Many of you might already know the answer to that question. But for those of us spoiler-phobes out there — who ignore online finale rumors in order to enjoy the ridiculous action of Celebrity Apprentice playing out on our TV screens live — Penn Jillette’s ouster on last night’s show was as shocking as the existence of consumers who want to smell like Donald Trump. If I were a betting woman, I would have placed all my money on Jillette’s placement in the finale — but, then again, I suppose I shouldn’t trust my instincts. After all, in the world of Celebrity Apprentice, your instinct matters about as much as being an actual celebrity. Why? Because absolutely nothing makes sense in the world of Celebrity Apprentice.
Even the razor-sharp Jillette (see what I did there?) mentioned he didn’t understand the series’ rules following his firing. Because there are no rules, Jillette! That’s why we saw the inexplicable firing of Adam Carolla and Michael Andretti earlier in the season, despite the men’s clearly superior Buick Verano presentation. (Boring contestants like Andretti make Trump angry. And you won’t like Trump when he’s angry that you’re attempting to keep him from firing boring contestants!) That’s why Aubrey O’Day’s team inexplicably won last night, despite a comically hideous Success by Trump display that made the cologne’s title seem ironic. (Even Apprentice alum George Ross couldn’t help scoffing at it like it was a 99 percenter.) And that’s why I’m finding myself wondering whether Dayana Mendoza — named the weakest contestant 11 weeks running — could actually make it to the finals.
The contestant has had an unfair shake — though Clay Aiken’s dismissal of Mendoza gives Lisa Lampanelli’s anti-Miss U.S.A. arguments more weight, Mendoza still has proven to be an earnest and driven worker. That’s not to say she’s a good worker. Her ideas, though delivered genuinely and sweetly, have been silly — an adjective that’s even worse when used to describe someone on a show in which Lou Ferrigno earned raves for dancing with a mop. Yet, Mendoza has nabbed a place in the Top 6, despite being brought into the boardroom a record six times.
So why hasn’t she been fired? First off, she was lucky enough to be Project Manager for a task in which Trump had clearly planned for the women to win — the best way to build suspense on a television show is to force a winning male team to lose by forcing a fashion task on them. And, secondly, Lampanelli was right to note last night that the beauty queen’s mistakes have been inoffensive — in order to find herself in a limo outside Trump Tower, she’d need to commit a Celebrity Apprentice sin. Like somehow prohibit Trump from firing the celebrity with the least drama potential. (Poor Carolla.)
And, of course, you can’t discount Trump’s appetite for drama, which is about as strong as his appetite for compliments and women half his age. As much as some might think the latter plays into Mendoza’s staying power — Trump doesn’t like to say no to beautiful women, which is why he’s been married three times — the businessman is far more interested in creating a TV series with an engaging storyline, which is why Mendoza sticks around longer than worthy contestants like Jillette. To pass up the opportunity to film Lampanelli’s face as Mendoza walks back from the boardroom would be as silly as buying a cologne from a man that looks like he smells like lemons and rusty gold.
So could Mendoza make it to the finale of Celebrity Apprentice? Though it appears next week she’ll be forced to face her undesirable record, I wouldn’t discount the possibility. Stranger things have happened in the Celebrity Apprentice universe. (See: La Toya Jackson’s staying power, Clint Black’s pornographic Tide commercial, Gary Busey.) And if she did, would we mind? After all, as a viewer, it is difficult to dislike the seemingly sweet beauty queen, no matter how undeserving of the title some might think she is. And, honestly, isn’t anyone better than Lampanelli?
Let me know your thoughts, readers: Could Mendoza actually make the finals of Celebrity Apprentice? And remember: This is a spoiler-proof zone!
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[Image Credit: NBC] More: http://www.hollywood.com/news/Celebrity_Apprentice_Lisa_Lampanelli_Dayana_Mendoza_Jealousy/24253750 ’Celebrity Apprentice’: How Has Lisa Lampanelli Lasted This Long? Aubrey O’Day: Always a Cast Member, Never a Superstar
Looney Tunes: Back in Action revisits an age-old Tunes question: Why does the affable Bugs reap all the fame and glory while the egocentric Daffy gets shafted again and again? Our duck friend quite frankly has had it up to his skinny neck playing second fiddle to the carrot muncher. All Daffy wants is a little recognition from the studio but the brothers Warner (actual twin brothers as we come to find out) decide instead to let Daffy out of his contract on the advice of their no-nonsense VP of comedy Kate Houghton (Jenna Elfman). Bugs however knows they're making a mistake. Even though Daff bears the brunt of the abuse Looney Tunes would fail without him and Bugs convinces the powers that be they need the nutty mallard. If the plot had only followed this thread--perhaps showing Daffy on the skids--then maybe the film wouldn't have spiraled into Looneyville. Unfortunately Daffy ends up hooking up with the hunky D.J. Drake (Brendan Fraser) a studio security guard who finds out that his famous movie star father Damian Drake (Timothy Dalton) is really a secret agent hunting for a mysterious diamond known as the Blue Monkey a supernatural gem that can turn the planet's population into monkeys. The evil head of the Acme Corporation Mr. Chairman (Steve Martin) wants the diamond for his own diabolical plans and he's kidnapped D.J.'s dad in an effort to get it. Now the gang has to get the diamond save D.J.'s dad and of course save the world.
It might be a little hard to act subtly around cartoon characters but these aren't your ordinary cutesy Mickey Mouse types. Bugs Daffy Porky Yosemite Sam and Foghorn Leghorn are pros at comic timing able to spar with the best of them throw out zingers without a second thought and slay you with a droll glance at the camera. It isn't really necessary for the human actors to match their madcap-ness; just reacting would have sufficed. Fraser comes off the best of the human bunch; since he's had practice (Monkeybone) he easily interacts with his animated co-stars and deftly handles the doubletakes and jabs at pop culture. Elfman on the other hand sputters and goes bug-eyed every time she encounters silliness. She looks uncomfortable doing the green screen thing especially when she's trying to look natural when peeling a distraught duck from around her waist. Martin's highly anticipated turn as Mr. Chairman turns out to be the biggest disappointment. The over-the-top character is reminiscent of Martin's hysterically funny Rupert the Monkeyboy in 1988's Dirty Rotten Scoundrels but Martin turns Mr. Chairman--an angry schoolboy with knee socks and matted-down hair who never grew up--into a caricature of ridiculous proportions and unlike Rupert who came in small hilarious doses Mr. Chairman gets very tiresome very quickly.
Back in Action's animation is well done more engaging and ambitious than its 1996 predecessor Space Jam in which the action mostly took place in Looney Tunes land; here animated characters go the Who Framed Roger Rabbit? route and Bugs Daffy and the rest coexist harmoniously with humans in the real world. But despite its aspirations Back in Action leaves out vital elements that made Space Jam appealing. While the earlier film stuck to a simple plot Back in Action guided by director Joe Dante (Small Soldiers The 'Burbs) tries too hard to keep things wild and wacky while incorporating elements of '60s heist pics and action-adventure scenes and in the process loses sight of the most important ingredient in any kids movie: the story. Tykes may have limited attention spans but if the story's good they will watch. Granted some individual bits are laugh-out-loud funny particularly the scene in the Warner Bros. commissary where a stuttering Porky Pig complains about being politically incorrect with Speedy Gonzales while an animated Shaggy and Scooby-Doo berate actor Matthew Lillard for playing Shaggy as such a bonehead in the live-action Scooby-Doo. These scenes prove that if any cartoon characters could pass themselves off as real celebrities in the entertainment industry the gang from Looney Tunes could but moments like these simply can't overcome a contrived plot and juvenile antics.