'All-Star Celebrity Apprentice': Dee Snider Decides To Take It
March 11th, 2013 2:49pm EDT
Last week, Omarosa came out of the blocks swinging, and took out Bret Michael’s, whom she considered too strong a player to compete against. The 13 other celebrities, many of whom had encountered Omarosa before, took note of her tactics, but seemed to feel that Trump would never fire her this early in the game. Were they right?
This week starts with Donald Trump surprising the celebs after Bret’s firing, with the news that they’d be boarding “the greatest private airplane anywhere in the world.” It’s his own 757 of course, lah di dah. And they’re going to Universal Orlando Resort, for their next task, which they’ll soon discover. Dee Snider steps up immediately as Project Manager for Plan B, saying he’s been there 50 plus times, and knows the place like the back of his hand.
On Team Power, Omarosa graciously takes the lead. She’s playing for her late fiancé, actor Michael Clarke Duncan’s, favorite charity. Brande Roderick interviews that she doesn’t think it will be smooth sailing with Omarosa at the helm; she’s already backstabbed everybody, and it’s only the second task!
The celebs are impressed with Trump’s plane – Dennis Rodman has severe plane envy, and Stephen Baldwin can’t wait to tell all his friends about it. They’ve barely had a chance to sip their champagne before Trump appears, via big screen TV, to give them their task. Both teams will create a 3D, interactive photo experience, using Universal’s resources. They’ll be judged on the creativity of the photos, integration of Universal’s marketing campaign, and guest experience. Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump will be the Donald’s boardroom advisors, and will visit the teams onsite. The winning team will get $20,000.00 for their charity. Hmmpf – Trace Adkins is taking $670,000.00 over to his charity, The American Red Cross, as we speak, from his stint on the first task! And by the way – there’s no trace of Trace this task, as he’s fulfilling a prior commitment with Big and Rich and Blake Shelton.
Lil Jon gives his impression of how Trump uses his hands while talking, and says that he remembers a similar task a few seasons ago, so he’s got a few ideas already. Omarosa warns us that she’ll play a straight, clear and strategic game with her team mates, as long as they do the same. You don’t have to worry about her backstabbing; she’ll come from the front.
Team Power check out their War Room, discovering that they have a specific 12 foot area to cover. Their first idea is a Photo Booth theme. The Universal representatives, Donna and Alice, arrive with the specifics of the task. They want the celebrities to go into the park, and capture images of themselves, and guests enjoying the experiences that make Orlando unique. Rodman wakes up long enough to ask if the policy is to incorporate celebrities into their ad campaigns. Donna and Alice say that they haven’t currently, as the film characters are the stars.
Donna and Alice then visit Plan B’s workshop, where Dee tells them he’s been to the resort 50 to a 100 times, which seems a little excessive to me, unless you work there. Lisa Rinna asks if photos are a big part of the Universal experience, and is told that many guests think a souvenir photo of their time at the park is a high point. It’s about families connecting and making memories.
Lil Jon and Omarosa work on an idea of creating three rooms representing different aspects of the park, with a way of moving from one area to the next. She keeps Rodman as her assistant, sending Lil Jon, Brande, LaToya Jackson and Claudia Jordan out to take photos and bring back props. She specifies Harry Potter and Despicable Me as two of the three characters, leaving Lil Jon to wonder how he’s supposed to guess the third.
So off they go, clicking pictures of each other, and buying things, hoping it will all fit in to Omarosa’s total vision. She dismisses their work as “riding rides and eating cotton candy.” When the fabricators arrive to work on their project, she decides Spiderman will be the center motif.
Even Rodman sees that Omarosa’s elaborate plans cannot be completed within their time frame. And when the team returns from shopping, they’re taken aback that Omarosa has gone ahead with the Spiderman theme, without letting them know. She wishes they’d brought back some Spiderman merchandise, which they would have, had she let them know.
