Celebrity Apprentice Premiere Recap: Who Is Already Feuding + Who Was First Fired?
“The Celebrity Apprentice” had its season seven premiere on Sunday, marking the return of the boardroom competition hosted by Donald Trump. Check out the full recap below!
The new edition, which is the 14th overall in the “Apprentice” franchise, naturally features a wide-ranging cast of characters. The stars are competing to win money for their preferred charities, with a $250,000 prize for the ultimate winner’s philanthropy.
As Gossip Cop previously reported, the 16 new contestants are: Veteran journalist/talk show host Geraldo Rivera, baseball player Johnny Damon, actor Lorenzo Lamas, football player Terrell Owens, “Beverly Hills, 90210” star Ian Ziering, comedian Gilbert Gottfried, “Deadliest Catch” star Sig Hansen, singer Kevin Jonas, “Real Housewives” stars Brandi Glanville and Kenya Moore, Olympian and “Dancing with the Stars” winner Shawn Johnson, former “Cosby Show” star Keshia Knight Pulliam, actress Vivica A. Fox, reality star Kate Gosselin, talk show host Leeza Gibbons, and Olympic snowboarder Jamie Anderson.
For their first challenge, the teams were divided based on gender, with then men facing off against the women. Each group was tasked with creating and selling pies for Pie Face, with a bonus going to the team of “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro’s preferred pie. Moore and Glanville immediately clashed when trying to choose a team name, before it was decided to go with Moore’s pick, “Team Infinity.” Interestingly, no one volunteered to be project manager, but then Pulliam said she wouldn’t mind taking on the role. Former winner Piers Morgan stopped by to advise the group, and reminded them that responsibilities need to be clear and that backstabbing can emerge at any point. Pulliam said they were focused on using social media and celebrity to draw in buyers, but Morgan stressed that a few “high rollers” are needed if they truly want to pull in the most money and therefore win the task.
For the males, they went with “Team Vortex,” a name pushed by Rivera. He was then nominated to be the project manager, and vowed that he could supply “high rollers.” Advisor Ivanka Trump commended the group for their harmony, but wondered if Rivera was being optimistic or naïve about his team mates’ support. Jonas said he would use his 4.3 million Twitter followers to bring in buyers, and Rivera urged everyone else to utilize their contacts as well. The singer, however, wondered if Rivera was too “alpha male,” and if that would lead to problems down the line.
Rivera decided he would be best making calls for donors, with Gottfried handling entertainment, others doing marketing, etc. With a savory and sweet pie each required, Jonas was inspired by a dessert from home, a chocolate concoction, while a chicken pot pie was selected for the other. Lamas and Hansen worried baking and money-making weren’t their strong suits, and time management with the cooking quickly became an issue. Rivera later admitted to the camera that while he had placed roughly 30 calls, he hadn’t really nailed down donations.
The women decided to combine pear and blueberry for their sweet batch, and hatched a taco/enchilada idea for the savory section. Some of the girls got to work in the kitchen, while others on the team worked on bringing in donations and figuring out social media strategy. More hands were ultimately needed for the baking, leading them to switch gears, and Pulliam told the camera she was pleased with the “controlled chaos.” Moore, however, worried that their leader wasn’t “emphasizing the money.”
The next morning, though, Pulliam did start stressing money, but Moore questioned why the “Cosby kid” didn’t reach out to Bill Cosby himself to secure a “big donation.” Anderson worried that their respective roles were “unclear,” and Gosselin thought their boss was struggling with delegation, and Johnson felt team confidence was lacking. The men. meanwhile, embarked on a “frantic” morning with final baking, setting up decorations, attracting bystanders, and securing donors, which actually seemingly went well.
Both managers were pleased to see lines of people ready to purchase pies when the doors opened, and Rivera ended up getting big donations from Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly. On the other side, money came in from the likes of Maria Menounos and former contestant Claudia Jordan. Still, both groups questioned whether certain members of their respective teams were doing their best. In a lighter moment, a pie fight erupted between Moore and Glanville, who delivered this gem: “I don’t like to be sticky, unless I’m with a super-hot guy, and then it’s okay.”
Gosselin was stressed when her key donor failed to come through, and Lamas was dejected to have raised the least on his team. Still, adviser Morgan found himself impressed with the men’s energy and large donations, but disappointed by the “chaos” among the women and the lack of big donors. Valastro, meanwhile, came by and gave both positive and negative feedback to both teams. In the boardroom after the challenge officially ended, both managers expressed confidence that they won.
Pulliam praised Gibbons as the star fundraiser of their team, and commended Gosselin, Johnson, and Anderson for the baking. While some gave compliments right back, Johnson admitted she didn’t think their team took the victory. Moore even said that Pulliam was their weakest player. Gottfried made an anti-Semitic joke in evaluating Rivera’s money-making, prompting some awkward laughter, but he won praise from Rivera, who then went on to toot his own horn quite a bit. Jonas, though, called Rivera out for being unaware of how much each of the members brought in, and Lamas got slammed for only drawing $100.
The $25,000 bonus was awarded to the women and Team Infinity, after Valastro decided their sweet blueberry/pear pie was the best of the four. That was an amount that could’ve made all the difference in the grand totals, and everyone celebrated Anderson for generating the idea, though some still feared it wouldn’t be enough to win, and just instead mean the athlete would survive the elimination. It was ultimately revealed they raised $93,862 in all. But the men and Team Vortex, even without winning the bonus, raised $185,322, making them the overall winners, and scoring a $200,000-plus payday for Rivera’s charity, Life’s WORC, which helps people with developmental disabilities.
With the guys dismissed, it was time for the women to really start pointing fingers and assessing blame. Knight said she tried to balance all the different aspects of the challenge, and called out Gosselin, Johnson, and Anderson for lacking in the fundraising department. Glanville deemed a teary-eyed Gosselin “lazy,” but others were quick to disagree. Fox and Pulliam were the next to become emotional, and Moore again questioned why Pulliam didn’t enlist money from Cosby. She ultimately admitted she hadn’t spoken to her former onscreen father in roughly five years, and felt it would be inappropriate to call him up.
The fundraising issue was hammered again and again, and Pulliam explained that she still managed to pull in money, and complete her other responsibilities. Forced to keep just two team mates in the boardroom with her, she went with the pair who raised the least amount of money: Gosselin, who brought in zilch, and Anderson, even though she technically scored their $25,000 bonus with her pie idea.
Trump insisted there were “no losers,” and the trio “all did a good job,” and then questioned why Pulliam kept Anderson is jeopardy. The former child star attempted to downplay Anderson’s credit for the pie, arguing it was a group effort. For her part, Anderson said Trump should “flip a coin” over whether to eliminated Pulliam or Gosselin. Gosselin voted for Pulliam to go, blaming the manager for not clearly assigning roles, and saying a failed plan should fall on the leader’s shoulders. Pulliam was also forced to explain why she personally brought in less than $10,000.
Ivanka even pointed out that Knight brought back two people based on their lack of money, and if they lost based on fundraising overall, then Knight should really be the one held responsible. Trump agreed, then offered her $25,000 for her charity, Kamp Kizzy, before saying that she should’ve called Cosby regardless. “I think you’re an amazing person, but you were the project manager.” He went on to declare, “Keshia, you’re fired.”
Gossip Cop will be recapping “Celeb Apprentice” all season long, continuing with Monday’s episode tomorrow night. What did you think of the premiere?