OK – I’ll come right out with the admission first. I watch too much bad reality TV. I admit it. Please don’t judge, lest I skim your dvr memory and find those recorded episodes of Big Brother or Storage Wars.
So – to the topic at hand. Celebrity Apprentice.
In this week’s episode, Lou Ferrigno served as project manager for the men’s team. After several weeks of mentioning that he was being under-utilized, he finally stepped up and offered to do something more than flex his muscles. Well, OK… he did that too. The challenge involved making a hip new video, intended for a viral future ( because planning a viral video always works so well..) about a….are you ready? About a…mop. Lou really took the bull by the horns (or grabbed the mop by the handle, if you prefer) and led his team to victory.
On Celebrity Apprentice, the winning team’s project manager gets money, sometimes a whole lot of money, to give to their designated charity. This has not only the tremendous benefit of financial gain through one check for the chosen cause, but a HUGE ripple effect of awareness and increased donations. Because despite the fact that many people won’t fess up to watching, Celebrity Apprentice generally has between 6 and 7 million viewers each week. For some lesser known charities, being the chosen cause of one of these celebrities takes them to a whole new level. Trace Adkins chose FAAN (Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network) because his young daughter suffers from food allergies. Gotta admit – I had never heard of it before, but I know all about it now. And I love Trace even more for going to bat for something close to his heart.
So, this week…. just before Donald the Trump announced the winner, he’s chatting up Lou about being such a survivor. To which Lou replies that Yes! He’s been through so much and he’s already had both of his knees and hips replaced. “Arthritis” he says. And then Donald jokes that this is the reason that he never works out – all his super exerciser friends fall apart at 50 so it’s better not to do that. He never works out and he’s still chugging along after all (By the way, Mr. Trump – you’re fired.)
Then the chit-chatting is done and the big winner is announced. Lou gets the win and $50K!!! For his charity….wait for it…. Muscular Dystrophy Association! He was so happy to contribute to their research and technology so they can find a cure. So… obviously I’m going to pause here and say that OF COURSE that is a worthy charity. Of course it is.
But I’m just wondering if Lou, a man who obviously deals with arthritis, knows that more children in America suffer from juvenile arthritis than muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis and cerebral palsy combined. Does Lou know that the MDA telethon last year raised $65 million… in one weekend… when all of the Arthritis Walks in the country in 2011 combined for about $12M? If Lou knew that, might he have chosen Arthritis research as his cause? Maybe he would see us as the underdog that he’s seen in the mirror. Or would the producers have told him that it wasn’t sexy enough? No way to tell, really.
But I feel like I should drop Lou a note…. just to give him some of these details. And maybe producer Mark Burnett too… so if a celebrity shows up next season without a great cause, he might throw them our way. Want to join me? Any of you good friends with Donald Trump?