Last night on Celebrity Apprentice
, when we weren't watching the women do impressions of La Toya Jackson, all eyes (and brains) were on Gary Busey, as he led the men's team to chaotic, embarrassing failure after their Omaha Steaks presentation failed to sizzle. [SPOILER ALERT]
His failure to manage time, manage the menu and manage his teammates -- who begged anyone who'd listen to get them away from Gary -- eventually led The Donald to do what he couldn't do last week: he fired The Busey. And so the crazy quotes
were snatched from our Sunday nights.
At the top of the episode, country star John Rich told Busey he'd almost figured him out: "You're either crazy, or you're a saboteur. And I don't think you're actually crazy." Gary responded by saying he was neither, but then went on to tell the camera that he'd been intentionally hiding his "focus" from Team Backbone, that he was "subtle and mysterious," and that was all "part of [his] art." Then he hissed at the camera and called it his "impression" of a cat, effectively undermining any credibility he'd just established.
And that's pretty much how the whole two hours went for project manager Gary and his exasperated teammates. When doling out assignments, he gave the cooking job to Meat Loaf without asking first if Meat Loaf could cook. (To be fair, why are you named Meat Loaf if you can't?) Gary took over planning the "variety pack" and writing the narratives to go along with their original Omaha Steak meals, which were predictably nonsensical, drawn out and bizarre, especially his Father's Day yarn about buying a special kite for Dad. John Rich and Lil Jon were left with little to do but get a contact high off of Gary's potent absurdity, and ended up giggling uncontrollably for most of the day. That, or they were just so frustrated by his random, rambling antics that the only thing they could do to not kill Gary was to laugh. (I think it was the second one.)
It was at this point that Carla
and I, at our weekly Celebrity Apprentice
Sunday night viewing party (we're FUN!), got into a debate about exactly how aware Busey could be of his own infuriating behavior. She took what I'll call the "Meat Loaf Stance," which is that Gary is completely unaware, mostly helpless and motivated completely by impulse, like a giant, manic baby with acting skills. Evidence for this includes Gary's phone call to Omaha Steaks customer service, during which he failed to grasp the basic concept that the man on the other end of the phone was not his personal assistant and thus did not know the details of his Celebrity Apprentice
challenge. Also, that whole thing with putting the tissue paper in the box.
I, on the other hand, was more convinced by the "John Rich Theory" that, if he wasn't doing all of it intentionally, Gary was at least partially
aware of the effect he had on his teammates, and was purposefully ramping up his crazy to get them off balance. Evidence for this includes giving John Rich and Lil Jon, arguably the best of the men's team, nothing to do, then trying to blame Rich for the menu mistakes anyway, and then calling Rich "boy" when the cameras were off. And even though his dramatic kite story didn't wow the audience, I think he drew it out because he thought that it would. I'm not saying Gary isn't crazy. But I think he'd been Gary Busey long enough to know what he's good at (acronym-creation; dramatic monologue; heavy breathing) and he was intentionally self-serving until the very end.
I can't say I'm sorry to see Busey go from Celebrity Apprentice.
He was a fun novelty at first, but he'd worn out his welcome by last night's episode. Still, at least he left us with a fun debate, which I hope you'll weigh in on, too: What was Busey's deal? Crazy? Saboteur? Neither? Both?
(Image courtesy of NBC)