Niki Taylor fired from fourth edition of 'The Celebrity Apprentice'
By Reality TV World staff, 03/21/2011
Niki Taylor became the third candidate fired from NBC's fourth season of The Celebrity Apprentice during Sunday night's broadcast of the reality competition's third episode.
The Apprentice star Donald Trump fired the former supermodel and first-season Make Me a Supermodel host after her A.S.A.P. women's team lost the season's third task.
The task required A.S.A.P. and Backbone, the men's team, to each create an outdoor camping experience for a camping equipment and recreational vehicle retailer. Each team was given two RV's and a $5,000 budget to create their displays, which faced-off on opposite street corners in New York City and were judged based on brand messaging, originality, and overall presentation.
"I had an incredible time working for Mr. Trump. It was such a blast, and I thought my task rocked, but unfortunately we lost," Niki said following her firing.
"My behavior in the boardroom was simply because there really wasn't anything to fight about. You know, my girls were there for me. They had my back and I think he had to fire me because I was [the] task manager. You know, it is what it is."
Niki volunteered to serve as the project manager for A.S.A.P. -- which also included model and Playboy Playmate of the Year Hope Dworaczyk; singer La Toya Jackson; talk show host Star Jones; The Real Housewives of Atlanta star NeNe Leakes; actress Marlee Matlin; Lisa; and singer Dionne Warwick -- since she was one of the few members with any camping experience.
Meanwhile, the men's team Backbone -- which featured actor and former Celebrity Rehab participant Gary Busey; retired MLB baseball player Jose Canseco; original Survivor champion Richard; rapper Lil Jon; rock star Meat Loaf; singer, former Extra! co-host and Don't Forget the Lyrics! host Mark McGrath; and country singer and former Nashville Star and Gone Country judge John Rich -- essentially drafted Gary as their project manager.
"I think of all us on the team were like, 'Let's give Gary a shot as project manager. We've carried him up for a little while, now lets see if he can step up and deliver,'" Mark explained about the troubled actor afterwards.
While his teammates considered Gary to be a poor project manager and their RVs' interiors were deemed to have looked "like men decorated the inside" by the retailer executive who judged the teams, Backbone ended up winning the task based on the strength of their exterior display, which included appropriate flooring, plenty of live landscaping, and lots of branding signage.
Meanwhile, although Niki mostly succeeded in uniting her previously dysfunctional team and they decorated the RVs' interiors well, A.S.A.P. delivered an unimpressive exterior experience that lacked branding -- which the retailer executive had told the teams was their top goal.
As the winning team's project manager, Gary earned $40,000 for The Center for Head Injury Services, his designated charity.
During the boardroom session, Gary also revealed that Marlee, who is deaf, had recently made a huge difference in his life by convincing him to visit her doctor.
"Marlee Matlin brought me a miracle last Saturday. She sent me to see her doctor -- the head of The Hearing Foundation -- at the Marriott Hotel in Times Square. He took 40 minutes to make me two hearing aids that go in the canals of my ears," he said.
Once Trump announced the winning team, Niki accepted full responsibility for her team's loss and didn't attempt to mount a defense.
"I feel horrible and I feel like I let me girls down," she told Trump.
"And do you think it was your fault?" Trump asked.
"Yes," she replied.
"Oh, you do? Well wouldn't that mean you get fired?" Trump said.
"I guess it does," Niki answered.
"Is there anyone else you can blame?" Trump asked.
"No, I can't," she insisted. "I can sit here and I can tell you each and every girl worked their butt off. I thought each and every girl did an amazing job."
"Yes, I [could] say 'fire Dionne' because we had a little tiff, but we're over it," she added, referring to a tense conversation she had with the singer, whose slow pace, sharp tongue and diva attitude have increasingly begun to bother many of her teammates.
Trump then fired Niki.
"I have such respect for [you're decision to take responsibility for the loss]. You just don't hear it enough. A project manager comes in and they lose and then all of the sudden they start putting blame on," Trump said.
"Niki, you're fantastic, but other than that, you're fired!"