'The Celebrity Apprentice' star Donald Trump fires Paul Teutul Sr.
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/16/2012
The Celebrity Apprentice star Donald Trump fired Paul Teutul Sr. during Sunday night's ninth episode of the celebrity competition's fifth season.
Trump fired the American Chopper star after his Unanimous mixed-gender team lost the season's tenth task, which required Unanimous and Forte, the opposing team, to each build two original puppet characters and then perform those puppets in front of a live audience. The puppet shows were judged on puppet design, overall quality of the puppeteering and improv and the live performance overall.
"It's kind of weird being fired because I'm usually on the other end of the shoe there. I'm the guy that's doing the firing, but you know, I've experience being humble in my life quite a bit. So, there's nothing wrong with that. I thought it was a great experience working for Donald. I think he's a pretty stand-up regular guy, so for me, it was an honor -- something different than I usually do and all good things come to an end," Paul said following his ouster.
The Celebrity Apprentice's ninth fifth-season episode began following the eighth broadcast's elimination of Lou Ferrigno with Trump meeting with the season's remaining celebrity cast members and revealing what the puppet shows would entail. He then announced he'd be switching up the teams since one team had a majority in numbers.
Trump asked singer and former American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken to hop over to the Forte team -- which consisted of former Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza; comedienne Lisa Lampanelli; and magician, comedian and former Dancing with the Stars participant Penn Jillette -- leaving Paul, 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 on the other team.
Trump then asked both teams who would be their project manager. Lisa stepped up on behalf of Forte, as she believed her comedic skills would be greatly utilized for a puppet-show improv challenge. Paul then took on the role for his Unanimous team but claimed he only accepted the job because no one else wanted to do it.
The winning team would receive $20,000 for the charity of its project manager's choice.
Paul's team ended up working together extremely well overall, but Lisa's team was the opposite.
Lisa declined to assign Dayana any significant tasks either before or during the puppet presentation. The two ladies ended up brawling before the puppet show, as Lisa called her a "pain in the ass" and claimed she had to intentionally create things for Dayana to do. Dayana, on the other hand, felt she was following her project manager's orders but wished she was given more to do.
Lisa ended up swearing at Dayana and repeatedly asked her to shut up. Lisa was apparently frustrated with the fact Dayana wasn't happy doing any tasks backstage, assuming she only cared about being on-camera and in the public eye. However, Dayana was upset because she was bored and felt underutilized, suggesting it wasn't about being the focus of the task.
Dayana called Lisa out for not respecting other people and treating them like they would normally treat her. After getting yelled at and worked up to the point of tears, Dayana ran out of the room and cried outside. Penn later attempted to mediate the situation by talking to her and making her feel like she was an asset to the team.
However, Unanimous encountered some minor problems while planning and executing their puppet shows.
Paul threw his back out and therefore couldn't contribute much to the performance because he couldn't even lift his arms above his head. He also failed to take charge and complete work on his own. In addition, Aubrey wasn't a fan of Teresa and Arsenio's puppet designs, but she tried to blend into the background a little more so her teammates couldn't complain about her alleged aggressive and controlling side.
The executives behind the live "Stuff and Unstrung" puppet shows ended up loving both team's performances. They liked that Paul's team got suggestions for scenes from the audience and enjoyed Arsenio's funny dialogue. However, they disliked how Teresa broke many of the rules of improv by asking questions during the scenes and expressing denials.
For Lisa's team, the show execs loved both Clay and Lisa's performances but believed the content was a little too risque because they attacked sexual scenarios a bit too directly.
After both teams planned and executed their live puppet shows, they met with Trump in the boardroom and discussed their project managers.
Dayana told Trump that Lisa was just an "okay" project manager, and then Lisa fired back and said she was annoyed Dayana wasn't satisfied with her assigned job backstage. Dayana explained regardless of the circumstances, it simply wasn't right for a team leader to show aggression or disrespect to anyone on his or her team.
Lisa, seemingly affected by Dayana's words, broke down and cried. She told Trump that if her team was to lose, she'd probably just take herself back into the boardroom because she didn't want to be seen as a bad person. Lisa explained she didn't become a comedienne to make girls cry, and as a result, she didn't know how she would handle the remainder of the boardroom session.
Afterward, Paul told Trump he would take Teresa back into the boardroom with him because she took awhile to make important decisions. His team also didn't talk him up or knock him because they sympathized with his physical condition and thought he was a great guy.
Before Trump revealed the task's winner, he let both teams know what their flaws were during the puppet shows. For Paul's team, the puppets were too complex and therefore lacked versatility, while the scenes were played too much on the safe side. Lisa's team missed a couple stage cues due to Penn's poor direction and took sexual jokes to a whole new level.
Trump then announced Lisa's team won the task, and Lisa told everyone the money would be going to Gay Men's Health Crisis.
Once Lisa's team left the boardroom, Trump discussed with Unanimous who should get fired.
Teresa and Arsenio both constructed puppets the executives didn't like, but Paul was the project manager and signed off on everything. Teresa said Paul should be fired because he didn't do anything at all during the task, and Aubrey agreed that Paul just kept saying "f-ck this, f-ck that" all day and wanted to be out on his motorcycle instead of being on the set.
Arsenio argued that he wanted Paul on his team moving forward because he had a vital set of skills, but Aubrey was clearly a big fan of Teresa. Aubrey seemed to be safe because she had done very well as host of the show and acted as a team player, surprising her teammates, while Arsenio was in the clear because Paul was his biggest fan.
Paul then decided he wanted to take Aubrey and Teresa back into the boardroom with him because Teresa had made a few major mistakes and he simply preferred to work with Arsenio over Aubrey in the future. Trump thought Paul had made a mistake in neglecting to bring Arsenio back because the executives didn't like his puppet, so Trump was inferring Arsenio would have been the one fired.
Aubrey reiterated the fact Trump should fire Paul because Teresa had heart and tried really hard. She told Trump that Paul wasn't passionate about the puppet show or its planning, and Paul didn't argue the fact. Instead, Paul calmly complimented Aubrey's personality and artistic talents and awaited Trump's decision.
"Paul, you're the project manager. Would you say that you signed off on the work that was done and the task itself?" Trump asked Paul.
"Yes," Paul said.
"And as project manager, it was really your responsibility to do," Trump stated.
"Yes," Paul confirmed.
"And wouldn't you say that in retrospect and knowing after our discussion how good the executives thought of Aubrey that you should've probably brought Arsenio back?... I know you like him," Trump started to explain.
"I don't agree with that," Paul said. "I didn't look at it that way -- that I like him."
"That's good you shouldn't... but they felt like he didn't do great. And they did feel Aubrey did great. Now, you may disagree with that. You might think he's 10 times better than Aubrey or anybody else and I think you probably feel that he's better than Teresa, but the problem is that you're the project manager and you lost and you didn't bring Arsenio back. Paul, you're fired," Trump explained.
"Thank you very much. It's been an honor," Paul said.