'The Celebrity Apprentice' star Donald Trump fires Cheryl Tiegs
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/20/2012
The Celebrity Apprentice star Donald Trump fired Cheryl Tiegs during Sunday night's broadcast of the celebrity reality competition's fifth-season premiere.
Trump fired the supermodel and former True Beauty judge after her Forte women's team lost the season's first task, which required Forte and Unanimous, the men's team, to each make and sell celebrity sandwiches to paying charitable donors and customers at New York City delis.
"To be honest with you, I think I did as good a job as I could. I'm telling you, I did a lot of things behind the scenes that nobody recognized or acknowledged and even though I'm a little teary-eyed, I'm happy, because I don't think that this environment was right for me. I'm certainly as intelligent as any of the women, but there's a toughness there that I don't have and don't ever want to have," Cheryl said following her ouster.
The Celebrity Apprentice's fifth-season first episode began with Trump meeting with the season's celebrity cast and revealing he would be breaking them up into two teams based on their gender -- men vs. women -- and telling the celebrities they would have to choose a name and a project manager for their assigned team.
The women's team Forte -- which was comprised of Cheryl; writer and former Growing Up Gotti star Victoria Gotti; 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 Patricia step up to be their project manager.
The men's team Unanimous -- which consisted of former talk show host Arsenio Hall; singer and former American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken; radio host and former Dancing with the Stars participant Adam Carolla; 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 Paul would take on the role of project manager.
Trump told the celebrities that the team to raise the most money for charity by making the highest profit, including tips, would win the task.
Both teams had to overcome some small problems and setbacks in order to run their delis successfully. Forte believed Victoria wasn't very focused, as she was making random personal phone calls which had nothing to do with the task at hand and arrived to the deli late when they were open for business. They also thought Cheryl was a bit too laid back and worked very slowly.
Meanwhile, Paul told his team he could rack in $500,000 in donations all by himself. His bold expectations led his team members to believe they didn't have to work as hard to receive donations. As a result, Paul's teammates slacked off a bit, allowing Paul to carry the weight of his team on his shoulders.
Clay even expressed that since Paul had decided to put such a tremendous offer on the table, he planned on saving his guns for later -- presumably for when he would be his team's project manager.
Throughout the day, the men struggled to have any big checks come in and seemed to scramble to even sell sandwiches for over $20. However, the women were collecting thousands and thousands of dollars from multiple donors.
After both teams were finished running their delis for the day, they met with Trump in the boardroom. Patricia and Paul both deemed their teams as the winners, but then Trump revealed that Unanimous was the champion after bringing in a shocking $332,120 compared to Forte's $126,962. Unanimous' money would be donated to the Make a Wish Foundation, Paul's selected charity.
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In addition, Paul's team received an extra $35,000 donation because both teams had to bring their best sandwich onto the Rachael RayShow and have the host try them both. The best tasting and better-presented sandwich would be declared the winner, and Rachel found Unanimous' sandwich to be better all-around.
As a result, nearly $494,000 was donated to the charity of Paul's choice, an amount which included both teams' profits and the additional $35,000. Both teams broke a The Celebrity Apprentice record by raising the most money in the first task during a season.
Paul then revealed that mostly all the money his team had raised came from one person who gave an extremely generous donation. Patricia was upset because she had brought in "95% percent" of her team's money from multiple donors but didn't get to give all that money to her charity.
The men then left the boardroom and most of the women agreed that either Cheryl or Victoria, although both highly respected by their teammates, should be eliminated because they proved to be the two weakest players on the team based on their performance during the sandwich task.
Patricia then opted to take Cheryl and Victoria back into the boardroom with her after Trump and his children Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. debated the women's failure and partially pinned it on both women.
Patricia was clearly off the hook because her entire team agreed she did an excellent job and although Forte lost the task, the team was still very successful and mainly all of that success should be attributed to the project manager.
Once in the boardroom, Cheryl told Trump said she did a lot of work behind the scenes, while Victoria stated a similar claim. Trump asked Patricia her thoughts on the two contestants and she said she believed they both held back in collecting money.
Patricia then went on to tell Trump she would ultimately fire Cheryl over Victoria because Victoria had a positive energy and passion that would help her team while Cheryl was a bit too quiet and lacked assertiveness -- a competitive edge.
"I don't think you feel comfortable in this environment, do you," Trump asked Cheryl.
"I don't know if I fit into this group," Cheryl replied.
"I respect you for saying that and you're dealing with some very strong personalities, and you're just as strong as they are Cheryl -- maybe stronger in your own way -- but everyone on your team felt that you didn't step up. You, yourself, admitted that you held back money. The fact is Cheryl, you are an amazing success story. You're an amazing woman, but for purposes of what we have to do here, Cheryl, you're fired," Trump explained.