Celebrity Apprentice / American Idol

I know it’s very “internet cliche” to blog about reality television.  I get that, OK?  It’s bad enough that I keep getting sucked into these darn shows over and over, season after season.  And now I’m going to blog about it?  Really?  I’m sorry but, yes I am.  (That sound you just heard?  It’s the seven subscribers I DID have clicking on the “remove” button at the bottom of the email.)  But it’s OK.  It’s OK because I say it’s OK, and this is my blog.  It’s also OK because I just completed my first year of law school, I have no job, and I need something to occupy my time for the next three months.  (Life is good.)

On Sunday’s finale of this year’s Celebrity Apprentice, we saw Donald Trump make the “politically correct” decision.  Making the “politically correct” decision is a bit unusual for Donald Trump who seems to pride himself on going against the grain….usually just to show that he has enough money to do whatever the hell he wants.

However, it is not at all unusual for Donald to declare a winner of someone whom did not actually win.  Trump’s “politically correct” decision on Sunday is the second time in as many seasons of the Celebrity Apprentice when he did not declare the person who actually won as the winner.  Just one short year ago, he declared Joan Rivers the winner despite the fact that Annie Duke not only mopped the floor with Rivers in the final contest but also maintained a level of complete professionalism throughout the entire contest while Joan, and her lap-d0g daughter Melissa, acted like complete fools and behaved in a manner that would lead to nothing short of termination in any other employment situation.  But because Joan Rivers has more street appeal and name recognition, Donald ignored the fact that Joan practically ruined the final contest for everyone by angering the designer that Donald had hired to assist the finalists (along with a thousand other stupid and childish things Joan and Melissa did throughout the entire season) and declared Rivers the winner.  He did so, because it was the right “business decision” for his television show.  He knew he would get more street mileage out of the well-known Rivers then he would from the lesser-known poker champion, Annie Duke who, frankly, I had never even seen before she appeared in Trump’s boardroom.

So, why was The Donald’s decision this past Sunday the “politically correct” decision and how does that differ from what he did when faced with the Rivers/Duke decision?  I address the second question first, because I find it strangely entertaining when other people do that.  (Why not ask the second question first, jerk, if you are going to answer the second question first?  Right?  Whatever.)

Well,the difference between the right “business decision” and the “politically correct” decision is that the business decision last year was based almost entirely on the impact the decision would have on the future perception of the show.  Whereas making the politically correct decision was necessary, lest Donald’s personal image suffers (and subsequently, the same negative impact on the show itself would also occur, but as more of a secondary repercussion.)

So, why was Donald’s most recent decision the “politically correct” decision as opposed to the decision to award the prize to the actual winner?  Because, simply, the entire television viewing public was rooting for Bret Michaels in the wake of him surviving severe medical difficulties.

There is no question, Bret was the dark horse of the competition and likely the most underestimated contestant….with the possible exception of Sinbad who was as bad as everyone suspected or Rod Blagojevich who was surprisingly likable (not guilty!  not guilty!) but a complete disaster as Project Manager.  While Bret was not as amazing as the finale montage made him look, he was solid.  He was good.  And he did very very well.

But Bret did not win.  Not even close.

And believe me, it pains me to say that, because I hated Holly Robinson Peete from the first moment she opened her mouth.  What she said at the finale?  That she’s “not as much of a bitch as she appeared on the show?”  Bull.  She is.  And I couldn’t stand her.

But not only was Holly the clear front-runner all along (as well as being a royal bitch, particular to my girl Cindi Lauper), but Holly also clearly outperformed Bret in the final task.  By leaps and bounds in fact.  Did anyone even understand what Bret’s commercial was all about?  I didn’t find it funny or entertaining.  I didn’t find it terrible or bad, either.  I just did not get it.  Not at all.  I was just confused.

If there is any doubt that Donald knew he was going to award the title to the actual non-winner, I think he made it clear when he announced the “double prize.”  The Donald convinced Snapple to match his final winner’s award.  And if this were merely a case of Snapple wanting to sweeten the pot or do their part, Trump could have simply doubled the winner’s prize amount.  Yet, since he knew he was hiring the second choice because it was the “right thing to do,” I believe he solicited the matching prize from Snapple and used it to give BOTH contestants a $250,000 prize donation for their charity.  He had to do that for Holly, because he knew that she deserved to be the actual winner.

Then we come to Wednesday’s American Idol finale.  This was the first time ever that I watched American Idol.  And I was entertained, but I doubt I’ll watch again.  Especially since Simon is leaving.  He cracked me up, right?  But again, we have a case of reality television creating a winner from the runner-up and leaving the true winner in second place.  Crystal Bowersox led the competition from day one, and despite two or three mediocre performances, she never had a bad night.  And during the final night of performances on Tuesday, Crystal cleaned house.  Lee Dewyze, on the other hand, was just OK all along, and especially just OK on Tuesday night.

Unfortunately, Crystal has that offset type of talent. It’s definitely talent, and amazing talent at that.  But neither Crystals’ look nor her sound are mainstream or commercial like Lee.  Crystal is the type of performer that people are inclined to say “I don’t like her,” when in actuality they are simply not drawn to her.  And the result is that people are quick to dismiss her.  Maybe it’s the dreadlocks hair, or the off beat sound, or the clothes, or the crazy mic stand.  (All of which I thought were either really cool or really good), but she was just not mainstream enough to win.

Not so with Lee Dewyze.  He’s cute, the girls love him, and he has that crazy and rough almost “Joe Cocker Sexy” voice which led him to victory.

After all, to win American Idol you do not need to be the best, you simply must get the most votes.  Being President is like that too.

Published in: on May 28, 2010 at 7:49 AM  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I like this new format! Write more. I didn’t watch Celebrity Apprentice. I used to watch Apprentice until celebs got involved- then somehow it lost its luster. But we all know Bret wouldn’t have pulled himself out of his hospital bed to be given 2nd place. I did watch AI all season and concur that Crystal was clearly more consistent, but Lee fit the winner “mold” more. I knew who the top 3 would be at the beginning. It’s all so predictible now. I wish they’d go back to a raw format instead of producing so much.

  2. Des – nice points all. (Except for not watching Celebrity Apprentice. Whiskey tango foxtrot? Actually, I think it’s much better with celebrities…even dolts like Joan and Melissa Rivers.)

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