A former crew member for NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice and the regular version of The Apprentice has responded to cast members’ claims that eliminations aren’t only the result of Donald Trump’s whims.
Cast member Kenya Moore, who was on this season, and Mark McGrath, who was on season four, separately said that their Celebrity Apprentice eliminations were in some way planned or not the result of their actual performance.
Ronnie Ali, a sound mixer and the former audio supervisor for The Apprentice (starting with its second season) through Celebrity Apprentice 4, contacted reality blurred after reading this story. Here’s what he wrote; this has been edited only for style and formatting:
“…I am here to tell you that this is one of the hardest shows to work on because things are NOT pre-determined. We have to listen to the cast microphones at all times just so we know what they are going to attempt to do next. There is no interference at all from the crew.
Sometimes we have had to watch the cast do the dumbest stuff because we can’t talk to them and help them. For example, during the taping of season 2 a team decided to drive two hours in rush hour traffic to Long Island to pick up a “bedazzler” that could have easily been found in Manhattan’s Fashion District that is literally a mile from Trump Tower. That trip became a big story beat but it wasn’t planned.
Being the Audio Supervisor means I am the only one who mixes the Boardroom audio. There is a small group of people who even get to witness the Boardroom that usually last 1-2 hours to film. We don’t stop down for anything. Cameras have to swap disk[s] out with director’s approval so that the cameras filming the principal people fighting don’t miss the firing that can happen at any moment. I had to record to a hard drive so that I was able to record nonstop and wouldnt miss anything. Mixing is made hard because we never know who will chime in. I can have 24 talent on wireless mics at any given time during early episodes of a season.
If this show was like you guys like to pretend it would be easy and it is not. I have watched producers cringe because Trump has fired someone or a couple cast members based on some stuff they said during the Boardroom that had nothing to do with the task. The guy is a loose canon in real life and that show is no different. The unknown with Trump is what makes that show difficult for all crew members.
I haven’t worked on the last few seasons so I am not saying this to protect my job. Quite honestly I and other crew members get offended by articles like this because we work our butts off to maintain the realness and authenticity of the game that is The Apprentice. People who say it’s fake kind of slap us in the face by saying that. I don’t care what Kenya Moore has to say because her show Atlanta Housewives is kinda set up where as Apprentice is not. Trust me Celebrity Apprentice is only different from the regular one because there are set hours. The regular Apprentice was filmed 24 hours a day for six weeks. People lose it under them circumstances and that why you saw so much crazy behavior.”