Apprentice celebs reveal quirks, from Blagojevich’s balloon fetish to Bret Michaels’ paranoia

In the preview for next week’s Celebrity Apprentice 3, Sharon Osbourne says that Cyndi Lauper is “fabulously insane.” She’s right, but so is Sharon, and so are the other celebrities, as it only took some of them one episode to start showing us who they really are, which is what this show does best.

Cyndi Lauper continues to be the comic relief. When it was time for her team to interview Kodak executives for the Kodak challenge which was about pimping Kodak products in a Kodak storefront (how many times did they say “Kodak” last night?), she instead decided to use them for tech support, and said, “How do you erase on this thing?” The executive said, “it’s easy to do,” and Cyndi, as if she didn’t believe him, said, “Well…”

Her tendency to ramble and tell stories started to drive her teammates crazy. Selita Ebanks left the van and told us, “I’d rather take a chance of getting hit by a bus than sitting in that car for another five minutes,” and her teammates teased her for making up an excuse just to get away from Cyndi.

Bret Michaels had some kind of strange freak-out, telling project manager Sinbad, “give me an assignment, giving me something to do.” Then he came back and started rambling about the production: “I’m being made out … every time I do anything or walk or something, they’re filming me walking along the walls or something, so I’m the lazy, stupid fucking bad guy on the show.. I know: I did three seasons of Rock of Love, I know what they do.” In other words, he was paranoid that the producers would use that footage to show him doing nothing. That may be a valid complaint, but he was just out of his mind, saying, “You’ll get me hyped up so I’ll fucking explode.”

On the day of the task, Bret was late, and upset that they left him. “You can’t leave somebody if they’re not here,” Sinbad said, but Brett told us in an interview, “In rocker time, I was beyond early, stupid early. In real life, I was 10 minutes late.” But despite all this, he was spared being fired because Sinbad did a bad job with the project–and Bret is better television.

At the women’s storefront, Sharon was put in charge of cupcakes despite taking the previous day off because she was sick. “I’m glad nobody came back and complained, because probably a third of New York had the runs that afternoon,” Sharon confessed to us. She, too, is great television; as they watched the men in the boardroom, Sharon said of Rod Blagojevich, “Do you think his eyes are too close together?” and said someone must have pinched his eyes when he was “half-baked.” Who’s baked now? She and her teammates also had an incomprehensible exchange that included the phrases “I don’t think he has a big enough” and “little wang.”

The best example came from Rod Blagojevich, who sounded like he was campaigning last week, and did this week, too, like when someone on the street told him, “You are a disgrace. Enjoy prison,” but he handled it well, as he did when someone hilariously confused him with Donny Osmond. But he kept slipping out of politician mode. During an interview on the street, someone recognized him, and he stepped out of the frame for a moment, and when he returned, asked the crew in a really cocky voice, “Did you guys get that?” and ran his fingers through his hair.

Later, he got on the phone with someone relating to his legal case, and started going nuts, referring to someone as “this lying piece of shit” who “he betrays me in the job.” Alas, the previews made it seem like he was talking about a teammate, but it’s almost as juicy because he said things like, “So there’s no tape that corroborates that, right? Good.” That’ll make good trial footage.

But his weirdest moment came with balloons: Rod informed us that he is a member of “what Teddy Roosevelt called ‘The Fellowship of the Doers’,” and then started coordinating balloons for their storefront, which excited him more than anything else we’ve seen so far. The pure joy and elation on his face when he explained that they were goldenrod, not yellow, was priceless, and he didn’t even seem to realize or care when Sinbad was making fun of his balloon fetish. Please let there be a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade challenge later this season.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.