So Big Brother Australia is officially gone!
Most of you.
The rest of us.
I’m A Celebrity Australia effectively took the wind out of their sails/they realized they couldn’t lazily produce crap TV and expect the public to watch it unconditionally Channel Nine decided to look for alternative franchises to invest in, it was only a matter of time before one of the many, many abandoned reality shows got picked up from the dust, spit-shinned, and given another go.
Pictured l-r: The Amazing Race Australia, Australia’s Got Talent, SYTYCD Australia.
The Celebrity Apprentice! Watch as has-been celebrities, reality star celebrities, and never-was celebrities dip into important business ventures such as car-washes, running fish and chips shops, and hair shows. There exists nothing on this earth as funny as watching the leader of the One Nation political party washing a car in Aussiebum underwear and that’s a fact.
Submitted without comment.
Anyways, set in “Sydney City” (?), and armed with the most fearsome weapons a CEO can muster, a television host I’ve never heard of and a CEO I’ve never heard of sporting the most feared haircut known to man (showing my age yet?), our esteemed host Mark Bouris has decided to recruit celebrities for the show The Celebrity Apprentice, declaring that “[they] are good at living on their wits, and just survive and survive and survive”. He might actually have confused “celebrities” with “street urchins”.
Photo of comedian Joel Creasey mid-act.
He’s decided to go over the celebrities in a totally natural conversation with his two boardroom advisors as they arrive in a hotel lobby worth more than most small countries, and so shall we too.
Totally naturally eyeing the camera.
First up is Gina Liano, criminal barrister and one of The Real Housewives of Melbourne, a show I once watched an episode of in lieu of a valium tablet. She’s described as “got the smarts, all about her, all about the big hair, trainwreck”, so at this point I check recording to make sure I’m not watching the premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Still can’t tell.
Her catch phrase is “Snap out of it!”, because that hasn’t been done before.
Next up is the unfortunately named Richard Reid, Hollywood gossip correspondent on Today and token American pushed into any Australian reality television cast for high-energy drama (see: Hasselhoff, David). Kerri-Ann immediately proves me right by toting him as “the one to throw a hand grenade”, usually code in reality television for “will cause fight after pointless fight no matter the situation”. He talks about hard work and shoveling horse shit.
So he was probably talking about his job at Today.
Following Richard is Australian model and esteemed Hollywood film actress Sophie Monk, known for such roles as “Office Girl 2” and starring credits in classics such as “Date Movie”. She gets her own slow-mo hair flip.
She also has the most occa of occa voices, as demonstrated by her immediate yelling of “OH GIT LOST!” upon seeing her two competitors, followed by “But they told moi cool people were gunna be here?” and describing herself in-confessional as “BOGAN”.
Blunt + Bogan + Beautiful? Favourite.
Up next is James Mathison, TV presenter who hosted that show you can’t remember. You know the one. Yeah, that one. Then comes former Miss Universe Australia, Tegan Martin. After Tegan is former Homer and Away actress Esther Anderson. All three of them lack confessionals so we’re most likely not going to see much of them throughout the series.
Blake Garvey, former Bachelor eye candy and human incarnation of Soul singing voice, rolls up. He wants people to see him as “more than just the guy who hands out roses”, which kind of defeats the purpose of him being cast but whatever.
Also that title is rather redundant now that he has a wife.
Richard also shrieks about him being the “love rat”, as though that’s a thing people say.
Next is Mel Greig, best known for the Royal Prank phone call that resulted in a nurse committing suicide, but that isn’t fun so you, dear reader, know her as a contestant on The Amazing Race Australia who shoved her finger up a goat’s ass in Africa.
Blake chimes in, saying he thought he would be the only controversial contestant there, because this is the year 1989, or Saudi Arabia, or some sort of parallel universe where the public care about the sanctity of other people’s marriage.
