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October 23, 2014

Donald Trump's Ego is 'The Celebrity Apprentice's' Biggest Problem

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 15th 2010 7:29PM
Season 9 cast of 'The Clebrity Apprentice'
One of the mantras that any fan of 'The Apprentice' has heard over the show's nine Donald Trump-filled seasons is that "You never know who Mr. Trump is going to fire."

It's the aspect of the show that makes it unique in the sea of reality contest shows on the air right now. There's no panel of judges conferring on who should be eliminated, no one getting the ax because they came in last. No, the outcome of each episode is purely up to Donald Trump.

And that's where the show runs into its biggest problem, especially now that celebrities are involved.

It goes without saying that Trump's got an ego that's bigger than the tower that bears his name. But he's made firing decisions in the last couple of 'Celebrity Apprentice' seasons that really made me think he was acting more like a TV producer than a shrewd businessman. And if last night's season premiere is any indication of what Trump is thinking this year, 'The Celebrity Apprentice' is going to be tough to watch.

Anyone who watched the show knew that Carol Leifer got shafted. She worked to her strength on the initial project, using her comedy club-honed skills to bring people into the diner where the women were working. And when Holly Robinson Peete asked her to man the counter, she put the flyers away and did what she was asked. And, for that, she got the ax from Trump.

By all accounts, Cyndi Lauper should have been fired. She was the leader of Team Tenacity for the first project, and she sure didn't act like one. Both Sharon Osbourne and Peete rolled right over her and ordered people around. She approved the fatal decision to charge more down-to-earth prices for the food, where the men on Team Rocksolid decided to go for the big spenders and charge $100 for a hamburger. And she couldn't get her crew to wrangle the growing crowd outside so the big money people they invited to contribute could get in.

But for some reason, Trump let Peete and the team somehow convince him that Leifer didn't do enough to earn another week. He must have known, either from reports back from his kids or the producers, that Carol was pulling her weight. I suspect that Trump didn't want to see the colorful and street smart Lauper disappear from the show so soon. Trump probably saw a shouting match between Lauper and Osbourne in the show's future when he made the decision.

Here's the problem, though: the more Trump lets his ego get in the way and he fires people for odd reasons, the less watchable the show is going to be. Viewers aren't going to want to follow a show if the best people are eliminated because they're not interesting enough.

There was already grumbling amongst viewers last year that Trump angled the finale to be a Joan Rivers vs. Annie Duke showdown, even though Rivers didn't quite deserve the chance to advance. That was after firing Klohe Kardashian out of the blue for DUIs he should have already known about, considering her jail time was well-publicized by then.

Maybe because the show's now a celebrity side show, Trump feels he can fire anyone for any reason. But there still needs to be business logic behind his decisions. If he's just going to fire people for being boring, then why bother watching anything but the finale?

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Dave

I just wish "Evanka" would take all her clothes off and give us all a good look. A least sit with one boob out or a Sharon Stone shot!
Old Man Trump is probally the biggest ass hole in TV today. Hands down.

April 23 2010 at 11:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Laura

I love this show. I was hooked the very first season. Seeing celebrities doing everyday things and watching how they interact with people and each other is good tv. As for Donald, I didn't like him for a long time, but recently I had the chance to be at an event where he was a keynote speaker, and the guy is phenomenal. Like him or not, you really can't dismiss the fact that he is worth millions & millions of $$. Hearing him speak, I realized he is just an ordinary guy. He told jokes, spoke to personal antecdotes and revealed the true person that he is. Now, I really like the guy. I can see past all the hype into his true personality. I just wish I'd had the chance to meet him one-on-one and shake his hand. He is a true symbol of the successful American entrepenuer.

April 23 2010 at 11:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
toothis

Trump's name once meant class, not so much anymore. Calling a woman "fat" and firing people who are supossed to be "apprentices" to help ratings hurts his rep as a businessman, even though the celebs are not real apprentices. In the end, Rosie wins this war, as Trump ruined his classy name attacking her.

March 29 2010 at 10:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Craig

I love Cindy Lauper so was interested in this season of the show, but honestly about an hour in it got so tedious to watch I turned it off. I'm done for the year. 2 hours of this show is way too much. 2 hours of Survivor would be terrific.

March 16 2010 at 1:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
HalGee

My biggest problem is why is the show still called "Apprentice"? No one is getting a job with Trump. It no longer a 14-week job interview. It just doesn't make sense anymore. And as far as this season the men's team are all celebrities who's individual names could be advertised and who all are a brand, while the only women that could be promoted for the diner were Cindi and Sharon...who are the rest of these women...is this the best they could come up with?

March 16 2010 at 11:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lglymph

One other thing - offer them a cash prize or something like that if there is no position at the Trump organization.

March 16 2010 at 8:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lglymph

I hate the celebrity version of this show, and for that reason I don't watch it. Go back to real business people who show real innovation and drive. Not folks who try to out-celebrity each other.

March 16 2010 at 8:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike

This isn't new. Why did Rodman stay as long as he did last season? Name recognition, and thus expected ratings.

However, the bigger problem with the Celebrity Apprentice is that it even has these challenges with "tips"... it invalidates the whole thing. So, a few people are better at fundraising and getting big donors out. That's hardly the point, is it? These shows are, thusly, the weakest points of the season when they do them... next week should be better when that isn't a factor.

March 16 2010 at 5:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RLP

I was astonished at how arrogant he is. Who cares about anything. My family was watching this show. He only seems to care about upholding his brand, his wealth and his ego. Trump acted like we were supposed to give a crap about how he makes billions or something. He treats women like crap too.

March 16 2010 at 3:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pierre-Luc Allie

I love the fact that Ivanka nerver admited that she was wrong by sugesting the guys overprice their meals. When Bret Micheals is more business-savy than you...

March 15 2010 at 11:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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