Melissa Rivers: “Dennis’ Firing Was Heart-Wrenching And Painful”

by | March 31, 2009 at 10:00 AM | Celebrity Apprentice, Melissa Rivers

The last episode of Celebrity Apprentice was as real as reality television gets. For me, my reality came in the form of two torn ligaments as a result of running and tripping in a hotel hallway during our task. A keen eye would have caught the walking cast on my ankle when I was saying goodbye to Dennis at the end.


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And speaking of Dennis, I’d like to focus on him. He’s a good friend and didn’t deserve what thankfully, the viewers did not see. What aired in the episode was only the tip of the iceberg of what really went down. Dennis’ firing was one of the most heart-wrenching, painful experiences I’ve ever had to sit through. You might have seen my mom actually crying at one point in the boardroom, it was that painful.

A combination of an alcohol intervention, and a vicious, wicked verbal lashing that bordered on abuse. The producers, Page and Eden (and of course Mark Burnett) did a fantastic job in regards to how they handled the situation while it was unfolding and how they edited the show itself.

Look, we all knew that Dennis enjoys a cocktail, but in the boardroom, we realized something more, that Dennis might be someone who needs help.

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It especially hurts us from the show because we know what a genuine and lovely human being he is. Dennis doesn’t wish ill will towards anyone; he only wants happiness and everyone around him to be having fun. Case in point, Dennis hopping into the limo with the hotel guests he escorted to Tao restaurant. He gave them an experience they would never have in ten lifetimes.

I don’t even know where to begin when it comes to Jesse James. In the boardroom he was absolutely freakin’ amazing. This is a guy who has been there and wears his sobriety proudly. We learned who Jesse is as a person. We saw him take a serious problem he knows about first hand and push hard to help his fellow man. Jesse is so real, it’s no wonder he has such an incredible wife in Sandra Bullock.

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At the end of the episode, we all just lingered about silently waiting for the elevators. Each of us alone with our thoughts about a gut wrenching experience we’d just witnessed and been a part of.

I truly love Dennis as a person and I hope everyone sees under his giant exterior what a good man he is inside.

See Celebrity Apprentice photo gallery.

As far as the actual task goes, for our team it was almost too easy. But that’s not counting my torn ligaments. Everything – other than that – was planned to a tee. Being on the same page from the get-go meant nothing dramatic was going to happen between us. We all had a good time together with this task, our fourth win.

I was especially happy for Tionne. I’ve been writing for weeks that she has been overlooked as far as what you’ve seen on the show, because she was a tremendous part of each victory. And now being the winning Project Manager, it was her time to stand up and shine.

The most important part of this episode took place at the very end after the credits rolled. It was when NBC put up the phone number for Alcoholics Anonymous. This show had nothing to do with performing a task, this episode was about getting a crucial message through to a friend we all care about very much.