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'The Celebrity Apprentice' Season 4, Episode 11 Recap

by Katy Kroll, posted May 16th 2011 5:20AM
['The Celebrity Apprentice' - 'Retro Rumble']

After three stars went home last week, it was down to the final four on 'The Celebrity Apprentice' -- and it was another jam-packed episode as two more hopefuls were sent packing just shy of the finale.

With John Rich, Marlee Matlin, Meat Loaf and Lil Jon still standing at the beginning of the episode, Donald Trump brought in past winners Bret Michaels, Joan Rivers and Piers Morgan to help him weed out the final two with an intensive interview process.

In the end, Lil Jon and Meat Loaf were given the boot, falling short of winning the big $250,000 charity prize and being named the new Celebrity Apprentice. Going head-to-head next week? John and Marlee.

During the interview process, each of the four contestants were asked who should make it to the finals. They each picked themselves, plus an opponent ... except for Lil Jon, who thought John and Marlee should move forward. (Ugh! He threw himself under the bus! Trump hates when a contestant "gives up" or doesn't see himself as a true contender.)

Also pummeled during the interview process was Meat Loaf, who both John and Lil Jon thought was "too emotional" and "erratic" with his wild mood swings. When Meat Loaf entered the room, though, he was all business. But he turned off the judges with his "arrogance" when he called himself "the biggest celebrity on the show."

After Bret, Joan and Piers reported back to Trump, the final four found themselves in the boardroom.

Lil Jon had indeed shot himself in the foot by not choosing himself as one of the final two. His poor decision knocked him out of the running, and he was the first to be fired. However, he left holding his head up high, saying he was happy to have won some money for his charity and broken down stereotypes about what rappers are really like.

And it's true, the man who was previously best known for his gold-toothed grill, "pimp cup" and bringing crunk music to the masses turned out to be one of the show's sweetest surprises. He definitely won me over during the season, proving to be smarter, funnier and more down-to-earth than I had expected.

Meat Loaf, on the other hand, definitely came across as wildly erratic for the most part. Between his angry meltdowns and sob sessions, he proved too much for me personally. But The Donald certainly loved the fact that he "wore his heart on his sleeve," and pushed that viewpoint over an "enough already" attitude.

Still, Trump's lovey-doveyness for the Loaf came to a close and he finally fired the aging rocker. And what do you know? Meat Loaf's eyes once again welled up and his lip started to quiver when thanking Donald for the opportunity to be on the show.

With Meat Loaf gone, Marlee and John were the last two standing. They immediately moved into the final task: Launching a retro ad campaign for 7Up.

They were told to design old-school packaging and an in-store display; write and produce a commercial; and launch a star-studded event for a live audience. There was a choice between a '70s theme featuring the Harlem Globetrotters and an '80s theme featuring Def Leppard. To everyone's surprise, Marlee chose the '70s sports theme, leaving country artist John seemingly in his element with a music-based package.

They would be judged on creativity of their packaging, display, commercial and live event, and their overall inclusion of the decade, charity and star power into everything they did. To start off, Trump gave both players $50,000 toward their respective charities.

As in seasons past, Trump provided the players with some helping hands by bringing back previously fired celebs. So, John wound up working with Lil Jon, Mark McGrath and Star Jones, while Marlee got Richard Hatch, La Toya Jackson and Meat Loaf.

Team John seemed more organized at first, quickly coming up with a "Still Keeping It Real" campaign. They designed a retro-'80s zebra-striped can, and created an "'80s Icon Audition" commercial that featured Madonna wannabes, Axl Rose impersonators ... and the real Dee Snider, lead singer of '80s hair-metal band Twisted Sister.

Meanwhile, it once again became 'The Meat Loaf Show' on the other team, as he immediately took the reins from Marlee (like he did last week ... and lost), coming up with off-the-wall ideas like dressing himself up as a fairy. As they struggled to formulate a coherent plan, Marlee and Meat Loaf's dynamic left both Richard and La Toya perplexed as to why Marlee would acquiesce to whatever came out of Meat's head. In the end, they decided on a "Feel the Love" hook that played heavily off the wacky looks and catchphrases of their chosen decade.

