Celebrity Apprentice producers knew former Baywatch star David Hasselhoff was unlikely to go the distance.
Last night “The Hoff” quit after just three episodes.
The international star had been a drawcard for Nine’s Reality series, but in the boardroom scene last night he fell on his sword before Mark Bouris could fire anybody.
“It’s not a business commitment, it’s a personal commitment that I made to my family and it involves honour,” he told his team mates.
“In my life there’s only one thing above business, and that’s a personal commitment. This came up last night.”
Team mates were shocked by his announcement and viewers also reacted with surprise on Twitter as the show aired.
Tom Scott: So basically The Hoff was just a publicity stunt and just a 2 week drawcard to get viewers?!?
Laura Siddall: Sorry Australia, Bouris has nothing on Alan Sugar & the Hoff ‘suddenly’ leaving…smells dodgy to me!
Rob Varghese: The Hoff was contracted to #CelebApprentice for three episodes or until he was fired, which ever happened first.
Tim Verrall: The Hoff has jumped the shark
Selina Nisanyan: So now that the Hoff is gone, is it just back to The Apprentice?
James Tobin: channel 9 would be spewing with the amount of money they spent to get the Hoff and he’s already gone
Jake Smith: I definitely won’t miss #TheHoff .. Good riddance pal. Even the contestants had a Gutful of ya!
His exit raises questions about whether he had only been lured as a drawcard to help launch the series, and when Nine expected him to be leaving. That raises questions about fairness and hoodwinking the audience in a show that has a competitive element.
In a statement to TV Tonight a FremantleMedia spokesperson said, “We were aware that there was a possibility he might get called away as he had flagged this other personal obligation which could emerge during our schedule.
“Then midway through the series David revealed to Mr Bouris and the other contestants he had made a promise of a personal nature and had been called on to honour it.
“It was unfortunate but unavoidable.”
Indeed his exit also denied everybody an equitable board room elimination. Having participated in a hair styling challenge, he chose to quit before facing boss Mark Bouris. While his team went up for elimination, the final result was an anticlimax with nobody being sent home.
His sudden exit contrasts with other Reality shows that have featured big-name drawcards including former Baywatch co-star Pamela Anderson in TEN’s Big Brother. In that appearance, it was made clear to everybody from the start that she would only be a guest for several days.
But Nine and The Hoff made no mention to the audience that he may vanish.
As the limo drove off into the night, he said, “I feel Hoff-ful about leaving but I’m very proud to have been a part of Celebrity Apprentice.”
And in a possible hint of a re-appearance, he added, “Hopefully I’ll be back, sooner than you think.”