Filling in for Brooke on "The Celebrity Apprentice" recap this week -- the first episode since Clay Aiken's brush with firing. And our North Carolina home boy has another rough go of it as he gets caught between the ever-battling Bickersons -- comedian Lisa Lampanelli and former Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza.
This week's task is to come up with a jingle for the Good Sam Club, which is apparently for RV enthusiasts. (We'll pause briefly for you to conjure up the highly unlikely image of Donald Trump cruising the backroads in some sort of gold-plated Winnebago with a big ole "T" on it.)
Because Clay, center, was project manager last week, he agrees to let Dayana, right, handle it this week. Hmmm, this could be a problem, seeing as how he's a professional singer and she knows so little about music that Clay actually has to explain to her that a jingle has nothing to do with "Jingle Bells." Still, he and Lisa, left, try to teach her. And for a while, they listen patiently while Dayana suggests a jingle that sounds like Duran Duran. Cause we all know RV drivers can't get enough "Hungry Like the Wolf."
Clay and Lisa come up with a '60s-style "Good Sam" jingle that, to my ears, sounded a lot like the old "Good Times" TV theme song. After Dayana's failed first attempts at songwriting -- they have to explain to her that the words "man" and "track" don't rhyme -- she agrees to go with Clay and Lisa's jingle, those she does want to add a hippie to the performance. (Um, wrong part of the '60s there, Dayana.)
Over on the other team, Arsenio Hall (the only male besides Clay in the final six) is project manager. As usual, he's having to contend with Aubrey O'Day, who, even though many of us had never heard of her before this show, continues to tell us she is the BEST singer, dancer, project manager, leader, model and creative person ever. In the history of the world! She has her heart set on a cheerleading-themed jingle, with perhaps a little tap dancing by Arsenio thrown in. (What, would that be offensive to you, Arsenio? Why? She really doesn't know.)
In perhaps her most hypocritical moment of the episode, Aubrey -- just minutes after touting the good work of her charity, which aims to stop the bullying of kids -- bullies Arsenio by suggesting that he likely tap dances at home in a cheerleading skirt. You stay classy, Aubrey.
Back at the Dayana Mendoza School of Music Appreciation, Lisa reaches her breaking point when Dayana suggests to Donald Trump Jr. that Lisa isn't contributing much. Lisa launches into one of her profane tirades which, though not without merit, is over the top. Clay also blows up when Dayana tries to tell him how to perform the "Good Sam" song. "Either take over and tell me what to do or shut up and let me do what I know how to do," he snaps.
At performance time, Clay and Lisa do a good job with the '60s radio show jingle. But the Good Sam exec wonders if it is too old-fashioned. And Dayana is nowhere to be seen until the end. Even the giant Good Sam mascot, left, who looks like the less successful cousin of Bob's Big Boy, gets more screen time.
Arsenio's team's performance is basically the Aubrey show. She wrote the song. She performs the song. She sexually harasses the Good Sam mascot. Arsenio does rap and play a drum. Their third teammate -- "Real Housewife" Teresa Giudice -- briefly participates in a skit, though Aubrey pans her performance. "It's difficult when people aren't as good at this as you are," Aubrey sniffs. Despite the too-revealing cheerleader costumes, the Good Sam exec prefers the jingle from Arsenio's team.
That means somebody from Clay's team will be going home. And Lisa and Dayana have their biggest battle yet. Dayana says Lisa is just too nasty. Lisa calls Dayana "the plague of this team." Dayana says Lisa called her "words" -- words so bad she won't even say them in front of Trump's tender ears. Lisa informs Dayana, "This is not Celebrity Miss Universe. This is Celebrity Apprentice, honey."
Through it all, our man Clay sits quietly, though his facial expressions are priceless. When Trump finally asks him to speak, Clay says what everybody is thinking -- Dayana just didn't do much. Despite a half-hearted attempt by Trump to assert that it requires a special kind of leadership to be Miss Universe, he ultimately fires the lovely Dayana, left.
Only five contestants are left. But because two of them are Aubrey and Lisa, this thing is likely to still be dirty. Be careful, Clay.