Image credit: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC
THE GREATEST ADVENTURE Team Power, before the fall.
2. Penn's Romance Package
Team Plan B had the tougher job. They had to sell Romance. And they were only a three-man team. And one of those men was Gary Busey, who -- when it comes to accomplishing anything -- is actually negative-one man. Which means Plan B was essentially a one-man team this week. Fortunately, that man was Penn Jillette. I mean it as a huge compliment and a withering insult when I say that Penn Jillette might be better at playing Celebrity Apprentice than anyone who doesn't look in the mirror and see Joan Rivers staring back.
Here's Penn describing Lisa Rinna: "She's true like ice and fire." Here's Penn describing Gary Busey: "Ethereal, poetic, sometimes here and sometimes there." This is really high praise, considering that Gary Busey is essentially a sentient box of Froot Loops and Lisa Rinna is an immortal vampire who bathes in the blood of virgin squirrels.
But Penn jumped right into action. He got on the phone and hired Zulu Dancers. He got on the phone and hired a 5-star chef. He got on the phone and hired the drummer from Paul Simon's Graceland. He essentially conjured up the entire cultural experience of South Africa in a single afternoon. I was hoping that, for the grand finale, Penn would reveal that the guests of honor were Ernie Els and Trevor Immelman.
Penn was so good this week...perhaps he was a little too good. Lisa Rinna looked at him with awe but also some genuine concern. She likes being on Penn's team, but she knows that, in the long run, he'll be a tough competitor. Will she plot an old-fashioned Taylor McBride backstab?
3. Gary Busey has been to South Africa
Lil Jon thinks he's a South Africa expert? He hasn't met Gary Busey. Gary Busey knows South Africa. He greeted the South Africa representatives with a warm hug, and told them warmly, "I was making a film in your country. They put us up in Johannesburg, and I heard people being murdered." He repeated this non sequitur several times throughout the episode.
You might think Gary was being offensive. But I choose to believe he was trying to express a deeper primal truth about Romance. Death and Love are the same thing, if you think about it using Gary Busey's brain. He pitched George his idea for the Interactive Experience. An exotic love. A boy. a girl. The boy is holding two Zulu lion-killing spears. A lion attacks. The boy kills it. They go on their honeymoon. A vision of harmony and love.
"I don't think that's a good idea," George deadpanned, proving that George has no taste. Can you imagine if the Interactive Experience had been exactly what Gary Busey was describing? If every attendee was given a lion-killing spear, and was then attacked by a lion -- or a comedic person dressed up in a lion suit -- and then they drank the lion's blood and went on their honeymoon? That's romance, folks. Maybe you just aren't ready for the power of Gary Busey's truth.
Alas, Team Plan B ultimately went with Penn's interactive experience. It was a nice idea. The Zulu dancers were cool. The cook was serving bunny chow. It kind of felt like an Elementary School Science Fair that was also a Singles Mixer for Divorced Parents. Gary spent the experience flirting with an attractive girl. "South Africa is romance," he explained to her, "It's the moon becoming the heart of the interactive earth mother." "I've been to South Africa," the girl said, "Twice." "I'm not talking about South Africa!" yelled Gary.
NEXT: Donald Trump has 99 problems, but drugs ain't one