Because the word celebrity extends to “was on TV one time” instead of “was on TV a lot of times and maybe just have your own Wikipedia page” now, Tim Dormer, winner of Big Brother Australia 2013, shows up. “I’ve never been fired, because I’ve never had a job!” he proclaims. So that radio hosting gig he’s had for years was just Work Experience then? The other actual ‘celebrities’ then act polite to him due to societal norms and pretend that his jokes are funny. Sadly, due to being a “Big Character”, he will most likely be around for half the season.
In spite of looking like Sideshow Bob had his way with The Scarecrow.
In sports news (we shall pretend anyone reading this actually watches sport), Matt Cooper, NRL Legend shows up. The odds on hearing several “this boardroom was like being on the field” analogies by the time he’s booted are 2:1.
Those muscles though.
Just then, Leeloo from The Fifth Element shows up in costume as a dominatrix, with what appears at first glance to be a terribly aged Korben beside her, but it turns out the two are Gabi Grecko and Geoffrey Edelsten. They apparently require no introduction so I’m not going to bother either. What we can gleam from the pleasantries is that they’ve only been married six weeks.
Also, tell me I’m wrong.
James describes the scene as “4am at a Logies afterparty, the people who just don’t know when to go home”. Well it’s not as if anybody’s kicking Sophie, Matt, Gabi or Tegan out of bed any time soon.
Mark Bouris abandons his post at Narrator’s Cafe and Pastries to walk in on the contestants like some sort of badass.
Unfortunately Mark was handed the cliff notes for the upcoming Australian Survivor reboot and instead talks about the celebrities as ‘survivors’, ‘extraordinary competitors’, etc. He also mentions how the show is for charity, and this point is poignantly hammered home the rest of the episode when no names of any charities are mentioned whatsoever. And he also seems to be taking this show rather seriously for what it’s been known for.
Strictly serious business.
Mark asks Mel about her
winner edit checkered past and talks about how she’s been out of a job for three years, and has to learn to interact with people again. So we’re to assume that the pleasantries were just all grunts from her end?
The men and women are immediately divided into teams and asked to pick a Project Manager. The women immediately pick Gina, who is obviously thrilled at the idea.
Men default to the ancient method of “pick who’s oldest”, as though the six were stranded in the African Savannah and needed to pick a tribal/distraction for the lions and go with Geoffrey. Their first task, selling a selection of products for as much money as they can, will start tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn, which Sophie hates, since “I don’t loike people bein’ the boss of moi, Oim the boss of moi!”. It’s clear now which contestants brushed up on their homework before heading to Sydney and which ones are just winging it (let’s not get it twisted though, she’s still the fave).
Mark then drops the bomb on them that they will be TAKING AWAY THEIR CELL PHONES!!!!!!!!! which is mild news for the ones who have already been on reality shows but the actual celebrities act as though they’ve been told the lowest seller will be dropped into Bouris’s Alligator Pits (don’t even front, you know he has them somewhere).
They’re then herded off to their “War Rooms” for planning and new phones for staying in contact with each other, and because this is Australian reality television we get gratuitous iPhone product placement.
HAHAHAHA ISN’T DISPOSABLE INCOME GREAT?
First on the agenda is coming up with a team name, which is cue for Tim to continue his man child act and scream ridiculous names which will not get picked such as ‘Team Unicorn’ or ‘The Dolphins’, purely for the audience to laugh at, all “OH TIM, THAT ISN’T AN ACCEPTABLE BUSINESS TEAM NAME, HAHAHA HERE WIN ANOTHER SHOW”. They do eventually settle on ‘The Dream Team‘ though, and James upstages Tim‘s act by suggesting they then call themselves the obviously ridiculous acronym SWUPD. And that’s why James has a job and Tim had to rely on Big Brother and Channel Nine’s phishing to get famous.
The girls aren’t much better, however, with such suggestions as “VaGinas”, “Boobatron” and “Show Ponies” popping up. Gina eventually puts forward “Fearless“, which goes over well. As it should, since it’s the title of Gina‘s autobiography, which is one of the many gratuitous displays of narcissism we will come to adore/despise from this show and it’s cast.
Next morning, our Celebrities are taken to Mark Bouris‘s shoe closet.
The Salvatore Ferragamo Python Loafers in SBEU212231 are to die for!
