The internet’s been abuzz for the last few weeks about how nonexistent Michael Andretti has been on “The Celebrity Apprentice,” and although a car-driven task could have been his chance for a big breakout on the show, it instead sent him — and his project manager Adam Carolla — home, perhaps undeservedly.
Granted viewers didn’t see much of Michael in the first three episodes of the new season of “The Celebrity Apprentice,” but perhaps with good reason. It’s obvious to anyone who watches the show, or any reality show for that matter, that the squeakiest wheels get the grease — i.e., the loudest, most abrasive, most flamboyant, etc. members of the teams get the most airtime. And the retired IndyCar racer didn’t even intend to go on “The Celebrity Apprentice;” he was filling in for his son, Marco, an IndyCar Series driver who was scheduled to start filming for Donald Trump’s show hours after the Oct. 16 season finale race in Las Vegas, which was canceled following a 15-car accident that killed Marco’s friend Dan Wheldon.
“I lost my maternal grandfather the same week and I was just like, ‘I’m not ready to do this.’ I always said if my heart is not in it 100 percent, then I’m not going to do it. I knew I was not going to be at my full potential. I was not going to do well. My mind wasn’t in it,” Marco tells the Associated Press. “I am glad Dad stepped up because it’s great for all of us, but I didn’t want to be seen on national TV in the state I was in.”
As for his dad being the least talkative of the bunch, Marco says, “They can choose to have you perceived anyway they want, I guess, and that’s the tough part about it.”
We’ve all heard reality stars cry, “Editing!” in the face of how they are wrongfully (in their minds) portrayed on a show, but maybe the reason we didn’t see more of Michael was because he was simply drowned out by his co-stars.
Let’s back up for a moment and look at the task and the set-up for the episode: Create a 10-minute presentation and a 10-minute Q-and-A for a live audience about the new Buick Verano. Trump tells the men that he knows who they’ll be picking as their project manager, yet they promptly turn around and say they’ve chosen Adam — a fine choice, as he essentially presents to people on a daily basis for a living, races vintage cars and even has a show about cars on the Speed Channel. Just because it’s a task that has something to do with a car doesn’t scream to me that Michael should be the project manager.
Throughout the episode, Ivanka Trump, Don Jr., the folks from Buick, Donald Trump (again and again) and basically everyone keeps talking about how astounded they are that the men didn’t pick Michael for project manager — and even more so that he didn’t just step up to be project manager. Also throughout the episode, project manager Adam keeps pushing forward with his idea of having his teammates act as hecklers during his mostly solo presentation and Q-and-A — comedy wasn’t something the Buick people wanted to represent the brand. And in the end, the women’s team — with Debbie Gibson as project manager — won out with a somewhat gimmicky presentation, involving the Verano playing Debbie’s “Shake Your Love” track, Teresa Giudice’s husband Joe and three of her daughters piling into the vehicle with all their luggage, and Aubrey O’Day lying about her mom being in a car accident (and mispronouncing the name of the car).
Adam takes the full blame for the men’s loss and tells Trump he won’t be bringing back two people with him into the boardroom — that he alone should be fired. Trump isn’t going to have anyone telling him who he’s going to fire, so — as punishment — he tells the team that he’s firing two people from the team, with Adam being the first to go. Then he essentially states outright that the Buick people wanted the Andretti name associated with their car, and as a result, Michael is also fired for not stepping up to be project manager.
Do you think Michael was robbed? Or do you feel like he was justifiably fired? What about Adam? Should someone else have gone home?