Those of you who read The Rock last year know that I’m a big fan of the Celebrity Apprentice. I’m not sure why I love wasting two hours watching a rigged show with obnoxious people and D list celebrities (and no, those are not mutually exclusive) using the false pretense of charity in an effort to extend their expired fifteen minutes of fame. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t look forward to my annual indulgence of dumpster diving through lowbrow reality television.
Though I find Celebrity Apprentice to be about as close to perfection as reality TV can get, there was always one huge problem. Generally speaking, there were only a handful of entertaining celebrities on the show. While they more often than not provided enough entertainment for me to be satisfied, there was certainly room for improvement.
Trump has surprisingly lived up to his promise of providing one season to rule them all. This is coming in the form of an All Star Cast of the greatest has beens and a few questionable names altogether from previous seasons. I usually know better than to listen to The Donald when he makes a bold promise, but I find myself very pleased with this casting.
The fourteen returning “celebrities” are Season 3 winner Bret Michaels, LaToya Jackson, Omarosa Manigault-Stalworth, Lil Jon, Lisa Rinna, Gary Busey, Dennis Rodman, Claudia Jordan, Trace Adkins, Brande Roderick, Penn Jilette, Dee Snider, Marilu Henner, and Stephen Baldwin.
It’ll be interesting to see if Trump makes it men vs. woman again. Typical Trump logic suggests that he would, but there are more male cast members than female. For once, I don’t particularly care if it will be men vs. woman because the men’s team looks significantly stronger on the entertainment front.
The men’s team has several players which fit the same character type. Gary Busey and Dennis Rodman are both worthless comedic relief players, though Busey has a victory under his belt. Bret and Stephen are both incompetent leaders who overextend their boundaries. Penn and Lil’ Jon are both supporting players who will make it far, but won’t win. Dee and Trace are both sleeper players who don’t really do very much at all.
The woman are significantly less interesting save for Omarosa. Lisa Rinna was eliminated too early in her season to matter, not that I consider that a bad thing. Brande and Claudia don’t do anything. Marilu is nice, but uninteresting. I’m still not sure why LaToya was unfired in her season, only to be fired again in the next task. I’m not thrilled to see her again.
While there are a few men that I would like to have back on the show, I’m pleased with the selections. Rod Blagojevich is wrongly incarcerated, preventing his return. Gene Simmons, Jose Canseco, Meat Loaf, and Lennox Lewis would have been nice as well.
There are many woman who should have been selected over the mostly disappointing choices here. Aubrey O’Day, Maria Kanelis, and Annie Duke would have formed a red head alliance to take down Omarosa. Nene Leakes would have been entertaining, but her departure made that unlikely.
While nepotism almost always plays a factor in the Celebrity Apprentice, it will be interesting to see what happens on the second go around. Previous winner Bret Michaels dodged a few bullets on his way to the top. This time around he may not be so lucky, though it’s certainly possible that Trump could save anyone he likes regardless of what happens. It’s hard to label a frontrunner.
The Celebrity Apprentice’s February premiere cannot come soon enough. With an All Star Cast and every winner besides Michaels coming back as a judge, there will be enough excitement and narcissism to fill two hours every Sunday. Hopefully Omaha Steaks will be returning as a sponsor to help Gary Busey once again.