'All-Star Celebrity Apprentice': Dee Snider on His Biggest Regret, Busey and the Boardroom

Dee Snider
Adam Olszewski/NBC

Best known as the lead singer of '80s rock group Twisted Sister, Snider recently starred on Broadway in Rock of Ages. On the fifth season season of Celebrity Apprentice (won by Arsenio Hall), he injured his finger during one task and missed most of the next week's episode because he required immediate surgery. He was eventually fired in a challenge he oversaw as project manager. He is playing for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Dee Snider became the second star fired on All-Star Celebrity Apprentice on Sunday night's episode.

The rocker and Broadway star was project manager of the team that lost the task requiring them to create an interactive, 3D photo experience at Universal Studios Orlando. While Snider brought teammates Gary Busey and Stephen Baldwin back into the boardroom with him, he ultimately admitted that he should be fired and spared his teammates from the elevator ride downstairs. Trump agreed and sent him packing.

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On Monday, Snider talked to The Hollywood Reporter about taking one for the team, what he really thinks of his teammates and what he's working on next.

The Hollywood Reporter: You took one for the team by pretty much telling Donald Trump that you were the one who should be fired. Was that hard to do?

Dee Snider: Of course, it's not pleasant, but to keep it in perspective, this is not a real job. I actually was fired from a fake job and then went back to what I really do and kick ass at. It's not a pleasant thing, but you have to keep it in perspective.

THR: What was your teammates reaction to your decision to "fall on the sword" for them, to use your words?

Snider: Apparently, which is great, the thing about doing a show like this is that it gives people a chance to know me, Dee Snider, circa 2013, as opposed to a guy screaming with a bloody bone in the '80s. I'm proud of my past, but I've grown a lot. And a lot of people know look at me and realize that I'm actually a person. I got along great with everybody [on All-Star Celebrity Apprentice], and I was told that when I left, it was like a funeral. My teammates were taken aback -- Gary and Stephen were ready all ready for me to go in there and attack. Some people do the right things, but not many, and I understood the criterion for the firing and why it was my responsibility, and I always take responsibility in my real life. If you're the boss, you're in charge, and it's your fault. But they were shocked [that he said he should be fired]. I don't know if Stephen works that way. I guess we'll see as the season goes on. They were thankful and appreciative and a little taken aback that I took the high road.

THR: Is there anything you wish you'd done differently?

Snider: After I left the show, I actually texted everybody afterward. Penn [Jillette] and I are really good friends; he performed the renewal of my vows with my wife for our 25th anniversary onstage in Vegas. But I realized too late that Penn's ideas are very big and intimidating to other people, and nobody else wants to speak after Penn. He actually had three ideas that we were trying to make work, and nobody else had any ideas left. I texted everybody on the team and said, "Listen, tell Penn to hold his thoughts and let everybody give their ideas first."

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THR: What was another one of his ideas?

Snider: He had an idea for an illusion where people in the park appeared to be hanging from a crane in a straitjacket, and it seemed like a cool idea. But I ask Penn, where are we going to get an aerial shot of Universal Studios? I wish I would have said, "You know what, Penn? Hold your thoughts for minute, and let's pick the brains of [other teammates]. They all had really creative ideas, but it all slows down when Penn's around.

THR: What are you thoughts on Gary Busey?

Snider: Gary is a mad genius. He knows exactly what he's doing. We both did the show Celebrity Wife Swap, and when I saw his episode and saw him flip the switch and stop acting crazy when the woman asked him to stop, I thought, "That son of a bitch is in control. He knows what he's doing." And [in the premiere] when Piers Morgan was coming, I said to Trace [Adkins], "Get Gary to Busey him." He said, "I got it." He turned on the Gary Busey to our advantage when we wanted it. He's a little wacky. He thinks because he played a photographer in a movie, he's a photographer, or because he played a computer operator in a movie, he can use a computer. But he's not going anywhere; he's too good for TV.

THR: You called Stephen untrustworthy. Can you explain that?

Snider: He deliberately held back money [in the first challenge], and you could see it in his face, he was very defiant and arrogant about it. And it showed him whispering in my ear. but it didn't show that he kept disappearing a lot. The war rooms were next to each other, and he kept disappearing. I had concerns about his intentions. But when we were in the boardroom [and Trump misled Snider's team into thinking they had won], you could see his genuine reaction when he said "congratulations." He was definitely playing the game, but he was not being malicious or sneaky.

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THR: Omarosa wasn't on your team, but she's causing a lot of drama so far. What is your take on her?

Snider: We got along great, but we weren't against each other. I'm not good for reality TV in that I can't change the way I work for a show. Throwing people under the bus and being manipulative is great for the show, and Omarosa was raised in that environment. It's how she does business and knows how to do business. It's how she works. We get along great off-camera. But I can't adjust my standards for a TV show. I can't be what I'm not for a fake job. She's very comfortable playing that way and working the system. I'm glad I didn't have to find out what it was like to be on the same team with her.

THR: What's next for you?

Snider: I wrote a musical, A Very Twisted Christmas, that's been optioned for Broadway. It's in development right now, and we're going to start workshopping it. A paperback version of my book, Shut Up and Give Me the Mic, is out in May. And the clothes I wore on the show, my Dee Snider signature line [The Saints Synphony], is coming out now as well.

All-Star Celebrity Apprentice airs at 9 p.m. Sundays on NBC.