The fourth season of “Celebrity Apprentice” kicked off last night with 16 new B-listers hawkin’ chain store pizza to their rich and famous friends.
Here’s how it all went down…
Donald Trump makes his grand entrance at Radio City Music Hall, escorted by a gaggle of Rockettes and divides his latest crop of all-stars into two teams.
The Men (Team Backbone): Rock icon Meat Loaf, loopy actor Gary Busey, rapper Lil Jon, country singer John Rich, baseball great Jose Canseco, ’70s heartthrob David Cassidy, Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath and ‘Survivor’ champ Richard Hatch.
The Women (Team ASAP): Talk show host Star Jones, Atlanta housewife Ne Ne Leakes, red carpet maven Lisa Rinna, Oscar winner Marlee Matlin, supermodel Nikki Taylor, playmate Hope Dworaczyk, singer Dionne Warwick and celebrity sibling LaToya Jackson.
Charities: Jones reveals that she recently underwent open heart surgery which required doctors to remove her heart for 22 minutes and announces that she is playing on behalf of the American Heart Association.
Jackson says she will donate her winnings to Aids Project Los Angeles, a charity supported by her brother Michael. (Trump reminds everyone that the late pop star was “a real friend” of his.)
Matlin, the show’s first-ever deaf contestant, uses sign language and an interpreter to reveal that she is playing for The Starkey Hearing Foundation.
Project Managers: Hatch steps up for the men. The women unanimously choose Jones.
The Task: The teams each take over a Famiglia’s pizza franchise in Manhattan where they make, market and sell the food. The women chose a location in the theatre district while the men take a store on 8th Street near NYU. The celebs immediately hit the phones trying to raise money.
Train wreck moments: The women inexplicably put Warwick, the shows oldest (and slowest) participant to work as their cashier — despite the fact that she has no idea how to work the credit card machine…. Meanwhile, Busey tries to drum up business by hitting the street in a burnt orange suit proclaiming himself “The Pepperoni Profit”. He begins throwing toppings in the air and declares “wherever it lands, that is where the miracle happens.”
Celebrity Feud: Richard Hatch versus…pretty much his whole team. The reality star, who spent four years in federal prison for tax evasion, angered the entire crew by constantly touching people and bossing them around. “Richard is a depressing task master,” Canseco says.
Celebrity Friends: Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca stop by the men’s store and donate $1000. Jones sells a $40,000 order to a friend. Cassidy calls his daughter Katie, a star of “Gossip Girl”, who shows up for a quick $1000 snack.
Near Fatal Mistakes: Jones decides to close up shop two hours early to focus on her large order. Meanwhile, the women are judged to make the best pizza but unknowingly blow their $35,000 bonus by not being able to make a delivery to a local firehouse.
The Winners: Team ASAP raises more than $115,000 and comes out on top. They more than double the men’s take. Trump polls the men’s team and everyone asked says he should fire Hatch.
Boardroom Drama: Things get heated between Hatch and his teammates. He brings Canseco and Cassidy into the boardroom. He says he doesn’t think Canseco is very smart and tells Trump the former baseball star didn’t raise any money for the task. He then calls Cassidy “a little person,” “too sensitive”, and “emotionally delicate.” The controversial reality star then tells Trump that Cassidy was the weakest link because his was “difficult to manage” and required “more coddling than I was giving him.” Cassidy fights back saying Hatch is “an egomaniac, a complete control freak and disrespectful.”
The Final Verdict: “My instincts are almost always right,” Trump concludes. Cassidy is first to get the hook.
Next Week: The teams compete to write a children’s play and perform it for a group of youngsters. Will Busey dress up as the big bad wolf?