'The Celebrity Apprentice' star Donald Trump fires Victoria Gotti
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/27/2012
The Celebrity Apprentice star Donald Trump fired Victoria Gotti during Sunday night's second episode of the celebrity reality competition's fifth season.
Trump fired the writer and former Growing Up Gotti star after her Forte women's team lost the season's second task, which required Forte and Unanimous, the men's team, to each create and perform a 12-15 minute show for Medieval Times -- including horses, swords and jousting -- with James Lipton, who revealed he was actually a knight of the Republic of France, serving as their advisor. The shows were judged by the audience based on creativity, presentation and overall entertainment value.
"What I just witnessed in that boardroom terribly shocked me. To make me take full responsibility for my team losing was such a laugh, because I had absolutely no task. What Lisa said in there was absolute abject lies, but you know what? My attitude is that Lisa has to live with that, not me. She may have succeeded now, but it will come back to haunt her," Victoria said following her ouster.
The Celebrity Apprentice's second fifth-season episode began following the premiere's elimination of Cheryl Tiegs with Trump meeting with the season's remaining celebrity cast members and revealing what the Medieval Times task entailed and asking who would be each team's project manager.
The women's team Forte -- which was comprised of Victoria; The Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice; comedienne Lisa Lampanelli; former Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza; All About Aubrey and former Making the Band star Aubrey O'Day; actress and model Patricia Velasquez; singer, actress and former Skating with Celebrities participant Debbie Gibson; and actress and former Dancing with the Stars participant Tia Carrere -- had Lisa step up to be their project manager because she was used to running her own show.
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; actor George Takei; racecar driver Michael Andretti's father Michael; and American Chopper star Paul Teutul Sr. -- ended up deciding Penn should take on the role of project manager because he had great experience putting on spectacular shows in the entertainment industry.
Radio host and former Dancing with the Stars participant Adam Carolla was absent for the challenge due to a personal wedding event.
Trump then announced the winning team voted on by the audience would receive $40,000 for the charity of its project manager's choice.
Both teams worked well together overall but encountered some small problems along the way in order to create successful performances. Forte dealt with Victoria threatening to leave the team on the first day because Lisa assigned her to the role of stage director, a position she believed was insignificant and pointless.
Victoria, who wanted to act or at least be involved in the actual show in some way, considered asking Trump's permission to leave Forte and join the men's team where she thought she'd be more appreciated and allowed to utilize more of her skills. However, Lisa believed the job of stage director was crucial to the show running smoothly.
Meanwhile, Unanimous worried their show lacked structure and a solid concept, as Penn decided to highlight each celebrity and give each team member a little time to shine rather than have more of a scripted-like performance similar to that of Forte, which acted out a The Real Housewives of New Jersey parody with a little Jersey Shore mixed in.
In addition, George had trouble with the script and Dee broke his finger after being thrown from a horse.
After both teams were finished putting on their medieval shows, they met with Trump in the boardroom. Lisa and Penn both deemed their teams as the winners, but then Trump revealed that Unanimous was the champion for the second time in a row after receiving 558 of the audience's votes compared to Forte's 363.
Unanimous' money would be donated to Penn's selected charity Opportunity Village, which helps people with intellectual disabilities.
Trump then discussed with the Forte team where they had gone wrong and what mistakes may have cost them the win. The women were told they appealed to the men in the crowd too much by emphasizing sex and good looks, while they didn't take into account how many children would be in the crowd to relate to.
However, Dayana was very frustrated because she said she had thought of the idea of reaching out more to the kids but Lisa had shot all her opinions down before she could really even voice them. She said the loss was ultimately Lisa's fault because she was the project manager.
Lisa then called out Victoria for missing major cues during the performance as the stage director and insisted many of the show's mistakes should be attributed to the writer. Victoria was taken aback by Lisa's claims, as she said she contributed so much behind the scenes such as shopping, costume alterations and hair styling. Victoria began to cry because she was feeling attacked.
Trump then asked Patricia who she would fire if she was in his shoes, and she admitted she'd want Victoria gone because she didn't step up her game much more since the first challenge. Aubrey told Trump she'd fire Dayana because the former Miss Universe was utilized least in the task.
Victoria, like Dayana, suggested Lisa should be fired since she was the one in charge and responsible for coming up with the concept.
The men then left the boardroom and Lisa opted to take Victoria and Dayana back into the boardroom with her after Trump and his son Donald Trump Jr. debated the women's failure further and partially pinned it on Lisa and Victoria, but not Dayana because she had inarguably followed through with what was asked of her by the project manager.
In addition to Victoria threatening to leave Forte on the first day and failing to cue certain sound effects during the show, Lisa told Trump the writer had also been instructed to look up medieval terminology and did a terrible job at completing that task as well.
Lisa claimed the concept of her show was a winning point to the audience, which Trump. Jr. had confirmed, so she fought to clear herself of the blame and wanted to place mostly all of the fault on Victoria.
"I will fight to the death to stay here," Lisa told Trump.
Dayana then revealed she felt Lisa deserved to remain on the show and would be a bigger asset to her team essentially over Victoria because she had the talent, energy and passion to thrive in the competitive environment.
"Dayana said that Lisa is the harder worker and I think you'll confirm that [Lisa]," Trump said and Lisa responded with a nod.
"Victoria, you were late with many of the signals and many of the events and it did probably cause the show not to go on very smoothly. Would you agree with that?" Trump asked.
"Yes sir, I would," Lisa replied.
"And the thing I'm most concerned about is that there's no question in my mind that you said you were thinking about quitting, Victoria, which I hate, because I hate even the thought of quitting," Trump said.
"I'm not a quitter," Victoria corrected him.
"You thought about it! You're never going to quit but you did think about it. And when you add everything all up, Victoria, you're fired," Trump explained.