Trump brings back celebrity stars for new Ap­pren­tice

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Fra­zier Moore

NEW YORK — If at first you don’t suc­ceed.... NBC’s The Celebrity Ap­pren­tice is bring­ing back 13 play­ers fired from past Ap­pren­tice con­tests, plus one no­table win­ner, in the first-ever All-Star Celebrity Ap­pren­tice.

“We wouldn’t have done the ‘all-star’ con­cept un­less we were able to get the right con­tes­tants back,” said Don­ald Trump, the host and board­room boss who once again will be pro­nounc­ing each con­tes­tant’s fate.

The se­ries, which on Mon­day starts shoot­ing this new sea­son for a March 2013 pre­miere, an­nounced its slate of 14 con­tenders Fri­day morn­ing. They in­clude: Coun­try mu­sic star Trace Ad­kins

Ac­tor Stephen Bald­win

Ac­tor Gary Busey

Ma­gi­cian and il­lu­sion­ist Penn Jil­lette

DJ artist and rap star Lil Jon

NBA Hall-ofFamer Den­nis Rod­man Twisted Sis­ter front­man Dee Snider Ac­tress and au­thor Mar­ilu Hen­ner Singer La Toya Jack­son TV per­son­al­ity and ac­tress Claudia Jor­dan

Re­al­ity star Omarosa, who com­peted in the first, pre-celebrity edition of The Ap­pren­tice Ac­tress and au­thor Lisa Rinna Play­boy Play­mate of the Year Brande Rod­er­ick

Poi­son front­man Bret Michaels, who in 2010 emerged as the win­ner de­spite life-threat­en­ing ail­ments that in­cluded a brain hem­or­rhage and hos­pi­tal­iza­tion for what doc­tors called a warn­ing stroke

“They’re all very smart, and I think they learned a lot from their last go-around,” Trump told The As­so­ci­ated Press. “This time, some of them will change their game to fool their ri­vals — some for bet­ter, some for worse.”

The win­ner, as usual, will col­lect $250,000 to do­nate to his or her cho­sen char­ity.

Trump was asked whether, be­neath the tough man­ner he dis­plays for each con­tender in the board­room, he has se­cret favourites in the race.

“Ab­so­lutely, I do,” he replied. “Some peo­ple I like much more than oth­ers. I’m a hu­man be­ing, so I have my likes and my dis­likes. But I don’t let that cloud my judg­ment. If I like some­body but some­body de­serves to be fired, I’ll al­ways fire them, as op­posed to some­body that I don’t like if they don’t de­serve it. I would lose to­tal cred­i­bil­ity if I did oth­er­wise.”

The up­com­ing sea­son will be the 13th for the over­all Ap­pren­tice fran­chise, a track record that amazes Trump.

“Who would have thought?” he mar­velled. “When we first signed for it, they didn’t even take an op­tion (for more sea­sons). No one thought it would go any fur­ther.”

It did, catch­ing on with its de­but in win­ter 2004, as Trump in­tro­duced “You’re fired” to the trea­sury of TV catch­phrases.

Since then, he said, it’s been lu­cra­tive and fun.

“My busi­ness is real es­tate, but the show has been an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence,” he said, “good in ev­ery way.”

It’s also been, in some fash­ion, a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

The main thing he’s learned? “You can never pre­dict,” he replied. “I’ll see a con­tes­tant come out, and you would say they’re go­ing to win, on the first day. And then they’re the first one fired.”

But there’s been one other thing he’s dis­cov­ered: the im­pact of his ex­po­sure on TV.

“I was very well-known be­fore the show,” he said, “but, frankly, I used to be able to walk out­side. I can’t even walk out­side now! Over­all I think the show’s great, but there are times when you’d like to have a lit­tle bit of pri­vacy.”

Then Trump laughed at a re­porter’s face­tious sug­ges­tion that he con­sider don­ning a dis­guise.

“I could put on a real wig,” Trump joked. “A lot of peo­ple say, ‘He wears a wig.’ I don’t. But maybe I should wear one: a big black sucker!”

RICHARD DREW / THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Trump says he likes some con­tes­tants bet­ter than oth­ers, but he doesn’t let that cloud his de­ci­sion-mak­ing on the show.

Busey

Lil Jon

Jack­son

Michaels

Hen­ner

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