'The Celebrity Apprentice' star Donald Trump fires David Cassidy
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/07/2011
David Cassidy became the first candidate fired from NBC's fourth season of The Celebrity Apprentice during Sunday night's broadcast of the reality competition's premiere.
The Apprentice star Donald Trump fired the actor and former teen heartthrob after his Backbone men's team lost the season's first task, which required Backbone and A.S.A.P., the women's team, to each run and manage a New York City pizzeria -- which included making, selling and delivering pizza to paying charitable donors and customers.
"Richard Hatch is just disrespectful. He pushed me a couple of times and he was physically abusive and lied about it. I probably could have punched him, but that's not my style. I could have punched Richard Hatch, but that's not my style. I'm not a physically threatening person. I don't do that, but I'm a pretty strong guy and a guy with great integrity, and I don't think Richard Hatch is at all," David said following his ouster.
The Celebrity Apprentice's fourth-season first episode began with Trump meeting with the season's celebrity cast and revealing he would be breaking them up into two teams based on their gender -- men vs. women -- and telling the celebrities they would have to choose a name and a project manager for their assigned team.
The women's team A.S.A.P. -- which was comprised of 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; actress and Harry Loves Lisa star Lisa Rinna; former supermodel Niki Taylor; and singer Dionne Warwick -- selected Star to be their project manager.
Meanwhile, the men's team Backbone -- which included actor and former Celebrity Rehab participant Gary Busey; retired MLB baseball player Jose Canseco; David; original Survivor champion Richard; rapper Lil Jon; rock star Meat Loaf; singer and television host Mark McGrath; and country singer John Rich -- opted to have Richard lead their team as the project manager.
Trump told the celebrities that the team to raise the most money for charity by making the highest profit would win the task.
While Backbone and A.S.A.P. both overcame some small problems and setbacks and ran their pizzerias successfully, A.S.A.P. was able to collect more money from big dollar-spending buyers who gave the women huge personal donations.
After both teams were finished running their pizzerias for the day, they met with Trump in the boardroom. Star and Richard both deemed their teams as the winners, but then Trump revealed that A.S.A.P was the champion after bringing in a shocking $115,168 compared to Backbone's $54,104. A.S.A.P.'s money would be donated to The American Heart Association, Star's selected charity, while an additional $35,000 they failed to add to their total by not completing one delivery on-time was given to The American Red Cross.
The women left the boardroom and most of the men agreed that Richard should be eliminated as he was the project manager and was ultimately responsible for how his team's task turned out.
However, Richard suggested that Jose and David had barely raised any money through their personal contacts, and the three team members bickered over their dislike for one another and who should be at fault for the team's loss.
Richard then opted to take David and Jose back into the boardroom with him after Trump and his children Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. debated the men's failure and partially pinned it on Richard.
David then told Trump he had trouble taking orders from Richard, who he claimed pushed him and was a tyrant and a complete "egomaniac." Jose also agreed with David and the boardroom was obviously split two against one. However, Richard told Trump that David had taken many breaks, was whining, and should have spoken up about his anger and frustration earlier so it could have been addressed and settled.
In the end, Trump decided that Jose and Richard both deserved another chance as he came away unimpressed by David's enthusiasm and passion.
In addition, he also believed that David wasn't a fighter and relied too heavily for support and defense from Jose as David would not speak for himself most of the time and complained about "getting touched" by Richard -- which Trump dismissed as an unimportant and trivial matter.
"I'm not a huge fan of Richard Hatch and I am a huge fan of yours. I've been a fan of yours for a long time. Everybody is, but it just seems to me that Richard Hatch and Jose Canseco have unbelievable spirit and the ability to defeat, and you don't have the same passion as they do right now," Trump told David.
"I think you're making a mistake," David said. "I do."
"I understand, but I have to do this. I respect you more than both of them. David, you're fired," Trump told David.