'The Celebrity Apprentice' star Donald Trump fires Debbie Gibson
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/02/2012
The Celebrity Apprentice star Donald Trump fired Debbie Gibson during the first half of Sunday night's special three-hour broadcast in which the contestants executed two tasks and participated in two separate boardroom sessions.
Trump fired the singer, actress and former Skating with Celebrities participant from the celebrity competition's fifth season after her Forte women's team lost the season's seventh task, which required Forte and Unanimous, the men's team, to each write, photograph and design their own "My New York celebrity guide book" and feature their own personal experiences in New York City. The teams then had to sell their guide books and the one to make the most money would win the task.
"The worst thing about this experience for me has been seeing how shrewd and dishonest people can be for very self-serving purposes. To sit inches away from people and to know that they're blatantly lying, leaves me feeling a little unsettled. Does my ego like that I was fired? No. But Mr. Trump can't fire me from being Debbie Gibson, so nothing is lost," Debbie said following her ouster.
The first half of The Celebrity Apprentice's seventh episode began following the sixth broadcast's elimination of Patricia Velasquez with Trump meeting with the season's remaining celebrity cast members and revealing what the guide books would entail and asking who would be each team's project manager.
The women's team Forte -- which was comprised of Debbie; The Real Housewivesof New Jersey star Teresa Giudice; comedienne Lisa Lampanelli; former Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza; and All About Aubrey and former Making the Band star Aubrey O'Day -- had Teresa step up to be their project manager because she believed it was time to prove herself.
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 Dee should take on the role of project manager because he was ready to win a big check for his charity.
The winning project manager would receive all the money both teams happened to raise during the task for the charity of his or her choice. In addition, Live with Regis and Kelly host Regis Philbin would choose the team whose guide book he preferred and then give them a $35,000 bonus courtesy of Toshiba.
Both teams worked well together but encountered some small problems along the way in creating and selling their New York celebrity guide books. Forte was late meeting with their graphics designer, and as a result, had little time to compile their guide book to the best of their abilities. Lisa was also angry because she felt like she was doing the majority of the work and kept getting annoyed with Dayana for having bad ideas and being a distraction.
Teresa was also frustrated because she thought Debbie was setting her up for failure in that she was hesitant to fulfill her duties without direct instruction -- behavior she didn't show when working for Aubrey or Lisa as her project manager.
Meanwhile, Unanimous struggled to collect the cash for their books. Arsenio failed to receive his blank check from Jay Leno due to New York City traffic and therefore didn't bring in any money, while Penn asked the Blue Man Group to help out in a strange way. The group arrived at the scene with a giant balloon filled with $8,000, but once popped, random people shoved the bills into their pockets and took off -- leaving the men's team with only $2,000 from all that was in the balloon.
After both teams created and sold their guide books, they met with Trump in the boardroom and both Teresa and Dee were unsure whether their teams had won. Before Trump revealed the winner of the task, he asked the women who should be fired on their team if they were to lose the task.
Teresa said she felt like she had to babysit Debbie, who was in charge of the printing, and tell her exactly what to do when she should've had the knowledge and experience at that point to execute the printing properly. Debbie said she wasn't delegated any jobs to do specifically, and that wasn't her fault.
Teresa then told Trump either Debbie or Dayana should be fired because Debbie was difficult to work with and she considered Dayana the least essential asset to the team, the weakest link overall.
Trump then announced Regis had favored the women's guide book because they had personalized the pages to their likes and experiences in New York, while they also featured a colorful, attractive cover. Trump told the women they'd receive $35,000 in addition to the other money they had gathered if they won the task.
Trump revealed the difference between the money brought in my both teams was only $14.00. Donald Trump Jr., one of Trump's advisors, then told the contestants the women earned $127,855 plus the additional 35,000, which totaled $162,855. The men's team collected $162,869 total, so they had defeated Forte and Dee received $326,000 total for his charity the March of Dimes Foundation.
Trump told both teams they had raised over one million dollars for charity at that point in the season.
Debbie told Trump she believed Teresa should be fired because she was the project manager and the entire task weighed on her shoulders. Debbie said Teresa was "disorganized" and "out-fundraised" by other women on her team, while Dayana was simply the weakest link on the team in terms of ideas.
Dayana ultimately believed Teresa should be fired because she was the team's leader and failed to bring in a significant amount of money necessary to win the task.
Teresa then told Trump she wanted to take Dayana and Debbie back into the boardroom with her because Dayana's skills were utilized the least of all the members on the Forte team and Debbie got them into trouble by printing everything last minute. Debbie also didn't bring in as much money as she was capable of.
Teresa admitted she didn't want to take Aubrey -- who had raised the least amount of money out of all the women -- back into the boardroom because she was a creative leader on the team and took on a tremendous amount of responsibility in every task. Teresa told Trump she'd need Aubrey on her team going forward.
Debbie then told Trump she and Aubrey should've been brought back into the boardroom with Teresa because it was a fundraising task in which they both had contributed the least. Trump acknowledged Dayana racked in a respectable amount of cash and thoroughly agreed with Debbie's suggestion, although Debbie slightly threw herself under the bus for admitting she did poorly in the task at hand.
"This task was about raising money. Whether you did a good book or a terrible book -- and you did a good book and Regis was very nice. He said your book was better and you won $35,000. Unfortunately, the $35,000 didn't do it. Now when you get right down to it, this was ultimately about raising money and who raised the most," Trump told all three women.
"I happened to think you, [Teresa], should've brought Aubrey back, and I think Aubrey might've been fired for this task because she raised by far the least amount of money. Dayana raised a good deal of money. [Teresa], you raised a lot of money. And Deborah raised the least amount of money of the people you brought back. Deborah, you're fired. Thank you."
"I'm comfortable with that based on the way this went," Debbie said.
"I understand. Thank you. And I think you're right Deborah. She should've brought back Aubrey. She raised the least amount of money. Go ahead, thank you," Trump confirmed.