Image credit: NBC
A WHOOPLOAD "Country star" Trace Adkins squared off against "master illusionist" Penn Jillette in the finale of Donald Trump's ongoing contest to turn celebrities into slaves.
1. How much money are we talking about when we're talking about "money"?
No, really: Both socials were ostensibly about raising money for charity and whoever raised the most wouldn't necessarily be the season's winner. Still, didn't you get the feeling that the show was going to awfully great lengths to mask how much money was actually being raised? After all the celebrities and all their friends showed up with checks in hand and after all those times that ML kept freaking out when she was handed a new check like it was made of diamonds or fire or both (new ice cream flavor: Fire Diamonds) and then after that moment where Penn conferred with his team and we heard that they were "north of 5..." in terms of dollars raised, I was pretty sure both teams cracked at least $1 million. Right? Tebow brought $300,000? Cut to the boardroom, halfway through the episode: Penn raised $503,655; Trace raised $564,000.
Now, neither amount is negligible. It's all for charity, anyhow. But we were supposed to think it was more. It felt like more. Maybe I wasn't accounting for the cardboard budget. Signs are expensive. Cardboard used to be trees!
2. Trace Adkins, "country singer"
Seeing Penn do magic in his video was pleasant and unexpected. He's a famous magician. (More pleasant and unexpected was his successful gambit to cut the extra footage from his 60-second and then play it as an "outtake" for the audience, which found it hilarious.) Seeing Gary Busey dance in Trace's video and then take the stage for Trace's event in a re-preezal of his turn as Buddy Holly was expectedly unpleasant: Despite being able to move his face in any normal way except scary, Busey's still got rhythm. He can't sing (like really at all), but he can try.
Trace taking the stage, though, was unexpectedly unpleasant: The man sells(/sold) records and concert tickets based on his ability to entertain audiences with a combination of songs and showmanship. So where was any of that? Singing "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk" (keep up with me) was painful in more ways than I thought I could feel pain. That voice! Those lyrics! It was like Trace was a construction worker (cement in his joints) who'd been handed a lyric sheet and a cowboy hat and a slap to the face. Was this his nightmare? Dude was scared and lost -- he didn't know where he was going or where he was coming from.
Then again, the audience loved it. Penn's face danced along! Maybe it's me who is broken.
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