'The Celebrity Apprentice' star Donald Trump fires Hope Dworaczyk
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/02/2011
Hope Dworaczyk became the tenth candidate eliminated from NBC's fourth season of The Celebrity Apprentice during Sunday night's broadcast of the reality competition's ninth episode.
The Apprentice star Donald Trump fired the model and Playboy Playmate of the Year after her A.S.A.P. women's team lost the season's task assignment for the second time in a row and fifth time this season.
The task required A.S.A.P. and Backbone, the men's team, to each produce a hair show using Biosilk and Chi hair products. Each team was provided two professional stylists and four models and had to introduce their show to Farouk Shami -- the head of Farouk Systems, which makes the products they presented -- and an audience of professional stylists and educators.
In addition, each team was judged on their brand messaging, the showcasing of Farouk's line of products and tools, and their overall presentation.
"I'm really, really thankful to have been on this show. Mr. Trump was an incredible person to work for. I don't think, personally, that I could have done anything differently to stay in the game. I am who I am, and I'm not somebody that's going to scream or have these wars. In my opinion, NeNe should have been fired for blowing up in front of the client when we were working for Farouk, but ultimately, that's his decision and it's something cool to be fired by Trump," Hope said following her firing.
All of Backbone's team members -- country singer and former Nashville Star and Gone Country judge John Rich, rock star Meat Loaf and rapper Lil Jon -- did not want to take on the responsibility of being the team's project manager, because they knew they had little knowledge about hair and were afraid to fail.
Since John served as their project manager last week, it came down to Lil Jon and Meat Loaf. They decided to play "rock, paper, scissors" to determine who would do take on the task, and Meat Loaf won, so Lil Jon was essentially selected to be the leader.
Talk show host Star Jones volunteered The Real Housewives of Atlanta star NeNe Leakes to be the project manager of A.S.A.P. -- which also included Hope and actress Marlee Matlin -- and NeNe was furious over Star's move because the reality TV star felt Jones had bad intentions for making her step up to the plate again.
NeNe said it was Star's strategy to make NeNe become the leader because she and Hope wanted to get rid of her. NeNe, in front of Farouk, said she knew how Star played the game and felt she was so manipulative. NeNe added that Star may have claimed to be very well educated, but she certainly wasn't educated on the streets.
A.S.A.P. and Backbone, after drafting their project managers, got right to work. Lil Jon and his team came up with the theme "feelin' good in America" for their hair show, while NeNe and her team thought of "shake your beauty" for their concept.
Meanwhile, singer LaToya Jackson -- who was fired during last week's episode of The Celebrity Apprentice -- met with Trump in his office to talk about a possible comeback. She asked Trump for a second chance to be on the show again and possibly join the men's team in order to show her strengths, because she felt she was wrongly fired.
LaToya suggested Star was out to sabotage her from the very first day of the competition and told Trump she couldn't state her case well in the boardroom the day she was fired because she was suffering from laryngitis. Trump -- inspired by LaToya's tenacity -- said he has never allowed a contestant to come back on the show in the history of The Apprentice, but would consider it and give her an answer within 24 hours.
The teams continued to put their hair shows together and the women suddenly got quite the surprise. Backbone asked previously fired The Celebrity Apprentice contestant, former supermodel and first-season Make Me a Supermodel host Niki Taylor to become part of their presentation. Niki accepted the men's request and the women could not believe she would choose to side with them.
NeNe immediately called Hope and Marlee, who were out shopping for outfits for the models, and told them to not share any information with Niki, as she would be considered an enemy from that point on.
"I consider Niki a friend, [but] that would be a betrayal," Marlee said in reference to Niki joining Backbone rather than A.S.A.P.
Star and NeNe also had it out for each other throughout the entire task and repeatedly fought, threw harsh words around and apparently just could not get along with each other in order to really get work done efficiently.
After both teams completed their hair shows, Farouk and the professional stylists and educators felt both shows were of high caliber and well executed. A.S.A.P.'s presentation had dancers and featured Marlee and Hope as models in the show, while Backbone created a fun Mardi Gras theme in their presentation and portrayed models traveling across the country in style.
Later on in the boardroom, NeNe said Star was a disloyal backstabber, who was also mean and viscous. NeNe noted she felt her team did not give her 100% percent throughout the task, but admitted her harsh bad attitude could have led to her team's failure to compromise and succeed as one successful unit.
Star then said she and NeNe needed to resolve their tension if Star was going to tell Trump that she would rather move forward in the competition with her over Hope. In addition, Marlee said she had become good friends with NeNe, but felt she should be the one to be fired since she acted as project manager.
The fighting continued as Star attempted to persuade Trump she always played with dignity, but NeNe fired back and claimed Star didn't even have a good reputation.
Putting the arguments aside, Trump announced the strengths and weaknesses of both hair shows and the winner of the week's task.
Trump explained that Farouk and the professionals loved Lil Jon's hosting abilities, believed they had good branding and messaging, and appreciated their theme of utilizing many American cities. However, the men did not articulate the safety facts of the hair products line, which the executives understood to be very important.
A.S.A.P. discussed the safety of the hair products in depth and featured informative stylists, but NeNe was said to be a weak MC, the group had no real theme or direction, Hope looked awkward when walking onstage, and they didn't look like they were truly running the show -- the stylists did.
Trump then revealed Backbone had won the task. As a result, the winning team's project manager, Lil Jon, earned $40,000 for the United Methodist Children's Home.
Afterward, LaToya entered the boardroom, and all the contestants realized she was back in the game. She joined the men, and Trump told everyone he loved LaToya's drive and refusal to give up. The hype then quickly returned to NeNe and Star.
NeNe said her team lost because she felt alone and said Hope was weak, while Star "ate" Hope up. Hope, who was labeled a follower by NeNe and Marlee, said the way NeNe led was mentally and verbally violent. Hope also stuck up for herself and claimed she was simply allowing herself to be led by the project manager, but should not be considered a follower as a result.
Star then told Trump that NeNe was normally a hard worker and a great team member when her attitude and anger was cast aside. The two obviously had many altercations and needed to work through the hostility if they were going to be able to be on a team together and win. Marlee, in NeNe's defense, also said she would rather have NeNe on her team going forward than Hope if she behaved better.
"If she's good, she's really good," Trump noted about NeNe.
"If," Marlee reiterated.
Trump then asked NeNe to return to the boardroom with two people and she opted for Star and Hope to rejoin her.
Star then said she contributed to the task at hand and felt she had to "suck it up" because of the slew of insults she was receiving from NeNe. Star said most people would have given up on the task and wouldn't be able to work under such conditions.
NeNe was hesitant to admit Star was a strong player, but she explained she didn't like the way she played the game. Hope added that Star had a very bossy personality, but expressed it wasn't in the form of a strategy. Hope then said she would fire NeNe, while NeNe said the same of Hope.
What seemed to be the determining factor in Trump's decision was the statement Star made before he announced his decision. Star said that if she could have a conversation with NeNe and move on with her in the competition without any animosity, she would rather move forward with NeNe instead of Hope. Star suggested she and NeNe needed to suppress their bad feelings toward each other, and Trump agreed.
"In all fairness, I think that Hope has been very much under the radar. I have a great deal of respect for Hope. She's young. She's beautiful. I think you have an amazing career ahead of you. I think that this show is going to make you a big, big star -- a really big star," Trump told Hope.
"I must say, however, these two -- if they can ever get going -- they're going to be impossible to beat and you don't seem tough enough to go against them. It's just not your world. Hope, you're fired."