The past two weeks of Celebrity Apprentice have been epic, starting with Nene and Star’s massive brawl and ending with, well, Meat Loaf and Star’s massive brawl. In the middle we have laughter and tears — but mostly tears, thanks to Mr. Loaf’s highly emotional turn as Project Manager. Nearly everything caused him to bawl on camera, a wondrous sight that reminded us of how many layers of crazy this spectacular season has. It almost makes you forget the Warwick-Busey era. Almost.

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I haven’t recapped Celebrity Apprentice in three weeks, and I must say sorry to everyone because this show remains the best thing on TV right now. If I had to choose between a new episode of Mad Men or Celebrity Apprentice, I’m going with Celebrity Apprentice. (Make me choose between it and 30 Rock and then we’ve got a Sophie’s Choice going on). Anyway, what have we missed in the past few weeks. Ummmm…. everything? Dionne Warwick got fired and managed to exit in the typical Dionne way: a.k.a. grousing and bitching about someone else in her nasty old lady style.

The week after that, the celebs raised an astonishing amount of money to the tune of $1.6 million, which is practically unheard of for this show. Call these stars D-Listers, but this was some serious cash. In the middle of it all, Meat Loaf had an epic meltdown that will live on forever in YouTube infamy. We also lost Jose Canseco, which was too bad because I was really gearing up to see his prima dona behaviors get the full Trump treatment. Richard Hatch got fired too, which was inevitable but fine by me. He had provided great sparks in the beginning of the season but had become all but useless by the time he left.

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Celebrity Apprentice continues to be the single best reality show on TV right now. Even though last night’s boardroom was a bit of a bust, the episode was thoroughly entertaining, with rifts and simmering tensions brewing in every corner. The challenge was simple. Actually, scratch that: it was rather murky. The teams had to outfit RVs with materials from Camping World, a company that specializes in camping (but not worlds). I wasn’t clear if the intent was to promote the RVs or the purchased items, and I wasn’t totally clear if the RVs were even something available for purchase from Camping World. Nevertheless, I knew that the teams had to ultimately impress the company’s CEO, and that’s all that really mattered. Continue reading



It just gets better. Celebrity Apprentice continues to be absolutely, unequivocally amazing. The second episode brought oodles of friction to the women’s team as the rift between Lisa and Star Jones full-on fissured into a great divide. Throw in a dash of egoism, courtesy of Dionne Warwick (not to mention some cheery ignorance about deaf people), and we had quite the clusterfuck on screen. Only one show could make Gary Busey dressed like an oversized child seem like an afterthought.

Brilliant, I tell you. BRILLIANT. Continue reading



It did not disappoint. After several weeks of promos that promised to bring “crazy,” the fourth iteration of Celebrity Apprentice premiered last night, and it. was. amazing. This is what reality TV is all about: that combustible mix of people doing ridiculous things all for our enormous entertainment. After just fifteen minutes, I knew Celebrity Apprentice was going to be one of the very best shows of the year, and I have a hard time thinking it could possibly go anywhere but up. In many ways, eleven years of modern reality TV have led us to this very point: the brilliance that is Celebrity Apprentice. Continue reading

B-Side Blog Encounters Mahsa From ‘The Apprentice’ and Lives To Tell About It


I spent this past weekend in NYC for a wedding, and among the exciting and fascinating things that happened was a chance encounter with Mahsa Saeidi-Azcuy, the reigning pit bull of this season’s Apprentice. Apparently no one is watching the show (thanks NBC for the lack of promotion), but those of you who are taking in its glory know that Mahsa is something of a crazy person in the board room. Get on her bad side, and she’ll railroad you right off the show. She’s kind of scary.

Well, I’m happy to report that in real life Mahsa is actually a total sweetheart. In fact, she bought coffee (and marshmallows — don’t ask) for me and my friend Meeshie. There’s not much that Mahsa could say about the production, but the good news is that she’s not crazy and seems to have a really good sense of humor about her intensity. Oh, and she’s very cute in real life.

That’s really it.

After the jump, some random pics from my cell phone from the weekend. Why? Because I’m bored and I want you all to click through and increase my page views.

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When The Apprentice premiered to literally no fanfare (way to go NBC) two weeks ago, I trumpeted its quality with gushing praise and multiple pleas for people to watch the show. Then in its second week, the producer coughed up a dud of an episode — giving us an uninspired challenge that had business people selling ice cream in a park. I’m not inherently opposed to such menial tasks, but at least show us something a bit more involved than just a bunch of sweaty reality stars calling out to strangers on the street. There wasn’t even any intrigue about marketing or strategy. Just ice cream. And yelling. It was boring. Clearly anyone who had decided to sample The Apprentice must have tuned out halfway through.

Well, the good news is that the third episode of this season was back on track. The teams had to each take over a Doggie Spa in Manhattan and come up with a “value add” that would enhance the business and offer a unique experience to the clientele. For the men, they opted to install webcams in the dogs’ kennels (not a totally innovative idea, but a strong one nonetheless). The women instead focused on boosting sales on the spa’s slowest day of the week. Admittedly, they both seemed like they were headed in the right direction, but things went very haywire very quickly.

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APPRENTICE PHOTOCAP: That’s Right, ‘The Apprentice’ Premiered Last Week (and It Was Awesome!)


Here’s a surprise: NBC premiered a new “classic-style” (a.k.a non-celebrity) Apprentice last week, and guess what? It apparently tanked in the ratings. Why? Well, I’d say the stealth campaign had much to do with it. No one I spoke to even knew it was on. I didn’t even know it was on until after the fact (thank you CNBC for airing a rerun the next day). This was a total marketing FAIL, which is actually a shame because here’s the best news of all: the latest Apprentice ROCKS.

Of course, I’ve always been an Apprentice fan, but after having endured a decent but rather toothless celebrity edition last spring, it was downright invigorating to have Trump corral in a group of vicious sharks willing to do whatever it takes to get ahead. That almost all of them are out of work makes their desperation that much more intense. Yes, we have a cast of seemingly very legitimate business types, and man did the fur fly in the first episode.

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