Apprentice teams raise record $1.6 million after Gary Busey, Meat Loaf’s “confrontation of death”

Another week, another ridiculously freakin’ awesome episode of Celebrity Apprentice, from Richard Hatch floating the possibility that Jose Canseco pretended his father was dying of cancer (in order to get out of a fundraising task) to NeNe Leakes telling Star Jones how to get paint off her hands (using water in the sink).

And that was before the batshit crazy boardroom, when Donald Trump threw out all the rules after revealing that “we’ve never raised this much money in a whole season.” In an art auction challenge, the men raised $626,908 from the art they created, but the women raised $986,000 “for an all-time Apprentice record.” Trump gave $14,000 to bring that to an even $1 million, making the total more than $1.6 million.

Trump called it a “very sad situation” because one team had to lose, so the project managers, John Rich and Marlee Matlin, agreed that each team could keep their earnings for their charity. Later, he gave Marlee the option of firing no one on the men’s team because Jose Canseco left, but she said no. (She conferred with her team first, leading to a hilarious moment when Star Jones leaned down and whispered into her ear, and Marlee said, “I’m deaf, Star, I can’t hear you.”)

Then the entire men’s team threw Gary Busey under the bus–a bus that, in fairness, Gary himself has been driving. But Trump fired Richard Hatch, who was completely quiet until he said, “I was all prepared to defend myself, and I didn’t get a chance. I had a whole list!” I think he was gambling that Gary Busey would hang himself and didn’t want to stand out as the team’s least-successful fundraiser, but he waited to long and couldn’t make a case–too bad, really.

I have to stop because I’ll just go over the whole episode: it was great start to finish.

Of course, the big moment of the week was Meat Loaf’s absolute freak-out at Gary Busey (a “confrontation of death,” Gary called it), which had a hilarious, totally unexpected conclusion. Watch it below.

Meat Loaf apologized later, “I am so embarrassed by it and I am so upset by it. And nothing ever gets solved when people do that,” he cried while apologizing to Gary Busey over take-out dinner. Gary forgave him, which we learned when he said crazy shit: “Meat Loaf excelled to the level of dancing on a rainbow with no fear and no doubt.” Also during the episode, John Rich tried to out-Busey Busey, saying, “Gary Busey is kind of like a one-legged cat trying to bury a turd on a frozen pond. Just spinning.”

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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.