Debbie Gibson, Dee Snider fired and Aubrey O'Day storms off, leaving Clay Aiken the show's lone survivor (maybe?) among musical acts.
Sunday night will go down as the day the music (maybe/mostly) died on the 2012 season of NBC's "The Celebrity Apprentice," as Debbie Gibson and Dee Snider were fired by Donald Trump and former Danity Kane singer Aubrey O'Day perhaps quit the competition, leaving Clay Aiken the cast's only musician left standing.
Gibson, writer and performer of nine top 40 Billboard Hot 100 hits, including the No. 1s "Foolish Beat" (1988) and "Lost in Your Eyes" (1989), was let go in the season's seventh episode after raising the least amount of charitable donations for her team (a still impressive $27,000) in a task promoting a New York City tourism guidebook. Still, Gibson won $50,000 for her chosen charity in her time on the series, Children International.
"No reality show antics are bigger than charitable causes," Gibson posted on her official website this morning. "I think the world of Mr. Donald Trump and the NBC and Mark Burnett team. I will be forever honored that I was chosen to be a part of the show.
"I think what I realized through this process, however, is I am not a 'celeb'," Gibson mused. "I cannot live that 'lifestyle.' Being a 'celebrity' is not a profession. Some people may know my music or my face but being known for just being on TV does not appeal to me. It feels empty and flimsy.
"When Trump said, 'You're fired,' I heard, 'You're free!,' and promptly flew to see my man and unwind and live my actual real life with no cameras around!"
Twisted Sister frontman Snider's exit was likewise softened by his having raised $326,000 earlier in the episode for the March of Dimes. Snider was fired in the episode's second task, the creation of a promotional item for Walgreens, which was deemed not creative enough by executives from the company.
(We've not seen the last of Gibson and Snider together; she'll join the rocker's "Dee Snider & Friends Jam for Autism" on April 19 in Westbury, N.Y.)
O'Day capped the drama of the special three-hour episode by seemingly storming off the series after being derided as less than a team player by a livid Arsenio Hall (despite their team having won the task promoting Walgreens, an outcome that raised $50,000 for the Magic Johnson Foundation).
Instead of joining her teammates following a "boardroom" interrogation by Trump, O'Day, who reached the Billboard 200 summit as a member of Danity Kane with both of the pop group's albums (in 2006 and 2008), was shown leaving alone in tears, her fate left unanswered by the episode's end.
Did O'Day quit before Trump might ever have the chance to say his two magic words?
Apparently not? "lol I went 2 church!," O'Day Tweeted early this morning about her dramatic departure in response to @PSiege1's "I think @AubreyODay just got some fresh air, this girl aint no quitter. We'll all see her pop up next week."
Should O'Day return, she'll join second-season "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken as the cast's last remaining musicians following the firings of Gibson and Snider. Also still vying for the title of "Celebrity Apprentice" this season are "Incredible Hulk" actor/bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno, "Real Housewives of New Jersey" personality Teresa Giudice, late-night TV veteran Hall, magician Penn Jillette, comedienne Lisa Lampanelli, former Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza and "American Chopper" star Paul Teutul, Sr.
"The Celebrity Apprentice" returns to its regular two-hour format next Sunday (April 8) at 9pm ET.