I fear that The Celebrity Apprentice just took a major turn for the worse. Last night — and don't read this if you don't want to know what happened — poor Gene Simmons got fired. Scratch that, stupid Gene Simmons got fired. Scratch that, the brilliant Gene Simmons got fired.
Last night during the boardroom sequence, Simmons practically begged to be fired. He wanted to be fired. He seemed to need to be fired. Trump told him that he was bringing the wrong person (Omarosa) back into the boardroom, but Simmons insisted on doing it. Trump told Simmons to bring Nely Galán into the boardroom, but Simmons wouldn't. Trump practically told Simmons that Nely would be fired and that Simmons could save his own skin, but Simmons didn't.
Gene Simmons is a smart man, so the question becomes why he acted in this way. Every week it was Simmons who did a better job than the other team and won the task for his team. This week, Simmons ran a better campaign, but the client, Kodak, was stuck with the idea that only the ink management system on their printer was relevant. Simmons disagreed and thought everything about Kodak was relevant. Last week Simmons was right and the client, Pedigree, acknowledged that they were wrong with what they wanted; this week Simmons was right and the client, Kodak, didn't acknowledge their mistake. Sure the ink management was important and Simmons should have hit that more, but everything else (from design to implementation) was better on his team than on his opponent's.
Simmons knew it, and didn't shift the blame for the loss to anyone else in the boardroom (despite being given the opportunity to do so). The man would probably argue that they didn't actually lose, they weren't chosen by Kodak, but that was Kodak's loss, not his team's.
What then can we make of Simmons's actions? I would have called his going down with the ship honorable, if I had any inkling that honor had been on his mind. Trump called Simmons a contrarian, and while Trump was right, that doesn't fully explain what happened either.
Maybe Simmons was finished with the show. Maybe he felt as though he'd done enough work and gotten his face out there enough; he'd done his explosive shake everyone up thing and didn't have anything else to contribute so better to make a splashy exit then go quietly into that good night. Maybe Simmons is bucking for more viewers to come to his cable reality show and this was the biggest way to promote himself he come up with. Maybe Simmons is in talks to host his own version of The Apprentice. The man is a born marketer and self-promoter — there had to be a reason for his actions, and hopefully we'll learn quickly what it is.
Whatever the reason, the show is weaker for his having left and I, for one, will miss him.