(Spoiler alert: Do not read on if you have not yet seen Monday’s episode, titled “I Wish I Had a Project Manager,” and don’t want to be spoiled.)
NBC’s “The Celebrity Apprentice” became an episode of nostalgia Monday as the late Joan Rivers served as a guest adviser in her last appearance on the show.
The former “Apprentice” champion brought her smile as contestants created a mobile market campaign to promote adviser Ivanka Trump’s shoe line for Nordstrom. Actress Vivica A. Fox volunteered as project manager for Team Vortex while “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Kenya Moore represented Team Infinity.
The show filmed months before Joan, 81, died from complications after a routine throat procedure, as TheWrap previously reported.
During the challenge, Joan made jokes about the high heels and boots on display.
“Do you have this in a six bunion?” she asked, pointing to a shoe.
“You’re hysterical,” Leeza responded.
In the board room, Kenya earned the win for Team Infinity for incorporating the shoe line into the overall theme. On the opposite team, Vivica and Trump both noted Olympic medalist Shawn Johnson’s hesitancy to step up as project manager. And Shawn was fired.
During the next challenge, Leeza and Lorenzo Lamas stepped up as project managers to create a viral video promoting coffee brand Chock full o’Nuts. Lamas’ team mixed classic and modern themes while Leeza’s team pit Brandi and Kenya against each other in a fake cat fight.
Brandi’s slip of calling her “Housewives” adversary a “bitch” came full circle in the boardroom discussion. Kenya casually brought up Brandi’s ex-marriage to actor Eddie Cibrian.
“I found it difficult with Brandi, because she always has this way of taking personal shots with me that are unnecessary,” Kenya told Trump. “I didn’t bring up LeAnn Rimes with her when I had my scene. I didn’t bring up the fact that her husband left her for a younger and prettier woman.”
“Oh, Lord,” Vivica said in response.
“That’s a pretty tough statement,” Trump said.
In the end, Leeza’s Team Infinity won the challenge while Lorenzo couldn’t decide on who should join him for elimination. Lorenzo’s kindness didn’t pay off and Trump fired the actor with no hesitation.
During the episode viewers took to Twitter, even Trump, to admire Rivers’s final appearance:
How much do we love #JoanRivers?
— Leeza Gibbons (@LeezaGibbons) January 20, 2015
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) January 19, 2015
— Daniel P. Finney (@newsmanone) January 20, 2015
Joan Rivers has been on my TV for .05 seconds and I am already tearing up
— Madison Telles (@MadisonTelles) January 20, 2015
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) January 19, 2015