The teams must sell a storage container full of the equivalent of random junk that’s built up in Bouris‘s house. So really it’s not so much a challenge as it is Spring Cleaning for normal people. But hey, cut that budget where you can, Channel Nine.
Team Fearless go through their stock, and come upon a box of live eels and react as though they were instead shown Gwyneth Paltrow’s head. OH WOMEN!
Meanwhile, Mark hosts some fantastic parties.
And of course these new fandangled waterless roses we’ve heard so much about.
Things get rather heated, however, when they discover Geoffrey‘s autobiography, which includes such details as the time he lost his virginity, threesomes, and other sordid details about his ex-wives. Which his current wife Gabi is none too pleased about.
She then proceeds to tear up the copy she’s holding publicly in front of the male team, and that should be the end of it but she then proceeds to unspurl her psyche in front of the entire cast, crew, hosts and whatever tradie happens to be walking by. But it’s all hilarious television so you keep doing you, Gabi. Sophie’s takeaway from the whole thing is that Gabi is hilarious, whilst Gina’s take is that they obviously really love each other.
Tears of an Oompa-Loompa.
Gabi‘s only running away because Geoffrey‘s coat is trying to reclaim the wig.
It’s quite possible we also just saw a divorce happen, but I guess we’ll find out after the challenge, because we still need to get through that. Both teams load up their vans with the junk, whilst Project Manager Gina oversees the operation from the safety of the car, because of course she did.
Well that coffee isn’t going to keep itself warm.
ON WITH THE TASK!
Both teams split in half, with Gina-Gabi-Sophie/Tegan-Mel-Esther for Team Fearless and Blake-Richard-Matt/James-Tim-Geoffrey for The Dream Team. Blake and Mel become team sub-leaders, yada yada yada, and both teams head out to Chinatown to give massages straight from Miss Universe Australia/Hot Shirtless NRL player. Because equal opportunity objectification is a thing!
Let’s be real though.
Blake‘s team get off to a good start and even get a chick to pay $50 for an autograph as well, alongside Richard hustling money out of everyone who walks by like some sort of glitter-filled vacuum. Once again, equal opportunity thirst. Meanwhile, we get gratuitous scenes of Mel, Tegan and Esther running around having trouble, things falling out of their van and having trouble carrying things, and failing to get any customers because Tegan‘s not provocatively dressed. WOMEN AM I RIGHT?
But Esther instead just sells the chair for $2,000, making the boys entire efforts worthless. Fearless-1, Dream Team-0.
The other teams of Gina/Gabi/Sophie and James/Tim/Geoffrey are racing towards the same aquarium to sell their eels, like some sort of geriatrics version of The Amazing Race. While James outsnarks Tim to his own heart’s content:
Tim: “I THINK THE RETAIL VALUE OF AN EEL IS THIRTY DOLLARS-“
James: “Based on what? “
Gabi and Sophie attempt to carry their box of eels inside as Gabi complains about her hands getting wet from eel water.
Although the real question here is why Gabi is wearing a giant gold chainlink around her neck.
Tim attempts to sell the eels whilst also pretending to be bad at maths. James once again upstages Tim by suggesting he kiss one to sell them all for $300. Point goes to James.
As two stick-figure-like models try to carry an entire box of eels in, Gina “runs ahead” with her phone.
Thanks for being here, Sophie.
We also get to see Tim kissing an eel for $300. But every other recap probably has that pic so you can go look it up there instead. Instead, let’s focus on Gabi/Sophie/Gina having a bidding war amongst themselves.
Gina: “Can you do a hundred each?”
Shopkeeper: “I probably couldn’t-“
Gina: “If they’re forty each-“
Sophie: “Sixty-foive, I reckon ya gotta deal! LETS HOI FOIVE IT!”
Shopkeeper: “…alright, sixty-five.”
So at $65 an eel, they once again trounce the boys. Fearless-2, Dream Team-0.
