Vincent Pastore quits another reality show, "resigns" from 'Apprentice'
By Christopher Rocchio, 02/01/2008
Vincent "Big Pussy" Pastore has once again lived up to his nickname.
Less than a year after quitting as a Dancing with the Stars fourth-season celebrity participant due to the "physical demands" of the competition, the former The Sopranos actor "resigned" from the boardroom during last night's The Celebrity Apprentice broadcast on NBC, becoming the fifth candidate to exit the reality series.
The Celebrity Apprentice's fifth episode -- a bloated and bizarre two-hour broadcast -- began with the 10 remaining candidates meeting with Donald Trump and his two children Ivanka and Donald Jr.. After Trump explained mixed martial arts fighter Tito Ortiz would not be part of the competition this week due to a fight he was participating in, The Donald suggested supermodel Carol Alt take the project manager position for the all-female Team Empresario since they were 0 for 4 in tasks.
"Let's see if she can do a little bit better," said Trump, and Carol accepted.
Team Hydra nominated America's Got Talent judge Piers Morgan as their project manager, and since Trump thought he's already been a "star" for the all-male squad, Piers agreed.
For their fifth task, the two teams had to create an awareness campaign for Crocs' "Soles United" shoe donation program. Overnight, the two teams were responsible for creating receptacles for the used shoes that would be part of a national campaign, as well as coming up with a slogan and a promotional plan, which would then presented to the Crocs' executives who would judge them based on brand messaging, creativity and overall design.
Carol said she wanted Empresario's plan to be "simple, direct and straight from the heart," but realized there was a "lot to overcome" since the team had been a bunch of losers up until this point.
"If we don't win this, I have to take a bullet," said Carol.
Piers decided that it would be good for Hydra to once again use professional boxer Lennox Lewis as their campaign's spokesman, a tactic they'd successfully used in previous tasks. Quietly sitting in the corner like he usually does, country artist Trace Adkins then pitched the slogan, "Wear them. Share them," and it was an instant hit with his team members.
With their spokesman and slogan in place, Piers got the feeling that Empresario -- who were working in the office right next door -- were spying on Hydra. Piers suggested Vincent take on the role of spy for Hydra, and, after Vincent suggested it, the two staged an elaborate argument full of shouting that ended with Vincent going into the hallway.
"The project manager gave me an assignment, and I followed through," said Vincent. "Just like if the captain of the ship told me to do something, you follow through."
Empresario overheard the argument and wondered what was going on, and Vincent eventually knocked on their door and explained he couldn't work with Piers anymore and wanted to join the ladies. As they were discussing what to do, The Apprentice first-season contestant and reality show retread Omarosa Manigault-Stallwort suggested they take Vincent's help since they could use extra resources, however they still wondered if it could be a set-up.
With the girls discussing it, Vincent gleefully told Lennox he was about to join Empresario, and Lennox reported back to Piers. Carol eventually told Vincent that Empresario made a "group decision" to take him on board with the understanding that he couldn't go back to Hydra. Piers thought Trump would find Empresario's decision to use the help of a man as a "pathetic action" and added they "should have known better."
"It's all a bit embarrassing," he said.
Empresario continued to banter about ideas, and actress Marilu Henner suggested their slogan be, "Soles united. Share the love." The team liked the idea and Vincent thought it was time for Carol to step-up and be the spokeswoman for the campaign. Empresario liked the idea and were impressed Vincent was contributing -- paying no attention to the fact he was writing everything that was being discussed on a piece of paper.
Omarosa came-up with a good idea for the Crocs receptacle, suggesting it be made in the size of a giant shoe. Meanwhile Trace and Hydra thought the exact opposite and concocted the design for a fairly simple receptacle, which Piers still thought was a "great, great idea."
Marilu and Vincent decided to take charge of meeting with the designer to construct the complex Crocs receptacle and left for the warehouse. However before doing so, Vincent passed a piece of paper with all Empresario's ideas to actor and frequent celebrity reality show participant Stephen Baldwin, who was using the phone in the hallway. The born-again Christian treated the piece of paper like a landmine and refused to touch it.
"I won't compromise who I am," explained Stephen, not wanting to cheat because, "I think God is watching us all."
Lennox and Piers apparently had no problem with it, as they grabbed the note and began reading all of Empresario's ideas -- from, "Share the love" to the shoe-shaped receptacle and using Carol as the spokeswoman. Stephen explained why he was against the idea of cheating, telling Piers it was "very wrong" and they had "already kicked [Empresario's] asses" in the previous four tasks without cheating. Piers thought Stephen was being "unspeakably hypocritical."
Meanwhile, Vincent was starting to realize being a spy wasn't all it was cracked up to be as he and Marilu left for the warehouse.
"The girls really need a win, and that Piers is nothing but an asshole," he said.
Vincent stated he was having a "change of heart" and wanted to spill the beans to Marilu, which he did, explaining Piers' earlier comment that compared the former The Sopranos actor to The Godfather rat Luca Brasi. In addition, Vincent also told Marilu how he had sent "signals" to Hydra, but added there would be no more of that as he had officially become a double agent and defected from the boys.
