Marilu Henner the seventh 'The Celebrity Apprentice' candidate fired
By Christopher Rocchio, 02/22/2008
Marilu Henner's over-excitement led to her downfall, as the actress became the seventh candidate fired by Donald Trump during Thursday night's The Celebrity Apprentice broadcast on NBC.
"The overall experience of being on The Apprentice was a blast," said Marilu following her ouster. "I've been a fan of The Apprentice for a long time. Mr. Trump is very sweet and I now feel like a member of the Trump family. I'm feeling great because I played the game with integrity, energy, passion and resilience."
The Celebrity Apprentice's eighth episode began following the previous boardroom session, which found The Donald in a generous mood when he decided against firing any of the celebrities on the losing team.
Both America's Got Talent judge Piers Morgan and The Apprentice first-season contestant and reality show retread Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth were also pleased that Trump took them off the same team since they obviously couldn't work together.
Instead Marilu was joining Team Hydra, which included Piers; professional boxer Lennox Lewis and supermodel Carol Alt; while Omarosa was joining Team Empresario, which included actor and frequent celebrity reality show participant Stephen Baldwin, country artist Trace Adkins and mixed martial arts fighter Tito Ortiz. Piers compared working with Marilu instead of Omarosa as "replacing the devil with Nelson Mandela."
"I don't ever want to talk to Omarosa again in my entire life," said Piers.
The eight remaining candidates then met Trump, Ivanka and Donald Jr.. The Donald explained for the next task, each team would be taking a helicopter ride to QVC headquarters in Pennsylvania, where they'd write, direct and produce a 10-minute live segment selling one of the home-shopping netowrk's products. Each team could choose one of six products -- a mirror, utility tool belt, frying pan, electrical sweeper or cart ladder -- and if they picked the same item, they'd have to negotiate to see who gets what.
Empresario chose Stephen as their project manager, while Hydra went with Marilu -- who had previously appeared on QVC to sell her book. The team that earned the most money selling their product would win the task, with the winning project manager receiving $20,000 for their charity.
"This time I promise you, somebody will be fired," guaranteed Trump.
The two teams arrived at QVC, and Piers began jabbing Lennox by calling him Lennox "Sleepy Boy" Lewis since the boxer had slept during the majority of the helicopter ride and was exhausted.
"Piers talks a lot," said Lennox. "He has diarrhea of the mouth."
A problem quickly arose when both teams decided they wanted to sell the cart ladder. Carol and Marilu served as negotiators for Hydra while Tito and Stephen did the same for Empresario. Since neither would back down, Stephen suggested a coin toss to determine who got the ladder, and the flip was won by Hydra. Empresario had to go with their back-up choice, the electric sweeper.
Both teams started to work on their segment, and Hydra was confident, because in addition to Marilu's QVC experience Carol had previously been employed by the network for five years. Hydra agreed to keep Piers off-camera due to his habit of aggressively talking too much and decided Marilu would be the on-air personality. Empresario chose Trace, whom Stephen deemed "adorable."
Because neither team chose to have two of its members serve as on-air personalities, each squad received a QVC host for the segment. Empresario landed Lisa, who Trace immediately took a liking to since both are from Tennessee. Hydra received Rick, who Marilu called "Mr. Game Show Host" before almost seriously injuring him as she tried to wheel him around on the ladder cart.
Omarosa implored Stephen to write a script for Trace, however he declined to do so as project manager. Omarosa made it clear she would have had Trace rehearse a script if she were the project manager.
"I'm a really good director," Stephen told her.
"I'm not worried about you son," she answered.
Donald Jr. then arrived and called Empresario's decision to use Trace as "intelligent" since middle Americans can relate to him. He thought Hydra "really seemed organized" and was enthusiastic about their product, however he also immediately noticed Marilu did a lot of talking. Both teams met with a QVC creative consultant, and Stephen took to the idea of making the electric sweeper available for purchase via the network's EZ Pay program.
As Hydra prepared to go live with their segment, Piers was enjoying his job in the control room while Lennox was excited to finally have the chance to direct.
"That was the job for me," he said. "I'm good at it. I know what to see and know what to look for."
