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All-Star Celebrity Apprentice kicked off with a bunch of talented celebrities, including past winner Bret Michaels. Michaels and former Celebrity Apprentice runner-up Trace Adkins were each given the opportunity to choose teams. Surprisingly, Gary Busey was not chosen last. Instead, Dennis Rodman got the short end of the stick. Adkins, Stephen Baldwin, Busey, Marilu Henner, Penn Jillette, Lisa Rinna, and Dee Snider made up team Plan B. The second team named themselves Power and was made up of Michaels, Dennis Rodman, Brande Roderick, Omarosa, Claudia Jordan, Lil Jon, and La Toya Jackson.
Once the teams were determined, Trump gave them the challenge: each team would create meatballs to sell as a fundraiser. The teams decided on two completely different strategies. Adkins took leadership on one team and decided not to open it to the public, instead spending his time focusing on some higher-check whales. The other team took on Roderick as project manager and brought in tons of smaller donors, as well as opened their shop to the public.
Fundraising seemed to be going well until just before closing when one of Roderick’s big donors was still a ways away. The show took a break on a cliffhanger before returning to the boardroom. As it turns out, Adkins’ “private party” strategy worked out and his team won. This left the other team to squabble and it wasn’t pretty. Omarosa has always been one of the most if not the most difficult people to get along with in the history of reality television. There were some discrepancies with the money, but Roderick didn't choose to bring Omarosa, who cashiered, back.
Instead, Trump fired Brett Michaels. Not so secretly, Trump had spoken out several times throughout the episode explaining that he was unhappy a former winner had returned, so it was really no surprise he came to the decision he did. I have a feeling the relationship between Roderick and Omarosa will be uneasy in the coming weeks, however.
The Celebrity Apprentice Power Rankings are an ordered compilation of weekly lists put together by TV Blend writers Mack Rawden and Jessica Rawden. Each week after viewing the episode, they each rank the competitors in order. Fourteen points are given for a first place vote, and this week, two were given for a last place vote. One competitor has already been eliminated; therefore, poor Bret Michaels automatically occupies the bottom slot. Here is how this week’s voting panned out, complete with analysis on how the celebrities might fare moving forward.
#1) Trace Adkins (26): With a second place finish during his original season and a win this week in the first challenge of the All-stars season, Trace deserves his spot at the top of the rankings. That being said, I’m still not sure closing his meatball business to the public was the right call. If they would have lost, he really would have had to argue himself out of a hole. Luckily, they didn’t, and consequently, he looks like a mad genius.
#1) Lil Jon (26): Lil Jon did extremely well during his first tenure on Celebrity Apprentice. He showed pizzaz and an ability to think creatively, as well as the capacity to work extremely hard. So far, his skills haven’t really been put up to the test; but judging on his track record, he should do well on the show, again.
#3) Penn Jillette (25): Penn may not have won his season of Apprentice or even made the finals, but he’s clearly a brilliant mind. He’s an effective leader, a good teammate and an excellent brainstormer. He’s the type of guy that’s handy to have around, and it would be a real surprise if he wasn’t a serious contender when the dust settles near the end of the season.
#4) Dee Snider (21): Dee went home well before I think anyone really expected him to go last season. He was fired a week after he pulled in an astonishingly high amount of money for bad design. As long as no one puts him in charge of fonts or other images, he should be able to pull his weight and stick around for a hell of a lot longer, this time.
#5) Omarosa (17): Generous? No. Compassionate? No. Easy to work with? No. But a hell of a player? Yes. Through careful planning and a serious bending of the truth, Omarosa somehow managed to knock off former winner Bret Michaels last night. At some point or another, her shit always catches up with her, but expect a few more bodies to be left in her wake before that happens.
#6) Claudia Jordan (16): Claudia Jordan is only even remotely in the limelight already because she butted in and argued with judge Pierce Morgan in Episode 1. The woman is a hard worker and a person who doesn’t back down, which should prove to be an asset as she steps up to the plate more in coming weeks. She’ll need to stop starting arguments in the boardroom for no reason, however.
#6) Brande Roderick (16): Brande Roderick brought in a ton of money for her charity this week. However, her team lost and that money went Adkins. It could be argued she made a mistake in trusting Omarosa with the money. However, he complete lack of understanding concerning what was going on with her individual teammates and her problems with grasping finances almost completely negate the money she raised. We’ll have to see how long she sticks around.
#8) Marilu Henner (15): Marilu did almost nothing during last night’s episode. Her team’s meatball restaurant was closed, and neither she nor her teammates were shown doing very much at all. Consequently, there’s just no way to tell how strong of a player she might be this season Check back in a few weeks and we should have a better idea.
#8) Lisa Rinna (15): Lisa was fired during week two of her season back in the day during her stint as project manager on the second episode. Considering she doesn’t have Star Jones to battle with this time around, she should, hopefully, be able to make it a lit bit further. That being said, it’ll be difficult to have full confidence in her until she proves she can be a winner.
The Dark Horses
#10) La Toya Jackson (12): La Toya talks the talk and walks the walk, but there were only rare moments when she was helpful during her first season on the show. However, Trump seems to like the woman—she is a Jackson, after all—and I wouldn’t be surprised if she stuck around for a while on the show, whether or not the audience is interested.
#11) Dennis Rodman (9): Dennis Rodman was fired fairly early in his season of Celebrity Apprentice, having not won any cash for his charity. In Episode 1, he managed to get annoyed at having been picked last and got a little too chummy with Claudia, to her chagrin. We’re going to need to see a little more actual effort from the former basketball player if he wants to move up these rankings, at all.
#12) Gary Busey (6): As Trace said during last night’s episode, Busey is a complete asset if he’s given clear direction. In fact, a case could be made that no one is a harder worker on the show than he is. Consequently, that feverish effort should push him forward for a half dozen or so episodes until his turn as project manager invariably implodes.
#13) Stephen Baldwin (4): The problem with Stephen is his attitude more than anything else. Is holding back a few major donors in case you have a fundraising challenge the right call? Yes. But refusing to contribute anything and being very smug about it in the boardroom is the wrong call. Had his team lost last night, he very could have been fired, and his project manager didn’t even bother opening the meatball shop to the public.