Celebrity Apprentice AustraliaWed & Thu 8pm, Ch9

What a lovely day in Sydney for some challenging.

Last night we said goodbye to Fiona O’Laughlin because someone had to be fired first. Oh, and the whole “you have to give us 25% to make it fair!” thing. Tonight the celebrities get “creative” – they have to transform junk into saleable art as a metaphor for their careers. The Hoff is quoteable, the cattyness ramps it all the way up to eleven, and Dicko calls Ben a convict (who has a little tear up in the Boardroom). With only eleven celebs left and another going tonight, you can be guaranteed we’ll have ten celebs left at the end of the show.

The celebs gather at Observatory Hill in Sydney, overlooking The Rocks in Sydney. Mr B claims it is the birthplace of trade in Australia… as long as he doesn’t think about those pesky indigenous peoples who where here long before the white fella. The Rocks have matured and changed with the times unlike the assembled celebs, and as Deborah and Dane tell them they have to create an inspiring art piece based on a life-changing moment and sell it in their “Rocks Pop-Up Shop”, all I can think about is Pop Rocks. I gotta get me some of those.

Ben likes art. Mainly the kind with those dogs playing poker (how do they get the dogs to sit still for so long?!). Tania can think of many life-changing moments, all of them related to working with David on Baywatch. Lauryn knows she’ll make her art as a tribute to her dad who died on the water just down in front of the Rocks a few years ago. Dane butts in to remind them that the team that makes the most money wins. Like it’s a competition or something.

The CEO of BING Australia just happens to appear in the park (mainly because he was trying to drive across the harbour and this is where BING Maps told him to come), so he takes the chance to offer the celebs an inducement: the winning team will give $20,000 for whoever creates the best BING pop-up experience. BING!

The Hoff swaps with Patti so that the sides are a little more “even”. Ms Charlotte thinks that this will help Team Fortune win this challenge because, after all, he’s the Hoff! When it comes to picking the PM’s for this challenge, Dicko sticks his hand up for the boys but Ben doesn’t want him to. Tension +1. Marion gets nominated to be PM and Tania over-analyses it and gets the wrong end of the stick again. When reporting in, Dicko notes that “I’m going to be the PM but it’s not unanimous”. Ben relents as he finds his place in the herd. It’s the circle of life. Ben & Dicko are the original odd couple.

“In just three hours, the teams have to turn piles of junk into pieces of art and everything must be sold,” says narrator David Reyne. More metaphors, so little time. Team Fortune decide to link their pieces with a theme for promotional reasons, and Lauryn & Ms Charlotte are butting heads with Tania the Thundercat (WHAT IS WITH HER TOP LIP?!?! SHE LOOKS LIKE LION-O!!!) already, and Charlotte notes that “Tania’s quite narcissistic – she’s only in this for herself” and that she’s “not being bitchy – I just tell it like it is”. Preach it, sister. That lifts the tension in the girl’s team up to DEFCON 2.

The Hoff holds court.

In the boy’s team Dicko is looking for accountability with amounts that people are sourcing for sponsorship, and Ben & Dicko are at it again – just like Mufasa and Scar. “I think he’s got a problem with authority, and authority when it’s delivered with a pommie accent,” says Dicko. “He’s basically a convict.” It seems Dicko the Titanic and his mouth is an iceberg.

The girls are discussing their personal artwork ideas: Ms Charlotte will do up a dresser to reflect where she’s come from; Lauryn will do a piece to honour her father; and the Hoff will do something about not working with Tania on Baywatch, but instead on the time he single-handedly tore down the Berlin Wall. Tania & the Hoff are working together on publicity, and Marion’s concerned he’ll be hard to manage as he has no idea who she is. “Don’t worry,” says Ms Charlotte, “He has no idea who Tania is either”. A solid forehand stroke down the line – point to Ms Dawson. 15-0.

Lauryn tells us she can smell people who are genuine a mile away, much like Tania can smell a wounded beast across the tundra. There’s lots of analysis on the Tania situation from Ms Charlotte and Lauryn as they travel somewhere – wherever it is, it’s of no consequence as what’s being said is *far* more important. They agree (in summary) that: Tania is the devil and must be stopped.

Coming back from the ads the teams are hard at work on their individual art pieces when the girls note that the Hoff isn’t wearing his team pink bandanna. “Pink is a weird colour for me,” says the Hoff, “Because I might catch the gay from it.” He relents and puts his gay bandanna on. Then he can’t find the glue. Or the scissors. Where are the Hoff’s Angels when he needs them?

“I realised when I was eight that I really wasn’t any good at anything, but I could look good doing it,” says the Hoff.

Nathan’s working hard on the phone to get sponsors, and locks in $40,000 from Jeans West. Aker’s fully impressed and it gets him on the phone to score… $2,700. He admits that fundraising isn’t his forte, but he needs to lift his game and work harder. Vince is pretty wary of Aker, but acknowledges he’s no rocket scientist. But then, who is? Not Vince. Maybe Buzz Aldrin but he’s not competing in this show.