"He thinks he's still on The Sopranos," commented Marilu, who didn't really seem to care too much and simply appreciated Vincent's help.
As Trace and Lennox left for the warehouse to help design their receptacle, Ivanka met with Piers and Stephen in the office. Piers couldn't control himself and had to tell Ivanka about Hydra's -- or his -- plan of using Vincent as a spy. Ivanka said she was surprised Empresario hadn't realize what was going on, but was particularly shocked that Omarosa hadn't detected a ploy that seemed to be straight out of her own playbook.
Stephen still voiced his disagreement to Ivanka and compared it to "sabotage," but Ivanka seemed to be more "disappointed" in Empresario than Hydra.
"I'm sort of into sabotage," Ivanka told a surprised Stephen.
Piers was excited Ivanka didn't criticize the move.
"That was very important -- she's on the side of the sabotage," Piers told Stephen after Ivanka left. "The Trumps will admire that. It's a badge of honor."
Meanwhile, back at the warehouse, Vincent and Marilu met with Donald Jr. and Vincent explained the double-cross that had taken place and how he was out for "total revenge" against Piers, who in his estimation had become a "little too cocky."
Since they were working in the same warehouse, Trace and Lennox overheard Marilu and Vincent talking, and Trace immediately began to regret Piers' decision of using Vincent as a spy. With the designer busy at work on their receptacle, Trace and Lennox left the warehouse and headed back to the office, where Piers and Stephen bickered about religion. However Piers realized he and Stephen "work very well as a team."
Empresario setup their promotional shoot for Carol in the hallway of the office building they were working in, and Piers and Stephen went outside to see what was going on. After the shoot ended, Piers couldn't help himself and told The Swan creator and producer Nely Galan to, "share the love," which immediately caused her to suspect something was going on.
"Those assholes next door know every single thing we're doing," Nely told Carol, characterizing Vincent as a snitch and corporate spy. She added what Vincent did was really "evil and dark" and said he "has to be fired" for it.
Carol got on the horn with Marilu and explained what had happened, and Marilu eventually put Vincent on the phone. He told Carol and Nely to trust what they're doing and keep their eye on the ball because they have a "great campaign."
Once Omarosa arrived at the office and heard what happened, she was none-too-pleased and called Marilu to confront Vincent, since he "betrayed" their "trust and loyalty." Vincent tried to explain himself by telling Omarosa he had already told Marilu -- who wasn't too happy to be in the middle of all this -- but it didn't matter since Omarosa knew what she needed to do.
"We no longer need your services," Omarosa told Vincent over the phone. Vincent tried to plead his case to Marilu.
"In my mind, I'm on your side," he said.
It didn't work and Vincent was immediately upset Piers double-crossed him and ratted him out to Empresario for being a rat.
"It ain't funny because watch what happens to the rat," he said.
Vincent returned to Hydra's office where he was met with open arms by Piers, who was unaware of Vincent's anger until he expressed it.
"You don't turn in your informers," Vincent told Piers, who in turn said he knew they weren't "dealing with the mafia."
"I knew he wasn't going to get murdered by Marilu Henner," said Piers, further explaining he thought the spying idea was a good one to go in for the kill while Empresario was already clearly wounded after losing the first four tasks.
The next morning both teams went to the office and received their receptacles, and Empresario's was very impressive while Hydra's was much more plain and boring. Vincent continued to argue with Piers, who called Vincent the "hypocrite of the year."
"I developed their concept," Vincent told Piers. "I hope they win because I hope you lose and you get fired!"
Piers mocked Vincent, claiming there was no way Empresario could win if Vincent was the "creative brain" behind the concept. More arguing erupted and Piers asked Vincent to leave, and he did so but not before calling Piers an "arrogant British fart."
As Vincent -- now a candidate without a country -- was waiting for the elevator to leave, he was met by Trump and tried to explain the situation. Trump, ever the showman, told him to address it in the boardroom.
Empresario was the first to make their pitch to Trump and the Crocs executives, who thought it was "very well done" and they "hit all parts." Trump was impressed with Hydra's slogan and while their receptacle wasn't as nice as Empresario's, Piers was quite the salesman and used that to his team's advantage.
As the executives discussed the campaigns with Trump, they thought Empresario had a good presentation and receptacle, however they were concerned it would be difficult to make and too costly. The executives thought Hydra had a very good slogan, but not as complete a campaign as Empresario, who also developed pamphlets and T-shirts as part of their pitch.
The two teams then gathered for The Celebrity Apprentice's fifth boardroom, where Trump was flanked by Ivanka and Donald Jr.. Vincent entered the boardroom by himself and explained what happened and how he became a double agent.
While Trump thought it was all "interesting and complex," Marilu called it "juvenile." Ivanka expressed her disappointment with Empresario for not initially realizing Vincent was a spy, and Piers also pointed out the women jumped at the first chance they got to receive help from a man.
Piers and Vincent then bickered with one another and perspiration began to build on Piers' face -- which was also turning red -- either out of embarrassment or anger. Piers then revealed it was always his intention to "sabotage" Vincent, saying he knew he was "never going to contribute to the creative process" and was confident in the campaign they came-up with despite not having his help.
