Filling in for Brooke tonight on the recap, and -- wouldn't you know it? -- it's Tar Heel homeboy Clay Aiken's star turn as project manager this week. Even though he will tell us repeatedly throughout the episode that he's "not a party person," Clay steps up to lead the men's team in ... planning a party for a new flavor of mock cocktails from Crystal Light.
His competition on the women's team is Aubrey O'Day -- she of the burnt orange hair piled atop her head like a Whoville denizen from that live-action Grinch movie. And guess what? Aubrey informs us she knows how to party, seeing as how she was once in Diddy's entourage AND was a sorority girl. Clay notes that Aubrey has been a party girl since she popped out of her mother's -- Wait, WHAT did he say? (Clay, please. This is a family recap.)
The men's team's Crystal Light flavor is peach bellini, so they come up with a beach-themed party with the tagline: "Life's a peach." Things generally go smoothly, though when Ivanka Trump shows up to check in, Dee Snider talks a little smack about Penn Jillette (who fought so memorably with Clay last week.)
Even though the drinks are allegedly nonalcoholic, the men's event has all the basics of a spring break frat party -- bikinis, limbo contests, lots of sand, tats, Kathie Lee and Hoda. (OK, there must be some real alcohol there somewhere.) Lots of Claymates show up, and Clay, above with Arsenio Hall, does a version of "Under the Boardwalk" that's the second best I've heard recently. (The first being my fifth-grade daughter's in the school variety show a couple of weeks ago.)
Meanwhile, the women go more elegant with their party for the pomtini flavor mocktail. There are fancy dresses, some sort of flowing water sculpture and lots of pretty graphics that, um, don't mention Crystal Light much at all. (More on that later.)
Oh, and there's an original Crystal Light song penned and sung by Debbie Gibson. (Yes, THE Debbie Gibson, she'll be happy to tell you.) Aubrey came up with the idea of a new song to keep Debbie from launching into "Only In My Dreams" or "Shake Your Love" for the 900th time. Partygoers not only got to hear the song at the party, they got to take a CD of it home! (Where they can presumely consume real alcohol in an attempt to make it a little less painful.)
Off to the boardroom, where Donald Trump does his usual belabored questioning in an attempt to get teammates to turn on one another. Most cringe-worthy moment: When Trump asks Lou Ferrigno, who is hearing impaired, how he likes Clay's singing.
Though Trump forces Clay to say which two teammates he would bring back to the boardroom -- after hemming and hawing, Clay picks THREE -- in the end it doesn't matter. The guys win, and Clay gets a cool $50,000 for his charity, the National Inclusion Project.
Before the final boardroom proceedings, Aubrey is already crying. "If she cries, her eyelashes are gonna fall off!" Clay notes as the men watch. But the waterworks continue -- so much that Trump even gives loser Aubrey some money for her charity, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. "Love GLSEN ... but do we just have to cry now in order to raise money? Or do we actually have to win?" Clay tweeted.
Aubrey, still crying, comes back to face Trump with model Patricia Velasquez and former Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza, far right, with Aubrey. It's a sad day for Venezuela, home country to both women. Aubrey tries to say that Dayana doesn't contribute much. But she did get some Miss Universe contestants to come to the women's party, so that's enough for Trump.
In the end, Patricia is sent packing because she was responsible for the signs. You know, the ones that didn't say Crystal Light?
Other things we learned this week:
--Trump apparently thinks this is "The Bachelor." After Aubrey notes that she doesn't have a boyfriend, Trump tells here, "You will have after this show."
--Reality star Teresa Guidice wants us to know that she is "not slow." In fact, she is "the very opposite of slow." (That would be, um, "fast," Teresa, in the Real World, as opposed to the "Real Housewives" world you come from.)
--Lisa Lampenelli used to be an editor at Rolling Stone magazine. So that explains her mean streak.
--Arsenio has always loved Clay's voice. (Despite razzing Clay at the start of the season about Ruben Studdard telling Arsenio not to be the first black man to lose to Clay.)
--The ubiquitous Betty White is apparently doing some new show that looks like "Punk'd: Senior Edition" for NBC. Make it stop.
--Next week's "Celebrity Apprentice" will be a whopping three hours with two different tasks, a switchup of the teams, lots of fighting and someone leaving the show. I just hope Debbie doesn't come up with an original song about it.