Sometimes, even when you’re winning, you’re losing.
The “Celebrity Apprentice” men’s team, Unanimous, took its second challenge in as many tries this week. But that didn’t stop Donald Trump from trying to create some drama among a team that seems to be gelling quite well — and that drama almost scooped up George Takei.
Penn Jillette, the popular entertainer from the Penn & Teller magician team, was selected as team leader for a task that would create a show for the popular dinner theater “Medieval Times.” With Jillette a master performer, especially in shows in front of live audiences filled with people eating and looking for action, his selection there was obvious. And he would have to find a way to make sure all the egos on his team didn’t try to claw their way to the top — or claw him down in the process.
Yet, the crowds loved the gladiator “Lou of Hulk” with Lou Ferrigno, Paul Teutel Sr. on a chopper that could be made for medieval royalty, and the amazing vocal chords of Clay Aiken. They liked it so much they chose Jillette’s show over the women’s team, led by comedienne Lisa Lampanelli, that took a medieval take on “Real Housewives of New Jersey.”
But Trump was definitely being mischievous when, before announcing the winner, he asked Jillette who he would bring back to the boardroom with him to face elimination if they lost. Jillette struggled with the question, but acknowledging that he would have to bring someone back, named both Ferrigno and Takei — the two genre representatives on the team.
Although Takei had a quick look of shock on his face, he just as quickly softened, understanding what Jillette had to do. Ferrigno, however, didn’t take it so well, and battle erupted between a very upset “110 percent” Ferrigno and Jillette, who was staying firm with his choice, but also trying to emphasize that it was not an easy decision to make.
In the end, none of the men had to come back, and Trump said good-bye to Victoria Gotti.
Takei did show some weakness during the task when he, has an emcee, was expected to closely follow a script crafted by Aiken. Takei was supposed to say key words that would cue sounds effects and other lighting features of the show, and during rehearsals, Aiken was getting frustrated by Takei’s mess-ups.
However, once the actual show got going, Aiken was happy that Takei hit all of his marks, and the show continued flawlessly.
Takei seemed to almost end up as a philosophical outsider in the first episode of “Celebrity Apprentice.” However, here he was much more collected. Where he could’ve had some choice words for Jillette for choosing him as a potential person to come back for elimination, he took it in stride and let Ferrigno look bad with his outburst.
That should win some points not only with Jillette, but some of the others on the Unanimous team that understood where Jillette was going in that answer to Trump in the boardroom, especially since Takei seemed to understand that as well.
GEORGE TAKEI’S BIGGEST THREAT
Despite what seemed to be some resolution to the fight in the boardroom, Ferrigno is now going to have to feel that he has to prove himself more to his team. And since Takei was named with him as the “weakest” on the Unanimous team, he might take advantage of that to try and pull himself higher by pushing Takei down.
Of course, the men will have to start losing first, and unless the women can start to figure things out, that won’t be happening for a while.
This isn’t the first connection to “Star Trek” Medieval Times has had in the film and television industry.
The dinner theater was featured in a scene between Matthew Broderick and James Carrey in the 1996 Ben Stiller comedy “The Cable Guy.” There, in an arena fight between the two characters, weapons, dialogue and even the background music from the “Star Trek” episode “Amok Time” are used.
Stiller is a self-proclaimed Star Trek fan.