Perry Friedman Pays $10,000 for Wedding Dress on Celebrity Apprentice
Sunday night marked the third week of NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice.” Shortened to a one hour show because of the debut of “Kings,” the episode also featured the third win by the women’s team and Ultimate Bet poker pro Annie Duke. As part of this week’s fundraising efforts, World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner Perry Friedman paid $10,000 for a wedding dress.
The “Celebrity Apprentice” kicked off with a recap of last week’s episode, which featured figure skating legend Scott Hamilton being fired after not being able to control teammate and comedian Tom Green as well as creating a poor comic strip for Zappos.com. As part of the ending to last week’s show, the second of the new season, Green volunteered to be Project Manager this week. The task was to sell wedding dresses at a provided retail shop. Whoever raked in the most profit would be deemed the winners. Each team was given 125 dresses in various sizes as inventory.
Playboy Playmate of the Year Brande Roderick served as the Project Manager for the women’s team, Athena. To kick the festivities off, Green asked country music singer Clint Black to try to raise $100,000. Meanwhile, Duke worked her contacts, calling a then unknown poker player on the phone, saying, “How much would you like to buy the dress for? I’d like to see at least four figures.” The caller responded, “I could probably do a Main Event,” referring to the buy-in of the WSOP featured tournament, $10,000. Only later on in the episode would that person be revealed as Friedman.
The two teams were located in adjacent shops for the task. Singer Brian McKnight told “Celebrity Apprentice” cameras, “It’s not where you’re selling. It’s what you’re selling and how you’re selling it.” West Coast Choppers’ own Jesse James created the idea of having a red carpet wedding dress sale, going so far as to create a backdrop with logos on it similar to those found on Hollywood red carpets.
Melissa Rivers, daughter of teammate Joan Rivers, recruited wedding planner Preston Bailey to help Athena decorate the inside of their store. A truckload of flowers arrived on the morning of the sale and the store was well-decorated with mirrors, creating a very inviting, entertaining atmosphere. Green envisioned the guys’ shop resembling an art studio. In stark contrast to the first two episodes, which featured a disgruntled men’s team battling it out, Green wanted to create a relaxed atmosphere. In fact, he donned a wedding dress during the course of the one hour show.
Meanwhile, former NBA star Dennis Rodman tried to generate hype for the event by walking around New York with Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker. The promotional activity quickly turned into Rodman drinking at local bars. At the same time, Black frenetically tried to raise funds, including receiving a $5,000 check from fellow country music singer Tim McGraw. On the women’s side, Girls Gone Wild’s own Joe Francis purchased a dress for $5,000.
Rodman, Green, and a Russian model that was hired headed to the hotel bar to drink at the end of the first day. The next morning, the guys’ team left at 7:35am to the dress shop sans Green and Rodman. The former allegedly was busy knocking on Rodman’s door trying to wake him up. However, the basketball legend did not respond. Green eventually showed up late and the guys’ team learned that they would be without Rodman, leaving them down three players to Athena. Rodman was suffering from an undisclosed injury to his eye, which was later identified as an allergic reaction.
Friedman showed up to purchase the dress in person. Duke explained, “He took the red eye from Las Vegas.” He won a $1,500 buy-in Omaha High-Low tournament during the 2002 WSOP for $176,000 and took third in a $2,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em event in 2005 for $196,000. The latter was one of eight bracelet wins for Full Tilt Poker pro Erik Seidel. Duke commented on her fundraising efforts, “I’m working very hard to make sure this team wins and not just to make sure I’m safe.” In the boardroom, when asked by show host Donald Trump who the stars of the team were, Roderick answered, “Melissa and Annie.”
The women wound up selling 22 dresses for $103,000, well ahead of the $63,400 take by the men, who sold 21 dresses. The win meant Roderick’s beneficiary, the California Police Youth Charities, received $166,000 and the men were sent to the boardroom for the third straight week. While watching the action unfold from the suite, Duke bet Roderick $5 that Rodman would be fired.
After a heated boardroom that saw Trump become extremely agitated with Rodman and Green, the comedian was fired, costing Duke $5. Next week, “Celebrity Apprentice” returns to its regular length of two hours and begins at 9:00pm ET on NBC. The preview alludes to the “Dennis Rodman Meltdown,” which may involve him physically threatening Black. In a preview, Duke described the scene as “total chaos.”
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