Things aren’t looking better for the boys due to showing up to a site where they planned on selling their goods…without their goods, since the van is stuck in traffic. Well, they could probably sell Geoffrey‘s coat for the value of the Oompa-Loompas he skinned it for. Also for some reason there are “paps”, which unfortunately doesn’t refer to nurses ready to administer a cervical screening but instead “paparrazi”, since a Big Brother winner hanging out in the middle of a Sydney square with the former owner of a football team and a C-list television presenter, surrounded by a production team and camera crew, is somehow noteable. The products eventually arrive though, and Geoffrey doddles around whispering about Gina‘s book, making exactly one sale. It’s kind of adorably like watching a nursing home bake sale.
The Gina/Gabi/Sophie team, meanwhile, has decided to escape the show and head out to the suburbs. Or maybe they’re heading completely out of the way of the entire show just to sell the kitchen sink. Either way, they’re out for the count, but Gina still decides to try and set up a contact to sell the rice in Chinatown, because unfortunately stereotypes exist for a reason. Unfortunately Gina forgets to actually call anyone because she’s so focused on their car ride out to the suburbs after which they will be completely useless. So we’re left with watching Mel/Tegan/Esther wandering around Chinatown looking for people to sell rice to. They unload approximately 16 bags of it to a restaurant BUT THEY HAVE TO CARRY IT THEMSELVES, OH WOMEN, THINKING THEY CAN DO MAN THINGS.
Me too, Mel.
Flailing behind the girls, Richard decides the only way to make any more money is to pimp both Matt and Blake out to the highest bidder, which happens to be Woman’s Day headquarters. Since the show wasted two minutes of my life with Richard being on hold, I won’t waste yours and skip straight to the prostitution.
Well it was nice knowing you boys, enjoy servitude.
Also as you can tell by the picture, they have ten minutes left to sell and Mel/Tegan/Esther are carrying rice, Richard/Blake/Matt are being sold off into slavery by the owners of Woman’s Day, Gina/Gabi/Sophie are trapped in the suburbs somewhere trying to sell a sink and James/Tim/Geoffrey are…I dunno, going back to Geoffrey’s room for his varicose vein medication?
He’s so old, guys.
Gina tries selling their sink to a ‘suburban family’ who turns out actually live in a huge fucking mansion. So ‘suburbs’ of Sydney are rich-people-ville it seems, so it’s not as bad a location as was first advertised.
Meanwhile, Sophie gives it a good spitshine and later heads off to check their plumbing.
Blake back at Woman’s Day is now having some second thoughts on being sold into slavery, and Richard decides to throw himself into the ring instead. Blake‘s reasoning is that he promised his now wife, the one who is currently not The Bachelorette, that he would keep his shirt on on the show, which defeats the entire purpose of not only being cast on this show but on The Bachelor as well, so…way to be disappointing Blake.
“Oh that rose is great and all but you know what would be even better? PECS!”
Back in the James/Tim/Geoffrey group, they manage to sell all their water to a gym but rather than let it be Tim instead tries to drive Geoffrey to an earlier grave by having him do pushups for the amusement of one and all.
James: “I’m surprised he got back up.”
Well, don’t have anything better than that.
Blake‘s group are heading off with their cheque, as one of the women throws some extra shade at Blake.
“Well who knows what you could have made with your shirt off?”
Team Fearless finish off their challenge as the ambulance rolls in to revive Geoffrey, and Mark Bouris sends his final ominous text message of the day telling them the challenge is over. As they’re all driven back to Bouris‘s Skyscraper of Doom, several of them, including James and Sophie, give the generic “I’m afraid I’m going to be sent home” confessionals, quickly narrowing down the field of contestants to anyone but them.
As the celebrities arrive, the front wall questions the meaning of existence and the futility of life.
Rather than calling security for looking like a street gang revival of Run Lola Run, Mark Bouris‘s secretary sends them into the Boardroom, where Mark makes his intimidating boardroom entrance and repeats everything we already know re: challenge, prizes, someone being fired, which is incredibly boring and a waste of time so I won’t repeat it now or during any other recap.
