'All-Star Celebrity Apprentice' – How To Fire A Winner
March 4th, 2013 2:18pm EST
Donald Trump, resplendent in pink shirt and tie, welcomes us back to New York City, and the sixth season of Celebrity shenanigans. At stake is prize money for the celebrities’ charities, and the title of All Star Celebrity Apprentice.
We begin at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where The Donald greets his celebrities. Gary Busey, Stephen Baldwin, LaToya Jackson, Omarosa, Penn Jillette, Lil Jon, Dennis Rodman, Dee Snider, Marilu Henner, Claudia Jordan, Lisa Rinna, Brande Roderick, Bret Michaels, and Trace Adkins are introduced. Bret Michaels, the only player to have ever won Celebrity Apprentice, feels he may have a target on his back. Gary Busey assures us he’ll be bringing the crazy, and Omarosa lets us know that this will be a no holds barred, take no prisoners, contest.
“This could be one of the strangest collections of Celebrities in the history of Celebrity Apprentice,” The Donald assures us. Well, yeah! I don’t even know a few of these people, never mind what makes them a celebrity! But we’re given a look at clips of the upcoming weeks that leave us in no doubt – there will be tears, there will be laughter. Look forward to a lot of posturing, much queening of the drama, and possibly aliens returning to the planet in search of Busey. Because, as we know, “when you put Dennis Rodman, a Busey and a Baldwin in the same room … anything can happen.”
And so it begins. “I’m here to raise money for severely abused children. So, I’m here to kick some butt,” says Brande Roderick, completely unaware that severely abused children everywhere are now hiding their little butts from her dainty feet. Trace Adkins growls that he’s never given Trump anything, and he’s not gonna start now. Trump compliments Lisa Rinna’s much smaller lips – he approves the change, and tells Bret Michael’s that he thinks he’s crazy for coming back and risking a loss. Bret takes offense to Trump’s admonishments.
Trump throws out random questions to the Celebs, but rarely listens to their answers, and then decides to break them into teams, with Bret and Trace as team leaders. In a ‘schoolyard pick,’ Bret chooses Omarosa first, in an attempt to “harness evil, villainous energy.” He then chooses Lil Jon, Brande, LaToya, and Claudia, with Rodman as the last one picked.
Trace begins with Penn, and then adds Dee, Marilu, Stephen, Lisa, and Busey. Trump sends the new teams off to their suites in Trump Towers, and tells them to come back to the boardroom when they’ve chosen a project manager and a team name.
Omarosa freestyles a little rap for Bret’s team. Ready? “I’m sittin’ in Trump Tower - Tryin’ to get a little power - And I am able to get fired - Because I’m tired - Of going in to fight every night in front of Trump.” Although Team Oreo is a strong contender, Lil Jon chooses “Team Power” for their moniker. Brande tells Bret she wants to be project manager, claiming she can raise $500 thousand on the first challenge. She gets down on her knees in front of Bret, begging for the chance. He gives her the title, but begs her not to throw him under the bus. “Trust me, “ says Brande, “we’re not gonna lose.”
Gary throws out a number of ludicrous and offensive potential names, but that’s what everyone has come to expect from him. Trace’s group ignores him, and chooses Plan B, partly in honor of the worst film ever made, “Plan B From Outer Space.’ Busey approves, saying it’s not only a great name; it’s also a birth control device.
Trace challenges Stephen Baldwin’s request to be project manager by throwing out the name of a big potential donor. Stephen caves immediately, so Trace will lead the challenge.
In the Boardroom, Trump assures the players that they will be winning big money for their charities. He introduces this challenge’s judges; Piers Morgan, as “a past winner who’s gone on to really great things,” and Ivanka Trump, as his terrific daughter.
Omarosa tells Trump that she thinks her team made the wrong decision going with Brande as project leader, and was surprised that Bret gave in so easily. She then tells Trump how his game works, and has a fight with Piers. Yes, she’s just making friends everywhere she goes.
Trace assures Trump that he’s his own best player, and Busey says that a star is nothing but a self-contained mass of gas – which could be said about any player on either team, really. Trace and Piers also have a little tiff. Piers won’t let Trace forget that he beat him in their previous game.
