'The Celebrity Apprentice' fires Richard Hatch after Jose Canseco quits
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/04/2011
The Celebrity Apprentice star Donald Trump fired one candidate and saw another one quit during Sunday night's broadcast of the reality competition's fifth episode.
Jose Canseco decided to quit NBC's fourth season of The Celebrity Apprentice after he received a late-night phone call and learned his father was sick and in bad enough shape that the retired MLB baseball player felt it was necessary to go home.
"So I hear you have some bad news," Trump told Jose.
"Yeah, my father's been battling an illness for awhile and it turned for the worst," Jose replied.
"Do you expect him to be okay?" Trump asked.
"I don't think so. I think it's pretty bad," Jose responded.
"And you had a very good relationship with your father?" Trump questioned.
"He taught me how to play baseball," Jose lamented.
Before letting Jose exit, Trump explained he would be giving Canseco's Baseball Assistance Team "B.A.T." charity $25,000 and then wished him luck and told him he would be missed.
"My experience with The Apprentice was a very positive great experience. I got to meet a lot industry leaders, make a whole lot of friends, and then of course, the best thing was Mr. Trump giving my charity $25,000, which is great," Jose said following his ouster.
Trump later fired original Survivor champion Richard Hatch -- who became the fifth candidate fired from The Celebrity Apprentice -- after his Backbone men's team lost the season's task assignment for the second time in the competition.
The task required Backbone and A.S.A.P., the women's team, to each create their own works of art including paintings and sculptures to sell in their own gallery for a lot of money. The candidates were allowed to use their friends, family, and loved ones to help them sell their "masterpieces."
In addition, each team was required to design, decorate and sell seven baseball hats, in which all the proceeds would combine with their team total. The one celebrity who made the best hat would be given a sizeable donation to his or her own charity.
"Working with Donald Trump is a privilege. He's an amazing guy; He's a sharp guy. I disagreed with his decision tonight, obviously. It was definitely the wrong way to go. I really believe if I had the opportunity to explain why I should have stayed, I really do think I could have helped give him reasons to keep me. But oh well! Life happens," Richard said following his elimination.
Actress Marlee Matlin 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, and The Real Housewives of Atlanta star NeNe Leakes -- and was ready to take on the challenge of leading her team, knowing that she had many friends who were philanthropists.
Meanwhile, the men's team Backbone -- which featured actor and former Celebrity Rehab participant Gary Busey; Jose; 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 opted to have John as their project manager.
While both teams got to work on their artistic tasks, Meat Loaf and Gary came close to blows when Meat Loaf lost his temper and believed Busey had stolen his bag of art supplies he had previously purchased. Meat Loaf could not contain his anger and lashed out at Busey in front of the whole Backbone team.
"Okay, these are other people's bags. Where's my paint?" Meat Loaf asked aloud to the group. "My paint's not here."
"Are you sure all of that is actually Gary's?" John asked Meat Loaf. "Gary did you buy this paint?"
"Yeah, why?" Gary replied.
"Okay. F**k! Mother f***er! I bought those paints and sponges! Some of that paint is mine! I am f***ing sick and tired -- f**k you, mother f***er!" Meat Loaf yelled.
"That was all mine in my basket," Gary calmy responded.
"You mother f***er!" You don't want to f***ing start with me! Mother f***er! You do not want to f**k with me! You look in my eyes. I am the last person in the f***ing world you ever wanna f**k with. Do you understand me?!" Meat Loaf continued to scream.
John and Mark attempted to mediate the situation by escorting Gary out of the room and trying to talk Meat Loaf down to a safe level. John then found Meat Loaf's bag of purchases hidden in the corner, and although Meat Loaf realized he had flipped out wrongly, it took him some time before he calmed down and apologized to his project manager for forgetting that all their work and efforts were for charity.
Afterward, Meat Loaf pulled Gary aside and apologized for actions.
