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La Toya Jackson, Gary Busey, Lil' Jon and David Cassidy among C-listers on NBC's new Celebrity Apprentice



celebrityapprentice2011-1.jpgI'll be honest: I would pay to watch LaToya Jackson, Lil' Jon and Gary Busey eat breakfast in a diner together.

But NBC has given us connoisseurs of fine celebrity train wrecks a gift: Slapping these three titans of tragic meltdowns into a single reality show based on boorishness, backstabbing and sucking up to Donald Trump.

There is a God. And he apparently runs programming for the reality TV division at NBC.

The show that made a stateside star of Piers Morgan and rebooted the career of Poison frontman Bret Michaels returns in March with a new cast of C-level celebrities looking for a sprinkling of that Donald Trump fairy dust.

This year, NBC has lined up an amazingly bizarre roster of 16 has-beens and hopefuls for Celebrity Apprentice, including: LaToya Jackson, Gary Busey, Jose Canseco, Lil' Jon, Real housewife NeNe Leakes, Marlee Matlin, Dionne Warwick, Lisa Rinna, Niki Taylor, Survivor winner/tax cheat Richard Hatch, Meat Loaf, Mark McGrath, Playboy playmate Hope Dworaczyk, Star Jones and John Rich.


celebrityapprentice-michaels.jpgWatching the subsequent success of past winners Morgan and Michaels (sounds like a bizarro Florida law firm, don't it?), it's not hard to see why C-list celebrities would sign up for this ride.

And given how badly the non-celebrity version of The Apprentice tanked last year, NBC will likely double-down on the celebrity version, which has given us the sight of Joan Rivers' catfight with Annie Dukes and Rod Blagojevich waiting tables -- reality TV gold!

The real question is: What Mephistophelean deal did The Donald strike to allow such success, despite his status as one of the least attractive celebrities on the planet? Not only for the weird comb-over hairdo that looks like a racoon's nest, but for his shameless embrace of greed, borderline sexism and a boorish, know-it-all attitude in which he acts like the smartest guy in room -- even when he plainly is not.

On second thought, perhaps The Donald is the perfect embodiment of our know-nothing, shameless, fame-chasing so-called "reality TV" culture.

At the very least, this show may offer more than a few train wrecks worth watching.


celebrity_apprentice-latoya.jpgNEW YORK – Friday, January 14, 2011 – NBC announced today the stellar celebrity lineup of candidates appearing on the next season of “The Celebrity Apprentice,” premiering on Sunday, March 6th at 9pm EST/PST.

The women include: Hope Dworaczyk, La Toya Jackson, Star Jones, NeNe Leakes, Marlee Matlin, Lisa Rinna, Niki Taylor and Dionne Warwick.

The men include: Gary Busey, Jose Canseco, David Cassidy, Richard Hatch, Lil Jon, Meat Loaf, Mark McGrath and John Rich.

“The next season of ‘The Celebrity Apprentice’ will be the most exciting yet. We are thrilled to bring back the celebrity format with 16 new and unbelievably talented celebrities who will help me make ‘The Celebrity Apprentice’ one of the hottest shows on television this spring.  This will be season 11 -- Amazing!” said Donald J. Trump, the show’s star and executive producer.

All 16 celebrities will be competing in business related tasks in and around New York City, using their fame, contacts and business acumen to win weekly tasks, while ultimately raising money and awareness for their respective causes.  As per usual, Trump and his advisors, who also happen to be his children and colleagues, will stand in judgment of the celebrities in the Boardroom.  Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. are back and will welcome their younger brother, Eric Trump, who will be filling in as an advisor, as will longtime Trump Organization employee George Ross. 

celebrityapprentice-logo.jpgAs with the previous seasons, the winning celebrity team will have the privilege of watching the losing team squirm under the scrutiny of Donald Trump and his advisors from the comfort of their own war room.  After each task, the wining project manager will get to present their charity with a check.  Last season, “The Celebrity Apprentice” raised over $1,250,000 for charity.  The money raised this season promises to squash previous numbers and bring record-breaking donations to many worthy charities.  It will truly be a “must-watch” season.

"I am thrilled at the return of ‘The Celebrity Apprentice,’” said executive producer Mark Burnett.   “It has become America's Sunday night guilty pleasure, while at the same time, raising millions for charity. This season is the best yet. Buckle your seatbelts."

When all is said and done, 15 celebrities will hear those two words made famous by Donald Trump, while one will follow in the footsteps of Piers Morgan, Joan Rivers and Bret Michaels and emerge to become The Celebrity Apprentice.

[Last modified: Saturday, January 15, 2011 2:15pm]


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