Someone's fired every week, usually because of a specific failure during the task. But for the last two cuts Trump relied on his own preferences and the advice of last year's winner and runner up, John Rich and Marlee Matlin.
His choices scream volumes about the type of individual he wants representing his brand. Both Aubrey and Lisa Lampanelli (summarily dismissed last week) had issues getting along with other people - big issues! Lisa was prone to fits or rage, hurling mean-spirited insults at teammates who didn't please her. She was fired because of her "out of control emotions."
Aubrey, like Narcissus, was too busy admiring her own reflection in the pool of creative ideas she contributed to recognize that others shared in the successes of each project. Aubrey was all about Aubrey. Matlin and Rich found her motivations "transparent," and her behavior immature.
Neither of these personality types - the tempest in a tea pot or the self proclaimed center of the universe - make for good business in the long run. Sure they won some tasks (they lost some, too), but they failed to achieve the most critical objective of leadership - bringing out and fully utilizing the best in every member of the group.
The final two contenders are peacemakers and consensus builders, Arsenio Hall and Clay Aiken. No big surprise the task is a gala fundraiser for their charities. They and their team mates will provide the evening's entertainment, and tap their rich friends for donations. They also have to create a Public Service Announcement (PSA) for their charity. Each project manager retains all the money he raises for his own charity, and the winner's charity receives an additional $250,000.
They assembled teams based on their own specialties. Clay chose all the musicians: Penn Jillette, Debbie Gibson, Dee Snider, and Aubrey (o.k. he sort of got Aubrey by default because she was the last one chosen. Tells you a lot about her failure to play well with others). Arsenio choose comedians: Adam Carolla, Lisa, Paul Teutul, Sr. and Teresa Giudice.
Arsenio hasn't struck me as a great leader up to this point, perhaps because he spent the last few weeks fighting to be heard above Aubrey's roar. But he showed a lot of tact in dealing with a bad idea Adam presented during their brainstorming session. Adam thought they should gear their show towards kids, which gave Lisa a near heart attack. Can you imagine the trauma her material would cause among a group of children? Arsenio pointed out that the Magic Johnson Foundation isn't a children's charity, so that approach didn't make sense for them.
Surprisingly, Clay seems to be having a harder time managing his team. Trying to rein in Aubrey's copious ideas for decorating the venue got him into a lather, which carried over to his interactions with Debbie. Aubrey wanted to paint the walls, which Clay thought was overkill. Debbie tried to help by offering to get her cousin, a professional mural painter, to do the job for them. Clay is trying to micromanage the situation instead of being grateful for the extra creative help, and it doesn't reflect well on him.
Arsenio has the opposite problem. He delegated the task of filming Magic Johnson for their PSA to Adam. Adam said he had a professional film crew for the job, but he actually called on a group of amateurs he knows on the West Coast. At the eleventh hour, the footage from California was finally uploaded, and it shows Johnson delivering his dialogue while facing away from the camera.
My guess is it will turn out there were two cameras, with the second facing front, and all will be well, but we won't get to find out until next Sunday. The previews promise lots of drama during the finale when Lisa and her arch nemesis, Dayana Mendoza must share the stage once again. Get you claws our kitties, it could be a really alley fight.
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- Society & Culture
- Arts & Entertainment
- Lisa Lampanelli
- Arsenio Hall
- Adam Carolla
- Clay Aiken
- Donald Trump