They’re asked about their team names, and Gina gleefully informs Mark and her team that she named them Fearless after her autobiography, which is a bestseller
in Melbourne in Australia, actually, and it’s in its third reprint. Once again, gratuitous narcissism ftw. Especially compared to The Dream Team, with the explanation from Geoffrey that it’s “a great name”. Mark makes sure he hasn’t named it after his book as well, prompting this look from Gabi:
TWF she’s imagining you dead.
Anyway, Bouris interviews The Dream Team about their picking of leader and he tries to undermine Tim as a lying phony, so five points to Slytherin for Bouris. James then throws Geoffrey under the bus for not taking control, prompting THIS look from Geoffrey:
TFW one eye wants to death stare but the other is fascinated by your hair.
We get another rundown of the massage task, with James trying to lighten the mood by talking up Matt‘s attractiveness and calling Bouris ‘Mark’ but unfortunately Mark is stuck in 2009 when The Apprentice was a serious show so he snaps at James because he has no sense of humour or self-awareness.
As he interrogates Team Fearless, Gina reminds everyone that she is not from Sydney and may in fact be a housewife from Melbourne or something like that. But she then proceeds to throw Gabi under the bus for not even being from the country. Well Melbourne is basically a European city so same thing?
Shelley boringly repeats what happened at the docks with regards to Gabi and Geoffrey and we once again hear about The Book, which, once again, once again, points to cosmic irony being a real force, but the real downer on their team, according to Gabi, was being trapped in a car heading out to the suburbs, or “woop woop” as Sophie puts it (do they have mansions in Woop Woop generally?), for half of the day. Thus begins the Gina vs. Gabi warfare where two high-string women try to throw each other under as many buses as possible.
Once again we get a run-down of the massage task, but instead featuring Esther brilliantly selling the massage chair instead of massages, so Bouris, in a fit of empathetic emasculation, grills the men on why they didn’t think of that first. When Gabi whispers to Gina he goes off even further, saying “This is a boardroom, this is serious business!”
Yup, serious business.
Eventually, the Woman’s Day sex ring deal comes under the microscope and Blake gets on fire by Richard, Bouris, Kerri-Ann, and his entire team for not taking his shirt off, which is a welcome change from the gender-reversed situation usually happening on reality television. They eventually wear him down to admitting that he would have done it if the deal was on the line, so…the whole thing was entirely pointless apart from making Blake look bad?
OMG HOW EVIL >: (
But it’s eventually rendered even more moot when The Dream Team is revealed to have won the challenge, sending the female Team Fearless into the final boardroom for elimination. Mel‘s team from the challenge attempts to throw Gina under the bus for not getting back to them about a ‘contact’ Gina had in Chinatown for the rice, but unfortunately for them she deploys one of the most piercing bitchfaces to ever exist and the three of them are reduced to ashes within seconds, so Gina wins by default.
Game over, moles.
After a trip to the emergency room, they then shift the blame to Gabi for being hysterical at the start of the day, despite the fact that it had nothing to do with the actual sales. Mark picks up on this and tries to ask if they’re intimidated by Gina.
You don’t say.
As Project Manager, Gina automatically returns to the Boardroom, and brings Mel and Gabi with her.
Meanwhile, Sophie celebrates backstage:
In the boardroom, despite acknowledging that Gabi was ganged up on by Gina, Mel, and all the women who were (rightfully) intimidated by Gina, we bid farewell to Gabi Grecko as Bouris lands the first firing of the season. She reacts exactly how you expect her to, and her walk out of the room is as though she’s been told there’s a firing squad on the opposite side of the door.
“On this day… I go to Sovngarde.”
Any last words, Gabi?
“Time to return to the chocolate factory.”
Join us next week in Episode 2 for more business action!
- Gabi Grecko
For the one episode Gabi was in the season, she really brought everything to the table. She played both the crazy and underdog cards on the table within twenty minutes of each other and her relationship with Geoffrey was a nice touch. However, against Mel and Gina in the boardroom, it really felt right that she went. Perhaps had she been against Esther or Tegan I would have put up more of a fuss, but she has a place in reality television lore as a well-fleshed first boot and it’s a good position to have.