"No matter what happened, I did the wrong thing in yelling at you this morning. It didn't solve anything and I am so embarrassed by it and upset by it. Nothing ever gets solved when people do that. I've been beating myself up all day for it. It was just totally wrong. There's other ways of doing things and I have to apologize, okay? I'm really, really really sorry," Meat Loaf said.
"I accept your apology," Gary replied.
Later on during the boardroom session, Meat Loaf apologized to Trump for his rant and acting out without justification.
"Meat Loaf, I got a report that you and Gary started to go at it. Is that true?" Trump asked Meat Loaf.
"I did not," Gary interjected.
"That is true. Just let me say this. Whatever he did or whatever I thought he did -- the way I handled it -- was completely inappropriate because I really lost my temper... I've been to anger management," Meat Loaf explained.
Afterward, Backbone agreed that John was a tremendous leader and project manager, as he came up with most of the money from selling specific pieces of the artwork, such as one of his guitars.
Meanwhile, the A.S.A.P. women's team believed Marlee had done an equally terrific job if not better as the project manager. Marlee also recognized it was a team effort, and acknowledged how LaToya had given up one of her own very personal memorable items -- one of two signed concert T-Shirts in the world her brother Michael Jackson had given to her before his death.
Although A.S.A.P. and Backbone both assumed they had won the task, they agreed to allow the losing team to still give the money they had raised to their project manager's charity. They felt it was only fair because they had both done so well in the task and Trump had announced their profits were unbelievable.
Trump then revealed A.S.A.P. won the week's task as they sold $986,000 worth of artwork compared with Backbone's commendable $626,908. Trump announced the women's team had raised more money than any other team in The Apprentice history, while he also noted they made more money than the show had ever attained within an entire season. The combined total of the men and women's teams shattered the record, as they reached an amount over one million dollars.
However Trump then said he would have liked to have seen A.S.A.P.'s total break the million-dollar mark on it's own, and decided to donate $14,000 of his own money so that it would reach the milestone.
As the winning team's project manager, Marlee earned $1,000,000 for The Starkey Hearing Foundation, her charity of choice, while John still raised $626,908 for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, his own selected charity.
Trump then told Marlee and the women's team that they would have the opportunity to decide whether Trump should still fire one of the men since Jose left, or choose to be extremely generous and let the Backbone team remain intact. Marlee ended up deciding that A.S.A.P. needed one of the members on the men's team to be fired because they had lost three women in a row after losing three consecutive tasks.
Marlee said it was purely business and that she meant no offense by her decision. Trump then asked the women who they believed should be fired from the men's team and admitted it was an unusual choice on his part to allow the women to ultimately have a say. While A.S.A.P. suggested Richard, John and Backbone had another person in mind.
John said the only fair way to decide which male member should be eliminated was to distinguish who was the strongest to the weakest candidate based on fundraising. Richard was then pointed out for raising the smallest amount of money for the charity, but Trump knew the circumstances were difficult for Richard because he had spent four years in jail.
As a result, Trump asked John who Backbone would eliminate if they were to consider all the qualities and characteristics of their remaining team members apart from how much money each man had raised. John and the other members then admitted they would least want Gary to move forward with them in the future tasks because he lacked focus.
The debate then centered upon passion versus focus. Everyone agreed that Gary had a lot of passion and put his best effort forward with every task, while Richard had plenty of focus and was known for his intelligence. Marlee then stood up on behalf of Gary and said passion should win out over focus because it was so vital to be passionate about winning money for one's beloved charity. The decision then ended up in Trump's hands.
"It's about the money. It's a little bit about going forward. You also felt that Richard raised no money when he could have raised some," Trump told John.
"I do feel that way. Richard Hatch is also a big star... he is a wickedly intelligent man," John said.
"Unbelievably intelligent... He's great. He's unbelievably intelligent, but at the same time, he raised no money. I gotta do it. Richard, you're fired," Trump told Richard.
Jose confirmed his father passed away shortly after he left The Celebrity Apprentice (which was filmed last fall) in a Sunday night Twitter posting.
"My father passed a way shortly after I left the show thanks for everyones condolences," he wrote.