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Celebrity Apprentice is a completely different game with only a handful of players left. While the early rounds are about finding a way to contribute and navigating the sea of utterly bizarre personalities, the latter rounds are about using celebrity connections and good old fashioned hard work to actually get shit done.

This week’s challenge was to throw an executive suite party inside the brand new Barclays Center to entertain two executives from Foxwoods and a group of VIPs. The overarching goal was to hype the Foxwoods brand and the more immediate goal was to make sure everyone who walked through the doors had a great time. Each team was tasked with picking one of five potential themes. Lisa and Penn selected “The Joker”, a fun and whimsical, more contemporary demographic and Marilu, Lil Jon and Trace went with “The King”, a more luxurious and elegant demographic.

Almost immediately, Penn and Lisa set about booking as many people actually involved with Foxwoods as they could. They landed celebrity chef David Burke who has a restaurant on the grounds. They landed former Celebrity Apprentice contestant Lisa Lampanelli who regularly performs stand-up there, and they, of course, secured Penn & Teller, who perform magic at the casino. They also hired a Native American to play flute music and incorporated as many other small details as they could.

As brutally efficient as Penn and Lisa were, Marilu’s team was the exact opposite. They hemmed and hawed for hours trying to figure out what they wanted to do. In the end, Marilu decided to go with an extremely literal theme of royalty. She and the boys brought in crowns, secured full length mirrors, hired the Countess from Real Housewives, brought in a massage chair and even booked a chess master. Not surprisingly, their party didn’t go over nearly as well as Penn and Lisa’s, and in the end, Marilu went home because of it.

The Celebrity Apprentice Power Rankings are an ordered compilation of weekly lists put together by TV Blend writers Mack Rawden and Jessica Rawden. Each week after viewing the episode, they each rank the competitors in order. Fourteen points are given for a first place vote, and this week, nine were given for a last place vote. Eight competitors have already been eliminated; therefore, those already eliminated automatically occupy the bottom slots. Here is how this week’s voting panned out, complete with analysis on how the celebrities might fare moving forward.

The Favorites
#1) Penn Jillette (27): Penn was an absolute beast this week. Of all the players remaining, a strong case could be made that he has the most impressive rolodex. He was able to secure David Burke. He was able to land Lisa Lampanelli, and he naturally landed Teller. Plus, even if none of those people had been able to make it, he’s always capable of drawing a crowd himself by juggling fire or barking like a carnival worker.

#1) Lil Jon (27): Following last week’s win, the creative talent on Team Power was rearing to go this time around. Unfortunately, Marilu Henner underutilized her King of Crunk and avid party thrower, choosing to nitpick over all of the details on her own. It was alright for the rapper to step back a little this week and watch Henner drown herself in her own bad party, but next week he’ll need to bring all of his skills to the table if he wants to stay in the game.
The Contenders
#3) Trace Adkins (23): Trace was accused of mentally checking out this week, but that’s really just kind of how he works. He’s a very low energy guy. That doesn’t mean he’s not participating. Besides, his team didn’t lose this week because of the entertainment. He landed Hunter Hayes. His team lost because Marilu went way too literal with the theme. If Trace can make it to the finals and once again be in charge of his own destiny, we should see the imposing force who cleaned up early in the season.

#3) Lisa Rinna (23): Theoretically, Lisa should be one of the strongest players left. She’s already won money for her charity during two different challenges and she’s been smart about choosing which weekly events to head up. The only thing that worries me about Lisa is that she lacks in the creativity department. She’s relied a lot on Penn over the last several tasks and I wonder if, when push comes to shove, she’ll be able to lead and coordinate without a strong creative mind to back her.

Here’s how the ballots shook out this week…

Lil Jon (14)
Penn Jillette (13)
Lisa Rinna (12)
Trace Adkins (11)
Penn Jillette (14)
Lil Jon (13)
Trace Adkins (12)
Lisa Rinna (10)
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