As you might have heard, the previous host of Celebrity Apprentice got another job. (Of course, he was fired before he found another gig, but seems to have bounced back OK.) In its new iteration, the show took on a radically different name — it's now called The New Celebrity Apprentice -- as well as a new host, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
What else is new? The bodybuilder turned actor turned two-time California governor will rule over the 16 contestants — who include Laila Ali, Jon Lovitz, Boy George and Kyle Richards (see the full list here) — with what's said to be a "nicer" tone than the previous guy's when Season 15 starts in January. He'll employ new advisers too, including his own nephew Patrick M. Knapp Schwarzenegger, Warren Buffett, Tyra Banks and Jessica Alba. The biggest change: when it's time to dismiss the people competing for a $250,000 prize for charity, he'll say something to them other than the "You're fired" made popular by his predecessor.
Nobody knows yet what the Arnold will say; Paul Telegdy, NBC's head honcho of reality programming, has promised to basically decapitate anyone who leaks the phrase before The New Celebrity Apprentice debuts in 2017. But with a little sleuthing, we think we can figure it out. Schwarzenegger's phrase that pays has been narrowed down to "like eight of my sayings from the movies and one other option," he told the Hollywood Reporter, meaning there's a good chance that the answer to this riddle is hiding in plain sight. We've narrowed the possibilities, based on some of Ah-nuld's most notable movie lines.
1. Possible firing phrase: "You blew it."
Based on: "You blew my cover." — Total Recall
Likelihood: Minimal, since "blowing it" is more of an assessment to go in an employee's review file than a dismissal.
2. Possible firing phrase: "You're no longer a tumor."
Based on: "It's not a tumor." — Kindergarten Cop
Likelihood: Non-existent. It makes zero sense — hey, we have to vet all options, OK? — and might be a trigger to people who've had tumors removed.
3. Possible firing phrase: "Consider that your firing."
Based on: "Consider that a divorce" — after shooting Sharon Stone in Total Recall
Likelihood: Not out of the question! Doesn't have the same ring as some of his more popular lines — more on that later — but, if they're trying to go the non-obvious route, this has some potential.
4. Possible firing phrase: "I'm going to ram [my fist] into your stomach and break your god-damn spine."
Based on: Him saying that in The Running Man
Likelihood: None. A bit long, don't you think? It needs to be more of a soundbite. And firing anyone this way would be a huge headache, what with the potential lawsuits and all.
5. Possible firing phrase: "You won't be back."
Based on: "I'll be back." -- Terminator
Likelihood: Strong. While a Terminator quote is pretty obvious and risks alienating the coveted millennials who couldn't even sit up straight when the franchise began in 1984, it's one of his most iconic lines and a serious contender.
6. Possible firing phrase: "Hasta nunca [contestant name]."
Based on: "Hasta la vista, baby" -- Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Likelihood: Schwarzenegger probably won't use an exact line from a movie to dismiss a contestant; even if he wanted to, it could present a legal and financial headache. So how about changing the kind of promissory "la vista" (which implies he'd see the eliminated again at some point) to the more definitive and finite "nunca?" Of course, this is ridiculous. But then, early photos depict four-time boxing champion Laila Ali — a two-time hall of famer and daughter of the greatest athlete of all time — wearing boxing gloves in a ring, apparently about to spar with Snooki, so it's a bit late in the day to dismiss things on account of plausibility. I mean, the show's former head is now president. The limit does not exist.
7. Possible firing phrase: "You're terminated."
Based on: Precedent; continuity; the complete lack of thought required.
What do you think Arnold will say to outgoing contestants?
The New Celebrity Apprentice debuts Monday Jan. 2 at 8/7c on NBC.