CA3, ep. 6 Music Makeover
Curtis is cooking at the NYC Rescue Mission with Clyde Drexler as his sous chef gets to present a $20K check to the director of Feeding America, his charity. Drexler surprises the audience with a matching $20,000 check from Right Guard. Due to their exceptional efficiency and volunteers for the labor parts of creating meals, the food purchased with $40,000 will serve 280,000 meals.
Trump, Donald Jr. and Trace Adkins (distinctive with his 6’7” height and black hat) arrive and face off with the remaining competitors. You can anticipate that there must be music in the air if Trace is there. Trump notices that Sharon has not rejoined Tenacity yet, although I believe that this is all being stage managed and they know exactly when Sharon will be ready to return. Trump notes that the setting is the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame Annex. He states that he expects Cyndi Lauper and Bret Michaels to end up in a music hall of fame one day. The task is to take an up-and-coming young country song artist and give him/her a makeover, creating promotional materials and leading to a live performance in which the degree of forward progress made by that artist under the tutelage of the Tenacity and Rock Solid celebrities will be assessed. Cyndi Lauper is the obvious choice for the women’s Project Manager and Bret is the obvious choice for the men, but Goldberg wants to win some money for his charity and feels obligated to take a turn at being PM. This will create clear issues since the music expert on Rock Solid is Bret. Summer notes that Tenacity is no longer a cohesive group. Holly accuses Cyndi of preventing the members of Tenacity from asking questions, ironic since Cyndi has earned the reputation of being the individual wanting to ask a million questions.
The artists to be enhanced are Emily West and Luke Bryan. Both artists are personable and passionate, but it turns out that somebody in casting erred in selecting them since neither of them is really an up-and-coming country music singer, as they both have “been around the block” and have a track record of performances going back years. Luke in fact was winning two awards at the 45th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards show on 4/19/10 while this episode of Celebrity Apprentice 3 was competing against it. Emily has much less previous career development.
The first step is determining which team gets which artist to work with. Tenacity wants Emily based on her music performance style and her personality being a good fit for them. Rock Solid has Bret make phone calls on which one is better and the answer Bret comes back with is there are about the same. Rock Solid elects to “give the ladies what they want” as Goldberg puts it by allowing them to take Emily and having the men work with Luke. As Goldberg puts it, “I don’t like negotiating with people I can’t beat up.”
This has one immediate side-effect, which is that when Luke turns up at their work quarters, he is exactly the same shirt size as Curtis. This gives Rock Solid an instant wardrobe edge. However, Luke also expresses a desire for minimal makeover as he is comfortable with who he is rather than an aspiring person (like Emily) who wants to be different. Luke is typed by his team as an Elvis/Gomer Pyle combination.
The judging criteria play a key role in how the workload is divided up. The factors are promotional materials to create an image (meaning that at least one team member should be dedicated to that), makeover (meaning that at least one should take charge of the wardrobe decisions and makeup) and coaching preparation for future stardom (meaning that someone has to improve the artist’s profile and ability to work with the press/publicity types). Goldberg sends Curtis out to shop, does some miscellaneous work himself and leaves Bret to handle the image/promotional materials and coaching issues, but also in complete creative charge of the entire project. Bret sees his main challenge to get Luke out of his comfort zone by trying out new concepts and ideas.
Cyndi appeared to be personally responsible for everything Tenacity did. As was typical, she demonstrated no respect for any of her team except Sharon (who has just returned from illness). She used the disparaging term “young ‘uns” to refer to Maria, Holly and Summer. Cyndi assigned Maria to redo Emily’s hairstyle according to a 1950s photo of Brigitte Bardot. Holly kept her head down and focused on the promotional materials. I think that the best exchange of this episode came as a result of “young ‘uns” attempt at a makeover came up with Emily looking many years older. Cyndi on observing the results commented “You air brushed her? You spray painted this kid. She's twentysomething. You don't spray paint them. You spray the old buzzards, not the kids.'' Absolutely right on. One of the things I really hate to see is a beautiful woman like Maria Kanellis way overpainted with lipstick and makeup. When she is just looking normal with minimal “enhancement” Maria is totally stunning. With enhancements, I have to look away.
