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If you watched Sunday’s episode of the Celebrity Apprentice you know that both podcast host Adam Carolla and race car driver Michael Andretti were fired. The reason for their loss seemed pretty clear. Project Manager Adam Carolla was criticized by sponsor Buick both for his failure to utilize the other members of his team in their presentation and because of his overly comedic tone. The women meanwhile went with a sketch format which got everyone on their team up on stage doing a series of bits.
Except according to Adam Carolla, that’s not what happened at all.
In the newest episode of his podcast Carolla claims that the only reason he gave a solo presentation was because the show’s producers told him to. The way Carolla tells it, his original plan for their Buick presentation involved a sketch in which all members of his team would be on stage participating. None of this was shown during the episode at all. They changed the plan mid-stream when a Celebrity Apprentice producer told Penn Jillette (who appeared on Carolla’s podcast to corroborate his story) that they should do a “Steve Jobs style presentation”. Carolla then approached that same producer during the task to confirm that’s what they were supposed to do and the producer again told him that, yes, he should do a “Steve Jobs style presentation”.
If you’re not familiar with the way Steve Jobs used to present products for Apple each of his big unveilings happened with Jobs on stage, entirely alone, presenting the product in almost exactly the same way Adam did it during the Sunday Apprentice episode. Then in the boardroom the men’s team was criticized for using this strategy and ultimately, it proved to be the chief reason they lost the challenge.
Carolla further insists that no one actually had a problem with the only very slightly comedic tone of his presentation. He says it was well received and that the show merely edited it to make it look like it wasn’t. For instance, the scene on the show in which Paul Teutul, Sr. attempts to heckle Adam appeared to fall on deaf ears, but in reality got huge consistent laughs. Adam says that, in fact, the comments made by Ivanka Trump during the broadcast in which she singled out his “potty humor” as a failing never actually happened. As proof he played a segment from a DVD sent to him by the show’s producers before the episode aired, and then played that exact same segment from the final product. On the DVD Ivanka never mentions his comedic tone as an issue but on the version that aired it sounds like dialogue was added later in which she criticizes that aspect.
Adam theorizes that they were attempting to craft a made up story in order to justify the men’s loss, a loss which by the way, Carolla and Jillette claim only happened because the show’s producers manipulated his team into doing the wrong thing. When Carolla brought this up in the board room, that too was edited out of the show’s final cut.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that reality television producers manipulate what happens through editing and general sneakiness. But in theory Celebrity Apprentice is a game, one with real consequences for the charities the contestants are playing for. There should be some level of fairness there and it doesn’t seem exactly fair to fire someone for following the guidelines you set out for them.
Carolla is well aware that producers cook up reality television stories but he says, “The part that I object to, and that I’d like to set the record straight with, is that it makes me seem selfish and sorta pre-occupied like I’m going to do this, when that was not part of it. I was mislead. And it makes it seem like I went up there and did a bunch of potty humor which did not happen either.”
For his part Adam doesn’t seem to think they manipulated his team intentionally. He points out that Steve Jobs died shortly before the filming of last Sunday’s episode and thinks perhaps his death may have simply been on that particular producer’s mind when he talked to them. For my part, I’m not so sure. Let’s face it, the women’s team has been a disaster all season long on Apprentice. Before last night the only task they’d won involved fashion and picking out women’s clothes, a job which the men had literally no chance at pulling off. Given a fair fight, it’s hard to imagine them ever beating the men’s team without at least a little producer manipulation and for dramatic purposes Celebrity Apprentice can’t let the men run the table.
Adam was so upset over what seemed like a Celebrity Apprentice screwjob that he refused to nominate anyone else to be fired and tried to go into the boardroom alone. At that point, Adam wanted off the show. He explains, “I just told them I’m out of here. I was pissed. I got fuckin erroneous information from your guy. I did a good job. We shouldn’t have lost. The Buick guys are assholes. We’re outta here. I mean I’m outta here. I was fuckin done. I was like, screw those guys.”
Check out Adam's full Celebrity Apprentice recap over on his Ace Broadcasting podcast.