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'The New Celebrity Apprentice' star Arnold Schwarzenegger fires Ricky Williams after Laila Ali puts up a fight


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 01/31/2017 

The New Celebrity Apprentice star Arnold Schwarzenegger "terminated" Ricky Williams during the first half of Monday night's two-hour episode on NBC.

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The world-famous bodybuilder, actor and former California governor fired Ricky, an ESPN sports analyst and former NFL running back, after he was deemed responsible for his co-ed "Arete" team's loss in the season's ninth task.

"It was difficult to hear that I was fired," Ricky said in his final words. "I think everyone has been waiting for [Laila Ali] to show that [passionate] side of her. I wish she showed that energy during the task."

The drama kicked off with Arnold approaching the two teams with a new task at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

At this point in the season, "Arete" featured Ricky, American Ninja Warrior host Matt Iseman, former Dancing with the Stars co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet, and retired undefeated American pro boxer Laila Ali.

"Prima" was comprised of television star and celebrity stylist Carson Kressley and former pro basketball player and three-time WNBA MVP Lisa Leslie. Arnold then asked Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Boy George -- who missed the last task due to a prior engagement -- to join this team.

Boy George had a vision he'd be in the Final 2 with Carson because he's a "star" and "so adaptable."

The season's ninth task required each team to create a high-energy and intensity timeout presentation during a Los Angeles Clippers NBA basketball game. Adviser Steve Ballmer asked the teams to promote the Clippers brand and fire up fans. They also had to create a T-shirt design and distribute them at the game, utilizing help from the team's "hoop troop" and pro dancers.

Arete and Prima would be judged on overall creativity, their exciting T-shirt designs, and engagement with fans.

Lisa opted to be project manager for Prima since she's a basketball star herself, while Ricky stepped up to lead Arete. The winning project manager would receive a total of $75,000 for his or her designated charity.

Once in the boardroom with Arnold's nephew Patrick Schwarzenegger serving as another adviser, Arnold wanted to discuss each team's strengths and weaknesses.

Lisa's team had a better T-shirt design, but Ricky's team had the edge when it came to audience participation. Lisa's team, however, pumped up more energy overall since they came up with a catchy rap song for the Clippers. As a result, Lisa's team won the task and $75k was given to the Semper Fi Fund.

It soon came to light that Ricky thought Laila and Brooke didn't supply enough energy in the task. Ricky revealed that Laila had been under the weather the whole time, which wasn't her fault, but it prevented her from giving 100 percent.

Brooke designed the T-shirt, which was a category her team lost, but she insisted they all collaborated on that part of the project.

Ricky decided to bring Laila and Brooke back into the boardroom with him. Ricky argued he worked his butt off and Laila should be fired, but Laila and Brooke agreed Ricky should be terminated because he didn't provide a creative vision for them going into the task.

Arnold was just about to fire Laila since she didn't seem passionate about many of this season's tasks, but then she stood up for herself and expressed that she's a serious, quiet and focused leader. Laila also reminded Arnold that she was the only woman to win a task as project manager when team Prima consisted of all women.

Since it was the second task Ricky lost as project manager, Arnold therefore decided to fire him instead. Arnold had been waiting to see joy and happiness from Laila, and he finally got it.



The New Celebrity Apprentice/Instagram

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