entertainment

The Celebrity Apprentice is happening to us all.

Can TV make you dumber? Let’s find out!

Last night was the penultimate episode of this season of The Bachelor, so some genius over at Channel Nine thought they’d screen the very first episode of The Celebrity Apprentice.

To illustrate why that person should probably consider another career, The Bachelor was second in ratings for Wednesday night with 1,050,000 viewers.

The Celebrity Apprentice was placed 19th, behind The Chase Australia, which, after a straw poll around the office, I can assure you that no one has ever heard of before. All up, 566,000 people tuned in.

If you don’t know who a lot of these people are… well, join the club!

But the joke’s on the 22.5 million Australians who didn’t, because this show is a glorious trainwreck and therefore qualifies as must-see TV.

The show begins with a montage of boss guy Mark Bouris being a hard-nosed businessman and threatening to fire our erstwhile celebrities. His business advisers are noted bum-haver Kerri-Anne Kennerley and ModelCo founder Shelley Barrett.

The voice-over promises us the craziest (read: obnoxious) cast ever. Next, the voice-over tells us that Mr Bouris has recruited 12 of Australia’s best-loved and most controversial celebrities. The voice-over has already proven itself untrustworthy and therefore I will disregard everything it tells me from now on.

And our celebrities begin making their entrances. Each of the women is filmed strutting in slow motion. Each of the men is allowed to walk like a normal person at a normal pace.

Our first celebrity? Real Housewife of Melbourne Gina Liano. No comment.

Richard Reid, celebrity gossip extraordinaire, enters and tells us his first job was shovelling horseshit at the county fair, which is basically this show in a nutshell.

Why are they so surprised that Sophie Monk would appear on The Celebrity Apprentice?

Slow-motion Sophie Monk, who Kerri-Anne Kennerley tells us is “fabulous and looking really good,” and exactly what you want in a businessperson, makes her entrance.

“Awww get lost!” Monk says when she sees the two already there.

“If I’m losing, I do have another outfit with a push-up bra. What a bogan!” she says, in her Patty and Selma via Inala voice.

Next, a terrified-looking James Mathison, who is known to proclaim to whoever will listen that reality TV is dead.

This smile is masking the deep loathing Mathison is presently feeling for himself.

Here come two slow-motion hot girls whose faces are unfamiliar. The voiceover tells me they are Miss Universe Australia Tegan Martin and Home and Away actress Esther Anderson, but it’s lied to me before.

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Worst guy ever, former Bachelor Blake Garvey enters. Why’s he doing this? He wants Australia to see that he’s “more than just a guy who hands out roses”.

That’s not how we see you, Blake.

LOVE RAT!!!!!!

Another slow-motion lady: Mel Greig.

“Australia best knows me as the radio announcer that was involved in the royal prank phone call,” she says, and indeed Channel Nine has designated her “Royal Prank DJ”.

I would like it noted on the record that she is no relation of mine. I hate practical jokes.

This is Greig’s first job in about three years following her and Michael Christian’s disastrous prank call that resulted in the suicide of nurse Jacintha Saldanha. Her life and career were effectively destroyed by that awful incident. The way back to the light? The Celebrity Apprentice, of course.

Tim Dormer arrives. Voiceover trickster informs us that he is a winner of Big Brother. Dormer proudly announces he’s never been fired from anything before, because he’s never had a job.

By now, the panic rising in James Mathison’s chest is becoming overwhelming. You can see he’s reminding himself about the mortgage. He’s got a family now, you guys. He’s drinking a beer so that he doesn’t have to talk to anyone.

Enter obligatory sporty bonehead, Matt Cooper. I predict he will take his shirt off within the first 10 minutes of this show.

The producers have saved the best for last.

Oh god, and here they are. The Edelstens, Geoffrey, 72, and Gabi, 26.

The Edelstens.

The old one seems to think he’s nabbed the most entrancing woman in the world. The young one is dressed like bondage Barbie.

Dormer has apparently carried on his no-media ban from the Big Brother household because he is shocked to discover that the old one is the young one’s husband.

Mathison describes the assembled motley crew as “4am at a Logies after-party. Just the people who don’t know when to go home,” without a hint of irony.

Bouris enters and says untrue things about how famous they all are, then splits them into two teams. Boys against girls.

Mrs Edelsten’s not bothered. “Gabi Grecko stands alone, with or without Geoffrey. I’m nobody’s handbag. I’m nobody’s trophy wife!” she says as she’s separated from her septuagenarian millionaire husband.

Gina Liano is chosen as the leader of the women’s team.

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“Bags not!” says Dormer, to the confusion of his teammates, who never had any intention of making him leader. The men choose Geoffrey as their mascot leader.

Awwwww.

All pile into 4WDs. The girls poke Gabi’s breasts and enquire as to their content.

Next up: deciding on a team name. I find this an onerous task even at my local pub’s trivia night, so I feel for these guys.

After numerous suggestions from the others including “highrollers” and “winners”, Dormer suggests they call themselves the dolphins. “Unicorns! Testes! Stallions!” he brainstorms.

UNICORNS?!

They go with Dream Team. Fortunately this isn’t an originality challenge.

What are the girls to be called? Mel suggests “Team Boobatron”, because, you know, they all have boobs. So insightful.

Gina says they should go with Team Fearless, which she reveals to camera is the name of her autobiography. All the others agree to it because they haven’t read it/aren’t aware of its existence.

The teams are taken to a shipping yard.

