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Stephen Baldwin the tenth 'The Celebrity Apprentice' candidate fired


By Christopher Rocchio, 03/14/2008 

Stephen Baldwin started strong but fizzled out towards the end of the competition, causing the actor, minister and frequent celebrity reality show participant to become the tenth candidate fired by Donald Trump during last night's The Celebrity Apprentice broadcast on NBC.

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"I don't think I really had as much of a cut-throat, killer instinct that you need in order to succeed," opined Stephen after his ouster.  "But for me it wasn't about that.  It was just how can I do the best I can and make the most money for my mom's organization."

The Celebrity Apprentice's eleventh episode began following the previous elimination of Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, the direct result of a Trump-described "slaughter" at the hands of America's Got Talent judge Piers Morgan.

"It was like pitting a little rat against a large rodent," explained Piers, admitting he's not that much different than Omarosa after all.

While Piers continued to vocally celebrate his victory, the only two remaining Team Empresario members -- country star Trace Adkins and Stephen -- accused the former British tabloid editor of running his mouth too much.  Stephen described Piers as a "lost, arrogant individual."

The five remaining candidates then met Trump, Ivanka and Broadway producer Daryl Roth.  The Donald explained that for the next task, each team would be designing an original Quiznos sandwich that they'd have to sell for $2 each. 

The candidates could not use their Rolodex to contact friends and could only sell the sandwiches to people on the street.  After two hours to prepare each team would have two hours to sell their sandwiches, and the team that sold the most would win.

Since he's yet to win any money for his charity, Trace was Empresario's project manager for the task and immediately came up with the idea for the "country club," which Stephen thought was a "great idea."  Trace predicted Team Hydra -- which consists of Piers, professional boxer Lennox Lewis and supermodel Carol Alt -- would once again use Lennox's star power.

He was right, as Piers pitched the "champ's sandwich" to Lennox, who was serving as Hydra's project manager.

"It's a knockout," said Piers about the sandwich.

Hydra then arrived at their Quiznos location and wondered what they could add to the sandwich shop's most popular pre-existing menu item to make it unique.  In a stroke of genius, they made the slight tweak of adding cheddar cheese to a turkey sandwich.  They took a picture of Lennox smiling while holding a sandwich and flexing his muscle and had Carol send it to the print shop so fliers could be made.

Trace and Stephen lamented the fact that they were lacking Hydra's man power since they were down a person.  Trace decided he wanted the country club to consist of prime rib, mozzarella, grilled onions, chipotle dressing and bacon.

While Trace and Stephen hit the streets with fliers in hand, Piers and Lennon stood on a street corner and waited for their fliers to be delivered.

Carol relayed the message that there was a problem at the print shop and they would be delayed.  Piers accused Carol of giving "excuses," no doubt setting her up to take the fall if they were to lose the task.  Empresario eventually received their fliers 20 minutes before they could start selling sandwiches.

The two-hour window to sell the sandwiches then commenced, and both shops seemed to be packed with customers as Carol was behind the counter for Hydra and Stephen worked the oven for Empresario.  Ivanka arrived and said it was "hard to argue" why Hydra was once again "leveraging" Lennox's celebrity.  However she also pointed out their sandwich wasn't exactly "reinventing the wheel."

As the two-hour window closed both teams made their final push to sell as many sandwiches as possible, with Trace on the street for Empresario and Piers doing the same for Hydra.

The two teams then gathered for The Celebrity Apprentice's eleventh boardroom, where Trump was flanked by Ivanka and Daryl.

Lennox explained Hydra's sandwich and said he thought the team did "pretty good."  Carol said she "liked" Lennox as the project manager and also gushed about how she "loves working" with Piers.

"I don't see how we could have done any better," explained Trace, not sounding too enthusiastic about him and Stephen's effort.  Trace explained the sandwich, and Stephen said he thought Trace "did great."

Daryl said she thought Empresario was a "good team" and added Trace and Stephen both brought different attributes to the table and worked well off of each other.  Ivanka was equally impressed with Hydra, commenting how each of its three members had a "sense of place" and a "sense of purpose."

