Celebrity Apprentice–Donald Trump still gets it

Several days ago the Celebrity Apprentice was chosen. After six seasons of contestants scrambling to win the right to work for Donald Trump, the seventh season of the Apprentice contained only celebrities, playing for charity.



One of the reasons I have always liked Donald Trump is because I like his reasoning. He likes top talent, and merit does matter. He likes people with advanced degrees. He likes people that are driven to succeed. In determining who to keep and who to fire, his rationale is usually brilliant. I have become a stronger employee because when I am in the boardroom, I will argue tooth and nail for what I believe in, and give not a single inch when I am right.

Most importantly, while I am a decent human being, I am not interested at work in being liked. I am interested in getting the job done. As I said to a receptionist once, “I am not warm and fuzzy. I am effective.”

The last four celebrities standing from the original group were boxing champ Lennox Lewis, supermodel Carol Alt, country music star Trace Adkins, and British entertainment mogul Piers Morgan.

The four were then asked to interview with a couple of celebrities that Trump trusts. They both felt that Lennox Lewis did not show enough passion. Lennox was then fired, reducing the group to the remaining three.

Both of Trump’s advisers thought that Piers was abrasive. They did not like him. They conceded that he raised the most money. They both recommended that Trump fire him.

Think about this. They conceded he did the best job, but did not like him. Well so what? He was not there to be liked. He was there to do a job, and he did it.

What was more surprising was that both of Trump’s advisers loved Carol Alt. They raved over her. Yes, she is a goddess of beauty that makes Aphrodite look homely. However, she also has a brilliant business mind. Her brains are as stunning as the rest of her.

To be fair, the surprise was not how much that they loved Carol, but that Trump ignored their advice. What makes Trump so smart is that he has talented advisers, and he heeds their advice. This one time, I disagreed with Trump’s reasoning.

Trump noticed that Piers and Trace did not like each other. He therefore decided that seeing them battle would be great from a conflict standpoint. Since both of the men liked Carol, she was fired.

It made no sense. Carol did everything right, and her only reason for being fired was for not being controversial enough. As I said, Trump missed this one.

However, all three of them were fabulous. Firing any of them would have been tough. Piers had offended most of the people on the show, but he had raised the most money, which was the purpose of the contest.

As for Trace, he might be the most likable guy on Earth. He rarely spoke, but when he did, his words were heeded. His ideas were smart, and they worked.

So the match was set up as the good guy from Tennessee against the evil Brit.

The Backstreet Boys were putting on a concert. Trace had to take care of the band, and Piers and Trace both had to raise money through ticket sales and celebrity auctions.

Piers had a celebrity rolodex that ran deep, and he arranged for his fellow Brits Simon Cowell and Duchess Sarah Ferguson to donate.

Piers was in a state of culture shock dealing with the Backstreet Boys. “They want wheat grass juice. Wheat grass juice.”

The ultimate indignity was when the band needed black nail polish. Trace had had enough. “The most heterosexual cowboy on the planet…and the three time boxing champion (Lennox Lewis)…had to go get black nail polish…not for women…not for our wives…for a man.”

Yet when all is said and done, while both men did their jobs, Piers did his better.

Trace Adkins might be one of the most likable guys on Earth. I was unfamiliar with his music, but after reading three pages of his book, I had to buy it. He is definitely my kind of guy, but I doubt I am his. After all, I am from New York, and he is from Tennessee. As he explained, back in Tennessee, people are normal. He just phrased it more politely than that.

This is why the decision Trump made mattered. Trace was better liked by every one of the defeated contestants except for Carol. In terms of popularity, it was a blowout. Yet in terms of effectiveness, Piers had raised more money than the other contestants combined.

Some may see this entire escapade as an insignificant reality show. No, it is much more than that. It is about business and corporate America being ground to a halt because labor lawyers and other liberals want everybody to be warm and fuzzy. The quality of work diminishes because feelings supersede results. The “new management” is nicer.

“Old management” consists of yellers and screamers like Bobby Knight and Bill Parcells. Neither of them are warm and fuzzy. Between them, they have five championships. Their assistant coaches have multiple championships as well. They are the very best at their profession. Does it matter that they may be rough around the edges?

