March 7, 2011 at 12:02 PM ET
The pre-premiere buzz for “Celebrity Apprentice” focused on what promises to be a legendary, season-long feud between Star Jones and NeNe Leakes, but on Sunday night, fans of the boardroom action learned that the first real fight had nothing to do with the ladies.
“Survivor” champ and all-round reality TV baddie Richard Hatch stole the spotlight as he took on the role of project manager for Backbone, otherwise known as Team Dudes, and pulled double duty by also assuming the role of jerk. While leading his group to defeat in a pizza sell-a-thon, Hatch dismissed, disrespected and physically pushed aside teammate David Cassidy.
That bullying behavior earned complaints from Cassidy and the former teen idol’s unexpected defender, Jose Canseco. But ultimately it didn’t do a thing to hurt Hatch’s reputation. As it turned out, boss Donald Trump found Cassidy’s whines more disappointing that Hatch’s bad guy routine, so he gave the singer the boot.