Arnold Schwarzenegger has finally unveiled his new secretive catchprase on The New Celebrity Apprentice: "You're terminated. Get to the chopper."
The first episode of the NBC reality series' eighth season, with Schwarzenegger replacing Donald Trump in the host's seat, aired Monday night. Two teams were tasked with creating a five-minute presentation about a makeup line from guest advisor Tyra Banks. YouTube personality Carrie Keagan was the first contestant to be "terminated" and sent back on a helicopter, followed by Carnie Wilson who was eliminated later in the episode.
The actor-politician's version of Trump's "You're fired" catchphrase (which the president-elect used to sign off each episode for 14 seasons) was kept under tight wraps prior to the season premiere — even Schwarzenegger himself was out of the loop.
"We narrowed it down to, like, eight of my sayings from the movies and one other option, but even I don't know yet," Schwarzenegger told The Hollywood Reporter in December.
The double-catchphrase is a nod to the actor's most popular film, 1984's The Terminator, and his famously quoted line in 1987's Predator.
Schwarzenegger picks up President-elect Trump's warmed over leftovers in the 'New Celebrity Apprentice'
The last time “The Celebrity Apprentice” aired on NBC in 2015, it was an aging reality show a decade past its peak in ratings and cultural relevance. Host Donald Trump was mocked for claiming it was the No. 1 show on television. (It wasn’t even close.)
Oh, what a difference two years can make.
The real estate tycoon is now president-elect of the United States. On Monday night, the show that inadvertently helped propel his political rise returned to NBC after a lengthy but rather eventful hiatus.
Given the scrutiny NBC has faced over its relationship with Trump, starting with “The Apprentice,” which he continued to host even while perpetuating the baseless birther conspiracy theory, and continuing with his unprecedented gig hosting “Saturday Night Live” last year, what’s most notable about “The New Celebrity Apprentice” is just how little has actually changed — right down to the closing credits, listing one “Donald J. Trump” as executive producer.
Even the new host — some guy named Arnold Schwarzenegger? — seemed like a bit of a carbon copy, from the tawny mane and bronze complexion to the allegations of serial sexual misconduct.
Given the abundant similarities, it’s easy to understand why Schwarzenegger was picked. His motivations, assuming they extend beyond money, remain a bit harder to fathom.
There was something strange, and perhaps even a bit sad, about seeing Schwarzenegger — who was once considered a rising star in the Republican Party, ran the most populous state in the country for seven years and used to be one of the biggest box-office stars in the world — picking at the leftovers of a guy whose most prominent film role was a cameo in “Home Alone 2.”
For all NBC’s efforts at rebranding, virtually nothing about the show, except for a brief biographical sequence highlighting his journey from body-builder to action star to politician, has been adjusted to reflect Schwarzenegger’s interests or image. Yes, he’s got his own catchphrase — “You’re terminated” — but just barely. (And can anything ever top “it’s not a tumor”?)
Schwarzenegger’s Trump impression was so complete, he even had a younger blonde relative, nephew Patrick Knapp Schwarzenegger, playing the Ivanka Trump role.
And like his predecessor, Schwarzenegger is entirely comfortable hamming it up as an imperious bad guy, admonishing real-life friend Jon Lovitz for referring to him as “Arnold.”
“In here you call me governor,” he said.
There were a few, less contrived moments where Schwarzenegger, for better or worse, stepped into his own — as when he started complaining in German to his nephew about a female contestant sitting across the table from him. (How do you say “rude” in German?)
Or when he boasted, rather cringe-inducingly, of running around naked to promote a gym he managed back in Munich.
The samey-ness permeated the whole show, even the supporting players.
This year’s batch of contestants includes a predictable assortment of musicians you listened to in middle school (Boy George of Culture Club, Vince Neil of Motley Crue), reality TV lifers (Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi of “Jersey Shore” and “Real Housewife” Kyle Richards), athletes whose names you vaguely recognize (NFL greats Ricky Williams and Eric Dickerson) and professional pretty people (Brooke Burke-Charvet).
The challenges continue to be nothing more than extended advertisements, in this case for new boardroom advisor Tyra Banks’ new makeup line and for Trident (a “giant in the chewing gum industry,” Schwarzenegger helpfully explained).
Even the theme song (the ubiquitous “For The Love Of Money”) is exactly the same. Mark Burnett, couldn’t you at least spring for a remix?
The few tweaks that have been made are entirely superficial in nature. Rejects are sent from the boardroom to a waiting helicopter, rather than a town car. The Schwarzenegger Inc. boardroom is all chrome and glass, in contrast to Trump’s dark wood.