Meatballs. The Donald loves them, and the Celebs are gonna make them, and sell them. And they’re also going to bring their signature meatball to the “Live with Kelly and Michael” show, where their balls will be judged, for additional prize money. The winning team will keep all of the money made, to be donated to their charity.
Omarosa notes that this is her third chance to win or lose. “Is she the biggest loser in the history of the game? “asks Piers. “You’re the biggest loser,” Omarosa fires back. I’m beginning to see a pattern in the Omarosa/Piers conversation.
Before they even leave for their shops, the Celebs are working their phones, begging for donations. Bret already feels like Omarosa is gunning for him, and LaToya can’t understand why Omarosa was even included in the team. “She is NOT a star,” says the least well-known of the Jackson family. “She is evil, malicious and mean.”
Trace’s team talks of meatball recipes, but he doesn’t think that will matter. He doesn’t even think they should open their shop to the public. They should just focus on bringing in big checks. “I don’t care if you taste my meatball and throw up,” he says. Just to be on the safe side, Lisa calls husband Harry Hamelin for his famous meatball recipe.
Marilu wonders if they should have “naked” balls on the menu, while Lisa assures the group that they can’t lose with Harry’s sauce. Aren’t we naughty! Trace continues to tell them that they are wasting their time, trying to make something that’s really good. The littlest Baldwin disagrees with Trace’s strategy.
Brande’s having a hard time trying to figure out how to best use Dennis Rodman. He’s useless in the kitchen, and clueless on computer graphics. He’s ready to be a team player, but feels like he’s not wanted. He’s finally set to rolling and baking the meatballs. Brande’s main priority is calling in her Playboy bunny friends, and seducing billionaires into making big donations. The billionaires seem to be responding positively.
“I’ve called in all my contacts. Now I’m ready to handle some balls,” says Brande, stripping down for action by removing her watch and rings.
Trace puts a big white chef hat over his Stetson. Lisa, Marilu and Penn dive right into their meatball mixtures. Gary finds his rhythm chopping herbs. Stephen and Dee stand back and let Trace do his fundraising thing. Trace is going after the big guns, like supermodel Nikki Taylor,
The next morning, Plan B’s Marilu and Penn and Team Power’s Bret and Lil Jon visit the set of “Live with Kelly and Michael”, to have their balls tested. Knowing that Kelly Ripa is a vegetarian, Bret and Lil Jon have brought her a vegetarian meatball, in a pesto sauce, drizzled with truffle oil. Kelly is touched and impressed, but Penn thinks his opponents have lost their minds. Shouldn’t a meatball contain meat? We’ll see, Mr. Smarty Pants…
Marilu showcases their “Naked Balls with Harry Sauce.” Penn demonstrates the integrity of the meatballs by juggling them. Kelly tastes their offering as well, but the decision will be reached in Trump’s office.
Brande’s busy back at the shop, with all the work necessary to open. There are balloons, huge posters of the team, and oh yeah – meatballs to cook. Omarosa takes a minute to think about what a personal triumph it would be for her to take out the only player in the game who is a previous winner. She’s picturing Bret’s little head mounted over her fireplace. Cowboy hat optional.
When opening time arrives, Team Power is ready and rarin’ to go. There’s a line-up down the street, and the priority is get those big donations in the till. Brande’s happy with what they’ve received so far, but nervous that her biggest contributor has not been in touch all morning.
Over at Plan B’s shop, there’s nothing doing. Trace has put up little signs, saying that the place is closed for a private event. Everyone is sitting around, waiting for something to happen. Trace is delighted that no one’s there, but Stephen B is carping about the money they’ve likely lost, that they could have received from walk in customers.
Everyone’s antsy, but Busey takes matters into his own hands when he races out into the street, stopping a tour bus, and telling the passengers they need to come in for some charity meatballs. There are no takers, but Trace decides he’ll be getting a shock collar for Gary pronto, to keep him in line. Trace explains that they don’t want passerby’s to come in, and Busey seems to understand. Until he sees some people walk by, and once again runs out onto the sidewalk to tell people to come in to the store.
Singer Amy Grant arrives, with a check for $75 thousand dollars, followed by Valerie Bertinelli and Gilbert Gottfried. Wrestling star Mick Foley has $10,000 for the team, and Nikki Taylor drops a check by as well.
At Team Power, Lil Jon and Bret are back, and ready to rock! Bret’s squeezing money out of people, even those who can ill afford the generosity. But he notices that Omarosa, who’s handling the money, is cheering for everyone who’s bringing in the dollars, except for his donors. She’s not even mentioning that they were there.
Piers Morgan arrives at Plan B’s store, and Trace offers Busey as Pier’s tour guide. Trace knows that Piers will try and distract him from the task, so siccing Busey on him will keep him off balance.
Sure enough, Busey entertains Piers with a lecture on how to make meatballs, and to explain that they have all been working as a team. Any other way would be a sin … that’s SIN – self imposed nonsense.
Piers asks Trace why he’s closed the shop to all but high rollers. Trace says the tactic is one he learned by watching Piers. Piers denies it, saying that to his mind, they should have sold every meatball down to the last one. Even five dollars can make a difference at the end.
With 45 minutes remaining in the challenge, Team Power’s Brande is panicking. Sure, Paul Teutul Sr. dropped by, on one of his awesome motorcycles, and Jon Rich sent $10,000, but where are her billionaires? When Piers pops by to check on their progress, she tells him they’re doing great, and are not likely to run out of meatballs, as they made 5000. Claudia says it was more like 650. That’s still a lot of spicy meatballs!
Piers is disdainful of Brande’s airy fairy attitude to numbers, even stooping to checking up on that meatball number with LaToya, who says she thinks they made about 1000. Apparently Piers thinks that Brande’s appeal to The Donald begins and ends with her ability to count.
Boardroom time! And Mr. Trump wears a shiny red tie to dazzle the teams. He asks Brande and Team Power how they think they’ve done. Rodman says that Brande was a better project manager than Bret would have been, because she wanted it so much. Brande says they did the best they could. She praises her team for their good work.
Even Dennis? And Bret? Incidentally, Trump is still not through savaging Bret for having the nerve to play the game again, after winning his first time out. Even Ivanka can’t believe Bret’s confidence. Piers adds that he himself would not have risked going from champion to loser, as then he would wind up in Omarosa’s position, and that’s not a place anyone would want to be.
Bret says he’s here for the same reason that he was the first time; to earn for his charity and to have a good time. He’s not afraid in the slightest. Omarosa can’t stop herself. She tells Trump that she thinks Bret has “perpetrated one of the biggest frauds in the history of this game.” He told Brande that he would raise big money, and then didn’t.
Brande, the mathematical genius, can’t be sure, as Omarosa – the cashier - has no intention of telling anyone who raised what. But Bret was awesome! He had good energy!
LaToya says that Brande begged for the position, on her knees, saying that she could get the most money for the challenge. (Who would have thought that LaToya would be the level headed team member? Not I!) Overall, she didn’t think that Brande was a great leader. And no, she doesn’t think that their team won.
Trump bangs twice on his desk to wake up the slumbering Trace. Trace thinks they did pretty good, although he doesn’t know how much they made. Penn says that Trace was gutsy, focused, brave, inspiring and a blast. Trump wants to know why they didn’t open up their store to the public. Penn says he understood Trace’s logic, that the game is set up to bring in the big money donors, not the smaller fish. He tells Ivanka that Trace’s move was very bold, and a braver decision than he himself would have made.
Busey rambles on about Trace’s kindness and humility, and masterful handling of the meatballs. Piers and Trump say Gary shouldn’t overestimate Trace’s kindness. Piers adds that he’s never met a more enthusiastic meatball maker and seller than Gary. Piers does ask the team what they’ll do to Trace if they lose this challenge by a few dollars, based on Trace’s decision not to open the store. He seems to hope they’ll turn on Trace, and kill him. Because Piers would.
Trace doesn’t want to call anyone the weakest player on his team, but reluctantly names Stephen, since he doesn’t think Stephen brought in any money. Stephen admits he didn’t bring in a cent, because he’s hoping to bring in the funds when he himself is a project manager. Piers calls it a typically selfish move, saving it all for his own glory. Ivanka thinks that Stephen’s attitude is grounds for being fired, should his team lose.