Lauryn & Charlotte and Nathan & Patti are out shopping for art supplies and there’s a bit of friendly niggle but far more love in the shop. Maybe the challenge needs to move down there instead? On returning, Nathan learns that Ben has scored $15,000 sponsorship as long as he lets his body be painted like a bottle of olive oil (gee, I hope we learn which one in the ads shortly!). Nathan’s not overly happy, but he’s willing to take one for the team – “they probably picked me because I was skinniest and they wanted to save on paint”.

"Is that really your nipple? It looks like an eye..."

The Hoff is so taken with his artwork he wants to buy his piece for $20,000. He acknowledges he’s an artist, but one that makes people happy(?!). To help the Hoff make his own little Berlin Wall, Ms Charlotte gave him the bricks from her junk. That’s just straight up disturbing. Patti’s artwork is a tribute to Bert since she’s known him since she was 10. Her artwork is looking more like a weird Sci-Fi piece to be Ben, but considering Bert’s noggin… well, you do the math.

Things got tense as Dicko suggests that they should be painting him rather than Nathan as he’s got a bigger profile. And belly. Dicko & Ben clash over this as it would mean going back to the company to change the deal and there’s more clashes. “Just as Dicko could be perceived as a wanker, Ben could be perceived as a loose cannon,” notes Vince. “You don’t have to be liked as a leader… if you’re a winner you don’t have problems; only losers have problems.” Problems, scmoblems – let them punch on.

Mainly to get the Hoff and Tania out of the building, they’re sent to spread the word and flyer the district. Who gave the man a ukelele? The boys have started painting Nathan and Patti grabs a sponge to join in. “What can you say, you know – it’s Patti Newton, she’s royalty. You had to let her go,” says a blushing Nathan. Patti’s taking Chrissie Swan’s ‘naughty babysitter’ from the Logies to strange, new places. Team Fortune just start on their group piece with 30 minutes to go – it’s pretty tacky, but it is what it is.

Dicko’s invited Paulini to come and see his life-changing piece/apology – memories of the time he told her to wear more appropriate clothes on Australian Idol – and a very svelte Paulini loves it and completely accepts his apology. It’s a rare moment of vulnerability from the gruff former record executive.

There’s two distinct approaches from the teams – the girls are letting people wander around, whereas the boys are offering a guided tour of all the pieces so that everyone gets a chance to see what’s available to purchase. Both teams are BINGing away in their through the challenge, and their arranged sponsors are turning up to shell out the cash as planned. Everyone seems to be selling their pieces with some success, and the Hoff even gets to give a piece of his fake Berlin Wall to a real German and feel like he’s achieved something.

The challenge is almost over, and everything must go! Marion is having trouble holding everyone and everything together. Tania describes Lauryn as a yappy little puppy who’s really excited and enthusiastic to be doing anything, and Ms Charlotte describes Tania as a bitch. If only this happened during the doggy experience yesterday this would have been a GOLD anecdote. Catriona Rowntree pops by to purchase Nathan painted as a bottle of olive oil – that’ll be awkward when she takes him home and has to explain to her husband.

The Bouris does not abide. No abiding.

Ms Charlotte notices no one is trying to sell the team piece so tries to spruik it, but to no avail. No matter how much she tells people it’s got “a wheel… and some balls…”. Oh well. The challenge ends and Dicko notes that the girls would be in trouble with the Hoff as he was more of a liability that an addition, and Aker reckons Patti would be in trouble if the boys lose.

It’s Boardroom time. There’s claims and counter-claims from nemeses as they enter – all this before they even start with Mr B. Yes, yes, we know – it’s all about which team made the most money, and then there’s the BING experience money on top which could make or break the outcome (according to Mr B). Dicko’s called out for being abrasive, and is asked why he should have led the team. Mr B then asks something that he’s already covered off at the start of the program: was there any problem with Dicko being picked as the PM? HE WAS STANDING RIGHT THERE!!! No one really has a big issue with Dicko, so can we just all move on, please? BING!

Nathan is left out when Aker lists who could PM the team, but Dicko offers he’s the surprise of the show so far and Dicko would be a happy follower if Nathan was ever to lead. Dicko’s got a man-crush! Ben confirms it is possible to win without the Hoff, if for no other reason than the Hoff just gets in the way and is entirely too needy. Actually, Ben never said that – that’s just what I think.

The Hoff notes that the biggest difference between the boys and girls team was the pink bandanna. Marion notes that the Hoff brought a lot of promotion to their store they would not have gotten otherwise. She also notes she’s been in the celebrity game for two minutes, and found that managing the Hoff was very hard (enter Gluegate). David thinks it was a smart move by Marion to appoint Tania as his manager for the challenge as she had the connections and he could close the deal. Marion’s niceness gets the better of her when Mr B asks who her worst player was. She pfaffs about and doesn’t really answer it and eventually blurts out that it would be the Hoff. He’s sitting right next to you, girlfriend.