Fatally, “The New Celebrity Apprentice” is, for all its newfound political relevance, just plain old boring. It turns out watching a bunch of kinda-sorta famous people doing fake jobs and getting fake-fired in the name of charity grows old pretty fast. As sincere as Wilson Phillips singer Carnie Wilson might be about raising money for the Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America, the show just doesn’t have any real stakes. The drama is about as compelling as an infomercial.
Somewhere in hour two, there was a brief, tantalizing flash of intrigue when Boy George, a recovering addict, complained that Vince Neil was drinking wine from a plastic cup during their recording session. (“A bit Jacqueline Susann for me,” he said.) But then it was back to tedious debate about which team had done the better job conveying Trident’s core message, and I began to envy everyone on my Twitter feed who was watching “The Bachelor.”
So don’t worry. The country may be heading into uncharted territory with a former reality star as commander in chief, but at least you can go back to ignoring “The Celebrity Apprentice” just like you always did.
At least until Snooki announces she’s running in 2020.
When: 8 p.m. Monday
Rating: TV-PG-DL (may be unsuitable for young children with advisories for suggestive dialogue and coarse language)
The First ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ Host Had A History Of Groping Women. So Does The Second.
Television met the latest incarnation of Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday evening when he said hello to the world as host of “The New Celebrity Apprentice,” an NBC show with a slightly tweaked name but the same general concept as its Donald J. Trump–led predecessor.
Much like NBC, Schwarzenegger did what he could to distance himself from the president-elect in the leadup to the show’s premiere. One day after audio surfaced last fall of Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women to then–”Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush, the former California governor said that he would not vote for Trump in the 2016 presidential election ― the first time he hasn’t voted for a Republican nominee, he said, since he became a citizen in 1983.
Last month, Schwarzenegger said, “[’The New Celebrity Apprentice’] is Arnold. The other one was Trump.” During the show’s premiere on Monday, Schwarzenegger never directly referred to the former host.
The distancing appears to have been successful enough, at least as of Tuesday. Most of the conversation the morning after the show’s premiere has revolved around Schwarzenegger’s twist on Trump’s famous “You’re fired” tagline (it’s “You’re terminated,” for those interested). And while The New York Times’ Mike Hale called Schwarzenegger “robotic” in Episode 1, The Telegraph’s Jonathan Bernstein thought he “immediately [outdid] Trump” in the show’s premiere.
But Trump and Schwarzenegger have more in common than their duel careers as politicians and entertainers, moreso than their roles as hosts of “Celebrity Apprentice.” Like Trump, Schwarzenegger has also been accused of groping multiple women without their consent in the past. And much like Trump, such allegations did little to derail his campaign for political office.
As recently highlighted in a piece by The Daily Beast’s Amy Zimmerman, allegations that Schwarzenegger treated women inappropriately first popped up in a major way in a 2001 feature in Premiere magazine entitled “Arnold the Barbarian,” in which John Connolly detailed the experiences of women who felt “shaken” after nonconsensual encounters with Schwarzenegger.
Two years later, the allegations popped up once again, when Schwarzenegger was just days away from winning the the California gubernatorial recall election. On Oct. 2, 2003, the Los Angeles Times published the stories of six women who said Schwarzenegger either touched them inappropriately, tried to remove their clothes or pulled them onto his lap, after which he asked inappropriate questions. “Did he humiliate me? You bet he did,” one woman said.
The campaign initially denied the allegations, which spanned multiple decades. But later that same day, Schwarzenegger admitted that he “was on rowdy movie sets and I have done things that were not right which I thought then was playful but now I recognize that I offended people.”
He added, “Those people that I have offended, I want to say to them I am deeply sorry about that and I apologize because that’s not what I’m trying to do.” Two days later, the Los Angeles Times published the accounts of three more women who said Schwarzenegger acted inappropriately toward them. Three days after that, the actor was elected governor of California.
There are certainly differences between the allegations against Schwarzenegger and Trump, who himself has been accused of sexual assault by more than a dozen women. Namely, remorse. While Schwarzenegger apologized immediately after the allegations cropped up, Trump didn’t, instead choosing to divert attention to the sexual assault allegations faced by his political opponent’s spouse.
NBC did not immediately respond when asked by The Huffington Post whether the network or MGM, the production company behind “Celebrity Apprentice,” considered Schwarzenegger’s history of groping allegations before naming him host of the reality show.
Certainly, however, that’s a lot of accusations between the two hosts of one show.