This fourth season of Celebrity Apprentice opened with Donald Trump greeting the 16 celebrities at Radio City Music Hall. He announced that men versus women has proven to be the most cut-throat and interesting format and that Don Jr. and Ivanka will be his Boardroom Advisors. He told the teams to go back to their quarters and develop a name and choose their first Project Manager (P.M.). The men chose Backbone, the women chose Artists, Singers and Authors with a Purpose (ASAP), which Marlee Matlin embellished with its sign language. She had her own interpreter Jeb to help her "hear" and to "talk" back. Richard Hatch volunteered to be the P.M. and someone nominated Star Jones, she was approved unanimously and agreed to that responsibility. Typically the first Celebrity Apprentice project is the riskiest because other teammates have not been calibrated yet, but the money brought in is much larger than other episodes until the semifinals. Richard's charity was Grass Roots Soccer, created by another Survivor winner Ethan Zohn who came to draw a crowd for Backbone as did David Cassidy's daughter, a current star on Gossip Girls.
Both teams returned to the Boardroom to learn that their project was to make and sell pizza. ASAP was offered a choice of a midtown theater district location at 50th Street and 8th Avenue while Backbone got one near NYU in Greenwich Village. Each team was given a delivery vehicle. Richard Hatch immediately made an executive decision that Backbone would not deliver as far north as midtown. It was clear that calling in favors from everyone the team members knew in New York City would be key to maximizing their revenue, so both teams started out on phones working their Rolodex files. They were also given training in all phases of pizza production from making the dough, rolling the dough, weighing a dough ball, smearing tomato sauce, adding cheese and toppings, working the pizza oven and cutting the finished pizza.
Conflicts arose quickly on Backbone. Richard's leadership was a bit dictatorial and this did not sit well with his teammates. In particular, Richard cut David off twice, lightly brushing him with his arm, which was witnessed in brooding silence by Jose Canseco. Star was a little more collegial, but she did not appreciate alternate viewpoints, particularly from Lisa Rinna. Lisa did not voice her opinions except to the camera, about the worthlessness of Star's printed small posters. The primary division of responsibilities was most of the time as follows:
Cashier - Meat Loaf; Dionne Warwick (who was just plain slow but would not allow Star to replace her)
Pizza Prep - Jose and David; ? for women
Pizza Chef - ? for men; Nikki Taylor
Marketing - John Rich (effective with his guitar), Lil Jon, Gary Busey (who donned a costume and became the Pepperoni Prophet); Star Jones
Delivery - some of the above; Marlee and Lisa
Ivanka visited Backbone and Don Jr. visited ASAP, both finding teams working cohesively. Celebrity chef Curtis Stone was sent in to samle each pizza and choose a winner of "a substantial check." ASAP won this contest and Curtis told Star she had to deliver 8 pizzas to the Chelsea firehouse station to collect and be able to count that check. Star was running out of pizza raw materials and had gotten an order from a personal friend for 40 pizzas at $1000 each, which had delivery priority. She got that changed to a huge pizza for $40,000 and the delivery team got that done, but they could not reach the Chelsea firehouse in the 25 minutes before the time period for the contest expired.
The teams assembled in the Boardroom to submit to Donald Trump's probing questions designed to bring out interpersonal conflicts and find out who the best and worst contributors were and how the Project Managers were viewed by their teams. He quickly discovered conflict between David and Jose versus Richard over the physical contact and peremptive style issues. David had the unwanted focus on having taken frequent smoke breaks while other were working, although once it was also to call his daughter and invite her to come and support his team with a donation and her presence. The women got off easy. Star learned that the check she had not been able to capture was from Famiglia, the pizza chain in whose stores this contest had been held, for $35,000. Donald Trump termed this lost money "blown".
Trump then asked Ivanka to reveal the money brought in by Backbone, which was $54,104. ASAP brought in $115,868 even without the $35,000. It was clear that even without Star Jones' $40,000 pizza the women had raised enough to win. Star got the total of $171K for her charity the American Heart Association. She said she had life-saving open-heart surgery about 7 months before Celebrity Apprentice. I personally know how she feels, as the American Heart Association is the one charity I work on behalf of. Trump asked who Star felt was the best performer on ASAP. Without hesitation she said Nikki. Trump directed the $35,000 Famiglia check to Nikki's charity, the American Red Cross.
Next ASAP was excused to watch the closed circuit monitor in their quarters. It came down to Richard choosing Jose and David to join him in the Boardroom. Jose supported David and sort of acted as his shield. That had its problems, as Trump got the impression that David was a wimp, something Richard encouraged. Richard did apologize for having inadvertently touched David. Trump correctly inferred a major hatred between Jose and Richard, which would be good to continue in future episodes. Although in these situations the losing PM gets the boot, not here. Trump fired David Cassidy who basically said that overt demonstrations of macho is what Trump apparently wants.
The interesting question is whether the women "shot their wad" too soon by using up such high-value contacts when it wasn't really necessary to win (although you are shooting blind). I think they went overboard by not saving some of that money for later tasks. However, the counter-argument was provided by Trump firing a Playboy bunny in a previous season who refused to solicit Hugh Hefner.