Viewers watched retired IndyCar driver Michael Andretti go home Sunday (March 11) on NBC’s “The Celebrity Apprentice,” along with the men’s project manager Adam Carolla. It was perhaps the most airtime Andretti had received thus far this season.
“I was a little disappointed in some of the editing,” he says during a phone interview Monday, while — where else — behind the wheel, on his way to meet up with “Celebrity Apprentice” costar and Orange County Choppers co-founder Paul Teutel Sr. (He says the two are meeting to discuss the possibility of collaborating on a future project.) “I was doing stuff all the time [during the tasks]. They always made it look like I was just standing around.”
He, like some viewers, was surprised he was fired — and confused as to why his team lost the challenge.
“We were all confused — they never critiqued our task,” he says. “We didn’t know we were going to be judged on [who we chose as project manager.]”
He adds that Trump constantly reminds contestants about the importance of their brand. The main reason Trump fired him — according to the boardroom scene in Monday’s episode — was seemingly that the Buick representatives wanted the Andretti name associated with their vehicle, and Andretti didn’t step up to be project manager for the task.
“I’m supposed to sell my brand for the show?” he says. “I’m supposed to just give it away for $30,000?”
Buick added $30,000 onto the $20,000 to the winning project manager’s charity donation.
Andretti also adds that there was another important reason that the team didn’t make him project manager for this task, which wasn’t shown in the episode.
“I had $450,000 pledged [from a donor], so they were saving me for another task where you had to raise money,” he says.
As for who he thinks is going to win this season, Andretti picks “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken.
“I just think he’s focused on really winning. I think he came into this thing — that was his whole objective. He’s said he doesn’t want to come in second place again.”