very appealing, but at some point, it’s going to be your ass on the line. Better you start speaking up in front of Trump and get comfortable now. Still, Hope is my favorite dark horse this season. She seems a little tougher than anyone’s given her credit for, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she ends up being a beast in the boardroom.
#10) Gary Busey (13): Having Garey Busey run errands with Jose Conseco is foolish. Between the two of them, they pool enough logic for roughly half a person. Both are spontaneous and get pissed easily, and so when Meatloaf mistakenly gave the couple a wrong address, they responded not with begrudged good humor, but with over-the-top anger. It’s only time before Busey stops getting laughed at in the boardroom and will receive some serious criticism. At that point, it’s probably best for everyone he goes home.
#11) Nene Leakes (13): Like Richard and Starr, I don’t expect Nene to go down without a fight when her number is finally called in the boardroom. She will kick, scream, bitch, accuse and slander to save herself. That’s a great quality on a show like Celebrity Apprentice but because she hasn’t been there yet, it’s impossible to tell whether her ravings will amount to a valiant defense or illogical shoutings that will send herself home. I wouldn’t rule her out, but if she went home this week after kicking chairs over and calling Star a bitch , I wouldn’t be surprised either.
#12) Jose Canseco (10): Jose Canseco needs to stop getting worked up about stupid shit that doesn’t matter. Yes, Richard lightly shoved David Cassidy. That’s poor form and rude, but it’s not a vicious attack worth threatening violence over. Yes, Meatloaf gave you and Gary the wrong address. Mistakes happen. There’s no point in flying off the handle when there’s plenty of time to take care of everything. Causing a scene doesn’t help anyone when you’re mid-challenge. Shut your mouth, do your part, and if you want to calmly explain why the leadership was poor, do it later in the boardroom.
#13) LaToya Jackson (7): Latoya is on her way home. While she is enthusiastic, she never really seems to grasp what a challenge is about. Secondly, she’s super emotional and can’t handle any slight issue that might come up. Since she’s on the woman’s team, this is a huge deal, as slight issues are always coming up. This week, the women were in a mini-fight over the theme and Latoya had a grand outburst, crying off her makeup until Star sharply told her to get her shit together. I can’t imagine Latoya competently running her own project, any more than I can imagine Gary Busey behaving like a normal human being (footnote: the latter is a byproduct of being a kid in the eighties).
#13) Dionne Warwick (7): Dionne is not unintelligent, and she works hard. She makes the bottom of this list because she isn’t quick when the going gets rough, she’s doesn’t explain her ideas well, and she has no capacity to work as part of a team. Winning Celebrity Apprentice is about being able to delegate and Dionne’s just a washed out old woman who looks to Starr for support. She’s a musical legend, but a business failure and if she makes it a while longer, it’s because she’ll hide out in the middle. Even then, she’s too apparent to make that seem possible.
Here’s a look at how each of the two ballots shook out:
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