The New Celebrity Apprentice, with longtime movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger stepping in for a certain former host who is now otherwise occupied, has been in the works for a long time. Schwarzenegger was first announced as host in September of 2015. The show filmed early last year, and it finally debuted on NBC Sunday night.
Ever since Schwarzenegger was named the show’s new boss, there has been a great deal of speculation as to what catchphrase he might use when firing contestants, in place of Donald Trump’s “You’re fired.” Most of the contenders were variations on catchphrases from the star’s movies — “Hasta la vista, baby” or “You’re Terminated” or “[you won’t] be back” (from the Terminator movies), some variation on “Get to the chopper” (from Predator) or “It’s not a tumor” (from Kindergarten Cop). Schwarzenegger even once said “You’re fired” on screen, as he shot a missile at the villain at the end of 1994’s True Lies, so that remained a contender as well. The catchphrase of choice was kept closely under wraps for the entire year, but with the show debuting, we finally have the answer.
Schwarzenegger used two versions of the phrase on the broadcast, according to Variety. In the first hour, when firing YouTube personality Carrie Keagan, Schwarzenegger said “You’re terminated.” In the second hour of the show, while axing Wilson Phillips singer Carnie Wilson, he repeated “you’re terminated,” while adding an “hasta la vista, baby.”
The series has a wide variety of contestants, including boxer Laila Ali, former NFL running backs Ricky Williams and Eric Dickerson, singer Boy George, former Queer Eye For the Straight Guy star Carson Kressley, actor Jon Lovitz, reality star Snooki, and Mötley Crüe frontman Vince Neil. As with previous editions of the show, the celebrities are vying not for a job but rather to win money for favorite charities.
The choice of the two Terminator references may have been somewhat obvious, but it fits both with the history of the show, and “you’re terminated” is in fact a euphemism for “you’re fired.” Whatever the catchphrase, Schwarzenegger’s participation seems likely to draw lots of viewers to the new version of the show.
Meanwhile, while there’s nothing in the Variety story about the show having received permission from James Cameron or whichever corporate entity currently controls the Terminator copyrights to use the phrases, presumably some type of deal was worked out. Schwarzenegger’s known to be somewhat persuasive.
The Celebrity Apprentice will continue to air on Sunday nights on NBC.