In Reality TV Land, you can write, illustrate, and publish a children's picture book in just a couple of days. Such was the case on last night's The Celebrity Apprentice.
For you Apprentice newbies, here's how the show works: On each episode, two teams compete to create a winning product or raise money. After the task, the teams meet with The Donald in the boardroom to find out which team had won. The winning team returns to the suite in New York City's Trump Tower where all the contestants are staying. Members of the losing team remain in the boardroom and attack one another to explain their loss. Then The Donald fires a losing team member who is (or is edited to appear):
a. responsible for the loss
b. unable to adequately defend him or herself against attacking teammates
OR c. not enough of a loose cannon to make for interesting reality TV
While the winner of The Apprentice scores an "apprenticeship" with The Donald, the winner of The Celebrity Apprentice 4 gets $250,000 donated to the charity s/he is playing for.
So on last night's episode, the teams had the task of writing a children's book based on at least one member of the team and performing the story in front of children. The men's team, led by musician Meat Loaf (pan to me belting out "I'd do anything for love, but I won't do that"), created a story based on hip-hop star Little Jon's challenge of being "the small kid" when he was in school. The women's team, led by actress Lisa Rinna, created a story based on La Toya Jackson as a lion without a roar. Margery Cuyler, publisher of Marshall Cavendish Children's Books, and Holly Robinson Peete, actress and children's book author, were judges.
I'm not going to reveal which team won this task or who got fired, but I will say that some of the heated dialogue among the celebs here make the toughest writers critique group I've been in seem like a playground sing-along of "Ring around the Rosie."
Here are YouTube clips of the entire episode. For the first video below, the show doesn't dive into the children's book writing task until about 3:30 minutes.