'The Celebrity Apprentice' star Donald Trump fires Lou Ferrigno
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/09/2012
The Celebrity Apprentice star Donald Trump fired Lou Ferrigno during Sunday night's eighth episode of the celebrity competition's fifth season.
Trump fired the actor and former The Incredible Hulk star after his Forte mixed-gender team lost the season's ninth task, which required Forte and Unanimous, the opposing team, to each create a 60-second commercial promoting the benefits of Entertainment.com, which included both Entertainment.com's savings membership and its mobile application. The commercials were judged on creativity, product integration and overall brand messaging.
"I feel no shame. I feel pretty good because I walked away knowing that I couldn't give any more, and at the game, I played the game honestly. I did consequential to myself. The consequence was tonight that Trump didn't like it, but in fairness to my heart, I gave my honest God-forward opinion and I'm proud of it, because the other team won! I was right!" Lou said following his ouster, referencing how he had been fired for supporting the other team in the boardroom and showing little loyalty to his own team.
"I should know because I know camera angles and how to film and they had listened to my critique and everything. You gotta be over the criticism."
The Celebrity Apprentice's eighth fifth-season episode began following the seventh broadcast's elimination of Dee Snider after his team had fallen apart due to a crippling fight between All About Aubrey and former Making the Band star Aubrey O'Day and former talk show host Arsenio Hall.
During last week's boardroom session at the end of the episode, Arsenio told Trump that Aubrey had forged ahead in her own creative direction the majority of the time and commanded a leadership role despite her teammates' disapproval. Arsenio was bothered by Aubrey's assertiveness and lack of consideration for the members on her team.
While Aubrey argued her case and attempted to convince Trump she was a team player, Arsenio blatantly stated Aubrey was "all about Aubrey" and he hated her selfishness. He argued on behalf of his team that they all had to "massage her ego" in order to let her feel like she fit in with everyone.
Aubrey, who was on the verge of tears after listening to Arsenio's blunt complaints, admitted she didn't like Arsenio anymore and lost respect for him. When Arsenio's team left the boardroom after Trump revealed they had won the task, Aubrey headed for the elevator and suggested she wasn't coming back.
"I don't want to be around all the negativity anymore," Aubrey said. "It's not the reason why I came here. The environment is so unhealthy and ugly. I just don't know if this is the right place for me."
At the beginning of this week's episode, Arsenio called Aubrey a "b-tch" and a "whore," prompting comedienne Lisa Lampanelli to yell at him for his behavior. Lisa told Arsenio he could lose his career because the women in America could end up hating him for talking about a woman so terribly.
Arsenio then defended his words because he was simply outraged and wanted to explain how he felt. Lou and former Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza then met the rest of their team in the waiting room following Arsenio and Lisa's brief conversation, and Lisa was furious at the sight of them.
Lisa believed either one of them should've been fired over Dee because Lou was allegedly a bad leader and Dayana apparently had no ideas. Lisa then said they were both useless and called Lou a "f-cking loser."
Aubrey then told the cameras she had decided not to quit despite how the "bullies" had treated her because she was ultimately competing on the show for her charity, which she cared deeply about.
Afterward, Trump met with the season's remaining celebrity cast members and revealed what the Entertainment.com commercials would entail. He then asked each team who their project manager was going to be.
The new Forte team -- which consisted of Dayana; Lou; Lisa; and magician, comedian and former Dancing with the Stars participant Penn Jillette -- was surprised to see Dayana immediately step up and claim the role of project manager because she was tired of Lisa complaining she had bad ideas and didn't contribute much to the team. She wanted to take the reins and make Lisa listen and perform regardless of whether she wanted to object to anything.
The new Unanimous team -- which was comprised of Aubrey; Arsenio; The Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice; singer and former American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken; and American Chopper star Paul Teutul Sr. -- opted to have Teresa lead and represent them because she was dying to win a task since she had come so close before to winning charity money.
The winning team would receive $60,000 for the charity of its project manager's choice.
Before both teams started the task, Aubrey confronted Arsenio and told him she originally didn't want to come back to the team because he had really hurt her. She said she had always admired his work and couldn't believe how he had treated her.
Arsenio then apologized and told her he'd explain to her why he had gotten so upset later on. Although he was furious, he admitted his feelings should have never resulted in calling her bad names. The pair ended up solving their dispute.