At Plan B, Dee’s not sure what direction they should go in, but says he’s always noticed that the Board Room judges want the celebrities to use their fame in each task. Should they do cut outs of the team, that people could pose with? Penn Jillette says that every video store has cut outs – but he’s got an idea. A picture people would want to keep would be a picture of something impossible, that doesn’t look photo shopped. He’s worked with Universal before on the Penn and Teller Haunted House, and could use their resources to do an illusion that will make it appear that people’s heads are floating, or on a tray.
Dee can’t decide on an idea, Gary Busey thinks Penn is a genius, and Stephen Baldwin just wants them to get started on something. Marilu Henner thinks the floating head idea is amazing, but worries it’s too time and labor intensive. And Lisa Rinna thinks they’d better get out and starting taking pictures.
They’re given a couple of cameras to use, and Busey wants to have one. Trouble is, he cannot for the life of him figure out how to take a picture. Marilu says Busey’s like a jack in the box, popping up when you least expect it. Very dear, very sweet … but so irritating.
Everyone heads into the park. Dee is a little worried that they don’t really have an idea, but figures walking around will help them come up with something. Marilu, Lisa and Stephen go in one direction, while Dee, Penn and Busey head for the gift shop, where they load up on hats and other merchandise.
Dee’s refreshed when they get back to the War Room. He’s going with the cut outs of the celebs, dressed in costumes of the park’s characters, vetoing Penn’s floating head idea. Penn doesn’t think it’s very exciting, but they all go along with the plan.
As they near their deadline, both teams are unhappy with the progress. Omarosa, who’s demanded far too much of the fabricators, can’t understand why they are so far behind with her vision. Despite being told that they probably could not do a 3D Spiderman figure so quickly, she’s now saying that they set her up for failure. When told they can get that done if she gives up some other aspect of the display, she’s not willing to give an inch on any aspect of her project.
The rest of Team Power make themselves scarce, knowing that an angry Omarosa will be looking for someone to blame.
Plan B’s fabricators are working hard as well, creating the cut outs. Dee begins work on a graphic background highlighting the park’s marketing campaigns with Lisa and Marilu. Stephen Baldwin comes over to Dee, and whispers that he thinks the cut outs idea is a good plan, leading Dee to become paranoid that he’s being setup.
The next morning, Team Power arrives to find that their booth is not quite finished. The globe top has yet to be painted, and it all just looks very drab. Brande and Claudia are sent off to buy Spiderman merchandise, while the rest of the team get to work finishing the project, with Omarosa trying to control every aspect.
Plan B are happy with what is essentially a blue background with a 3D globe, and their cut outs. Penn thinks it’s surreal that there are cardboard cut outs of people who are standing around in the same outfits. But when the park visitors start arriving, they are happy to take photos and get autographs from the celebs. Busey plays Tickle Monster, while Marilu shows off a talent for remembering dates.
Trump brothers Don Jr and Eric arrive. Dee tells them that Busey’s doing the best job on the team, although maybe with a little too much energy. Neither of the brothers comments. When the park reps arrive, Dee shows off his slogan “Family Fun That Lasts Forever.” Busey interrupts and railroads them into having their picture taken with his Cat In The Hat cut out and himself.
At the Power display, Lil Jon lets the guests in. He’s pleased that there are three areas decorated for photo taking. LaToya, assigned to help in the Spiderman section, wraps everyone in fake webbing for their picture. When Don Jr and Eric arrive, Omarosa welcomes then, and Brande christens them as Minions. Later, the park reps stop by and have their pictures taken as well. Omarosa thinks they’ve definitely won the task.
Safely back in New York, the two teams are summoned to the Board Room. Trump immediately asks Rodman what he thought about his plane, and tells him that with a plane like that, you can have any woman in the world. Rodman agrees.
Dee says he thought their task went great, and that everyone was given tasks that he felt they could deliver. Don Jr asks that Dee explain to whom he delegated each task of creativity, brand messaging and the overall guest experience, while saying he’ll be asking Omarosa the same question shortly. Dee claims the creativity was his idea, while the rest of the team worked as needed on presenting the project.