Team Marlee designed a disco ball-themed can, which Meat Loaf was adamant had to be accompanied by a boom box-looking cardboard container to hold a 12-pack. But when Marlee sent Meat Loaf and La Toya out to get costumes, she decided against the boom box because it didn't look good and didn't gel with her charity for the deaf, which caused a ruckus when he returned.

Back on Team John, the country singer was starting to show signs of stress, as Lil Jon's laid-back attitude wasn't cutting it anymore. For the first time ever, the two clashed when it came to time management and creating the commercial. However, it still seemed to come together in the end, as Dee Snider stole the show by dressing up in his iconic metal gear, make-up and big hair.

While Team John seemed to have a real coup with Dee, Team Marlee was jumping up and down over scoring character actor and '70s 7Up spokesman Geoffrey Holder. (Um, anyone remember him?) Their ad featured each teammate dressed in retro garb -- Richard with an afro and leisure suit, La Toya as Wonder Woman and Meat Loaf as, well, himself back in the day.

Soon, though, all hell broke loose when Meat Loaf got a call that Holder wouldn't be able to make the shoot because he refused to sign a release form. Upon hanging up, Meat Loaf flipped out: Swearing, pounding the table and throwing his phone across the room as his shocked teammates looked on.

And he wasn't the only one cracking under pressure. John started to buckle under all the questions being thrown at him during his commercial shoot. When he got Def Leppard's tour manager on the phone, the two couldn't agree on a concept for the band and wound up in an argument. John abruptly ended the conversation by saying it was his way or the band was out of the task. Er ... doesn't sound like something The Donald would be too thrilled with ...

But we won't know what happened until next week's finale! Yes, the episode ended just when things started to heat up. Booo!

Until next week ... sound off on which celeb you think will win.

'The Celebrity Apprentice' airs Sundays, 9PM ET on NBC.

Watch the full episode here:

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I think Marlee and John Rich are going to be tough competition for each other. I knew it was going to be those two left standing after the art competition. If Trump would've fired either of them after that competition, he would've lost a ton of viewers. This season is by far the best but I've got my money on Marlee for winning. She's a champ but John Rich has a great team to work with. Their all strong so I don't know what's going to happen. I can't wait for the finale on Sunday and even though I have to work, I'm still going to watch it on my phone using the DISH Remote Access app with DISH Network. The app allows DISH customers to watch live and pre-recorded programs and they don't even have to be at home. It's easy to set up because all I have to do is connect my Sling Adapter and voila, it's working! I love it and since I work at DISH Network, I know that I'm getting the best value possible!


May 17 2011 at 2:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

JR's not the only country star that's had a hard time dealing with a music group in a celebrity apprentice finale. I remember Trace Adkins had some trouble satisfying the Back Street Boys' requests in the season 1 finale - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4DyA0BSvyk

May 17 2011 at 10:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jenkinssteve's comment
General Kenobi

Yes, but they were just being d-bags. I believe the manager of Def Leppard's point was that JR wanted the DL drummer to already be on stage doing the kick bass as part of the announcement of the band... you know, the band he's a founding member of? To be on stage doing his drum before that would mean he wasn't introduced with the band... that he wasn't part of the band........ that might not seem like such a big deal, but when you get to be the drummer of a band that's sold millions of records, you might not want to be sent out to introduce your mates with fanfare as you sit there like a dumbass.

May 17 2011 at 12:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I can't believe Marlee actually picked Meat Loaf over other choices. What was she thinking??!!

May 16 2011 at 11:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
General Kenobi

It's a real shame that Lil Jon did that to himself, I really do think it would've been him and JR in the finals if he didn't do that... Marlee, as far as I'm concerned, has ridden beneath the radar this entire season. Sure, she raised the million dollars in that one task, but honestly those tasks are all about connections, not the actual process of performing business tasks... I haven't been very impressed by her. If she could hear, neither would any of you, but because she's deaf, we give her the benefit of the doubt... basically, something she directly insinuated she wouldn't want in the last episode (special treatment for being deaf)... but of course she does. She's weak and not very creative... it's why she lets Meatloaf take over the creative.

Up to now, I've enjoyed JR, but I really think he's far too cocky and has far too high an opinion of himself. Can't wait to see him introduce Def Leppard when they aren't yet ready onstage... should be a fun moment for the "music guy".

May 16 2011 at 12:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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