With a cast that includes funny men Adam Carolla, Arsenio Hall, and Penn Jillette, it looks as if the upcoming season of “The Celebrity Apprentice” should be a fun one. But according to singer/actress/dancer Aubrey O’Day, it is also going to be the most “wild season of ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ there has ever been.”
“The men’s side started with bigger names than the women’s, but I think the women delivered the show this year in regard to drama because they were definitely acting like females — which I hate to admit. There is a lot of shocking language, a lot of shocking accusations and a lot of shocking fights that go down,” O’Day says.
She also shared that Teresa Giudice — who is famous for her table flip on “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” — and Victoria Gotti — were not necessarily the ones to watch for outlandish behavior. “People were crazier than them,” she reveals.
On a conference call with O’Day, Carolla and Jillette, it was clear that the celebrities were not adverse to ribbing each other — with one of their biggest targets being former “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken, who was the butt of many of their jokes.
But even as Carolla jokes about Aiken, he praises him: “Celebrities are some of the hardest working, driven, competitive human beings on the planet. You have to be because how the hell are you going to get to this place if you don’t have that fire in your belly and that motivation? You can have a joke about Clay Aiken wearing eye liner, which he does by the way, write that down — he dyes his eyelashes, he told me, otherwise they would disappear, but he is a very motivated, very competitive, very hardworking guy. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have gotten as far as he did in his last reality competition show.”
On the more serious side, each of the 18 celebrities participating — the largest cast ever in “The Celebrity Apprentice” history — will be competing for a grand prize of $250,000, which will go to the charity of their choice.
“My charity is Opportunity Village, which is a charity for intellectually disabled adults in the Las Vegas area. It is a new way of thinking and of getting people back into the culture. It is a wonderfully successful thing for people who tying their shoes and having breakfast is a difficult thing. That is the intellectual reason. The real reason in my heart is it was an Elvis Presley charity. The scarves that Elvis gave out [onstage] were made at Opportunity Village,” Teller says.
Carolla shares, “For me it was Catholic Big Brothers. Not because I am Catholic but because I was a part of the program years ago and I saw what a positive change it could create in a young child’s life.”
And O’Day adds, “I chose GLSEN, which stands for the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), because I experienced growing up … I am sure a lot of the celebrities experienced not fitting in at one point or another … and I thought it was also something that is very relevant now in pop culture and something we have seen a great deal of. As somebody who has experienced it, I thought it would be the strongest representation of what’s popular now to stand up and defend and have a voice for.”
Here is a list of the additional celebrities competing this season and the charities for which they are playing:
Clay Aiken — The National Inclusion Project
Michael Andretti — Racing for Cancer
Lou Ferrigno — Muscular Dystrophy Association
Arsenio Hall — Magic Johnson Foundation
Former Twisted Sister singer Dee Snider — March of Dimes/Bikers for Babies
Star Trek’s George Takei — Japanese American National Museum
American Chopper’s Paul Teutul Sr. — Make-A-Wish Foundation
Tia Carrere — After-School All-Stars
Debbie Gibson — Children International
Teresa Giudice — The NephCure Foundation
Victoria Gotti — Association to Benefit Children
Comedian Lisa Lampanelli — Gay Men’s Health Crisis
Miss Universe 2008 Dayana Mendoza — Latino Commission on AIDS
Cheryl Tiegs — The Farrah Fawcett Foundation
Patricia Velasquez — Wayuu Taya Foundation
So do these three new additions to “The Celebrity Apprentice” have a winning strategy?
Carolla says, ” I did not personally, other than don’t get everyone to hate you the first week. You learn pretty quick that whatever you had planned at the beginning is probably only good for a couple of days and then it becomes a kind of Chinese fire drill, at least in my opinion. If you are too rigid in your plan, you won’t be able to fully apply it to whatever you are doing. I had a half of plan and that went quickly out the window.”
“My plan was actually from the philosopher Mike Tyson, who said, ‘Everybody has a plan until they get hit.’ The instance that something doesn’t go the way that you plan, especially with this particular group of people, I think all plans went out the window,” Teller adds.
And O’Day, who says she has seen every season of the show, chips in with, “I don’t think this is a show you can really strategize. If you are smart, you don’t need a strategy. This show is about how good your ideas are, how well you can execute them, and how well you can sell them. The strategy is be good at what you do and have the best idea.”
Tune in when “The Celebrity Apprentice” premieres its new season on Sunday, Feb. 12 at 9 p.m. on NBC to find out just who that is.