NBC

Donald Trump Had No 'Apprentice' Power, Reportedly

Donald Trump currently finds himself in the most powerful position in the United States. Back in the mid-aughts, Trump also held a seemingly powerful position as the host and producer of The Apprentice, but it turns out he may have had much less power in that boardroom than we thought.

Clay Aiken, the American Idol runner-up who also placed second on Season 12 of The Celebrity Apprentice, revealed Trump really didn't make any of the big decisions on the reality show.

NBC

Appearing on the local politics podcast Domecast, Aiken said it was the network and not Trump that decided which contestants would be on the receiving end of his "You're fired" catchphrase.

Trump didn't decide who got fired on Apprentice, I mean, NBC made those decisions.

Granted, it's pretty common for producers to shape storylines from behind the scenes on most reality shows — did you really think Rachel Lindsay decided to keep that "Whaboom" guy around past the first elimination on The Bachelorette on her own free will?

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But Clay Aiken went on to describe just how much of a puppet Trump was for NBC on the show. Aiken said Trump had no idea what would go on in the challenges and would be fed his lines from producers during the elimination ceremonies.

There used to be a little thing right on his desk that looked like a phone — he pretended it was a phone — but it was actually a teleprompter where the producers were sending him notes. He didn't know that people were getting in fights during the week while we were doing these tasks, the producers did. And they'd send him notes and he'd say, 'Oh you two didn't get along.'
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So it sounds like Trump was just doing as he was told for the whole 14 seasons that he hosted the show.