Can we put Gary and NeNe on a team together? Or another reality TV show?

Working with Gary Busey is like walking to school uphill both ways through the snow with your crazy grandpa on your back.

Even if the women of “The Celebrity Apprentice” did a better job on the Omaha Steaks challenge — and it would be hard not to — they didn’t have to do it with their crazy grandpa on their backs and therefore it’s a less impressive victory.

This week, both teams won. The women won the actual project but the men won because they finally got rid of Crazy Grandpa Gary.

On Episode 7, “Raising The Steaks,” the celebrities had to write, produce and star in a 20-minute live cooking demonstration for Omaha Steaks.

She speaks! For the first time!

Gary was named the Backbone project manager because he had something to prove — his sanity. Hope Dworaczyk — who could’ve watched the show from home up to this point — was the only woman on A.S.A.P. who had not been project manager so she ended up taking on the task of leader/babysitter.

The only way for Gary’s emotionally exhausted team to win would’ve been if, once again, they succeeded despite Gary. The men of Backbone just happen to be competent and it looked like they were close to pulling it off. As much as the men had Gary babbling about kites, Meat Loaf’s presentation was still more engaging than the nauseatingly fake to-do by the women.

However, the Omaha Steaks people liked the women’s presentation much more. Hope won. But, really, the men won because Trump had to finally stop inventing new ways to save Gary. He had no choice. He made a meal out of firing Gary — going on about how there’s something so nice about Gary and he’s refreshing, blah blah blah — but he had absolutely no other legitimate choice.

Gary got fired. But don’t you worry about him, he’s flying over a rainbow right now.

Gary Busey is a hoot to me,” NeNe “Schadenfreude” Leakes said at the start of the episode. “He is torturing the guys and I love it.” Meanwhile, NeNe is a hoot mostly to herself. Even non-entity Hope said NeNe “frustrates the hell out of me.”

John Rich said Gary is either crazy or a saboteur. He’s decided it’s the latter, which is generous. And possibly correct, since the only logical reason for “Mr. Trump” to keep Gary around this long is because they planned everything for dramatic effect.

As Gary put it: “I’m very subtle and mysterious in my working with the team. They’re unaware of the focus I have because I don’t show them I have focus. And that’s part of my art. That’s part of my mystery.”

Is this “The Celebrity Apprentice” or “The Celebrity Survivor”? ‘Cause on this show, part of the point is supposed to be working together. Or so I thought.

If you dont want to be seen as negative, stop being negative.

But without Gary, the men’s team is much too rational — as opposed to the women’s team, which is chock full of nuts.

When Hope heard the project would involve cooking and meat, she told the camera she doesn’t cook and doesn’t eat red meat. Which makes her a L-I-A-R since Trump asked if she ate steak and she said she’s from Texas, yes she eats steak.

Gary made Meat Loaf the chef, a decision which seemed to be based on his stage name alone. Meat can’t cook meat. Meanwhile, Star Jones took over for the women, announcing what everyone should do.

For their presentation, the men wanted to do something involving a dad. Gary wanted it to involve a kite. As in, “It’d be great to bring your dad a kite.” What that has to do with Omaha Steaks is beyond John, Meat and Lil Jon. Since this is for charity, the men didn’t plan to pull a Lisa Rinna and go out of their way to make the project manager fail. However, they were not going to babysit Gary and he never gave them a timeline or anything. “Step up and do your job,” John said. Lil Jon added, “He’s lost already.” (But at least Jon got to do some fun arts and crafts, right?)

Gary wanted Omaha Steaks to produce specially seasoned “flavored” steaks to send anywhere in the world. As John assessed the situation: “We have been locked in a room with a mad man.”

Meat couldn’t get through to Gary, but said it wasn’t Gary’s fault. “He drifts.” (I love that!) The men openly laughed at Gary. Which I thought meant Gary was going to do well. This show just loves Gary to death.

When Ivanka showed up, Meat and Lil Jon laughed about Gary, but it’s the laughter of people who’ve thrown up their hands and given up. John Rich, on the other hand, was worried that Gary was setting people up to throw under whatever he could find in the boardroom. He knows Trump adores him and will probably go along with whatever “Genius” Gary says.

The women planned to have something to do with poker for their kit, which Marlee thought was very different for the women and something more akin to what the men would’ve come up with.