Tania thinks Lauryn is the weakest player in the team as she’s always talking over the top of others (cue looks of complete mouth-open-shock from Lauryn and Ms Charlotte) and she doesn’t take direction as a team player. Funny Tania – that’s EXACTLY what they think YOU’RE doing! Ms Charlotte sets the record straight and offers Tania is the weakest player to be sure. “You can come back any time you like, Hoff,” says Vince. Oh you card, Sorrenti.

The players are all asked to share what their artwork defined: Dicko shares about the Paulini incident; Aker shares about his run of luck that got him a Brownlow, a premiership and married all in the space of a couple of weeks; Patti shares about meeting Bert; Lauryn shares about her dad passing away; and Ben shares about how he met his wife and fell in love. It’s all a bit emotional and Ben tears up at the retelling of his story and laughs it off in a typically blokey way. Aker turns all logic on it’s head by announcing you learn more from your wins than your losses, because you learn how to win again. He’s sure no rocket scientist.

When did the Boardroom become celebrity therapy?

In every disagreement there are two sides. This is one side.

Team Platinum win the $20,000 from BING for their integrated experience, and the total money raised collectively by the teams is $204,373. AS it turns out, the boys and Patti also won the challenge by raising the most money. Mr B offers Dicko the chance to take all the winnings and give it to his charity or split it with the girls. Ever the english gentleman, His Dickness agrees with the gesture and is willing to share the coin with the ladies – allowing Marion to give $70,120 to her charity (that’s how much they raised), while the boy’s $134,253 (plus their $20K BING cash) goes to Dicko’s charity the Australian Children’s Music Foundation which helps include music in disadvantaged school areas and encourage kids to come to school.

Platinum are sent to the winners room while Fortune have to face up to the Boardroom. Marion admits there’s lots of things that went wrong, not least of which they didn’t sell their team piece (which *must* be sold, but wasn’t?). The entire thing is a car accident, no matter how much of an art critic Mr B turns out to be. Watching from the winners room, Dicko offers: “You want the Hoff? You can’t handle the Hoff.” Vince and Ben liked it.

“I’d get rid of Tania – she’s conniving,” says Ben. Nathan agrees, and so does Dicko, adding, “But that’s what makes her powerful.” There’s plenty of speculation as to who Marion will bring into the Boardroom – Marion chooses the Hoff and Tania. “Lauryn should not have been nominated last week(!), and I feel this is a chance to settle this,” says Marion. The selection excites the winner’s room, but they don’t get to see what happens now. The girls are sent out while Mr B consults with his advisors. Who knows what could happen from here?

Well, clearly, someone’s going to be fired. Marion gets it. The Hoff gets it. Mr B gets it. The advisors get it – in fact, they’re acknowledging the weakness in Tania and the Hoff. If the worst thing they can pull on Marion that she’s too nice then it’ll be a weak firing if it’s her. Marion doesn’t want anyone to be fired. She wants the show to go on for ever and ever. Tania’s not sure why she’s been listed in the bottom three, and the Hoff is just pleased they’ve been able to raise $450,000 for charity in a week.

New receptionist Caitlyn is asked to send the celebs back in, mucking up her game of Minesweeper, but what are you gonna do? “Mr Bouris will see you now,” she says, night after night, with dread and sincerity. Mr B starts with the Hoff – he’s amazed at his generosity and his ability to be a team player, which is really important in Australian culture. Mr B wants to see him fire up as the Hoff the brand. Oh. Em. Gee. We’re talking brands already? It’s only show two! Tania’s in the Boardroom because she’s not someone Marion wants to be in the trenches with – she’s alienated Ms Charlotte and Lauryn. This is a team game. Mr B thinks that Tania’s a street fighter though. It’s how she survives and that can get under people’s skin. Marion’s the complete opposite to Tania, as she’s gentle and calm respects people and listens to them and hasn’t been on Baywatch ever.

Mr B thinks Marion should have fronted up and given the real reason why she selected Tania. He’s caught in an awkward position where he’s got to differing personality types and the Hoff (a whole other personality type), but when they’re looking for the almighty sponsorship dollar for charity they don’t need a nice lady, they need a street fighter so…

Marion, you’re fired.

"One of these things is not like the other..."

As outrageous as it is, I think we all saw it coming. Mr B congratulates Marion on her raising $70,000 for her charity and for being such a nice lady. As Tania tries to tell Marion that they are a killer team Marion turns and leaves. The Hoff and Tania go into the winners room and Aker is shocked. “Home Alone” shocked.

Next Wednesday night, it’s a hairdressing challenge. Patti shocks with something intimate of Bert’s; the Hoff is after a shocking look; and Ben is mistaken for the gay best friend (after he recognises the femi-nazis will be screaming at him for saying something politically incorrect). It’s an episode of “c’s” – controversy, conflict and courage – and SOMEONE MAKES PATTI NEWTON CRY. Bring them forth now so they may be horse-whipped in public for hurting the feelings of the closest thing we have to television royalty in Australia. Outrageous.