Trump mixes up the teams once again this week, moving Clay Aiken over to Team Forte to even out the numbers for a task that challenges the teams to design two new puppets and perform them in front of a live audience for “Stuffed and Unstrung,” a no-kids-allowed Henson Alternative improv show. Comedian Lisa Lampanelli understandably steps up as her team’s project manager and as puppeteer alongside Clay. Penn Jillette, too tall to be a puppeteer, is the team’s announcer, and Miss Universe 2008 Dayana Mendoza is … is … pretty? Lisa, once again, can’t really place Dayana, ultimately tasking her with puppet design — a task at which she ultimately excels.
Oddly, Paul volunteers to be project manager for Team Unanimous, noting to Teresa Giudice, Arsenio Hall and Aubrey O’Day that they’ll probably have to step up on the creative, as puppets aren’t exactly his forte. Aubrey, opting to be demure based on previous critique that she was too outspoken, is the team’s announcer, while Arsenio and Teresa are the puppeteers. Paul’s back has gone out, so unfortunately he’s on the sidelines for the task, as more of an honorary team member than anything else for this challenge.
During the performance itself, it’s obvious from a viewer’s perspective that Team Forte is the stronger team when it comes to puppets (but how often will it come to puppets …). Clay and Lisa are like a well-oiled comedy machine — in part thanks to Clay’s church puppetry training (??) — and Penn is mostly on point as announcer. Dayana does a bang-up job of being in the audience after her huge dressing room blowout with Lisa.
Team Unanimous meanwhile has a lot of stumbles during its performance, as Teresa, who Arsenio points out is “so damn cute,” is having a little trouble with the No. 1 rule of improv — don’t deny. But also, according to the judges, Unanimous’ puppets were also overdone, which happened at the hands of Arsenio and Teresa.
After more tears in the boardroom from Lisa (anyone else surprised at how Lisa is tough as nails on the outside but completely gelatinous on the inside?), her team wins the task. And Paul picks Arsenio to send back to the war room. Left with Teresa and Aubrey by his sides in the boardroom, Paul has to face Trump’s questioning of his choice to send Arsenio back. Ultimately, Trump prefaces his firing with, “You’re the project manager and you didn’t bring Arsenio back,” which seemed like a baffling reason to let him go.
Do you think Trump made the right decision? Should Teresa have been the one to go?