Sure, only if pleasant mediocrity matters more than winning.

I am tired of secretaries that cry on cue because their work is criticized. The best job I ever had was all men. We had freedom of speech. We did not walk around in fear that every word was a potential lawsuit. Also, we could use rough language with each other.

One old boss of mine used to say, “God d@mn it Eric, just f*cking get it done, and get it done right.” He was a monster at times, but I learned skills from him. I made it to management because I was smarter than my peers, and he gave me those smarts.

The military works because there is no coddling. Business should be the same way. We don’t need diversity, multiculturalism, or feelings therapy session. We need people who can shut the hell up and get the d@mn work done, and get it done right.

Piers Morgan was abrasive, offensive, combative, and disliked by several of the participants. He was also the very best at doing the job.

Donald Trump is not always likable. He is effective. He rightly praised Trace Adkins for being fabulous, because Trace Adkins is fabulous.

He also rightly chose Piers Morgan as the Celebrity Apprentice, because Piers was the best.

For one brief evening, in a world where emotions trump (small t) quality, Donald Trump reminded us that merit matters.

Meritocracy. That is worth celebrating.


11 Responses to “Celebrity Apprentice–Donald Trump still gets it”

  1. micky2 says:

    What happens to the work ethic when the ethics are not applied to the work ?

  2. Joshua Godinez says:


    Just got turned onto the show through hulu dot com because I didn’t watch the show and I was able to get up to speed just in time for the finale. Piers was the best guy to be chosen. Trace was the American all of us want to be.

    I like this format better than the wanna-be’s trying to get a job because I don’t really believe Trump is going to give them any real responsibility. It’s just Trump finding another way to get his brand out there better than his competitors and make money while doing it. Genius.

    This still accomplishes the branding while raising money for charity which makes Trump look even more like a good guy. Double genius.

    Don’t forget that it’s entertaining. I may be the only person on the planet to literally turn off the show because of Omorosa and if I never hear about her again it will be too soon. Can the fake conflict. Give the contestants challenging tasks and film the result. The editors can take care of the rest. Love the show.

  3. Jersey McJones says:

    Not a fan of Donald, myself, but I got to give him one thing – he’s a smart self-promoter. That’s the only thing, though.


  4. Eagle6 says:

    Jersey, I’m not a fan either – he’s an opportunist, and I have always associated him with the word “sleazy”…

  5. micky2 says:

    I didnt care too much one way or the other untill the Rosie thing started.
    At that point I asked myself why he even thought he had to enter that arena.
    I guess flipping real estate for millions can get boring after a while.
    I mean when you start doing reality TV after everything hes done it has to make you wonder.

  6. Jersey McJones says:

    Yeah. Me too, Eagle.

    I guess he’s sort of a silly “New York” kinda cartoon character. But his disturbingly b-movie-ish screen persona was always a little too uncomfortable for me. The man is one of those old lizards who keeps hanging on to his old skin well beyond its stretch point.

    And ya’ know? Just how does one lose in a casino when you own it? I always wanted to know that. Boy, I’ll tell ya’, I wish I’d been a gambler at the Taj back in those days! Oosh.


  7. Jersey McJones says:

    Well, he turned it around in the end – with a little help from his friends.


  8. Gayle says:

    I just read that Trump is trying to promote that prostitute, Ashley Alexandra Dupre’, in his reality show! Personally, I don’t consider a prostitute as a woman of “top talent”! I suppose Sptizer probably does though. I guess he wouldn’t have paid so much for mediocrity!


  9. micky2 says:

    The five and a half grand Spritzer paid for Dupre` was most likely agreed upon between Spritzer and the agency.
    And oversized tip was agreed upon as “hush money”
    They knew they had Spritzer by rthe cajones, literally.

  10. Tracy Darrell Adkins – country music artist…

    Tracy Darrell Adkins born January 13, 1963 – is an American country music singer. He started in 1996 with the album Dreamin’ Out Loud, released on Capitol Records Nashville. Since then, Adkins has presented 7 more studio albums and two Greatest Hits c…

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