'Celebrity Apprentice': Marlee Matlin holds the men's fate in her hands

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The contenders of "The Celebrity Apprentice" raised an amazing amount of money on Sunday's (April 3) episode - more than any other episode or even season according to host Donald Trump. And when it comes to their charities, the teams were feeling very generous. But when it came to playing the game, the winners kept it all business.

This week, Trump challenged the teams to create original artwork for auction. Also, each player had to decorate baseball caps, which would be judged individually for creativity. The winner would receive $25,000 for his or her charity. The team who raised the most total amount of money would win the task.

Men's project manager, John Rich, made it clear that he would base his decision on how the men did by how much they raised. In the middle of the night, Jose Canseco met with Trump to tell him he would be leaving. He found out his father's bout with cancer had turned for the worse and he needed to be by his side. Trump then decided to donate $25,000 to Jose's charity. The next day the team decided to honor Jose with a baseball cap decorated in his father's honor. But... Richard Hatch wondered if Jose left because he couldn't raise much money, knowing that was John's criteria for success in this challenge. What'd you think of Richard's suggestion?

The tension seems to be increasing for both teams. On the men's team, Meat Loaf was showing little patience for frequently unfocused Gary Busey. After going shopping for art supplies, Meat Loaf went nuts when he believed Gary had taken some of his paints and other purchases. Did Gary realize he was in trouble? He sure didn't act like it. Meat Loaf soon found out that Gary hadn't taken his bag and later apologized. But, oh boy, did his switch flip quickly, right?

On the women's side, project manager Marlee Matlin really wanted to test La Toya Jackson by asking her to bring in something from her famous family for the auction. La Toya not only gave up one of her most prized possessions of her late brother, Michael, but pretty much shut Marlee up for the rest of the competition. 

We also saw the early indicators of the much-publicized NeNe Leakes/ Star Jones feud. It seems NeNe has grown tired of Star's complaining and bossiness. So, NeNe started to snipe back at Star, who in turn grew tired of being "patronized." That's as far as that goes for now, but we're keeping an eye on the growing static between the two.

Despite the earlier conflicts with Meat Loaf, the men were on top of their game. Their gallery was completed hours early. Meanwhile, the women had taken too much time to get on the road with their paintings and were unable to properly prep their gallery. Good thing this competition wasn't really about aesthetics or even the gallery's presentation.

From the editing, it seemed as if the men would easily win the challenge. Their money began rolling in soon after opening, especially after John flew in some of his country music pals - one of which presented him a check for $470,000. The women weren't doing too shabby themselves, especially when they announced that three separate purchases of $99,000 - their limit for credit card purchases - came through.

In the boardroom, Trump was obviously bowled over by the amount both teams raised in the competition. So, he offered a deal. Regardless of who won the challenge, both teams would keep their money for their respective project manger's charities. John and Marlee didn't hesitate to agree. In a stunning upset (at least to us), the women won by raising almost a million dollars to the men's more than $600,000 raised. But when Donald gave the women another chance to be generous and allow Jose's departure to serve as that week's firing, Marlee decided to continue on with the firing - after all, they had just lost three players in three straight losses and this is business she points out. We don't blame her at all for that decision.

In the end, Trump let the women stay in the boardroom as the men fought it out over who would leave. While Gary's name was floated, John stuck to his promise and said he wanted to get rid of Richard for not raising a substantial amount of money. Marlee gave Gary's intelligence a glowing recommendation and agreed she'd fire Richard if it were up to her. Richard didn't really have a chance to defend himself before Trump gave him the infamous finger and fired him.

Do you think Trump made the wrong decision? Who do think should have went home?
Photo/Video credit: NBC
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