'The Celebrity Apprentice' star Donald Trump fires Dayana Mendoza
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/30/2012
The Celebrity Apprentice star Donald Trump fired Dayana Mendoza during Sunday night's eleventh episode of the celebrity competition's fifth season.
Trump fired the former Miss Universe after her Forte team lost the season's twelfth task, which required Forte and Unanimous, the opposing team, to each write and produce a 90-second jingle for Sam's Roadside Assistance product and then perform it in front of a live audience. The jingle and performance were judged on the actual jingle itself, brand messaging and the performance itself.
"I wouldn't have done anything differently, but the team that I was working with -- specifically Lisa Lampanelli -- has been, for me, a journey to deal with. So my advice to the many contestants would be just to stop the drama and finally realize that you're here working for your charity. It's all for good and there's no reason to be so evil or dishonest or so fake. It's all for good. I just want them to realize that," Dayana said following her ouster.
The Celebrity Apprentice's eleventh fifth-season episode began following the tenth broadcast's elimination of Penn Jillette with Trump meeting with the season's remaining celebrity cast members and revealing what the task would be and then asking who would lead each team as the project manager.
Forte -- which consisted of Dayana, comedienne Lisa and former American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken -- ended up letting Dayana step up to be their project manager because Clay, who probably would have had the most knowledge of how to compose a musical jingles, had served as the project manager the week prior.
Meanwhile, Unanimous -- which was comprised of All About Aubrey and former Making the Band star Aubrey O'Day, former talk show host Arsenio Hall and The Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice -- had Arsenio take on the responsibility of being their project manager because Aubrey had led the previous task and he thought it would be a lot of fun.
Trump announced the winning team would receive $20,000 for the charity of its project manager's choice. However, executives of the Sam brand then revealed they'd tack on an additional $25,000 and 100% percent of the proceeds of Sam mascot sales would also be contributed.
Arsenio's team ended up working together extremely well overall after a couple small disputes between himself and Aubrey over the ideas, but Dayana's team members were at each other's throats.
Clay and Lisa tended to go off on their own and work together with the intention of ignoring Dayana's input and ideas. Dayana felt out of the loop although she was supposed to be in charge of the task. Clay said Dayana's role was like "the blind leading the seeing," as she tried to lead strongly without any direction or real knowledge of music or writing lyrics.
When Donald Trump Jr. checked in on Dayana's team, Dayana told him Clay knew what he was doing and took care of most of the writing while Lisa was just being her loud self in the meantime. Lisa took that comment very offensively and started to cry and yell at Dayana, insisted she basically wrote the jingle and was working extremely hard.
Dayana told her she lacked respect for other people and had a poor attitude, pushing Lisa to leave the room in frustration and anger. After some time elapsed, Lisa eventually came back and rejoined the task but had no desire to cooperate directly with Dayana.
Afterward, Clay got into it with Dayana as well. She tried to give him some advice on where to stand during the choreographed performance, and Clay was aggravated because he felt like he had a good grasp on the task and Dayana just simply enjoyed telling him what to do. Clay noted to the cameras he was going to go after Dayana in the boardroom right along with Lisa.
Dayana just felt unappreciated, disrespected and mistreated. She was upset because she believed her team had created an unprofessional and unhealthy working atmosphere.
For the teams' performances and jingles, Aubrey's group featured a big cheerleading routine with a jingle that incorporated pop and rap music. Dayana's team focused on the classic 60s sound and took the Good Sam executives back in the day.
The judging panel ended up liking both presentations but seemingly preferred Aubrey's execution right off the bat. They thought Dayana's team utilized Clay's singing abilities well along with Lisa's writing skills. However, they thought the group played it a little too safe and conservative, while Dayana thanked everyone at the end of the performance without wearing Good Sam colors or engaging the audience in any brand discussion.
The executives thought Aubrey's team exerted a great energy and enthusiasm while they also incorporated excellent brand messaging. They had a very catchy jingle and used the Sam mascot wisely as well, however, Good Sam's judges didn't love the revealing and sexy cheerleading uniforms due to the nature of their audience.
After both teams planned and presented their jingles and live routines, they met with Trump in the boardroom and discussed their project managers.
Arsenio's team was a big fan of how he led them and everyone insisted they played an important role in the performance's success. While they were happy with their task's result and each other, Dayana's team was waiting to put Dayana on the chopping block.
Dayana told Trump no one on her team wanted to listen or work with her, so she admitted it was tough to get along with and be productive with them. Dayana complained about how bad Lisa's attitude was, and then Lisa turned around and voiced how Dayana didn't even know how to rhyme words nevermind write an entire jingle.
Dayana told Trump she didn't respect Lisa for her "big mouth," and Lisa said she didn't respect her in return due to her lack of ideas and creativity. Lisa called her a "plague" and said she felt like she was carrying 100 pounds on her back every task in addition to her own weight.
Trump's daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump then asked Dayana whether her team's refusal to work with her actually represented a failure of leadership rather than signs of disrespect or stubbornness. Dayana insisted it wasn't about bad leadership skills on her part because she had tried her best to give directions and talk creatively with them only to receive little interest or acknowledgement in response.
Lisa continued to rag on Dayana and said it wasn't "Celebrity Miss Universe," so she shouldn't throw other people under the bus. Clay admitted he agreed with mostly everything Lisa had said with the exception of how she happened to say things sometimes.
Trump then revealed Arsenio's team had won the task and the profits would be going to the Magic Johnson Foundation. After his team left the boardroom, it was seemingly clear who Trump was going to fire after Clay and Lisa had ganged up on Dayana the entire session.
When Dayana, Clay and Lisa faced Trump in the boardroom alone, Clay said the task was tough simply because Dayana "was not absent" -- an insult Trump deemed even worse than if Clay had said the task was difficult because Dayana wasn't always present. Clay was suggesting the task was hard solely because Dayana was working on it with them.
Dayana kept trying to stick up for herself by saying her teammates were disrespectful and unwilling to cooperate with her, but Trump noted the fact people often need to earn respect.
"Dayana, being Miss Universe is an easier thing. This is not an easy thing, especially some of the people you have to deal with," Trump told her.
"But I'm still very happy to be here," Dayana suggested.
"I think you're a fantastic person. You know that. You've been [in the boardroom] how many times? Seven. A lot, but you've escaped and you've escaped fairly. You're a fabulous woman, you're a beautiful woman, you have an amazing career. Dayana, you're fired," Trump explained.