Donald Jr. asked Stephen if he would rather work with Vincent or Piers, and he answered Vincent. Trace agreed with Stephen, but Lennox liked Piers' business savvy and went with his fellow countryman. Vincent then gave the first indication he might not be up for the competition.
"I would rather go home back to my family then have this conflict," said Vincent after Piers commented the two clearly can't work together.
Trump was still kind of confused with which side Vincent was on, and Vincent said he was rooting for Empresario to win "because they need a win." Trump didn't appreciate that comment and said Empresario was "tough and strong" without Big Pussy.
"I felt that what Piers did -- by sending me in -- he was kicking them when they were down," said Vincent.
Finally, Trump revealed the task's results. While the Crocs executives thought Hydra did a "fantastic job," Trump said enough was enough with Lennox as the spokesman. Needless to say, the executives "loved" what Empresario did, and they received their first The Celebrity Apprentice victory.
"It wasn't even a contest," said Trump. For being the winning project manager, Crocs agreed to give 10,000 pairs of recycled shoes to impoverished kids in Africa in Carol's name. Trump added Carol's charity -- The Tony Alt Memorial Fund -- would also receive $20,000.
Vincent said he was "very happy" Empresario won and even tried to take some credit for it.
"In fact, come on... did I help out a little with the campaign?" he sheepishly asked Empresario.
"I think we were on our way," responded Carol. "He just saved us time."
Vincent then voiced his desire to exit the competition on his own terms.
"Mr. Trump, I've enjoyed my run. I've collected some pretty good money for my charity," he said. "But I just don't feel that this is a healthy environment for me, and I would like to resign from the show."
Trump then kicked an elated Empresario team out of the boardroom before continuing, but they still got to watch what happened via the War Room. The Donald said he was "disappointed" in Vincent because he didn't think resigning would be a part of his personality. Vincent said he doesn't have anything "personal" against Piers, he's not just a big fan of the overall environment of the competition and how it was riling him up.
"That's part of the game," said Trump, who then had to explain to Vincent that -- as a businessman and real-estate mogul -- his "whole life is a fight."
"You could have fought and you could have beaten Piers," added Ivanka. "But you didn't fight for yourself to stay over him. You resigned before you had the opportunity to do that."
Donald Jr. also pointed out both Stephen and Trace supported Vincent staying and Piers leaving. Vincent dug himself a hole when he described Piers as a "better leader."
"Maybe you should never admit that Vinny," said Trump, obviously losing faith in Vincent's desire to compete. "If I fired Piers, would you stay?"
"Oh yeah," answered Vincent as Piers' face got sweatier and more red.
"You can't just go and say, 'I resign, I quit,' and then take it back," Trump told Vincent. "You can't do that."
Vincent asked Trump what he wanted him to do, and The Donald asked Stephen for advice. Not surprisingly, Stephen gushed about Trump's "integrity and character" and said Piers didn't exemplify that. Piers accused Stephen of being "extremely pious" in-front of the cameras when it came to spying, despite the fact he supported it off-camera.
"One of the things I'm concerned about is a winner fights to the end," said Trump, using Lennox as an example.
"I understand that," said Vincent. "I also understand Piers has more determination, more desire to be The Apprentice than I do... Mr. Trump, I would like to say I'm not quitting, I'm not walking away. I'm doing what I feel is best for me and the team. Let's go back to phase one, let's just let me resign."
Trump then had a hypocritical moment of his own, accepting Vincent's resignation instead of firing him.
"You're a special actor. I accept your resignation," he said. "I'm not going to say, 'You're fired!' because there's no reason to say it. I accept your resignation. I think you're terrific."
It was only during last January's broadcast of The Apprentice: Los Angeles' third episode that candidate Michelle Sorro quit because the competition's Survivor-like backyard living conditions -- ridiculously tougher conditions than any of this season's celebrities have had to deal with -- weren't what she "had originally signed up for."
Yet unlike Vincent, The Donald didn't hesitate to tell Michelle she was "fired" -- and then more.
"You're doing something that when you look back on your life, I think that you will not be proud of... [and] when I give speeches on success and speeches on motivation, the second point I make is never, ever give up, never quit. You can never been successful if you quit," Trump told Michelle.
"You can dress it up any way, but you came into this knowing it wasn't going to be easy," Trump continued. "If I were you, I'd rather be fired, to be honest, rather than quit, I hate the concept, I hate what you're doing with quitting. Me, I don't care, you make my job easier, but the fact is that I hate that you're going to be living with that for a long time, I just thing it's a mistake for yourself."
Although Trump apparently didn't have the guts to criticize a celebrity and give him a verbal "quitter" beat down similar to what Michelle received, Vincent joins Michelle and The Apprentice 3candidate Verna Felton as the only contestants to ever quit the competition.
Instead, The Celebrity Apprentice paid homage to Big Pussy with a The Sopranos-esque conclusion that faded to black.
The Celebrity Apprentice's next episode will air Thursday, February 7 at 9PM ET/PT on NBC.
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