I've been a long time lurker and finally got enough nerve up to speak. Be gentle with me.
It sure seemed that he was doing everything to get fired this time. I don't know how good of friends the Donald and he are but knowing that Gene is a pretty sharp guy I can see him signing on the show to help boost interest but only hanging around for a few weeks. He's got a lot of other irons in the fire, if you will, and the commitment to Apprentice would be time consuming. I don't get the impression he ever intended to hang on to the bitter end, he made his point that he's a business/promoter hot shot (or legend in his own mind)and is moving on. Regardless, he was entertaining, what an ego!
Anyone watch his Family Jewels reality show? Oddly enough I watched it from time to time and it's not too bad. His kids aren't insane and he's just a dad and significant other to his long time partner Shannon Tweed. At least that's my take on it.