You’re fired! Again?

The third season of ‘Celebrity Apprentice’

| Cadenza TV Editor

THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE -- Pictured: (left to right) Carol Leifer, Sinbad, Maria Kanellis, Sharon Osborne, Rod Blagojevich, Michael Johnson, Donald Trump, Curtis Stone, Cyndi Lauper, Goldberg, Daryl Strawberry, Brett Michaels, Selita Ebanks, Summer Sanders, Holly Robinson Peete -- NBC (Mitch Haaseth | NBC Universal)

The third season of “Celebrity Apprentice” premiered last Sunday on NBC, and for some reason, I had high hopes for this season. Not that I’m expecting quality TV or anything, but typically, when you throw B- through D-list celebrities together and make them perform silly tasks, it’s usually interesting. Maybe Spencer and Heidi Pratt throwing hissy fits in the tropical jungle last summer on “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!” got me too excited about the genre, but unfortunately, “Celebrity Apprentice” did not hold up.

Starring people like Sharon Osbourne, Cyndi Lauper, Bret Michaels of “Poison,” and Rod Blagojevich, I should be amazed by this show. Their big personalities should have clashed to create drama galore, but unfortunately, everyone tried to work together this episode. Not cool, guys! I want excitement.

“Celebrity Apprentice” has the same basic rules as the regular “Apprentice” from seasons past: Two teams compete to run different businesses effectively. This week, the men and the women had to run a diner for a day. To me, “Celebrity Apprentice” has lost the appeal of the original show. Bringing together 16 aspiring business leaders and making them run anything from a lemonade stand to a 10,000 person charity concert was interesting; I like watching people pursue their dreams. Here, while I admire that all the contestants play for charity, why do I want to watch washed-up models, actors, Olympians, musicians and even governors perform these tasks? They don’t bring business expertise, just their rich friends.

The most interesting moment for me occurred in the women’s diner, when Cyndi Lauper heard an accordion playing “True Colors” and led her team in a sing-along of her anthem. The guys’ team sparked a little controversy when they priced everything on their menu at $100 dollars. People walking in off the streets would walk out after seeing the outrageous prices. Sure, it’s for charity, but no business should turn people away!

I was a little appalled upon hearing that Rod Blagojevich got cast for this show, especially when he was featured in a commercial saying “You’re Fired? I’ve already heard that one before.” Should he really exploit his criminal status to get on TV? And to make it all worse, he was not even interesting. It’s a travesty, really.

Even when the women were rewarded an extra $10,000 by winning Joan Rivers’ approval, the men still won the task. This must have particularly ticked Curtis Stone, Australian celebrity chef. Bret Michaels led his team to victory and won an extra $10,000 for a charity that supports juvenile diabetes. Toward the end of the episode, Donald Trump sat down to scold the losing women. After he and Lauper got into a ridiculous fight about Rosie O’Donnell’s attendance at Trump’s wedding, he got down to business. He tried to figure out who was the least effective team member. After few of the women would cast blame, Trump eventually fired Carol Liefer, a comedian who was the real-life basis for Elaine in “Seinfeld.” Her teammates threw her under the bus, and that was that.

All in all, it was a really boring episode, a problem that could probably be solved if NBC decided to condense the show to one hour instead of two. I just wish NBC was capable of making a scheduling decision that makes sense. But alas, this appears to be a problem, and so the third season of “Celebrity Apprentice” will go on in its extended and boring form.