NEW YORK — The boys of “Growing Up Gotti” are developing a new reality series, Donald Trump will soon receive his very own custom-made motorcycle from “American Chopper’s” Paul Teutel Sr. and a famed former “American Idol” contestant reveals why he hasn’t watched the show in six years.
These were just some of the tidbits we picked up at a news event Wednesday in New York for the upcoming fifth cycle of “The Celebrity Apprentice.”
It was a gathering at NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza headquarters of reporters and some of the contestants — the ones who live around here — who will be seen on the upcoming “Celebrity Apprentice” when it premieres on NBC on Sunday, Feb. 12. The roster of contestants had just been announced that morning and the push was on to promote the show.
So we got face time with five of them and they each revealed some news about themselves and told us how it went when they filmed “The Celebrity Apprentice” this past fall. Here’s what we found out:
News item: Her “boys” — Carmine Jr., John and Frank (last name: Agnello, not Gotti), who haven’t been seen on TV since “Growing Up Gotti” ended its run on A&E in 2005 — are all grown up and working together in a metal recycling business they run in Queens, N.Y. And they’re working on a new, unscripted series about their lives that’s tentatively titled “Made Men.” The show is about “growing up from boys to men,” Victoria told us (and despite its cheeky title, it’s not about organized crime). She indicated that no network has picked up the show yet, but they’re hoping for VH1 or MTV. Though they may be grown up now, her sons (ages 25, 24 and 22) still live at home with her.
On “The Celebrity Apprentice”: Like other contestants we talked to, Victoria called the experience of filming the show “grueling — six days a week from 4 a.m. to 10 or 11 p.m.” She said she definitely clashed with some other contestants but, she cautioned, “it’s not the one you think it is.” She was referring to the combustible Teresa Guidice of Bravo’s “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” and we had to admit sheepishly that, yes, we assumed the two would not get along. Our bad!
Paul Teutel Sr.:
News item: In a rare (if not unprecedented) cross-over between “The Celebrity Apprentice” and another show, Donald Trump will be seen on Teutel’s Discovery series “American Chopper: Senior Vs. Junior” on Monday, Feb. 13 — the day after “The Celebrity Apprentice” premieres on NBC — receiving a custom-made motorcycle fabricated at Senior’s company, Orange County Choppers. So what’s a Trump motorcycle look like? “What you’d expect,” Paul said. “All top of the line — a lot of gold, the royal treatment.” By the way, the formerly burly Senior is a lot thinner these days, having lost 65 pounds through diet and exercise, he said.
On “The Celebrity Apprentice”: “It was tough,” he said, but at no point did he explode as we used to see when he worked with sons Paul Jr. and Mikey on the old “American Chopper” series. “I’m only like that with my sons,” he said. “I’m not really like that.” He corroborated what other contestants are saying about the upcoming “Celebrity Apprentice”: That the women on the show were a lot more explosive in their dealings with each other than the men were.
News item: The famed runner-up in the second “American Idol” back in 2003 (he lost to Ruben Studdard) told us he hasn’t watched “AI” since the Carrie Underwood season (she was crowned the winner in the fourth season, in May 2005). “I guess it’s like this,” he said, “Once you know how the sausage is made, you don’t want to eat it!”
On “The Celebrity Apprentice”: Clay admitted it was tough, mainly because he wasn’t prepared for the way some contestants would scheme to win, something he says he didn’t do. “It will play with your head,” he said with a smile.
News item: The strictly-for-adults comedian who gained fame for her no-holds-barred routines on Comedy Central’s profane celebrity “Roasts” revealed that she’s preparing a one-woman Broadway show that will hopefully premiere later this year.
On “The Celebrity Apprentice”: ““I yelled and screamed and cried and ate my way through this thing!” she said. When she was offered the show, it didn’t take her long to say yes. A shrewd businesswoman, she put it this way: “If you make it at least as far as a few weeks into the show, then you’ve got an opportunity to appear on network prime time for two hours every Sunday night. You’d be an idiot to say no.”
News item: On a non-“Celebrity Apprentice” question, the Twisted Sister rocker explained to us why he’s also appearing on another show with the word “Celebrity” in the title — ABC’s “Celebrity Wife Swap” (next Tuesday night, Jan. 10 at 9/8c), switching wives with Flavor Flav. Dee said he was so disappointed that his previous reality show — “Growing Up Twisted” — ran for only four weeks on A&E in 2010 that he wanted one more chance to put his family on television, and “Celebrity Wife Swap” gave him that opportunity.
On “Celebrity Apprentice”: A bit of wisdom Dee came up with after observing this series through its four previous seasons: “Comedians and musicians do better than the actors and athletes.”
Thanks, Dee, that’s food for thought.