Trace Adkins comes to evaluate the progress of Tenacity. He notes a lot of dissension on that team. As he leaves he tells Sharon that she has to be careful about the man she works with on a daily basis. For those who don’t get the joke, that is Trace’s bitter rival Piers Morgan, not Ozzie Osbourne.
There is a Photo Shoot for Luke between 4pm and 5pm. The makeup artist arrives but Bret knows Goldberg and Curtis were returning late and stalled for time. Everything that needed to be done supposedly was under Bret’s direction. The most that Luke was willing to change was the placement of a chain around his neck to lighten him up. Goldberg did repeat the mantra “Smile.” often throughout the Photo Shoot.
The makeover of Emily proceeds with the final attire all-black, a new look for her and a fairly successful one for the mournful song she will be singing in performance. Maria feels that Cyndi has made all the decisions without taking any input from her team. Summer states that Cyndi is the PM and has the ultimate authority, so why worry about what is clearly within the accepted practices of Celebrity Apprentice behavior (PM railroading their team). Sharon says that Cyndi’s leadership was disorganized (do I hear the second coming of Bret Michaels?) but it did get things finished as needed.
Maria did the coaching of Emily on how to be interviewed. When Cynthia Sanz of People magazine interviewed her, she did well. Bret knew from observation that Luke was looking very tired after a long day’s work when his turn to be interviewed came, so he coached him to admit that up front and still smile. Luke did OK. He even got on a recent cover of People Country magazine, which I attribute partially to his CA3 exposure.
The judging team for the live performance of Emily’s “Blue Sky” and Luke’s “Rain Is a Good Thing” consisted of a, Cynthia Sanz and a disc jockey. I found both performances to be highly polished, even though I strongly prefer the type of music Luke was singing.
In the boardroom, the fact that the women won the Makeover and the Men the Promotional Materials was quickly established. That left the change/image question to decide which team won. Trump wanted to go off on a tangent about how Bret should have put Luke in a bandanna, but Trace Atkins intervened and told Trump “Enough already about the bandanna.” He is one of the few people that have the guts to attempt to shut Trump up.
Trump initially questioned Tenacity about their roles. The conflicts between Maria and Cyndi came out in sharp contrast. Cyndi admitted that Maria was starting to get on her nerves. Maria got the last word by stating that her image of her childhood idol Cyndi Lauper had been shattered. Holly and Cyndi have equally serious conflicts that I am sure we will see in future episodes. Poor Summer has been laying low, so we don’t really know what she thinks about Cyndi’s overall style.
Donald Jr. asked if the women took their change campaign far enough. Trace states that Emily sang the way she always sings. So as an audience member at this point, which team do you think won? Most should say Rock Solid. However, it is all a misdirection play. Tenacity actually won because Luke changed his image very little and I would agree that Emily changed it more. The women are dismissed as Cyndi won $20K plus a royalty form the sale of the records “Blue Rain” and
So, it’s Goldberg, Bret and Curtis who actually are at risk. Trump quickly dismisses Curtis as not being central to this episode’s tasks, so would it be Goldberg the PM or Bret the creative genius who makes mistakes who will pay the price? Goldberg loses credibility by initially saying 95% of the creative direction came from Bret, the later he says 85%, then even later he says 70%. Which was it, Goldberg? There was lengthy discussion of how Goldberg should never have allowed himself to be PM on a task where someone else would be in creative control. Trump got Goldberg to admit that he made the wrong decision in stepping up as PM. For those prevarications plus the fact that occasionally the losing PM should go down with the ship, Trump decided to fire Goldberg. I felt that was quite fair although Bret Michaels is the original cat with 9 lives.