La Toya was in charge of cooking and felt paranoid when Hope asked her to change the menu from a steak to a burger. She felt the women were trying to sabotage her. But, really, it wasn’t an outlandish request. She needs to pick her battles. However, NeNe needs to get off her case, assuming La Toya will complain to Trump in her 12-year-old voice. And not everyone cooks hamburgers, NeNe. If we brought out all the things NeNe can’t do, the challenges would go on and on. Now that I’ve asked, what has NeNe done on the show so far? She was a failed project manager but it just so happened that Dionne Warwick was around to take the blame.

And I wish La Toya would “do the Michael Jackson” on NeNe. Setting NeNe on fire would be very therapeutic for her (and amusing for me). 

Star said she created the brand messaging, the menus and some aprons. She feels like people are always asking her, “Star, what is….?” even though she’s not the project manager. She doesn’t seem to see the connection with her muscling in and her being asked about what she’s just muscled in to do.

But, as NeNe sees it, Star barely does anything. All she does is graphics on every challenge. NeNe was ticked to be sent on errands with Marlee. Even Marlee was upset when Hope called with a change of plans, although it didn’t seem as dramatic as all the issues the men were having with Gary.

At some point when the cameras weren’t on, Gary called John “boy.” But since it was said off-camera there’s a good chance Gary will deny it — since he has already denied things we already saw on camera.

I’m on Team John Rich with this one. Is there any other team playing? Besides, John Rich is hot. I’m just noticing.

Gary apologized on camera for the “boy” comment, but John did not accept the apology. He would’ve accepted it when it happened, but not the next day after it was pointed out to him. Fair?

Will John Rich win ... or will Marlee Matlin win?

The women had a pretty good presentation if by pretty good we mean ridiculously fake but seamless. NeNe cooked whereas most of the women didn’t cook. But she didn’t say “Omaha Steaks.”

The men had a more engaging presentation, as they usually do. Meat Loaf did a good job and even the Omaha Steaks guy said he really knew how to cook a steak. Gary talked about the anniversary meal and he made the audience repeat “Omaha Steaks,” which was a good touch. They were actually a decent team when it was showtime. The Father’s Day thing was cute but the kite idea still makes no sense.

Lil Jon and John Rich didn’t engaged in the presentation and the Omaha Steaks guys didn’t understand why not.

Gary told Trump he was a good project manager. Meat Loaf did the usual “You have to understand I like Gary…” intro before bashing him. Meat thought it was a lot to take on for Meat to have to do all the cooking.

John said of Gary’s time as PM: “It was a catastrophic collapse of time management.”

They never rehearsed their presentation at all. Even if they win the challenge, they feel that Gary will hurt them going forward. Meat Loaf is so frustrated, he’s having trouble speaking in the boardroom.

They spelled “absolutely” wrong on the cover of their menu, among other mistakes.

Hope is 26 and therefore younger than everyone on her team. Hope said the women were all wonderful. She had no weak link, she said. NeNe was almost nice to Hope, saying she was great. She then changed it to good, because she can’t help herself. Marlee said Hope was “spectacular.”

NeNe thought she was the nicest one in the group, which is a laugh. The women won, which was inevitable. NeNe was ticked at being perceived as negative. Watch what you say if you don’t want that label.

In the boardroom, Meat Loaf was stammering in frustration again. Why are they even talking? This is a slam-dunk decision. Trump gave Gary a second chance last week after he offended the clients (he should’ve been fired on the spot) and this week with Gary as the project manager, no one else can go home.

And what the hell is ka-boy? You had to know Gary was going to try to deny the “boy” label, but what is ka-boy or cah-boy or c’boy or c-boy or whatever that was? Something about the Dallas Cowboys?

Once again Trump gushed over Gary, but he had to get rid of him. Next week, it sounds like the drama shifts back to the women, who are fighting again.


Here’s the cast, in order of my preference. Now that Mark is gone, I have a new frontrunner:

* John Rich
* Lil Jon
* Marlee Malin
* Meat Loaf
* La Toya Jackson
* Hope Dworaczyk
* Star Jones
* NeNe Leakes
* David Cassidy — ELIMINATED 1ST
* Lisa Rinna — ELIMINATED 2ND
* Niki Taylor — ELIMINATED 3RD
* Dionne Warwick — ELIMINATED 4TH
* Richard Hatch — ELIMINATED 6TH
* Mark McGrath — ELIMINATED 7TH
* Gary Busey — ELIMINATED 8TH

Read my “Celebrity Apprentice” recaps here.