Trump finds another way to avoid firing actual celebrities

Faced with firing either Bret Michaels or Sharon Osbourne, two of the three remaining Celebrity Apprentice stars who are household names, Donald Trump did something unsurprising for someone who never makes decisions based on entertainment alone: he fired no one.

“I’ve decided that with over $347,000 raised, I’m not going to fire anybody tonight,” he said, after noting that the two teams raised more money for this task than in any other non-finale task. “This is something I haven’t done.”

As he’s fond of saying, Trump had little choice: Bret Michaels raised the least amount of money for his team, and Sharon Osbourne was the project manager, both obvious reasons to fire someone, even if Sharon’s team did raise a lot of cash. But they are the biggest stars remaining besides Cyndi Lauper. Their teammate, Maria Kanellis, is less well-known but was responsible for the workout class that earned the team an extra $24,000, so she would have been harder to fire–though Trump has certainly been able to find a reason to fire people for no reason before.

After he gave everyone the good news, Trump congratulated himself, saying, “I think that was a nice ending.” I think he needs to put his hands on the table when he says things like that.

A large part of the money raised for charity came from billionaire and Democratic fundraiser Ron Burkle, who gave $50,000 to Holly Robinson Peete and her team for a total of $206,090. But Bret and Sharon’s team raised $131,803, including $24,000 for developing the most creative work out, with exercises inspired by a rock star’s life, like the “tour bus thrust.” That easily made up for misspellings on posters.

Thanks to that and his invitation to fans and Rock of Love cast members to show up to help out, Bret Michaels–who was acknowledged before the credits because he’s still in critical condition–had some good moments, but none better than answering Donald Trump’s best question of the night: “How do you pray to the porcelain God?”

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.