Both teams’ task for the day is to sell things. These things include live eels, a sink, rice, bottled water, garden gnomes, roses, toilet paper and Geoffrey Edelsten’s autobiography, Enigma.

They should’ve totally gone with Team Enigma.

This last item causes Grecko to throw an epic tantrum because it details sex her elderly husband engaged in with other women, probably before she was born. She rips it to shreds as her poor, confused husband visibly shrinks in fear.

Next stop: Hollywood.

In a feat of terrible acting, Grecko decides the pair are separated and throws her engagement ring on the ground.

DRAMA! Well, the Edelsten gamble has already paid off for the producers. Hopefully now they can go and get the help they need.

Observation: if you’re not looking, Sophie Monk’s voice sounds exactly the same as Geoffrey Edelsten’s.

The teams hit the streets of Sydney. The guys are selling massages. The girls think they have to sell the massage chair.

Tegan Martin informs us that there’s a lot of Miss Universe fans in Australia yet dons her sash just in case no one recognises her. Alas it’s not enough. No one wants a massage from Miss Universe, so the girls revert back to the selling the chair idea.

Miss Who?

Some poor sod spends $2000 on it.

The boys are doing quite well using Matt Cooper’s muscles to sell massages to women (shirt’s off!). No one’s quite sure how Geoffrey Edelsten has enjoyed so many years of fraudulent enterprises business success.

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“He doesn’t seem to command authority,” said Sideshow Dormer of Edelsten, which, coming from him, is way harsh.

Asian people love rice, right? So the girls decide to head to Chinatown to offload their rice, while the boys head to the Woman’s Day offices to sell roses and their bodies.

Matt takes his shirt off for the seventeenth time today, and begins administering massages to editorial staff, whether they like it or not.

Click through this gallery to check out the victims contestants for the 2015 Celebrity Apprentice.

Barry White-voiced love rat Blake Garvey suddenly has an attack of conscience and tells the Woman’s Day team that he promised his “beautiful partner” that he wouldn’t nude up for strange women anymore.

It seems like you shouldn’t have to ask something like that. We’re here, Louise, if you need to talk about anything.

Reid speculates that the real reason is because Blake’s feeling a little out of shape compared to Muscles Cooper but selflessly offers to take his own shirt off. Does. Now Bauer Media has to pay for in-office counselling.

Richard Reid gives the people what they want.

Blake thinks his Barry White voice and eye contact with all the Woman’s Day staff is making them feel special feelings, but he is mistaken.

Meanwhile, Tim Dormer and James Mathison are selling water to a gym and decide to upsell them some toilet paper.

This is a positive development: once the show’s over they’re basically ready-made for a challenging but satisfying career in fast food. Dormer might just avoid the dole queue yet.

Daddy Warbucks texts them all to “stop selling”.

To the boardroom!

A united front, sort of.

The girls all throw Gabi Grecko under the bus for being a petulant child and not doing any work all day. Fair play.

Gabi feels underestimated. She explains that she was upset about her husband’s book because it details how he lost his virginity in a threesome (‘scuse me, puking), and cheated on previous girlfriends.

Sideshow Tim Dormer has found new respect for Geoffrey after details of his salacious past are revealed.

The men, equally, are unimpressed with her husband, tiny, terrified Geoffrey who’d really just rather have a nice cuppa.

James Mathison says Geoffrey didn’t take control, earning him this look.

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If James Mathison goes missing in suspicious circumstances, this guy knows something.

Richard is still pissed he didn’t get to see Blake’s Garveys.

“A deal’s a deal!” he tells Daddy Warbucks, adding that everyone knew that Matt and “the Bachelor” would be the ones to get shirtless.

Kerri-Anne adds that Blake’s reticence “disturbs” her. She’s pissed about not seeing the Garveys too.

“I probably could’ve slept with the whole office,” Blake intones. “But there were certain things I wouldn’t do for charity.”

This is what dubious looks like.

“I’m an old queen and who wants to see my body?” says Reid, and never was a truer word spoken. “But I gave them a show because we needed that money for charity!”

OK, enough squabbling you stupid hunks.

The girls raised $8,425. The man-children raised $9374, meaning Richard Reid and Blake Garvey still could ease their obvious sexual tension and get a room together next ep.

So, the girls are going to lose a member, and it’s pretty obvious who’s going, even though as far as I can see Monk, Miss Universe and Royal Prank DJ didn’t do a whole lot of work either.

Three are seated on opposite sides of the boardroom table and proceed to rip each other to shreds. Team spirit!

But finally, they all rally and group together as one — against Gabi.

Gina has to face the firing squad because she’s team leader, but then she decides that the poor Prankster must also attend because she was deputy leader. Finally, Gabi, as the weakest link, is also nominated.

Not happy.

Meanwhile, Geoffrey’s concern for his young wife is almost endearing. Almost. He’s pacing around, telling Sideshow Dormer that the waiting is “killing him”.

Gina and Mel pile on Gabi to Daddy Warbucks, like school girls dobbing on their friend. He doesn’t really buy it but elects to fire her anyway, because the producers are concerned about what she might do next episode.

I will miss her.

The treacherous two then try to apologise to Gabi but she will carry this betrayal with her as long as she lives. Plus I heard Geoffrey knows some pretty rough people, so if Gina or Mel disappear under mysterious circumstances… just sayin’.

Gabi’s tears are genuine and I can’t believe I’m saying this but I really feel sorry for her. If she were acting, it wouldn’t be as convincing.

She walks slowly from the board room, an odd black tail attached to her bodice dangling mournfully in her wake. I hope she allowed Geoffrey to give her a hug.

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