Donald Trump promises that not only is “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice” going to be “interesting TV,” but that it is a very “nasty show.”
“It is a strong cast. It is a very smart group of people who have done well in life and for the most part on the show,” Trump said on a conference call to promote the new season of the reality series. “It is a very nasty show. Omarosa is extremely nasty. I am a big fan of Omarosa. She was brutal. La Toya [Jackson] handled her very well, but it was not easy.”
And Jackson, who was also on the call, agreed saying, “I was told over and over she is very conniving and cunning, and you are faced with it. She was brutal and it was interesting.”
The two teams of returning celebrities will be broken down into men vs. women, despite the fact that there are 8 men and only 6 women. But the battle of the sexes is a successful format and the one thing The Donald believes in is not messing with success.
“It was easy to get everyone to come back,” Trump says. “It was easy to cast because everyone wants to be on it. So many [former contestants] have done so well for themselves and their brand.”
Returning for the men’s team are: multi-platinum country star Trace Adkins; actor, author, and entrepreneur Stephen Baldwin; Academy Award nominated actor Gary Busey; magician and master illusionist Penn Jillette; rap star and entrepreneur Lil Jon; Poison frontman Michaels, winner of the third season of “The Celebrity Apprentice”; NBA Hall-of-Famer Dennis Rodman; and Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider.
Trump says that people really wanted Busey back for the conflict, and Michaels, who was also on the call, commented, “Gary is a tremendously smart human being and a character all mixed into one. And the best part about it is it is real. It is sincere. It is just what he is. He is intelligent in his own way.”
The lineup of women revisiting the competition include: “Taxi” star and best-selling author Marilu Henner; the previously mentioned Jackson; television/radio personality and actress Claudia Jordan; “The Apprentice” original all-star Omarosa; actress, host and author Lisa Rinna; and Playmate of the Year Brande Roderick.
Jackson says, “I wanted to do it in the beginning, but the second time around I was hesitant because I knew what I was faced with the first time. I said, ‘You know what? You never give up. You move forward. You have to believe you are going to be the winner.’ I went for it because if I’ve learned anything, it’s we need to put our best foot forward and don’t let anybody block us from what we wish to do.”
One new aspect of the show will be former winners — Piers Morgan, Joan Rivers, John Rich and Arsenio Hall — will from time to time step into the roles played by Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump as mentors and judges.
“The conflict between Omarosa and Piers, which is just a continuation of what happened previously on the show, is as good, as smart, as mean, and as tough as anything we have had on the show,” says Trump.
Even though he was a former winner, Michaels, who insists he is in better health this time around, turned down the opportunity to be an adviser in order to compete.
“Honest, I was a little surprised because the other winners are sitting next to me as my advisers, and Brett really wanted to go on the show and make a lot of money for his charity,” Trump says. “That took a lot of courage. I don’t think I would have done it.”
While Michaels adds, “The truth is, I felt like I had a major disadvantage. I call it the Super Bowl Syndrome. When the team comes back that has won it, everyone is gunning for them. But as a lifelong diabetic, it is a great opportunity for charity. I wanted to do it, but no doubt when you are coming back, they are going to be firing for you. You just have to be strong and do the best you can.”
“All Star Celebrity Apprentice” premieres on Sunday, March 3 at 9/8c on NBC.