When asked, Marilu says that Dee was a good project manager, but that Busey was a bit of a distraction at times. Busey’s feelings are very hurt by her words. Lisa, Penn and Stephen agree that they collaborated well, and Dee was good at his job. Dee sticks up for Gary, saying that Gary was engaging and fun.
Omarosa says that she managed her task to the nth degree, and she believes they’ve won. She says her team worked hard, but Rodman wasn’t the biggest contributor creatively. She says she delegated specific roles to each individual, for which they would be accountable. In the unlikely event that their team lost, that would be how she would choose the people brought back into the Board Room.
When pressed, Omarosa admitted that Lil Jon was her wingman, and that their creativity meshed. Lil Jon says everyone contributed to the end product, that everyone was needed, working in synch. Brande says Omarosa’s style was not her favorite style; she prefers to work in a light and fun atmosphere. And out of nowhere, Rodman says the only person he’s found nasty in his lifetime has been his mother.
Claudia agrees with Trump that Omarosa was nasty, tough and smart as project manager. But she admits that they are friends outside of the show.
Trump has Eric and Don Jr show the teams photos of each other’s project. Dee’s team is awestruck at Omarosa’s booth, but Dee says that while it’s creative, he doesn’t see a use of celebrity, which Trump seems to favor. Lil Jon pipes up that Rodman’s question, about using celebs in park marketing, was answered with an emphasis on the cartoon characters being the stars.
Omarosa says she’s underwhelmed by Dee’s presentation, as she was expecting big things from him. She says it’s clear that her own team’s presentation was superior, as the park reps were impressed to the point of wanting to replicate the idea throughout the park. Dee’s team says that their cut outs, dressed in character motifs, will be at the park for a while as well.
Trump asks Don Jr to tell the teams what the park executives had to say. Don says that they liked the way Dee’s slogan tied in to their marketing campaign, with his slogan of Family Fun That Lasts Forever. They were also pleased with the celebrities in character mode and costumes. But they felt the design was simple, and lacked staying power. They felt the guests were more interested in taking pictures with the celebrities, rather than the cut outs.
Eric tells Omarosa that the execs thought she was incredibly creative, and that her project could be a park asset for a long time, even without the celebrities. They were also impressed with her graphics, which featured several aspects of the park’s amenities, beyond the characters.
Don Jr reiterates the three main points of the task: creativity, brand messaging and the overall guest experience. Omarosa says that not only her guests had a great time – Don Jr and Eric stayed for quite a while as well. Trump wants to know if she still thinks she’s won, based on those criteria. She says, yes, absolutely. Dee defends his marketing, but says that Omarosa definitely won the creativity aspect. Rodman breaks in to ask why people would want to take a picture of someone’s cut out, when the real person is standing right there. Hey, didn’t Penn ask that very question earlier?
Trump asks Dee if he still thinks his team won, and Dee says, yes, based on their marketing. Don Jr says that on that one aspect, he and Eric agree with him. But there are two other criteria. Omarosa thinks her team won on the other two criteria.
So – ready for a decision? Tough luck, because The Donald wants to know if they think he should comb his hair back like his son Eric. Because it’s always and completely all about The Donald. Yawn.
Lil Jon breaks into Trump’s hair discussion with a request to know who won. Trump wants to know if they can guess which team was better, by quite a bit?
Dee, congratulations … you lost.
What? Dee’s team goes from high fives to groans in seconds. Omarosa burst into tears, or at least puts her face in her hands. Even Don Jr says they’ll need to confirm if her breakdown is real or not. Trump says that Omarosa’s been through a lot, referencing her fiancés passing away in the fall, and that her win is a great tribute to him. Rodman walks over to Busey, saying Omarosa’s trying for an Oscar nomination. I don’t see a single tear drop or bit of moisture on her face either.
Team Power’s win of $20,000 will be matched by Universal, for a total of $40,000 for Michael’s charity. Trump sends the team off to the waiting room to watch what happens next. LaToya prescribes champagne to relax Omarosa’s nerves.