Stephen admits that he’s not good at fundraising, blaming his rolodex as being short on high rollers. Piers wants to know why Stephen can’t ask his brothers for help. Wouldn’t Alec, who’s doing very well, help out his little brother?
Ivanka finds Stephen’s attitude very haughty, as though he’s proud of holding back, and says he’ll quite likely be fired if his team loses. Trace agrees. Stephen says he’ll have nothing to worry about, if his team wins.
Talk turns to the celebrities who visited the Kelly and Michael set. Why did Brande choose to send Bret and Lil Jon? Did she feel they were her biggest stars? Brande blathers about the charisma both fellows present, but Trump asks why she didn’t sent Omarosa, recently named TV’s biggest villain. Piers jumps in to add that their team poster positioned Omarosa in a starring role, while Lil Jon was almost invisible. Omarosa is not a star, he says, she’s a villain.
Dennis Rodman can’t stop himself, and asks Piers why he so clearly hates Omarosa. Piers says that Omarosa continually trash talked him and his family during their previous encounter. Sure, it’s a game, but the line gets crossed when you trash talk people’s families. Piers and Omarosa start to go at it again, but Claudia Jordan jumps in, saying that it’s wrong for Piers to still be nursing this grudge, years after the fact, and coming into their shop “bitching and complaining like a woman.” She adds that she didn’t appreciate Piers insinuation that Omarosa was getting more poster time. All she cares about is the meatballs, the quality and the money. Get over it!
Whoa! Them’s fighting words! Ivanka cannot let a woman, whose biggest claim to fame is being a briefcase girl in “Deal or No Deal,” get away with sassing a fellow judge! Arguing with someone who can determine her stay on the game, and talking in a derogatory fashion towards women is wrong, Claudia. Trump thinks it’s great that Dennis and Claudia stuck up for their team mate, as it shows respect for each other. But that will change over the weeks, when Omarosa turns on them like a snake.
But back to Kelly and Michael. They preferred Brande’s balls over Trace’s. Lil Jon credits the truffle oil for their success. So that decision will add $20,000.00 to their coffers. And overall, more money was raised by both teams than any other team in a first show, in the history of Apprentice.
Brande’s Team Power raised over $250,000 dollars. But Trace’s Plan B team earned $419,000. So Trace’s charity, The American Red Cross, will receive almost $670,000. Not too shabby! Trace expresses happiness in his understated, quiet way. Plan B are dismissed. Team Power has to stay and face the music.
Plan B watches from the reception room, as Trump berates Brande’s abilities as project manager. Omarosa abdicates responsibility, despite being cashier, for keeping track of their fundraising. Ivanka wants to know why Brande is so vague on cash brought in, and by whom. Why won’t Omarosa tell Brande those figures? Trump tries to muddy the waters by asking if Brande thinks Omarosa is a thief.
Piers asks Omarosa how many people came in and donated money specifically in her name, based on her “celebrity” status. She instead says her people came in with cash, and they came in first. She says she raised $25,000. Brande still claims that she could only go with what people told her, and she was not told the truth.
Omarosa says Brande ‘tunnel-visioned.’ She wasn’t a micro manager, and probably did not know much about marketing, but that’s her style. Bret says there were a few glitches in her game; he is now thinking that picking Omarosa for their team was a bad idea, as she’s gone out of her way to cause trouble. She defends herself by saying that Bret badmouthed her to Piers, and should have not been afraid to stick up for himself, demanding to be project manager despite Brande’s pleas.
Omarosa says that Bret brought in the least amount of money. He says that she did. Since she kept the records and won’t tell anyone actual numbers, she falls back on her “Bret perpetrated the biggest fraud” line. He says he doesn’t know exactly how much he brought in because “the wolf was in charge of the hen house.”
LaToya thinks Brande was at fault for their team losing, despite having brought in over $132,000. Everyone seems to think they each brought in $25,000, although Lil Jon says he brought in over $60,000. So they’re now over the actual figure brought in by about $80,000. Omarosa finally says that she thinks Bret brought in $15,000, Dennis $20,000 , Lil Jon $55,000, Claudia $20,000, and LaToya about $20,000. Brandy brought in $132,000. Isn’t that odd? Even without Omarosa’s contribution, they’re still $30,000 over actual.
