This week: Pirates me Maties! Hope doesn’t show her biggest assets, and paranoia runs deep for LaToya. Oh yeah, and Busey’s STILL here.

Week 5 and I am now having recurring nightmares of Donald Trump’s weird lip movements. Last week, the teams made ‘art’, and sold it for record amounts. Meat Loaf spectacularly lost his temper on Gary Busey for no real reason, and Richard Hatch got the boot, despite the entire team wanting Busey gone. We can only go up from here, right?

Five celebrities now remain per team. LaToya Jackson, realizing that her team think her ineffective and weak, is determined she’ll fight on. Gary is also getting the feeling that the men aren’t on his side, (you think?) but he says this will be a motivating factor - to go even crazier, apparently. 

Ivanka, looking all blonde, and skinnier than ever, arrives on a sun-drenched rooftop with the Donald, Jr, and executives from Australian Gold, a sunscreen and body lotion company. As the celebrities shiver and blink in the morning light, the task is outlined: the teams are challenged to think ‘inside the box’. A ten by ten foot glass box, to be precise. They are to use creativity, and originality to promote the brand and slogan “Live the Gold Life.”  LaToya jumps on the chance to be Project Manager for ASAP, and Mark McGrath takes it for BackBone.  

BackBone are full of ideas immediately, thinking spray painted gold babes, and, of course, pirates. Pirates seem fun, they talk funny, and they wear cool outfits. Believe it or not, Gary seems to be the only one to hate the idea, at first, which is odd because when I think pirates, I think Gary Busey. I mean, doesn’t everyone?

At ASAP, they are drawing a complete blank. The obvious way to go – beach and babes – seems, well, too obvious. Without any clue to their theme, LaToya hands out jobs, but takes none for herself. I guess she’s the brain trust. Luckily, the execs from Australian Gold show up, with a few helpful hints. With much emphasis placed on ‘the good life’, and Sydney the Koala mascot, ASAP pretend confidence, but stare blankly as LaToya declares their theme is ‘Fun.” Her vision; an island, a palm tree, and a man and woman model, all in gold. Sadly, she seems to have misplaced the map that shows the actual steps they’ll take between ‘Start’ and ‘Fun.’ LaToya then shoos everyone off to do their assigned jobs, although no one has a clue what exactly they are to do. 

Hope Dworaczyk offers herself up as one of the bikini models. Pretty obvious way to go, since she’s a) Playmate of the Year, and b) not all that good at anything else. But LaToya rejects that suggestion immediately. They will hire a model. No, I can’t figure out her reasoning either.

Next we see Star at her trusty computer, planning banners and posters. LaToya wants more merchandising than the budget will allow. Waving a haughty hand, LaToya tells Star to make that $3500 stretch to cover $7200, because she’s Project Manager and in charge. As Star tells the cameras that LaToya is unrealistic, LaToya interviews that the girls are out to make everything difficult for her. Yeah, tell that to NeNe Leakes, Marlee Matlin and Hope, who are on their way to get costumes and props with no more guidance than a vague reference to a koala and a palm tree. Luckily, they find a koala suit just NeNe’s size. Is NeNe a closet furry? Because she’s awful enthusiastic about wearing the costume.

BackBone aren’t having a problem with ideas – they have too many! Considering that ASAP has the lovely Hope on their side, they’re gonna need some hot babes to bring in the tourists. Meat Loaf explains, "We're just fighting cleavage with cleavage.” When the execs drop by, the guys pick up on the idea of ‘treasure,’ and barely catch the koala reference. However, while the (female) Sales Manager describes the scent and sensual qualities of the lotion, Gary blurts out “It gives you a sexual feeling.” Apparently unaware that two of the execs are female, and that the year is 2011, Gary seems proud of his interjection, and oblivious to the shock of his team members.

Lil Jon is not happy to be put in charge of props, costumes, and babysitting Gary. While shopping, Lil Jon rejects the koala costume they are shown, since the colors don’t seem to match with the label’s design. He’s sensitive to the protectiveness of corporate copy write. However, they do find a lot of flamboyant pirate gear, so all Lil Jon has to do is keep his sanity while keeping Gary from playing in traffic. 

Although John Rich is not happy with the pirate theme, he’s good sport enough to write the gang a pirate chant. Ivanka, on a visit, thinks things are going well for BackBone.

But ASAP? Not so much. When LaToya tries to explain their vision, Ivanka opines that the theme is extremely literal, and may not work. As Team ASAP struggle to put together a vision based on spit and shinola, LaToya hovers over Star’s computer, interjecting useless ideas, then calls NeNe and Hope to insist that they purchase 125 fifty pound bags of sand. Who’s going to carry those bags? And who’s going to clean up 6000 pounds of sand when they’re done? NeNe’s back is already aching over this stupid plan, and she thinks LaToya’s going to make them all look stupid.

Wait until she finds out that the Teams are expected to help with building their glass boxes! Although BackBone seem to enjoy building their ‘beach shack’, the ladies of ASAP are horrified to realize they are expected to spackle and paint. My nails ache in sympathy.

Could ASAP feel any less in control? Well, yes, because next morning, on the way to setting up their show, LaToya throws another curveball – she wants a beach setting on one side of the box, and snow on the other. Snow? Yes, and don’t ask her any silly questions like where they are to get the snow, just get it, okay? Because this is ‘Fun!’  And we have 6000 pounds of sand to move!

BackBone are up for their pirate adventure, especially when John Rich’s friends, including dwarf Two Foot Fred and several wenches, arrive. With a hey and a ho and John’s chant, the guys schmooze passing tourists, although Gary telling people that Australian Gold lotion will make them feel sexy seems a little creepy. When Jr pops by, Mark says he thinks things are going very well, and Jr seems to agree.

