Celebrity Apprentice on NBC

2004, TV Show

The Apprentice Episode: "The Celebrity Apprentice"

Season 9, Episode 1
Episode Synopsis: Season 9 opens with 14 celebrities divided into men-versus-women teams. In the first battle of the sexes, the stars must manage a New York City diner. Contestants include Bret Michaels, Sharon Osbourne, Darryl Strawberry, Rod Blagojevich and Sinbad.
Original Air Date: Mar 14, 2010

Celebrity Apprentice Episode Recap: Week 1 Season 9, Episode 1

In the new third season of Celebrity Apprentice, there's something — or more precisely someone — for every type of viewer. And a group this eclectic is sure to set off some pretty big fireworks — both good and bad. Let's get started, shall we?

Obviously, this is "The Donald" that we're dealing with, so after sharing a few niceties with the cast, it's straight to business. First, the teams are divided into girls against guys, and each team gets to pick the other's team leader. Second, both teams must come up with a name.

For team names, the girls pick Tenacity and the guys pick Rocksolid. I, like Trump, prefer Tenacity. As for the team leaders, the ladies single out rocker and Rock of Love star Bret Michaels, knowing the poor guy has had one hour of sleep after flying in straight from a concert in Mexico. They also know he may not be most the organized member of the men's team. The men follow suit and pick Cyndi Lauper. They tell Trump it's because they want to eliminate a strong player quickly, and Cyndi is strong because she holds lots of connections in New York. Secretly, they think she's too scattered and lacks the focus to be an effective leader. I would think the same thing, but Cyndi and Bret are both very dynamic personalities, so they may come out and surprise everyone.

For the first task, each team must run a diner in NYC for a few hours, organizing the food, the guests and trying to get as much as money in donations as possible.

Right off the bat, the two teams go in opposite directions. Bret thanks God for having celebrity chef Curtis Stone on his team and leads much of the menu planning up to Curtis. Bret also has an ace in the hole in major leaguer Darryl Strawberry, who after playing for both the Mets and the Yankees, is clearly in his comfort zone mingling in New York. The guys plan on a burger, but also offer a truffle risotto dish for a whopping $250 to get the big spenders. As long as they make the right calls to big spenders, they're fine, but no person off the street is going to spend $250 at a place called Burger Heaven because Goldberg the wrestler is their waiter. Not happening.

Tenacity, on the other hand, just wants to fill the seats as quickly as possible and decide to offer a few $20 options and one $100 premium burger. Cyndi may be the project manager, but she's already getting overtaken by both Sharon Osbourne (who commissions a nearby paparazzo to take the marketing pictures) and Holly Robinson Peete, who is a heavy hitter in the philanthropy world. I can't help but feel sorry for Cyndi, as her biggest celeb friend is the one person we will not be seeing on The Apprentice anytime soon: Rosie O'Donnell. After her nasty back-and-forth with Trump a few years, Rosie wants nothing to do with the show and who can blame her? But what a celebrity draw she would have been to the diner.

One big disadvantage for the ladies is that they don't have a celebrity chef like Curtis on their team, so that task goes to ... wait for it ... Victoria's Secret model Selita Ebanks. The male customers will love that, but nothing can beat the one-two punch of a celebrity chef with a disgraced politician as his sues chef (you're looking good in that chef's hat, Rod!). Rod says it best: "I used to be the governor of the fifth largest state, and now I'm waiting tables." At least he has a sense of humor?

Once doors open at both diners, there are clear positives and negatives to each team. On the men's side, their menu sends many patrons packing because of their high prices and a lot of food waiting to be served. However, the men's team gets some big donations right from the get-go, so even if there are less people in the seats, there's plenty of cash coming through. On the women's team, there are not enough seats for all their customers and a long line of people are left waiting outside while Cyndi sings "True Colors" to entertain the customers — and annoy Sharon.

The first big argument is between Holly and Carol when Carol lingers outside too long trying to drive in customers even though there's already a line around the block. Carol seems to get a good grip on the counter, but Holly continues to yell at anyone who will listen to move the tables faster and keeps pushing her other team members who are obviously very busy. Holly actually seems to have the easiest job by simply manning the cash register.

On top of sending Donald Jr. to both establishments, he sends his last Celebrity Apprentice winner, Joan Rivers, to check out the food and the service. Rod immediately blows it by wasting too much time taking orders and stating his innocence to all of the clients. By the time Joan gets her burger, its cold. But she seems to have a pleasurable enough time at Tenacity's restaurant.

After three hours, both the restaurants close up shop and hit the boardroom. Before getting into the results, Trump asks both project managers about their team's weakest link but neither Bret nor Cyndi are ready to rat anyone out just yet. Trump, with Donald Jr. and Ivanka by his side, reveals Joan liked Tenacity's restaurant better (mostly because of Rod's poor service on the men's side) and the women's total gets $10,000 added to it. However, it's not enough to beat the boys, who made a total above $57,000 and made double in tips what the women made.

Once the Rocksolid team is in the clear, they go upstairs to celebrate and watch the women fight to survive. It is slowly revealed that Holly Robinson Peete, although maybe not the most mobile team member, raised the most money. Although the women are tough to tear down at first, a few of them, such as Holly, begin to bring up Carol's name for staying outside too long to pass out fliers (uh, that was the job you people assigned to her, no?). That with the combination of her lack of donations raised proves to be a killer combo. It's surprising Cyndi doesn't get more of the brunt of Trump's blame, but it's so hard to pull even one name out of these ladies. So, Trump simply picks the woman most on the outskirts of the team — Carol.

Before she goes, Carol convinces Trump to personally donate $10,000 to her charity of choice and wishes luck to all the "b------" on her team. The guys also celebrate, because now Tenacity is down an intelligent and very creative thinker. Next week, Trump warns the women that who they know won't matter, so we'll see how they do without powerful connections to play.

Do you think the right person was fired? Which team truly did a better job? Do you have any early favorites to win this season? Share your thoughts below!

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In the new third season of Celebrity Apprentice, there's something — or more precisely someone — for every type of viewer. And a group this eclectic is sure to set off some pretty big fireworks — both good and bad. Let's get started, shall we?

Obviously, this is "The Donald" that we're dealing with, so after sharing a few niceties with the cast, it's straight to business. First, the teams are divided into girls against guys, and each team gets to pick the other's team leader. Second, both teams must come up with a... read more

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Premiered: January 08, 2004, on NBC
Rating: TV-PG
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Premise: A kind of 'Survivor' in pinstripes in which would-be business tycoons work for Donald Trump, who dismisses one at the end of each episode, and made the words 'you're fired' a national catchphrase as the Manhattan-based series became a breakout hit. Trump is also a coexecutive producer, along with 'Survivor' impresario Mark Burnett.

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