April 20, 2009 — Just a few weeks ago, Clint Black and teammate Joan Rivers were at odds on "The Celebrity Apprentice"; now they're the final two contestants remaining on their team. Sunday's two-hour episode reached the conclusion on two assignments, with KOTU losing both of them, forcing the firing of Natalie Gulbis and project manager Herschel Walker.
Joan, the project manager on the first task, was reduced to tears when asked to decide which of her fellow players ought to be fired. The reaction surprised Donald Trump, particularly since Joan had said several weeks ago she would turn her back if she ever encountered Clint at a red carpet. Her assessment has changed significantly.
"He's such a good guy," she said in this week's boardroom. "He's an honest guy."
Joan actually bailed out20Clint on Sunday's first assignment when he proved a poor auctioneer. Charged to auction off high-priced jewelry for charity, Clint failed to get a single bid on the first item and described earrings on another model who wasn't wearing earrings. Natalie, the professional golfer who selected the jewelry, got the axe when the other team, Athena, out-earned KOTU $153,000 to $92,000.
In the second assignment, the teams were challenged to devise a new offering for Schwan's frozen food. Herschel decided a chicken recipe was the way to go, though Clint protested that there were already plenty of chicken offerings. Once it was clear Herschel's mind was made up, Clint offered a soy-ginger chicken recipe he and Lisa Hartman Black make at home. Both Joan and Herschel turned up their nose at the results — "It was real salty," Herschel said — but Joan suggested adding orange juice to the sauce to create what Clint dubbed Asian orange chicken.
Clint and Herschel meanwhile got into a snit when Clint suggested Herschel's dessert choice was going to be a logistical problem.
Ultimately, Schwan's went with the other team's triple play turkey meatballs. The marks against KOTU mirrored Clint's observervations: They already had plenty of chicken offerings, and the dessert was too complicated. Herschel was fired.
That leaves Joan and Clint as the last two KOTU members, against Athena9 9s four. But Trump has a history of reshaping the teams when their numbers are out of balance. And while Joan and Clint are now working peacefully, Joan's created plenty of fireworks. She compared poker player Annie Duke to Adolph Hitler and a promo for next week's episode showed her calling Brande Roderick a "stupid blonde."