Jesse James slams Dennis Rodman in “Celebrity Apprentice” finale

I’m not going to bother analyzing NBC’s bloviated, agonizing, three-hour-long “Celebrity Apprentice” finale, but I will say this: Annie Duke deserved to win.

rodmanJesse James

She played the game the most fierce of anyone I’ve seen, and she did incredible work (especially fundraising; no matter she essentially brow-beat friends into giving her large sums of cash) which should have been recognized by her winning the top spot. Donald Trump had other ideas, however, and dubbed his buddy Joan Rivers the Celebrity Apprentice. I still don’t think his explanation (what little there was) makes much sense, but hey, this is a reality television show! Who said it has to make sense?

Despite Annie and Joan Rivers’ constant bickering – which honestly was growing tiresome by the third, interminably long hour – the most interesting exchange of the evening came between Jesse James and Dennis Rodman during one of the live segments broadcast from New York City’s American Museum of Natural History. Donald, ever the instigator, asked Dennis how he felt about what Jesse had previously said about him.

(Let me refresh your memory: It was “I think Dennis has obviously got a drinking problem,” which is what everyone else on the show was thinking but Jesse was the only one to actually have the nerve to say it.)

Dennis, who seems to have trouble articulating a single thought, turned the exchange into an opportunity to bash Jesse for his fundraising skills (or lack thereof).

“His wife (Sandra Bullock) makes $20 million a movie, and you’re going to tell me your friends don’t have money?” Dennis blurted out.

“You can keep saying whatever you want,” Jesse retorted calmly (he’s so calm sometimes that I imagine I’d get pretty PO’d if I were arguing with him), “but the problem isn’t diverted away from yourself. If you weren’t so stupid, you’d realize that the only reason I said anything to you is because I care about you.”

The sincerity behind the end of the sentence is wonderful, but it doesn’t completely negate Jesse calling Dennis “stupid.” But then again, “stupid” is one of Jesse’s favorite barbs to throw at his fellow contestants. A few episodes back, he lobbed it at Clint Black, who pigheadedly continued on with his own vision for the Right Guard advertisement: “I laid out one idea that was 100 percent original,” Jesse told Clint, “but you’re too (bleeping) stupid to realize it.”

(For the record, Clint may have been unwilling to listen to Jesse, but the team’s ad still wound up beating Annie’s team.)

Donald quickly put an end to their conversation, telling Jesse he should not have called Dennis dumb.

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