NBC has granted the host’s request to devote a portion of the May 22 finale to revealing the date upon which he’ll be announcing whether or not he’s running.
Says NeNe: “I will take you down, while the rest of these girls will look at you and be scared. I’m the girl that’s not scared of you. You pressed the last button in me, Ms. Star Jones. I will do you when the rest of these girls won’t. This is your puppet (gesturing to Hope Dworaczyk), and I’m not.”
This time, the celebrities are tasked to produce a live hair show featuring Farouk Systems products, hair stylists and models. They are judged on brand messaging, showcasing the products and the overall presentation.
NeNe gives in and takes the project manager role. A dreadlocked Lil Jon, meanwhile, heads up the Backbone trio after losing to Meat Loaf in rock, paper, scissors.
The men admit they know very little about hair maintenance. Lil Jon believes their theme, fashion and celebrity guest appearances could help them stand out. John Rich suggests calling up ex-ASAP member Nikki Taylor to see if she will agree to participating in their presentation. With no hesitation, she signs on to help.
Lil Jon struts down the aisles of Lord & Taylor with four female models. The guys might be too laid-back, notes team adviser Ivanka Trump, when she observes the project manager lounging and drinking wine the night before the presentation.
The performance at Cedar Lake in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood opens with Lil Jon improvising and ignoring the distorted sounds from his microphone. The men close with a Mardi Gras theme and throw beads in the air.
The confrontation between Star and NeNe sends a current of negative energy through the group. Hope is tired of playing the model in tasks and struggles to stay focused, even while clothes shopping with Marlee Matlin. At Lord & Taylor, Hope wanders off to browse clothes for personal interest.
NeNe has calmed down and offers up the dance-inspired theme of “Shake your Beauty,” which the team likes. Star takes charge of the graphics side of things, (the usual). When the women learn that their friend Niki is assisting the men in their presentation, they cast her out as a traitor. NeNe orders Hope not to divulge any team secrets to Niki via text message.
Hope apparently has little runway experience and, come performance time, she walks the stage clunky.
La Toya Jackson meets with Trump in his office to plead for a return to the game. She feels Star tried to sabotage her by pointing out flaws unrelated to that week’s task. La Toya makes a convincing argument in the eyes of the Donald. He brings her back but moves her to team Backbone for the following week, compensating for Jose Canseco’s sudden departure earlier in the season. Trump says this is the first and only time a contestant will return after being fired.
In the boardroom, NeNe dials up the spitfire attitude. She says she respects Star’s desire to win but resents that she is a disloyal, dirty player. Marlee, the safest member of ASAP, feels NeNe is funny and straightforward yet sometimes verbally abusive, and that scares her.
Shami feels Lil Jon had tremendous energy and the brand messaging and patriot theme worked well. The safety aspect – that the company’s hair products are ammonia free – was missing, though. ASAP’s presentation, Shami says, had no real theme or direction, and while Marlee was charming, Hope was awkward and the stylists stole the show from the celebrities.
The men win for the second week in a row, and another $40,000 goes to Lil Jon’s designated charity, the United Methodist Children’s Home. Lil Jon now holds the season’s strongest track record (2-0) as project manager. NeNe, on the other hand, is the only contestant on a two-loss streak.
When the episode originally aired on NBC, this segment was bumped nationwide due to the White House’s announcement of Osama bin Laden’s death.
Ivanka and her father single out Hope for consistently fading into the background. Putting Star’s game strategies aside, NeNe agrees that Hope is a weak player, more like Star’s sycophantic intern. Hope responds that she always does what she is told.
Trump concludes that it would be impossible for her to beat NeNe or Star going forward. “It’s just not your world,” says Trump, and, like that, the 26-year-old model is fired.
Will YOU be watching next week?