The Donald watched on television as Hydra's segment commenced and Marilu began pitching the ladder cart at $49.95 each. Trump said Marilu had "great enthusiasm" but was "talking a lot," a problem that only grew worse as the segment went on. She was eventually talking over Rick and caller's who had phoned in to purchase the product, jumping from one topic to the next with no continuity. Piers didn't notice and thought Marilu was just being "passionate."
"The only reason we would have lost is if it was the wrong product," commented Piers once the segment was over.
Prior to Empresario's segment going live, Trace was visibly nervous, and Tito reiterated Omarosa's concern about having the country star rehearse. It was too late, as the segment went live. The Donald immediately liked Trace as the pitchman, as he spoke slowly and had good chemistry with Lisa.
"He's got a nice way about him," said Trump, who was also personally impressed that the electric sweeper could pick up nuts and bolts.
The EZ Pay option was also used for the $59.95 sweeper, and Tito said sales seemed to spike a little when the payment method was being promoted onscreen.
"I'm not really sure if we pulled this off," said Tito following the segment. "We'll see what happens in the end."
The two teams then gathered for The Celebrity Apprentice's eighth boardroom, where Trump was flanked by Donald Jr. and Ivanka. Right off the bat, Trump commented on how Marilu and Trace's energy were "very different." As Empresario's project manager, Stephen also gushed about the job Omarosa did.
"I have to be around people who bring out the best in me," said Omarosa, a dig at Piers.
Donald Jr. then revealed Empresario sold 716 electric sweepers for a total of $45,000; while Ivanka revealed Hydra sold 703 ladders for a total of $35,145. The Donald congratulated Empresario on their victory before sending them to the War Room. It was Stephen's second victory as project manager.
With Hydra alone in the boardroom, Piers wouldn't single out Marilu for the team's loss since he likes leaders who show passion, which she undoubtedly did. Marilu then revealed she didn't even know about EZ Pay -- and neither did Carol, which was odd considering her prior QVC work.
Piers then threw Lennox under the bus by claiming he'd fire his fellow countrymen, once again referring to him as "Sleepy Boy." Trump didn't appreciate the comment and Lennox said he was offended by it, however Marilu agreed Lennox was "low key" the morning of the task. Piers vehemently defended Marilu.
"But you can fault her on one thing," said Trump. "I thought that she was very talkative. You were so opposite Trace... Your energy is just as good as his, but you were overdoing your energy. I know your energy -- I understand your energy -- you were overdoing your energy."
Lennox and Carol both said it all boils down to the project manager when Trump makes his decision on who should be fired.
"I think our biggest problem was EZ Pay," said Marilu.
Once again, Piers said he wasn't inclined to pin it on Marilu and singled out Lennox for contributing the least.
"If you believe that the thing that let us down was the over-excitement of the presentation, clearly that's Marilu's problem," admitted Piers.
Trump then asked who she'd fire, a question she couldn't answer.
"You know what? Don't give me an answer," The Donald finally said.
Marilu then chose to keep Piers and Lennox with her in the boardroom and saved Carol -- an odd choice considering she could have been faulted for her lack of knowledge on EZ Pay.
"I think in this situation, it seems like the fault has to lie with Marilu. She led the team," said Ivanka Jr. "She really took on a lot of responsibility and the buck stops with her."
Piers then revealed he personally would have kept Carol in the boardroom because she could be blamed about the EZ Pay oversight, and Marilu looked nervous before the three returned to the boardroom. Marilu tried to target Lennox, but her plan wasn't working.
"I'm a little surprised Carol's not here," said Trump. "She knew the [EZ Pay] system, and you didn't use her, and she didn't volunteer it."
"She said that she had never heard of EZ Pay," said Marilu.
"If she didn't, that's not very observant of her," said Ivanka.
Marilu once again tried to place the blame with Lennox.
"Lennox is not the reason you lost," said Trump. "The truth is Marilu, the reason you lost this task is because of the project manager. It hurts me to say this... but Marilu, you're fired."
The Celebrity Apprentice's next episode will air Thursday, March 6 at 9PM ET/PT on NBC.