By Lauren Tuck (Editorial Assistant, POZ)

This week’s episode of The Celebrity Apprentice had twists and turns that kept me awake into the wee hours (that’s a lie--this show is on late and I dozed off multiple times). Just when I thought that the two-hour program was being condensed into a more manageable one-hour time slot, Donald Trump decided to make the night’s episode a double challenge. Which was lucky for us, because at the end of the first hour, it seemed as if Arsenio Hall would be booted off after a Jay Leno related Fed-Ex snafu, but he turned it around for the second contest and won a donation for the Magic Johnson AIDS Foundation!

In the first competition, the starlets were tasked with creating a New York celebrity (debatable) guidebook and then selling the pamphlet on the mean streets of New York City. Each team photographed, wrote and designed the guides (kind of--teams had a professional graphic designer helping them because there is no way any of the competitors can list Photoshop as a skill on their résumés). The guides featured the celebrities’ personal experiences and ties to landmarks and areas throughout NYC. The team to raise the most money from sales of their tacky tome wins.
  team.jpgIn the end, Dee Snider, Twisted Sister front man and Project Manager for the men, won $326,000 for the March of Dimes. He did this with no help from the Blue Man Group and their shady shenanigans. The blue-faced performers popped a balloon containing $8,000 in cash, a donation to help the men tip the scales in their favor. Instead of the contribution going directly to the team, viewers had the pleasure of watching Clay Aiken scramble on the dirty streets to tear dollar bills out of the hungry hands of Flatiron visitors, scrounging for the cash that was supposed to belong to Team Unanimous. Because the women lost by $14, they had to send someone home and Trump fired Debbie Gibson. Dayana Mendoza came close to being fired but we all know how much Trump loves her so she’s safe...for now!

Trump was so disappointed that the women have lost five of the missions and only have four of their nine members still standing in the competition, that he decided to mix up the squads in order to make the numbers fair. They are now, as follows:

Team Forte (previously the Women’s Team):
Dayana Mendoza, Lisa Lampanelli, Lou Ferrigno, Dee Snider and Penn Gillette.
Team Unanimous (previously the Men’s Team): Aubrey O’Day, Theresa Giudice, Arsenio Hall, Clay Aiken and Paul Tetul Sr.
 
With the gangs newly realigned, they were given their second mission of the night. The reality show participants were assigned to produce an interactive health segment to promote “Walk with Walgreens”--an initiative from the super store to encourage people to walk 30 minutes a day--and they had to present it to a live audience.

Arsenio, who is fighting for the Magic Johnson AIDS Foundation, stepped up as Project Manager. He said, “I’ve been involved with [the Magic Johnson AIDS Foundation] for 20 years. But I’m also playing for my cousin who died of AIDS. She’s in heaven. I’m really playing for her.”

boxes.jpgAnd play for her he did. Team Unanimous was the undisputed winner in the second battle, which was decided by two Walgreens executives along with Alison Sweeney of The Biggest Loser fame. The team secured Arsenio the big win with its simulated game show session and its color popping box design (the box contains a step counter for the “Walk for Walgreens” initiative that lets you earn points for prizes based on how far and long you walk) featuring head shots of the contestants along with personal quotes about taking walks with family, losing weight and lowering cholesterol.

Some major catfights went down on the road to the boardroom. On Team Forte, Lisa Lampanelli finds Dayana Mendoza vacuous and idiotic. Can we expect a Latino Commission on AIDS vs. Gay Men’s Health Crisis showdown? Or maybe they should just join forces for the greater good. On Team Unanimous, Aubrey O’Day called Arsenio old and wrinkly. But Arsenio’s tearful acceptance of $50,000 for the Magic Johnson AIDS Foundation, I’m sure, made the juice worth the very painful squeeze.

Arsenio was so successful in his hosting (hooting?) abilities that a partnership was formed! Walgreens and the Magic Johnson AIDS Foundation have come together for a national campaign to address the health, educational and social needs of ethnically diverse, urban communities throughout the country. Walgreens will sell a commemorative charity bracelet for $3 at more than 7,800 stores, with $2 from each purchase benefiting the Magic Johnson AIDS Foundation.

Tune in next week to watch Arsenio deliver his winnings to the Magic Johnson AIDS Foundation!