'The Celebrity Apprentice' star Donald Trump fires actress Tia Carrere
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/19/2012
The Celebrity Apprentice star Donald Trump fired Tia Carrere during Sunday night's fifth episode of the celebrity competition's fifth season.
Trump fired actress and former Dancing with the Stars participant after her Forte women's team lost the season's fifth task, which required Forte and Unanimous, the men's team, to each create an original theme and use that theme in a viral video to promote the a pro-mist spray-mop product. The videos were judged on product integration, entertainment value and brand messaging.
"I must say that I'm happy to leave now with my head held high. I did a great job. I was a great project manager and the game is starting to get to a place where people get ugly and cruel with each other, and I don't want to be any part of that. I just hope they don't say anything that they're going to regret, and I hope they don't do anything too cruel that they can't sleep at night," Tia said following her ouster.
The Celebrity Apprentice's fifth fifth-season episode began following the fourth broadcast's elimination of Adam Carolla and Michael Andretti with Trump meeting with the season's remaining celebrity cast members and revealing what the viral video task would entail and asking who would be each team's project manager.
The women's team Forte -- which was comprised of Tia; The Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice; comedienne Lisa Lampanelli; former Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza; All About Aubrey and former Making the Band star Aubrey O'Day; actress and model Patricia Velasquez; and singer, actress and former Skating with Celebrities participant Debbie Gibson -- had Tia step up to be their project manager because she was a model and knew the industry well.
The men's team Unanimous -- which consisted of former talk show host Arsenio Hall; singer and former American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken; actor and former The Incredible Hulk star Lou Ferrigno; magician, comedian and former Dancing with the Stars participant Penn Jillette; rock star and former Growing Up Twisted star Dee Snider; and American Chopper star Paul Teutul Sr. -- ended up deciding Lou should take on the role of project manager because he had to prove himself as a skilled contributor in the competition.
The winning team would receive $50,000 for the charity of its project manager's choice.
Both teams worked extremely well together overall but encountered some small problems along the way in order to create successful viral videos in the end. Forte believed Dayana had terrible concept ideas at first, while Aubrey, Lisa and Debbie -- who believed they were the only creative team members in the bunch -- tended to alienate themselves from the rest of the team and work on tasks alone. Aubrey was also frustrated that Tia wouldn't listen to her concerns and advice throughout the task.
Meanwhile, Unanimous encountered a bit of a power struggle between Penn and Clay in that Clay thought Penn always had to be in control or else he was very "condescending" of other teammates' ideas. Clay told Penn it seemed like he was shooting down all of Lou's ideas in order to set him up for failure. Lou also had a tough time reciting his lines for the video, as he was its star.
The women presented a viral video featuring most of the Forte team and utilizing a "What's your number?" theme in which they made an indirect connection to a woman's number of sexual partners versus how many mops she had owned in her life. The men had Lou act as a housewife and dance with the mop after threatening, "I'll mop the floor with you" to the cameras.
After both teams showed off their videos, they met with Trump in the boardroom and he discussed each of the project's flaws. Forte's concept was confusing and they concentrated too heavily on their quick presentation than they did the actual video, while Unanimous' video was more commercial than viral and the mop's special features were not clearly portrayed.
Although both Tia and Lou both deemed their teams as the winners, Trump then revealed Unanimous as the champion. The product's executives believed the men's team had a hilarious concept and great tagline, while they also physically used the mop in the video.
The men then left the boardroom and the women began discussing who was ultimately at fault for the viral video's failure. Lisa named Dayana the weakest member of the team, while Aubrey came forward about how the only strong people on Forte were herself, Lisa and Debbie. Tia resented the statement, as she said everyone had a role to play and accomplished what was asked of them.
Aubrey then bashed Tia as a project manager and told Trump that as a 27-year-old, she had better ideas and stronger leadership qualities in the tasks than a woman in her 40s. Aubrey said Tia should ultimately be responsible for the video because she opted to be the project manager and didn't listen to her when she voiced helpful opinions.
Tia then put down Aubrey by bringing up the fact she had been in a sorority, but Aubrey countered her insult and claimed the "sorority girl" image was not a description of the person she was at the time. After the two went at it for awhile, Trump asked Tia who she would like to bring back into the boardroom with her.
A hesitant Tia -- who seemingly wanted to accept responsibility for her team's loss and decline fighting for her position in the competition any longer -- asked Trump that if she owned up to the fact she was to blame and ultimately allowed herself to be fired, if he would still fire another girl. Tia was worried it would be a re-play of last week when Trump chose to fire two men.
Trump promised her that would not happen, and as a result, Tia opted to take no one back into the boardroom and selflessly remove herself from the competition.
"Unfortunately, I know as project manager that my head is on the chopping block... If I throw myself on the knife, as it were, taking it for the team because I was the clearing house for information. I was the final say on everything. I approved everything and I was the task leader. If I do that, will you fire another person on the team [like you did Adam Corolla] as well?" Tia asked Trump.
"No," Trump replied.
"Okay, then I have to take responsibility," Tia said.