ALL FIRED UP
These days, Donald Trump seems to be looking for a court jester rather than an apprentice. That’s what Guy Davis took away from a viewing of Celebrity Apprentice.
necessarily false look at how big business operated.
Nowadays, of course, the global financial crisis has revealed capitalism as something of a bad joke at best and a rigged game at worst. And one gets the feeling that watching a bunch of would-be business barons struggling to make their mark would be kind of depressing, really. The solution? Celebrities! Introducing famous ( or at least familiar) faces into a tiring format is pretty much a guaranteed wake-up call, and it’s one The Apprentice has been using for a few years now.
While the last season of the show – the 10th, believe it or not – went back to basics by using non-celebrities, its low ratings in the US made it a foregone conclusion that larger-than-life personalities would be vying against one another for the favour of The Donald ( as Trump has been called in the past, sometimes by himself).
What wasn’t expected, however, was how larger-than-life the personalities would be.
Reality TV doesn’t really attract the A-list. You’re not likely to see Johnny Depp dancing with the stars or Angelina Jolie taking part in an amazing race. So in lieu of actual star power, shows such as Celebrity Apprentice need a bit of outrageousness, a touch of craziness.
In short, they need Gary Busey.
The one-time Oscar-nominated actor – who in recent years, thanks to a drug habit, a head injury caused by a motorcycle accident and goodness only knows what else, has re-emerged as a genuinely weird reality-TV regular – is among a rogues’ gallery of characters participating in Trump’s challenge this time around, with their winnings going to a charity of their choice.
( Appropriately, and somewhat sweetly, Busey’s charity is The Centre for Head Injury Services.)
Some are legitimately talented people – legendary singer Dionne Warwick or
belter Meat Loaf, for instance – but others are … well, not.
I mean, Survivor champ Richard Hatch’s main claims to fame are ( a) getting naked, and ( b) going to prison. ( In that order, by the way.) Real Housewives of Atlanta star NeNe Leakes’ primary skills seem to be her overbearing nature and overwhelming sense of entitlement. And LaToya Jackson? Enough said.
So it’s not exactly the television version of an MBA from the Harvard Business School. But ask yourself this question: why would you want something like that when you could see Gary Busey throwing pieces of pepperoni at people walking down the street? ( Don’t ask. Just watch.)
Besides, the celebrity approach is far more appealing to the man running the show. “ I find it much more appealing to work with them than people I’ve never heard of,” he said. “ The level of fighting was amazing.”
Family business: Donald Trump with children and Celebrity Apprentice judges Eric and Ivanka. Right: The celebrities compete for the role of apprentice.