Celebrity Apprentice All-Stars Recap: Who Was Fired?

Truth rating: 10
(NBC)

By Shari Weiss

(NBC)

On Sunday’s “Celebrity Apprentice: All-Stars,” the contestants had to create an interactive travel expo for South African tourism. Before the challenge got underway, Bret Michaels, the season 3 winner who was eliminated in the first week of “All-Stars,” returned this week as a “hired” adviser.

Brande Roderick and Penn Jillette stepped up to lead Team Power and Plan B respectively, the second time each served as project manager. Both teams wanted to promote the adventure package, but Jillette lost the coin toss, leaving his group with the romance package.

Roderick and her three team mates — Lil Jon, Marilu Henner, and Trace Adkins — later regretted their choice, realizing that promoting unconventional activities like “glamping” (as opposed to, say, a safari) would be harder than they expected. With four people, the group tried to divide the five experiences they had to promote among them, with Jon trying to get Roderick to stop stressing and Adkins wishing his team would be more focused and serious.

Meanwhile, Jillette and Lisa Rinna had the usual trouble reigning in Gary Busey, their third and final team mate, and felt they were disadvantaged by not only having just three people, but also not having a more capable partner. Things improved somewhat when Jillette secured Zulu dancers and a notable South African chef to supply food and present to the crowd. He and Rinna later buckled down to work on the graphics and design their room, as Busey provided minimal help. With their respective expos set up, the teams had to impress both the South African executives and a group of travel experts.

Roderick and her colleagues infused some fun in their set-up with a pretend zip line (using a rolling chair) and a caged shark (a hired man in costume), with the goal of having their guests enjoy and leave with “memories,” in addition to their South African-themed pamphlet about the various adventure activities. With Jillette’s South African dancers and drummers, as well as authentic food, the team felt their expo “was almost as good as going to South Africa.”

The project manager also gave a speech explaining the different components of their set-up, and how it embraced South African ideas of romanticism. Back in the boardroom, Roderick said she had “no complaints” and didn’t think her team could have done any better with the resources they had. Jillette was similarly satisfied with his final product, but he didn’t mince words when discussing the difficulty of working with Busey. Interestingly, Busey took the criticisms in stride, and said what an “honor” it was to work for the illusionist.

In the end, the execs felt transported by Team Plan B’s creations, but thought the lack of specifics on traveling to South Africa was a hindrance. For Team Power, the execs thought the team went above and beyond with the number of components, and had a great take-away with the pamphlet, but lacked uniqueness and bordered on juvenile. Those cons were enough to cost Roderick and Power the win, and gave Jillette $20,000 for Opportunity Village, which helps those with intellectual disabilities.

Adkins noted that it was “challenging” for the team to get focused and choose a direction, but Henner insisted Roderick was still an effective leader. Jon attributed the loss not to his team’s failures, but his opponents’ success with dancers and authentic food, explaining that his group did what they could with a difficult challenge and a hard theme.

Roderick declined to say who should be fired, but let Jon go out of loyalty, keeping Henner and Adkins in the boardroom with her. Adkins said he agreed that their expo was juvenile, something he felt all along, and reiterated that their team could have used a solid concept.

Henner took credit for the pamphlet, which the execs loved, suggesting that she didn’t deserve to be fired for such a successful contribution. After their comments, Donald Trump admitted that he thought Adkins and Henner should be saved before Jon, who had advocated for the adventure theme. But since Roderick was with two people who didn’t deserve to get to the boot, Trump told the model, “You’re fired!”

As a parting gift, he gave her $20,000 for her charity, Promises 2 Kids, so she didn’t have to walk away from the whole experience empty-handed. It’s worth noting that Michaels strongly agreed with the firing, getting revenge of sorts on the person who narrowly beat him earlier in the season.

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