Both teams actually worked extremely well together overall, even Lisa and Dayana, but encountered some minor problems along the way in executing their commercials. Lou was assigned to the posters but had trouble figuring out how size and order them on the computer, forcing a busy Dayana to take on the task herself to get it done promptly. Penn also had to leave early because he had a show to go to but promised to return for the presentation the following day.
Meanwhile, Aubrey wanted to create a voiceover to lay ontop of one part of their commercial because they termed the Entertainment.com's coupon books to be "old fashioned," and Aubrey insisted that was an offensive term. Clay and Arsenio didn't think they had enough time to fix the error and they were ultimately in charge of the editing.
For the commercials, Teresa's team featured a couple talking about the online website using terms that made the girl's parents think they were engaging in physical activity. They drove the commercial with humor and wanted to show the many ways one could access Entertainment.com's coupons. Dayana's team had a couple star in their commercial, as the woman in the relationship determined all their activities based upon which coupons they could use where they happened to be.
Entertainment.com's executives loved both the commercials, but they didn't like how Teresa's team coined the phrase "old fashioned" for the book and didn't mention how much it was. They also felt the commercial put together by Dayana's team wasn't very excited and the directing was a bit flat and predictable.
After both teams planned and executed their commercials, they met with Trump in the boardroom and discussed their project managers. Dayana said Lou should be fired if they ended up losing the task because he was a weak player and a quiet person creatively. Lisa said she was actually quite impressed with Dayana's organizational skills and overall performance but knocked Lou as basically being dead weight.
Lou then told Trump that Lisa had called him a "f-cking loser" and tried to convince him she was "mean and frigid." Lisa didn't want to get into it, because Lou seemingly did nothing but frustrate her.
Everyone on Teresa's team thought she was a great project manager, but Aubrey didn't see her as being the most business savvy of all the members -- meaning she shouldn't win The Celebrity Apprentice. Teresa insisted she'd take everyone back into the boardroom with her if they were to lose the task because everyone did their part and they all worked hard.
Before Trump revealed who won the task, he let both teams view each others' commercials. Lou ended up saying he believed Unanimous had won because he simply liked their commercial better than his own. His team was disappointed but not surprised by Lou's disloyal reaction. Trump figured his team wasn't thrilled with Lou's opinion, but Lou stuck by it.
Trump then revealed Teresa's team had won the task because their creative concept was much more enticing and the commercial was shot well and edited nicely. Teresa was glad she could give the money to her charity of the NephCure Foundation.
Once Teresa's team left the boardroom, Trump discussed with Forte whom should get fired. Lisa said she was safe no matter what because she did everything she was asked and acted as a real team player. Dayana then told Trump that Lou's opinions were not utilized in the creative process, and Penn agreed that Lou did little work to help the team.
Dayana then had to decide who she'd like to take back into the boardroom with her, and she said she didn't want to bring Penn back because he had done a lot of work prior to his short departure.
The decision seemed to come down to Dayana and Lou in Trump's eyes, as Dayana was in charge of a couple of the major things her team had lost the task for, while Lou didn't contribute much to the task in either the creative process or execution and he wasn't fully supporting his team or showing loyalty to them in the boardroom.
Lisa continued to fight on behalf of herself and Dayana and claimed the task was created entirely by her and Dayana, while they had "some guy that could carry stuff" around. Lisa said Lou offered no ideas, but Lou found Lisa to be disrespectful with a bad attitude. Lou finally argued Dayana should be fired because she was the project manager and responsible for the overall task.
However, Lisa pursued Lou and told Trump she'd fire him because he had "turned on his own team in the boardroom" in addition to having no ideas and using his hearing disability to "manipulate" Trump, his advisors and his fellow contestants. The odds seemed pretty stacked against Lou once it came time for Trump to make his decision.
"That's what probably bothers me the most. Don't you think that maybe you shouldn't have given that opinion. I'm a very truthful person. I like telling the truth, but I'm also somebody that's very loyal and I hate to go against my teams. When you came and said that, the other team couldn't believe it. They were happy, and your team couldn't believe it, I think, except for Lisa -- who expected it out of you, I think. You expected it didn't you?" Trump asked Lisa.
"Yes. I've seen it before with him," Lisa replied.
"You didn't really [work] and you were very critical after the fact... But most importantly, there was a great disloyalty to your team. Lou, you're fired," Trump said.
"Take it back. I don't want to be fired. I don't want to be fired," Lou suggested.
"Lou, there's nothing I can do," Trump confirmed. "I think you're terrific."