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Remember how we’ve all been joking about the crazy reality TV they’ll be throwing at us if the writer’s strike continues to drag on? Damon Lindelof suggested America’s Next Hottest Cop and Celebrity Eating Contest, and I’ve personally been waiting for NASCAR With the Stars. It looks like NBC has gotten ahead of us, though, and is now giving us Celebrity Apprentice.
That’s right. 14 so-called “celebrities” will be competing against each other starting Jan. 3, though not for an apprenticeship with Donald Trump, as in the regular version of the show. They’ll still be taking on business-oriented tasks and getting judged in the boardroom by Trump himself, but the prize is $250,000 to donate to their charity of choice.
As with most celebrity reality shows, there’s an entirely bizarre mixture of wash-ups and has-beens, with only a handful of recognizable names. There’s Omarosa, famous for her first time around on The Apprentice in which she made nothing but enemies. Then there’s Stephen Baldwin, whose most notable work of late was a cameo in Fred Claus as… a brother trying to cope with having more-famous siblings. Also on the roster are Vincent Pastore, famous as Big Pussy on The Sopranos, and Gene Simmons, whose tongue may be the most famous thing about him.
Trump told The Hollywood Reporter that over 125 celebrities were “begging” to be on the show, and the hardest part was whittling it down to the final 14. That really begs the question of who wasn’t famous/desperate enough to beat out Carol Alt (model from back in the day), America’s Got Talent judge Piers Morgan, or not one but two Olympic gold medalists (Nadia Comaneci, gymnastics, and Jennie Finch, softball). Come to think of it, once you have the gold medal, aren’t you not allowed to be that desperate?
Part of me hopes that this is just a warning hoax on behalf of some bored WGA writers, sending out the message to the world that this is seriously all we’ll have to watch if the strike keeps going. Well, writers, you’ve got me. I will be writing the AMPTP every day until this long, national nightmare of a TV show goes away. Give me Celebrity Eating Contest any day.