But LaToya interviews that Omarosa is playing them, using her fiance’s recent death as a sympathy card. Rodman and Lil Jon have no doubt that Omarosa was faking her tears.
Back in the Board Room, Trump asks who came up with the creative for the team. Penn says it was Dee, although he brought forward two ideas that he thought might have been better. Trump thinks magic tricks would have been great. Dee agrees, but says he couldn’t figure out a way to connect a severed head to the park’s marketing message. So they ended up with a very simple creative. No slight intended, but Penn’s ideas are usually so great, everyone else feels intimidated, and doesn’t really bring forward any other ideas.
Penn admits that he tends to try and sell his ideas, but he hopes that Dee will confirm that Penn backed down instantly when Dee came to a different decision. Dee agrees. Trump asks Dee if he thinks Penn should be fired. Trump thinks Penn should be fired for not pursuing his great idea.
“Penn, you’re fired. I’m only kidding.”
Trump asks Dee who was his overall weakest team member. He reluctantly names Busey, only because he has a narrow skillset. Gary defends himself by saying that he does whatever is asked of him by his project manager. Stephen says that he wants to clarify that Penn at no time confirmed that his allusion would be ready on time, nor that it would work. Trump thinks that Dee’s team would have won, had they gone with Penn’s magic trick; he still thinks that Penn should have pushed to have his idea used.
Dee says his choice of the two people he’s bringing back isn’t a reflection on this task. He cites Stephen as the only fly in the ointment, as he didn’t trust him, after Stephen withheld his efforts on the first task. And Busey, based on his limited skillset. Trump sends Marilu, Lisa and Penn off to the suite, and Dee, Busey and Stephen to the waiting room.
While they wait, Dee apologizes to Stephen and Busey, explaining that he would have fallen on his own sword, as Adam Corolla did, but that that angered Trump to the point that he fired Corolla AND another player. Stephen tells Dee to do what he’s gotta do, but they’ve gotta do what they’ve gotta do.
In the Board Room, Don Jr says that Dee’s team lost to the guest experience. As a family man, he feels they didn’t cater to kids. His kids don’t want a picture of Penn in a costume; they want a picture with Harry Potter. And that also would have staying power in the park.
Dee, Busey and Stephen re-enter the Board Room. Trump asks Dee how he could lose on creativity, with all the creative people he has on his team. Dee still feels that they wasted a lot of time discussing magic tricks, but he couldn’t figure out a way to incorporate that into the marketing. Don Jr asks if Dee hadn’t considered how big a draw Harry Potter is at Universal, and how magic would have fit perfectly into that theme. Dee agrees, but says he thought they were expected to focus on more than one aspect of the park.
Dee reminds Trump that he fired both Adam Corolla and Michael Andretti last year, when Corolla refused to name a weakest player, and he doesn’t want Trump doing that again this year. As the project manager, he’s the one that should be fired. He says no one did anything wrong on his team, and he likes them all. But if it was the choice of creative that lost the task, that’s on his shoulders, and he himself should be fired.
“I don’t want to fire you. You’re a solid guy. A great guy. Much different than I would have thought. Dee, you’re fired!” He agrees that Dee was right – he had no choice but to fire him.
Dee’s exit interview: ”Gary and Stephen really didn’t deserve to be brought back. The idea for the presentation was mine, and really, no amount of kicking and screaming and pointing fingers at my team mates, was gonna change that. All that would have done is made me less classy and sort of a crappy person for doing it. I just couldn’t do it.”
Next Sunday: The teams take to the stage, and there’s no question, there will be drama. (Trace tells Stephen to be nice to Marilu or he’ll kill him.) But for LaToya and Omarosa, the gloves come off. “What kind of lady is that, that would take me down?” says LaToya. “What kind of lady would tell you to be quiet? I’m a grown woman,” replies Omarosa. And it’s nothing, compared to what shocks both Trumps in the Board Room.
Photo Credits: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC