'Apprentice' star Donald Trump fires two, determines final five candidates
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/12/2010
Donald Trump fired Anand Vasudev and Poppy Carlig from NBC's non-celebrity revival of The Apprentice and determined its final five seventh-season finalists during Thursday night's broadcast of the reality competition's ninth episode.
Anand, a 31-year-old from Tampa, FL, was fired in the broadcast's opening minutes after Trump learned Anand had attempted to cheat during a prior task and then lied and denied the allegation when confronted about it.
"I've just been given some very disturbing news that Anand has been text messaging people telling them to bring in money, Anand is that true?" Trump asked.
"That is not true sir. I haven't been texting anyone regarding money, absolutely not," Anand replied.
"Well you know if you did, it's a clear violation of the rules... you're saying you didn't do it?" Trump questioned.
"I have not done that," Anand insisted.
"You want me to read you a text message?" Trump fired back.
"Go right ahead, Mr. Trump," Anand said.
"Come to Trump Tower from 10AM-1PM. Bring at least $50. Pretend like you don't know me. Need you to buy a pedicab from me or one of my teammates. I'm project manager so my ass is on the line. I'm getting close to the top -- I won't have my phone with me, so just come by and pretend like we don't know each other," Trump read aloud to the seven remaining contestants.
"Pretty bad right?"
"That was bad, Mr. Trump," Anand replied.
"Why did you deny it? You lied to me," Trump noted.
"I want to be at the top, I want to win, and nobody came... it was wrong and it was inappropriate but being a project manager, you want to win," Anand told Trump.
After Anand and Trump both agreed on the fact that Anand crossed the line, Trump declared Anand fired.
"This is why the country's gotten into such trouble. This is the kind of thinking that we've been witnessing on Wall Street for the last five years -- Anand, you're fired," Trump said.
Anand admitted that he made a foolish mistake and regretted his decision after his elimination.
"First of all, I want to apologize to Mr. Trump. I wasn't trying to be dishonest or cheat or do anything like that. It was just a bad judgment call," Anand said following his ouster.
"If there's anything I could say to Mr. Trump face to face it would be I'm sorry, but I would also explain that I was just doing it because I really wanted to be there standing next to him at the end of this. If I could go back in time and take it all back, I would. I'm just shocked at myself. I'm shocked about what happened -- it's a tough pill to swallow."
Poppy, a 24-year-old from Richmond, CA, got fired after her Fortitude team -- which also featured Stephanie Castagnier and Liza Mucheru-Wisner -- lost the season's ninth task, which required Fortitude and Octane to each design and construct an indoor display for Kim Kardashian's new perfume fragrance and then set it up in a store. Their displays had to impress and appeal to both guest judge Kim Kardashian herself and a store executive.
Poppy had opted to serve as the project manager for Fortitude, which designed an indoor display that featured a life-size cutout of Kim that prospective customers could pose and take photos with. In additoin, they focused on allegedly "glamorous" details such as rhinestones, sequins and feather boas.
Clint Robertson, a 40-year-old from Austin, TX, opted to be Octane's project manager and worked alongside Steuart Martens and Brandy Kuentzel. Octane chose to construct a lavender and pink illuminated display that resembled a classic vanity where prospective buyers could smell and sample the fragrance and watch a video featuring Kim.
Octane's celebrity-fragrance display turned out great as Kim loved the display's organization, creativity, cleanliness, and the invitation it suggested for customers to buy the product. They were also commended for their display's elegance and sophistication.
Fortitude's strategy fell flat when the judges claimed their display looked cheap and juvenile, while the sequins and boa conflicted with the fragrance's sophistication level Kim sought after, along with contradicting her personality. The display was perceived to be more of an "arts and crafts" amateur project, undermining the Kim Kardashian brand.
After the task, both teams met with Trump in the boardroom. Clint and Poppy both deemed their teams to be successful, but then Trump revealed Octane to be the winner.
Trump decided to question which member of Fortitude was responsible for picking out the glitzy details disliked by Kim in their display.
"That was me sir," Poppy replied.
"That's a bad idea," Trump stated.
Poppy told Trump that the team worked well together and that it was a combined effort the whole way through. However, Poppy she attempted to deflect the blame for her team's performance onto Stephanie by proclaiming that the 34-year-old from Chicago, IL had agreed with all of her ideas and actively supported the team's decision to add the crafty details to the display, while also coming up with a few poor ideas of her own.
Trump was angered that Poppy was just sitting back and not taking much of a stance, despite her claim that she came up with the display's only good idea and was not responsible for the team's bad ideas.
Trump also rejected Poppy's statement that she was the strongest member of Fortitude and disagreed with her attempt to place the blame for the display's weaknesses on her teammates. He ultimately decided that as project manager, the failure of the display fell on Poppy's shoulders.
"But weren't the tacky sequins and boas -- wasn't that your idea, Poppy... was it your idea? Was it your idea?" Trump persisted.
"Yes," Poppy replied.
"Poppy, you're fired," Trump said.
"Working with Mr. Trump was a very intense and intimidating process. He's a brilliant man and you really have to prove yourself to him. I don't really know where life will take me next. I have many passions. I love fashion. I also love music, and I'm also very interested in dentistry," Poppy said after her elimination.