Gary Busey fired from 'The Celebrity Apprentice' by Donald Trump
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/18/2011
Gary Busey became the seventh candidate fired from NBC's fourth season of The Celebrity Apprentice during Sunday night's broadcast of the reality competition's seventh episode.
The Apprentice star Donald Trump fired the actor and former Celebrity Rehab participant after his Backbone men's team lost the season's task assignment for the third-straight time.
The task required Backbone and A.S.A.P., the women's team, to each write, produce and star in a live cooking demonstration, featuring a variety of Omaha Steak products. Each team was also required to create three occasion-specific meals, choosing items from the Omaha Steaks catalog.
In addition, the teams had to create and name an original Omaha Steaks variety pack, which must be featured in their presentations, and their cooking demonstrations would take place in front of a live studio audience at the Institute of Culinary Education.
A.S.A.P. and Backbone were judged on the criteria of brand messaging, the originality of their Omaha Steaks variety pack, and their overall presentation.
"I have great respect for Mr. Trump and I accept his choice with grace, kindness and understanding, and I departed in a very happy mood. The fact is my teammates did not like me. They were very determined to get me off the team from the very beginning no matter how good I did. They couldn't see it, but that's okay. I can turn a thunderstorm or a tornado into a rainbow and I'm flying over the rainbow tonight. (Laughs) Who knows? It could be true," Gary said following his ouster.
Model and Playboy Playmate of the Year Hope Dworaczyk volunteered to serve as the project manager for A.S.A.P. -- which also included actress Marlee Matlin, singer LaToya Jackson, talk show host Star Jones, and The Real Housewives of Atlanta star NeNe Leakes -- because she was the only woman left on the team who had not yet stepped up to be its leader.
Meanwhile, the men's team Backbone -- which consisted of Gary, country singer and former Nashville Star and Gone Country judge John Rich, rock star Meat Loaf, and rapper Lil Jon -- essentially opted to have Gary as their project manager. Gary knew it was his turn to take the reigns, but his teammates were hoping he would fail or show signs of weakness so they would have the ability to get rid of him.
A.S.A.P. agreed that Hope was a great project manager. She, with her team, decided to include the aspects of a romantic evening, a dessert that was allegedly better than most of the best restaurants the celebrities had been to, and a "poker night" variety pack in their cooking demonstration.
Backbone had an entirely different opinion of their project manager. The men believed Gary lacked focus, failed to double check on the task's necessities -- like the menu, including whether words were spelled correctly and the right items were listed -- and did a poor job delegating responsibilities.
Backbone chose to include an anniversary meal, a Father's Day dinner, and a variety pack filled with many different seasonings in their cooking presentation.
During the boardroom session, Trump revealed that although A.S.A.P.'s presentation didn't include much live cooking and kept referring to the Omaha Steaks brand as just Omaha, they ended up winning the task because they were well organized and truly worked well together as a team.
The men's team Backbone did a good job as well, mainly because Meat Loaf acted as an excellent spokesperson for Omaha Steaks and cooked the food proficiently and professionally. Backbone learned Omaha Steaks representatives loved their enthusiasm, but realized that Lil Jon did not participate very much and Gary dragged out long narratives between telling the stories of each occasion.
As the winning project manager, Hope earned $20,000 for her charity Best Buddies, an international organization that helps kids with intellectual disabilities.
With another loss under their belts, the men were very frustrated with Gary. Meat Loaf said Gary was nearly impossible to bare when attempting to undertake and execute a task, while John Rich labeled Gary's efficiency as a "catastrophic collapse of time management."
The team told Trump they did not even have time to rehearse their cooking demonstration because Gary did a poor job of scheduling their time and making sure all ends were tied. In addition, there were a few misspellings on their menu, as "absolutely" and "key-lime pie" were written incorrectly. Meat Loaf made it clear that Gary was responsible for looking over the menu before it went to print.
Everyone was ganging up on Gary and it continued. Trump acknowledged the Omaha Steaks representatives disliked the men's variety pack, as it including too many options. The simpler it was, the easier it would have been to sell the pack. The men told Trump the variety pack was entirely just another one of Gary's bad ideas.
In addition, John complained to Trump that Gary had called him the condescending term "boy," which made John lose all respect for him as the team leader.
One of the only good things the executives liked about Backbone's presentation was Meat Loaf's performance, and Trump realized it had nothing to do with Gary as project manager. The demise of their task had all fingers pointed at Gary whether the team's failure actually landed completely on his shoulders or not.
Meat Loaf was trying to keep his composure and not flip out in the boardroom because he was so upset over Gary's performance and potential in the competition. Trump, noticing that Meat Loaf was nearly shaking and stuttering over the situation, knew he had little to work with and had no other option than to let Gary go.
"Meat Loaf, this is really bothering you isn't it?" Trump asked him.
"Yes. Yes sir," Meat Loaf replied.
"Well then you know what, Meat Loaf? I'm going to make you very happy," Trump said.
"Gary, you're very talented. You're very unique. You're an amazing guy and Gary, you're fired."