Based on Omarosa’s figures, Brande decides she’ll bring back Bret and LaToya for possible firing. Piers can’t believe she’s accepting Omarosa’s words, without proof. Trump and Piers point out that the numbers are totally off. Brande’s lost all control of her team.
From the other room, Trace says that what Brande’s doing is the right thing; she knows Trump won’t get rid of Omarosa.
Brande says she hopes that Bret is not mad. He says he’s not mad. “Omarosa’s gonna eat you up and spit you out… If you survive this, you’ll be the next person going.”
In the Boardroom, Piers says Brande was played by Omarosa, and is bringing back two people who don’t deserve it. Ivanka agrees, but adds that she’s confused as to why LaToya was brought back. Trump has Amanda send the group back in.
The Donald wants to know … why did Brande bring back Bret and LaToya? Why not Omarosa? Or Dennis? Brande says it’s because these two raised the least money. Is that true, he asks her? No, LaToya says, I raised more than Dennis. But Dennis said he raised more, says Brande. Piers asks her – how do you know how much anybody raised? They’ve all said what they raised, but they’re all lying, or somebody is, because the figures don’t add up.
Brande says that Bret was terrific, a really great guy. She touches his leg under the table, which Bret claims makes his vision blurry. But he only brought in $15,000, according to Omarosa. Piers again asks why she trusted Omarosa, either with collecting the cash, or with the numbers she claimed for the other players. Why didn’t she bring Omarosa back?
Brande says Omarosa raised $30,000. Trump says Omarosa had no idea what she was doing, and had no sense of who had brought in which donations. Ivanka adds that Omarosa was very disrespectful to Brande, despite Brande deferring to Omarosa as cashier.
Piers asks, “Why would you trust somebody who’s the biggest villain in the history of the show, in reality TV history? The reason she wanted control of your cash register was so that she could lie to you.”
LaToya thinks that Brande, as project manager, should be fired for letting Omarosa control her. Brande denies it, saying that no one controls her. Everyone wonders why Omarosa was not brought back to the Board Room. She’s thrown Bret under a very large, double decker bus.
Brande says she doesn’t think Trump would have fired Omarosa, because he loves her. Love’s a strong word, says Trump. Omarosa is smart and cunning, but he has to go by credibility. “Without credibility, this show wouldn’t have been the tremendous success it’s been.”
Sorry, I think I just blacked out there for a minute.
Trump says he’d hate to fire either Omarosa or Bret. In fact, he thinks Bret should have come back as a consultant, but that was Bret’s decision. So who should he fire, Brande?
Brande now says that LaToya raised the least amount of money, and so she should go. LaToya says that no one knows the figures for sure. Trump still can’t understand why LaToya was even brought back to the Room. And Ivanka still can’t understand why Omarosa was given the job of handling money. Brande says that Omarosa is great with handling money. Trump says Omarosa is great with handling money for herself, but he wouldn’t trust her with his money.
There was $80,000. missing from Omarosa’s verbal accounting. Piers says that he’d rather have Bernie Madoff as his chief accounting officer than her.
Brande tries to defend herself by saying how much money she raised for the team. Trump grants her that, calling it her one redeeming feature. In every other aspect she was a disaster, he says. She again says that Bret led her to believe that he’d be bringing in a ton of money, and he didn’t, in her opinion. Trump says she doesn’t even know what he brought in.
Ivanka asks Bret if he held back donations, but he says he gave it all he had. Looks like he just didn’t have enough. Piers says that Brande would have been the superstar of the team, based on what she brought in, if she hadn’t been the project manager. How can they fire someone who raised the most amount of money?
Well, they can’t of course. “Bret, you’ve been a winner, you are a winner. Bret, you’re fired. I’m sorry. Go.”
Bret’s exit interview: “I chose a team. I took a big chance on Omarosa. She is an absolute, manipulative villain, and she got into Brande’s head. But you know what, I’d be back here again in a second. I get asked to come back tomorrow, I’d come back and fight again.”
Next Sunday: The All Stars take flight for a theme park challenge in Orlando. And Omarosa’s at the helm. “It’s gonna be rough.” So hold on, for Omarosa’s Wild Ride Of Terror. But the meaner they are, the harder they bawl.
Photo Credits: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC