Trump spares 'The Celebrity Apprentice' cast after record-setting task
By Reality TV World staff, 04/26/2010
The Celebrity Apprentice's seven remaining celebrity contestants all survived to continue to compete for another day during Sunday night's two-hour broadcast on NBC.
The Apprentice star Donald Trump decided to grant the reprieve and not fire anyone after the "Tenacity" and "Rocksolid" teams combined to raise $337,893 during the competition's seventh task, which required each team to organize and run a series of fundraising fitness workouts for charity.
"Outside of The Apprentice finales, that's the largest amount ever raised for one task," Trump noted after advisors Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump revealed that the Tenacity team had won the task by raising $206,090 to the Rocksolid's team $131,803.
However given the record-setting total (as well as the prior unexpected departure of Olympic gold-medal sprinter Michael Johnson, presumably) Trump decided not to fire a member of the losing Rocksolid team.
"I've decided... I'm not going to fire anybody tonight. You're all going to escape." Trump told the surprised contestants. "Just get out of here, I'm not firing anybody... this is something I haven't done but you know what, honestly, you all did an amazing job."
Given Rocksolid's prior task losses had resulted in the team being reduced to just Australian celebrity chef Curtis Stone and musician and former Rock of Love star Bret Michaels, Trump had shuffled the teams before the fundraising task began, with Stone joining actress Holly Robinson Peete, Olympic gold-medal swimmer Summer Sanders and musician Cyndi Lauper on Tenacity and former wrestler Maria Kanellis and America's Got Talent judge Sharon Osbourne joining Michaels on Rocksolid.
Prior to Trump's announcement, Osbourne had told Trump she would understand if he fired her given she had served as the losing team's project manager during the task.
"No, it's fine, honestly," Osbourne told Trump after he began to suggest he was going to hold her responsible for Rocksolid's loss. "It's really, really fine."
"You sure?" Trump asked.
"Absolutely," Osbourne replied as Lauper began lamenting her departure.
"You did a great job Sharon, [your team] has the better workout," Trump said, referring to the fact that the task's fitness gym sponsor had judged Rocksolid's "Rockstar Bootcamp Workout" to be the better workout, giving them a $24,000 contribution that was part of their $131,803 total.
Designed around a rock concert theme, the workout had included "tour bus thrust," "lead singer winger" and "flashing" exercises as well as "VIP backstage pass" souvenirs for the participants.
Since she had served as the project manager of the winning team, Peete's HollyRod Foundation, an autism charity she co-founded with husband Rodney Peete in 1997, was deemed the beneficiary of the $337,893 both teams raised. However Peete pledged to make a contribution to Osbourne's Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Program at Cedars-Sinai Hospital.
"I'm going to be directly cutting a check to Sharon's charity," Peete said. "I have to... that's a lot of money that you raised."
Afterward, Trump joked about his decision to spare Osbourne.
"Did you like that Cyndi?" Trump asked Lauper as the celebrities left the boardroom.
"Yes, thank you," Lauper replied
"See, I have a heart!" Trump said.
"Damn, we needed a feel-good moment!" Peete said as the contestants celebrated.
After the episode concluded, NBC broadcast a message of support for Michaels, who suffered a brain hemorrhage late last week (The Celebrity Apprentice's third season was taped last fall).
"Everyone here at NBC wishes Bret Michaels a speedy recovery," the network said.