Ian Ziering's Celebrity Apprentice Blog: I Want to Send Geraldo Rivera Packing
"Geraldo has to go," writes Ziering in an exclusive PEOPLE blog
He may have found fame in Beverly Hills, 90210, but Ian Ziering has set his sights on another zip code these days. Ziering relocated to New York City to vie for the title on Donald Trump‘s Celebrity Apprentice. Besides being a clothing entrepreneur – though he’s also Chippendales-approved and ready for any tasks that require shirtlessness – Ziering has one major edge one his opponents: Have they ever faced off against a throng of sharks? That is, not in the boardroom
Follow Ziering on Twitter and check back for his exclusive blog posts on PEOPLE.com after each episode of The Celebrity Apprentice.
For the teams’ fourth task, we had to come up with a four-page health and fitness layout layout for Cosmopolitan. Having Terrell Owens and Johnny Damon on our team really helped focus us on what we needed, content-wise. We also used our athletes as fitness models.
I was stunned when I saw him pitch his idea to Johnny Damon. Clearly, Geraldo has no respect for the personal space of others. In fact, I’m not sure he even grasps the concept. He continued his pitch though no one in the room was buying it – we were all too stunned! He persisted in driving his idea home to the point where he bent over in front of Johnny to further illustrate his sexual ideas.
I had Dr. Oz ready to go for an interview, and I was going to reach out to Dr. Richard Weindruch, a famous geneticist, for some insight on calorie-restrictive dieting.
I was going to write a blurb titled, “What Your Genes Say About Fitting into Your Jeans.” However, the producers shot down all outside help, which sent me into scramble mode. I asked the Cosmo editor about pole dancing as an exercise, and she loved it. My wife, Erin, has been taking classes since before my daughter Penna was born and has really benefited from them. I ended up writing an essay about that and also put together a survey about what female body types men are attracted to.
I was in good shape for yesterday’s boardroom, and I believed my team was, too.
Wedding Dress Project
During the fifth task, I was a man on a mission. In hindsight, I feel more fantastic than ever about what I accomplished on our new “blended” team! That’s right – blended. Mixed up like Mike Tyson at a spelling bee! As both teams stood before Mr. Trump to hear what our challenge would be, he threw a monkey wrench into the works that no one saw coming. He broke up the teams.
Before the breakup, Vortex was divided on who would be Project Manager. Sig Hansen and I both wanted PM, and we stepped outside on the balcony to have a little “come to Jesus” meeting. Essentially, I challenged him to pony up with how much money he’d bring to the table. Sig refused. I gave him this parting shot: “Well, I guess will see where we are in the A.M. because as soon as you say you want to be Project Manager on camera, I’m going to ask you how much money you have promised, and you’re going to have to say it and own it. If you got it, you got it. If you don’t, step aside.”
I knew he wouldn’t be able to deliver the goods. While Sig’s Coast Guard Charity is deserving, and Sig’s efforts were of the noblest intent, I was not backing down!
I worked the entire episode on finding more funds. The Chippendales organization, which has already donated to my efforts, came though again! My jaw dropped when I was told that two of their top performers were coming to give me a check for $25,000.
My heavy hitter was the Nu Skin company, an anti-aging company I’ve been working with for the last five years. They were coming with big bucks!
As destiny would have it, I was made Project Manager of team Team Infinity. I knew the best way for me to really get the support of my new fellow teammates was to inspire them, to make them relate in some way to the families that struggle with Epidermolysis Bullosa. I sat everyone down an explained to them what EB is. They were all were stilled by this monster.
I asked my team to imagine how their own lives would be affected if one of their kids had EB. I told them that this was my reason for being on this show and that I was committed to being successful. I was going to do whatever it takes to win because no child should have to bear that kind of suffering.
I’ve always believed success unshared is failure. if I can hand a huge check to the Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation, I will know the celebrity capital I have earned throughout my career will have been well-spent. Money buys science, and science buys life.
I knew my new teammates would dig deep because they believed what I believe. I was confident they would turn over stones that uninspired people are too lazy to turn. Great leadership comes from inspiration – not manipulation.
It’s worth noting that Geraldo was no longer on my team. He was not just a competitor on the opposing team – he was the PM against me! I thought to myself, “Please God don’t let this greedy, self-absorbed man beat me and take what I’ve worked so hard for. He’s already won $283,000 for his charity, and now he’s coming back for more.” To me, the biggest injustice has been that he cut in front of others who have not had a chance to raise money for their charities.
My main goal as the season continues? Geraldo has to go. Nothing would make me happier then to be the one to send him packing.