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Donald Trump fires Gene Simmons

The boardroom segment of The Apprentice has always been its most dramatic part, especially when the contestants verbally latch on to each other’s necks and claw until there’s just a bloody stump remaining. It’s where everyone is held accountable for their behavior during the task, and where Donald Trump makes some irrational decision and then justifies it by saying “I had no choice” over and over again.

But the celebrities who populate the boardroom on The Apprentice 7 are unwilling or incapable of doing what they’re supposed to do, namely point fingers and blame each other. They won’t even answer questions. That’s a huge problem, and it’s increasingly left Donald Trump to make most of the celebrities’ arguments for them and to try to start fights. (Up until last night, he’s also fired the quietest, least-confrontational people.) This also explains why the producers cast Omarosa and Piers Morgan, two NBC reality stars; they know what their job is and what the show is all about, and don’t hesitate to attack when it’s time to attack.

The celebrities’ demure nature led to the most baffling boardroom ever last night, as Donald Trump fired Gene Simmons for being, well, Gene Simmons. First, Gene–who was assigned to lead the women’s team, and announced that he was a “benevolent dictator”–repeatedly dissed the episode’s sponsor, Kodak, by saying its executives made the wrong decision. Earlier, he said they didn’t even understand their own company. “They’re wrong. To be quite frank, the executives themselves may not understand what Kodak needs. I’m arrogant and I certainly have the expertise to know what Kodak does need. I am pretty damn good,” he said with his flat, monotone voice.

In the boardroom, Gene Simmons refused to bring Nely Galan back with him, even though she irritated the Kodak executives and Trump was practically begging Gene to let him fire her. Instead, Gene picked Omarosa and Jennie Finch, neither of whom did anything wrong during the task. “Oh, Gene. I don’t get it,” Trump whined when he chose Omarosa. “She’s not the reason that you lost.”

Talking to Gene Simmons–whose impossibly calm demeanor is half of the fun of watching him spout ridiculous, obnoxious, yet sometimes astute things–Donald Trump’s head nearly spun off his shoulders, probably because he knew that firing Gene meant decreasing the show’s entertainment value by about 25 percent. “Gene, what am I going to do? You brought back two people that I practically told you you shouldn’t bring back. What the hell did I do? You’re so independent; you’re so tough,” Trump said. Gene Simmons may have weird hair like Donald Trump, but he lacks the same aggressiveness, and Trump fired him.

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.


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