Monday, February 16, 2015

"The Celebrity Apprentice" finale on NBC: Same old Donald, but two very important charities, and some tour of Universal Orlando

On Monday, February 16, 2015, Presidents’ Day, NBC presented the Live Finale for The Celebrity Apprentice, held in New York City before a modest studio audience.
In general, “Celebrity Apprentice” has not been as interesting to me as the “real” Apprentice earlier (remember what happened to Troy McClain in 2004), because these aren’t people who “need” a job.
But tonight’s finale presented Geraldo Rivera against Leeza Gibbons, both instructed, with their teams, to produce a video advertising the Universal Orlando (That is, Universal Studios Orlando and Islands of Adventure, including the Harry Potter attractions like Diagon Alley). 
One criticism I had of both candidates: the videos were very brief, and didn’t show the “lay of the land” of the resorts, or the fact that there are two parts to it, and a train between them, with a miniature London and then Diagon.  I had visited the old resort in 1993.  I had intended to go in December, and there was a complication, so I intend to go in the Spring.  But I wanted to see more of the place tonight.

The judges were mainly interested in how well the commercial mixed with their own charities, and with whether the idea that Orlando is both a family and an individual resort came through.
The show presented how they did the video editing (I think in Final Cut Pro). That was interesting, as I have my first “1:1” with Apple on Final Cut on Tuesday.
Gibbons, however, raised three times as much money at the event as did Rivera, and Donald Trump announced her as the winner. He said that Gibbons was atypical for people he deals with in “The City” for her kindness.
Rivera’s tragedy is Life’s WORC (link).  Rivera was well known in the 1970s for his exposure of Willowbrook on Staten Island.  I had a good friend in New York in the Village from 1976 through 1978 who may have been there or had been in a similar place, and had been involved in litigation.  I sometimes played chess games (he was fairly strong as a player) in his West Village apartment, where his cats would groom me. He made an astrology chart for me, which may be around somewhere.  He said I have “Venus in Virgo” which leads to bizarre sexual attitudes.
Rivera (born six days before me) was viewed as attractive in the gay community in those days.
Rivera would later do major reporting on the early days of the AIDS epidemic. On a 20-20 broadcast in May 1983, he traced the early theories on AIDS from Africa and through Haiti.  He presented a particularly graphic case of Kaposi’s Sarcoma, Kenny Ramsauer.   I corresponded with him by mail in these pre-Internet days about the political climate in Dallas.

Gibbons runs Care Connection (link ) which particularly helps caregivers of family members with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. She said that she stresses not what the patient has lost but what she has left.
Wikipedia attribution link for p.d. photo of original Universal entrance, which I used in 1993, photo by Benutzo Priwo. 

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