Despite Donald Trump's stated politics of bigotry, I am not boycotting this season of Celebrity Apprentice. Now, I think that doing so is a noble cause. I applaud those who can resist this explosion of destitution and facial reconstruction, but I cannot. It would take eternal damnation itself to tear me away from a weekly dose of La Toya Jackson in a high-pressure environment. Sorry. I am gay and in support of equality, but I am also human. Besides, if Trump doesn't support gays, he does support a gay sensibility -- this show, more than ever, is nonstop camp, from Lisa Rinna's lips to Marlee Matlin's ears.
(On one quickly glossed-over part of the premiere, Marlee was seen motioning to her ears, seemingly to remind Star Jones that she is, in fact, deaf. I don't know how much more over-the-top you can get than one of the most famous deaf women in all of pop culture being forced to gesticulate wildly to signal her own deafness.)
Dionne Warwick is a living copy of AARP The Magazine, all determined and exhaustible. Her speaking voice could be described as "stereotypical Catwoman." Richard Hatch is a curly mustache short of a cartoon villain. Gary Busey is an untouched pile of isms books sitting in Urban Outfitters. He has no idea how he got there.
The show is also visually arresting. This season of Celebrity Apprentice collects for broadcast the biggest number of strange-looking people I've seen since I Love Money 2.
Come, let's look:
Of particular note is Niki Taylor, a specimen of blessed DNA, if ever there were, whose pulling and pumping and ironing out has produced something reminiscent of I Think We're Alone Now's Kelly McCormick.
It's a stretch, yes, but less of one than I ever would have imagined possible.
Speaking of transitioning...
...Jose Canseco looks perpetually between Bruce Banner and Hulk phases of existence.
I posted this screenshot of NeNe Leakes on Twitter and someone else said it best: "if you wanted to know what the 'O_o' face looked like in real life, this is the perfect example."
The two freakiest freaks of all must be captured in motion:
And then there is La Toya, whose official title per the show's intro is "entertainment icon."
She's still reaching for the stars after all these years.
And she looks ravishing doing so!
For the first board meeting, she wore fuck-me boots and a mini-skirt. This woman is 54-years-old. It's enough to make AARP The Magazine fold. (Sorry, Dionne.)
Earlier, she arrived dressed like Benjamin Franklin and proceeded to fuck up the meaning behind her team's name, A.S.A.P. It stands for Artists, Singers, Authors, Performers...no wait, Artists, Singers, Actors, Authors...no, it's Artists, Singers, Authors, Professionals. Or something. I don't know, it's all relative, and that's what's most fascinating about this show: "celebrity" simultaneously means more and less than it ever has. Of course, most of these people are down and out, career-wise (they wouldn't be here if they weren't), and yet any shred of popularity they may have over another is exploited with suitable voracity.
To draw people into the pizza place the women's team had to run for their challenge, project manager Star Jones stated that she was relying on La Toya's celebrity. Relying on La Toya's celebrity to get you anything but a continental breakfast and a handful of people to look up from what they're doing would have been previously unthinkable. I don't know if it's the death of Michael that has upped this woman's stock or what, but somehow she's gone from famous? to famous. This is La Toya's moment, the time that she has spent her life waiting for, one of mass acceptance and comparative clout.
And to celebrate, she is wearing a baseball cap with the name of a truly shitty NYC pizza joint. Perfect.
Anyway, yeah. Sticking with this. Sorry, La Toya trumps social responsibility.
Next week she does this:
I rest my case.