Jr gets an eyeful at ASAP’s beach/snow playground; NeNe’s wearing the koala suit. She removes the head to chat up Jr. She’s upbeat, but then says she’d be very surprised if her team wins, since LaToya didn’t plan the event very well. In fact, if they win, it means the men had an even worse Project Manager! Jr also notes that the women are wearing gold colored clothing, and that Hope and Marlee are playing beach volleyball … in coats. In other words, Hope’s biggest assets are not on display. When the execs arrive, they seem to concur. They like LaToya’s use of both sun and snow, since that shows sunscreen is needed all year ‘round, they like NeNe’s koala, and they listen patiently while LaToya talks up the brand. They also pointedly stare at the lack of … points … on display.

The execs have barely arrived at Backbone's display before Gary interrupts Meat Loaf’s pitch and hustles them aside.  "Come with me, I have a parrot that wants to meet you," he says. The men look on in horror as Gary bombards the execs with his own personal crazy. Despite several attempts to rescue the execs, Gary, oblivious to the execs bewildered expressions devolving into disgust as he pitches himself for a spokesperson job, even pushes Project Manager Mark away. Finally Mark takes control, and shepherds the stunned trio away, presumably to be deprogrammed.

Trump meets with the Australian Gold team, hopefully over a nice cup of calming camomile tea. They say that they loved BackBone’s ‘jingle’, and the buzz the men created ‘outside the box’, but where was the koala? They want their koala, dammit! ASAP had a koala, AND they used both scenarios of beach and snow sun protection. But they didn’t use Hope. "It was a disappointment that Hope was wearing a jacket." They want their Playmate, dammit! Sheesh, these guys want everything. They lose me when they say that deciding on the winning team was "… one of the most difficult decisions we've had at Australian Gold."  Really? So, not a lot of decision making goes on at Head Office, I gather.

Boardroom time! Neither team looks very confident. LaToya says she hopes her team did ‘extremely well,’ but NeNe’s quick to tell Trump that LaToya was ‘just ok’ as a Project Manager. LaToya’s defense is that NeNe dislikes her, and Jr and Ivanka chime in that they’ve heard NeNe is hard on LaToya. Marlee damns LaToya with faint praise, admitting that her energy and style are different to the organized way other projects have been handled. The Donald fires the big gun – why weren’t Hope’s obvious charms displayed in the challenge? LaToya stumbles over an explanation about being rushed, and Hope needed on other projects, but Star immediately catches on to where this is going, and says they should have used Hope. (Feeling a little objectified yet, Hope?)    

Trump says he bets Hope’s assets would have been utilized by the Mens team, and Mark says that would have been a slam dunk. But what is this? Is that a new tattoo we see on your wrist? Oh, Mark, you’re going down. Trump hates tats.

Despite Meat Loaf’s impassioned description of their pirate experience, BackBone senses a loss. Mark defends BackBone’s creativity as their strength. Trump asks Mark how important a win would be to him. Mark says it means everything, as he takes full responsibility as Project Manager. And just like that, I hear the cage door slam on Mark McGrath.

The teams are shown photos of each other’s work. Both comment disparagingly on the other. (I have to agree; neither team hit it out of the park.)   And the winner is … ASAP. Backbone slides into their chairs.

Before ASAP can even crack a bottle of bubbly in the War Room, NeNe and LaToya are at it like two cats in a bag. NeNe batters LaToya with the accusation that the team won despite LaToya’s efforts, calling her ‘Casper the Ghost’, and telling her to act her age, not 12. She calls her ‘an old lady.’ As LaToya cowers and tries to hide in the bathroom, NeNe smacks her with one last line, The only reason you've gotten this far is because of your last name. And you've faked it for 50 years." Ouch, ouch and ouch!   

In the Boardroom, the gloves peel off. The team rush to defend Mark, and put the blame for the loss on Gary’s kidnapping of the Australian Gold executives. Each member notes that Gary is a liability they can’t afford to carry, with John adding ‘dysfunctional’ and ‘hard to wrangle.’ John then adds that he’s beginning to think Gary’s behaviour at the challenges is a put on, as he seems focused and normal in the boardroom. Jr wants to know why Mark didn’t mention any of the problems created during the challenge prior to the Boardroom. Mystified, Mark says it just seemed too obvious to mention. The Donald reminds Mark that he said he’d take full responsibility if they failed. Mark does a little back pedaling, saying he meant that if the theme he’d proposed, or the execution of the challenge, was at fault, then yes, it’s his responsibility. However, if the fault was Gary’s insanity, nope, not his problem.

Trump tells Mark to leave, and come back in with two team members – someone’s going down. Mark replies that he’s only bringing Gary back, since everyone else played well. With the whole team, and even Ivanka and Jr, clearly wanting Gary out, it must be a done deal, right?

Wrong! Although Gary denies every accusation – apparently he’s not aware this whole thing is being filmed – Trump holds Mark’s feet to the fire. It was Mark’s pirate theme that sunk their ship. Well, that and the missing koala. Goodbye Mark.

Gary did get a talking to, after Mark had left. Trump read him the riot act, telling him to “watch your mouth! Watch your hands!” and to shape up. Gary stumbled from the boardroom, to what I imagine would be a room full of unhappy team members. Ivanka told Daddy that, although firing Mark was the right thing to do, it was not an easy decision. In the limo, Mark admitted he took responsibility for the challenge based on their theme failing. I imagine Mark spent the rest of the night celebrating not having to work with Loosey Busey any longer.        

Next week: Gary Busey, Project Manager? The mind reels!