Hey Apprentice Fans! Hope you all had a great weekend. Our supersized episode began this week, and from the start it was very clear that Star had no intention of making up with NeNe. Although NeNe claims she wanted to "talk it out" I didn't see those two coming to a resolution anytime soon. When my father, Ivanka and guest advisor, Jim Cramer, met the teams, a change was soon made. Meat Loaf sadly left the comfort of Team Backbone and joined Team A.S.A.P., now playing with Marlee and Star. Backbone now consisted of "the Jons," newly returned La Toya and a very frustrated NeNe.
Task 1 was delivered and this week it was a fundraising task, which is always exciting. The teams were to put on a comedy show using three comedians each, selling 50 tickets at any price, the ultimate goal being to raise the most amount of money. La Toya stepped up as PM for A.S.A.P. and Meat Loaf would be leading the ladies. As the teams hit the phone lines, Team Backbone was missing one member, NeNe, who was nowhere to be found. After countless phone calls, her teammates could still not get a hold of her, and finally my father reached her. In speaking to NeNe he found out that she felt the team change that happened earlier was unfair and quit! It was such a disappointment that NeNe decided to leave, not only because she would no longer be playing for her charity, but also because the week before Hope had been fired and so many thought that NeNe should stay because of her "potential." I was very surprised by this as I really saw NeNe as a fighter, not someone who would just give up, especially when she had made it this far. Regardless, six other people remained fighting tooth and nail to bring home a win -ultimately six people who wanted to be the next Celebrity Apprentice.
As the teams were trying to pull strings and call everyone they knew it seemed that La Toya had not really mastered the art of asking for money, a talent that proves to be very important on the fundraising tasks. Accepting $1,000 from Kathy and Rick Hilton certainly made me shake my head as I am sure most of you will agree. She probably could have done better. It seemed that whether asking for talent or money both teams were a little unimpressive, with the exception of John Rich who called in a huge favor and invited his buddy Jimmy Fallon to join them for the event. Star reached out to Tracy Morgan but only asked for a flip cam video. If I were her I would have certainly asked for his appearance at the actual show. I think it's a lesson that you have to think big, something that my father has always stressed in life. The worst that could have happened in Star's case would be that he would decline to come to the event and only do a flip cam video. I think with such an incredible talent even via flip cam, Team A.S.A.P. should have strategized how best to use Tracy's talent and time. The video seemed a little bit flat.
As the money slowly started to roll in, Meat Loaf opened up the floodgates and his tears were flowing. Meat Loaf was extremely emotional when he realized that if he didn't win this task, all of the money raised would not go to his charity, Painted Turtle. I loved the passion that we saw from Meat Loaf and after his infamous meltdown a few weeks back, it was nice to see a softer side. Team A.S.A.P. called my father asking if he would agree to let each team keep the money raised. But as my father reminded them, that's not the way it works and if he did that what would be the incentive to win? I commended the team for trying but agreed with my father. There was only one option for Meat Loaf and that would be to win. Which he certainly did!
Both teams did a great job putting on their comedy shows but ultimately Meat Loaf's team brought home the win, raising $102,080, beating La Toya's team who had brought in $82,500. There were two shocking events that happened in the Boardroom. Prior to finding out who won the task, John Rich stepped up and offered to personally donate to Painted Turtle whatever Meat Loaf had raised if his team lost. This was an incredible act of charity, kindness and friendship. I don't think I have ever seen this happen before in the Boardroom. This season has been filled so far with so many record breakers and we broke another one on Sunday: La Toya was fired twice in one season! Not a great record to break; but she took the firing very well and we enjoyed having her on the show. As The Celebrity Apprentice often does with the candidates, it brought out a very different side to La Toya.
Once Meat Loaf had dried his tears of happiness, the teams had little time to rest and it was time for Round 2. The second task of this week was to create a promotional video for OnStar. It was a rematch for Marlee and John Rich, since both stepped up as PMs to take on this challenge. The winning PM would receive $40,000 for his or her charity. The importance of this task was to communicate in the video that OnStar is now available at local retail stores and can be put in any vehicle.
Lil Jon and John Rich were brainstorming and John Rich was battling a massive headache. I think that the synergy between "the Jons" at this point was so strong that they were able to plow right ahead despite John not feeling well. I like how throughout the show John Rich always brings it back to the kids and reminds himself what he is playing for. I think it's so important, and disappointing when some players lose sight of this.
As Team A.S.A.P. had their creative juices going, I think Meat Loaf must have been missing the guys more and more as his bickering with Star increased by the minute. At this point you have to wonder, is it Star? In any case, Marlee seemed to keep the peace as best she could. Still, I think Marlee should have been a little stronger in the creative process and spoken up more when she didn't agree with the decisions made. Marlee mentioned a few times that she and Meat Loaf just have different minds. That may be the case but I think it's important to be able to work together. In many business settings that's quite often the case, but learning how to utilize to two different personalities and finding their strengths is important.
The concepts couldn't have been more different but both had one thing in common: they were far from simple. The time in the editing room was crucial. In Team A.S.A.P.'s usual style they were running late. (I just don't think they will ever get the hang of NYC traffic!) The teams finally had their promo videos together and made their presentations to the OnStar executives. When my father met with the executives they felt that Team A.S.A.P. had a good theme and a softer message. A.S.A.P. tried to add humor, but using the cop in a donut shop didn't really make the OnStar executives laugh quite as much as they hoped. The OnStar team enjoyed the men's team and thought they had high energy and really showed off the new product. They did however forget to use a seat belt in one part of their video - a huge miss! That comes back to attention to detail and having the ability to look at the total picture as well as at all of the small intricate parts.
It was time for the Boardroom. Lil Jon and John Rich's teamwork and creativity certainly paid off as they brought home another win for Team Backbone! John Rich's grand total for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital was up to $695,000!! Awesome job! As Team Backbone celebrated, things between Meat Loaf and Star began to heat up. I loved how the guys were watching from their suite cheering on Meat Loaf as if he was in a boxing match. Star and Meat Loaf argued back and forth... well I guess Star didn't "argue" because she so politely "declined" to give him one. They fought over the brand messaging and also the fact that Meat Loaf referred to Star as "sweetie." I was surprised to see Star get so upset by this because working over the past 10 episodes, its known that Meat Loaf has used these terms and has meant no disrespect. I also have to add it's pretty ironic that when Star and Marlee were rushing out of the studio by the elevator, Star yelled out, "Meat Loaf we ready baby!" Perhaps it's only okay when Star is speaking to others? In any event it was the brand messaging that lost Team A.S.A.P. the OnStar task. Star was assigned that element of the task and the mark was missed. Star was held responsible and was fired. However, it was great to have Star on the show and we wish her all the best!
Hope you all enjoyed this week's double dose of Celebrity Apprentice. Looking forward to the FINAL FOUR next week! Thanks for all your messages here on the blog and via my twitter page (www.twitter.com/donaldjtrumpjr) See you next week!