Donald Trump hardly mussed a hair in his well-coiffed head when he fired the first contestant on “The Celebrity Apprentice” last night (Mar. 7). He sent ’70s teen idol David Cassidy packing for dogging duties in his first challenge.
The 11th season’s first show came down to the men versus the women in a challenge to sell the most pizza for charity at two Manhattan locations.
But the real contest was between clashing has-been egos, which still loomed large, despite the fading presence of the “celebrity” contestants.
In one corner were sometime singer La Toya Jackson, “Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast member NeNe Leakes and former “View” co-host Star Jones, looking considerably heavier.
They were joined by R&B diva Dionne Warwick, ex-model Niki Taylor, Lisa Rinna, and Marlee Matlin.
The men were anchored by loud-mouth actor Gary Busey, equally loudmouth rocker Meat Loaf, rapper Lil Jon, for pro baseballer Jose Canseco and Richard Hatch, the overweening winner of the first “Survivor” reality show season.
The team was rounded out by mild-mannered Mark McGrath and Cassidy, who appeared to be one of the saner contestants, which may account for his early departure.
The show was anything but dull as the two pizza joints were bum-rushed by a horde of passers-by willing to shell out $5 a slice for pizza or more all in the name of charity.
Cassidy’s fate seemed to be sealed when he kept ducking out to take a drag on his cigar and when he failed to land any big-name donors. Hey the guy’s been out of circulation for a while, but no matter.
The women got a free pass after winning the competition in a blow out, leaving the men to face The Donald’s wrath.
Canseco, Hatch and Cassidy were marched to the firing line. Hatch seemed to be the logical one to go, given he was project leader of the failing effort and did not real work.
But he artfully turned the tables on Cassidy, whom he accused of dogging during the competition.
Even Canseco declaring Hatch a flat-out liar couldn’t sway the Donald.
Cassidy, for his part, claimed that Hatch had pushed him.
Trump apparently threw in the towel on Cassidy because he floundered while trying to defend himself in the boardroom.