Ivanka then revealed Hydra sold a total of 313 sandwiches while Daryl said Empresario sold 253.  As the winning project manager Lennox received a $20,000 donation to his charity -- the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center -- and Hydra was sent to the War Room to watch the rest of the boardroom session.

Trace reiterated he felt the team did everything they could and Trump asked who should take the blame for losing.

"I made every call today," answered Trace.  "I called every shot."

Stephen agreed and said he and Trace have a "similar" way of thinking and argued with Ivanka and Trump that it didn't necessarily mean they lost their competitive edge.  Trace then provided numerous excuses -- from being a man down to not having the same star power as Lennox -- eventually blaming it on the team's Empresario name.

"Empresario is a disease," said Trace.  "It's not a mantra that you want to try to compete under."

For what it's worth, Ivanka and The Donald both agreed that they "hate" the name, which was concocted during The Celebrity Apprentice's premiere by Nely Galan.

While Ivanka said Hydra's sandwich wasn't exactly the most creative -- it was more approachable -- and asked if Empresario thought that hurt their team.  Trace said he didn't hear anybody badmouth the sandwich before once again lamenting only a "few" people recognized him on the street.  Trump said he understood New York City was "foreign territory" for the country star and suggested his sandwich would have sold like hotcakes in Nashville.

Trump once again asked who should take responsibility, and when the question didn't yield a definitive answer, Ivanka rephrased it and wondered whether Trace or Stephen would be stronger moving forward.  Trace said he thought he would do better than Stephen, who had the dubious distinction of not raising any money over the last few tasks.

Not surprisingly, Stephen said "within the context of how the game is played" he thought Trace should be fired as project manager.  Ivanka was still concerned since Stephen seemed to tap all of his resources too early in the competition and wasn't "consistently" raising money.

Trump sent Trace and Stephen out of the boardroom and discussed the impending decision.  Daryl said both Stephen and Trace are "gentleman" and were in fact "at a disadvantage" due to being a person down and lacking Lennox's star power.  Ivanka added she likes both Trace and Stephen but has been "more impressed" with Trace.

Trace and Stephen then returned and The Donald gushed about how he likes both men, how they're "pretty even" and did a "good job" despite the aforementioned hindrances they faced in the task.  Trump once again asked if Stephen really didn't provide any input to the task, and Stephen said he "chimed in" with suggestions.

"Stephen don't you have to do more than chime in?  Especially when you're fighting for your lives?" asked Trump. 

"Trace made great decisions today," said Stephen.  "If there was something about today I didn't agree with, I would have put it forth and ultimately he would have made the final decision.  That's all I could really do in the situation."

The Donald then asked who wants it more. Trace said his 6-year-old daughter has a "severe food allergy" and -- since he's yet to win any money for the charity he's playing for -- he thinks he wants it more, saying his daughter is "the only reason" he's playing.

Trump then gushed about how Trace also has something important to say every time he opens his mouth and also said he respects Stephen -- more so than at the start of the competition.  Ivanka said she'd fire Stephen because Trace can "generate more money for charity."

"That track records been proven," she said.

Trump once again pointed out Stephen's recent inability to raise money before dropping the ax.

"Stephen, we're getting to the end of this process and you've done a great job," said The Donald.  "But moving forward, I just feel like Trace has more to offer.  Stephen, you're fired."

Stephen exited the competition and Trace rejoined Carol, Piers and Lennox.

"I was expecting to get fired after the Quiznos thing," said Trace.  "I went in fully intending to take that bullet."

Trump then called the final four candidates back into the boardroom.

"You are the chosen four people -- every one of you have done an amazing job.  Sop I really congratulate you," said The Donald.  "But we have to remember however there can only be one Celebrity Apprentice.  You are going to continue this elimination process right now.  Before the night is over, two of you will be fired."

The Celebrity Apprentice's penultimate episode will air Thursday, March 20 at 9PM ET/PT on NBC.

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