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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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“Celebrity Apprentice” cast includes Clay Aiken, Lou Ferrigno, Arsenio Hall, George Takei

THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE -- Season 12 -- Pictured: Clay Aiken -- Photo by: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE -- Season 12 -- Pictured: Clay Aiken -- Photo by: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

Who are you looking forward to seeing the most on "Celebrity Apprentice" this year? (Pick up to four)

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Though the names leaked out months ago since this was taped in New York City last fall, the “Celebrity Apprentice” cast was officially announced by Donald Trump today. The show debuts Feb. 12 at 9 p.m. and includes the usual mix of musicians, supermodels, reality-show contestants, comics, athletes and actors.

To succeed in this show, you need a combination of determination, energy, creativity, wits, a strategic mind and a deep Rolodex. Here’s the list, which does not include anybody I see with any direct Atlanta connections. (Correct me if I’m wrong on that count):

Clay Aiken 32, is the first “American Idol’ contestant to ever participate and rumors are that he does very very well. How often do you get to see the season two runner up in a suit?

Michael Andretti, 24: former IndyCar series driver. Son to racing legend Mario Andretti. I don’t know anything about this guy’s personality or business acumen. [Had to correct this. Had his son Marco listed originally.]

THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE -- Season 12 -- Pictured: Tia Carrere -- Photo by: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE -- Season 12 -- Pictured: Tia Carrere -- Photo by: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

Tia Carrere, 44: This actress was Wayne’s hot rocker chick girlfriend in “Wayne’s World,” and a former “Dancing With the Stars” contestant, where she finished sixth season two back in 2006. I don’t know enough about her off-camera persona to judge how well she’d do with these types of challenges.

Adam Carolla, 47: comedian, podcaster, actor and former co-host of syndicated radio show “Love Line” with Dr. Drew Pinsky. He also is a recycled “Dancing With the Stars” contestant, finishing ninth season 6 in 2008. He strikes me as a smart, sarcastic guy who could rub some people the wrong way, which could also make for good TV.

Lou Ferrigno, 59: Actor and bodybuilder. He’s best known as the star of “The Incredible Hulk” and played a funny fictional version of himself in the film “I Love You Man.” He seems like a sharp tool and could be quite entertaining.

THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE -- Season 12 -- Pictured: Debbie Gibson -- Photo by: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE -- Season 12 -- Pictured: Debbie Gibson -- Photo by: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

Debbie Gibson, 41: 80′s pop star. Her hits include “Only in My Dreams,” “Lost In Your Eyes,” “Foolish Beat” and “Shake Your Love.” She has acted in theater and films (”Mega Python vs. Gatoroid” with Tiffany last year on Syfy!) And reality show buffs might recall her as a judge on “American Juniors,” the “Idol” spinoff in 2003 and “Skating With Celebrities” on Fox in 2006. She seems to have a good sense of humor about herself and has managed to keep
herself in the spotlight over the years.

Teresa Giudice, 39: cast member of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.” She seems likable and smart but tough as nails. She could be a wild card.

Victoria Gotti, 48: author, star of short-lived A&E reality show “Growing Up Gotti,” and daughter of mobster John Gotti. Does anybody want to mess with the daughter of a mob boss? Will she and Teresa get along or could this be the clash of the accents?

THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE -- Season 12 -- Pictured: Arsenio Hall -- Photo by: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE -- Season 12 -- Pictured: Arsenio Hall -- Photo by: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

Arsenio Hall, 55: Former late-night host. Since his celebrated talk-show stint two decades ago, Hall hasn’t approached nearly that level of celebrity since then, dabbling in various unsuccessful TV shows and a brief stint as a host of “Star Search” in 2003. Who knows if he is sharp enough to keep Trump happy?

Penn Jillette, 56: Comedian and illusionist. Half of Penn and Teller. The magician has had plenty of TV time over the years, including Showtime’s “BS” and the current Discovery show “Penn & Teller Tell a Lie.” He was also (gasp!) a former “Dancing With the Stars” contestant, ousted week one the same season as Adam Corolla. He seems intuitively bright and could go far in this show.

Lisa Lampanelli, 50: Comedian. Frequent Comedy Central roaster. She’s loud, brash and obnoxious, perfect fodder for a reality show like this. Think NeNe Leakes. The producers will demand she stick around as long as possible to torment the others.

THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE -- Season 12 -- Pictured: Dayana Mendoza -- Photo by: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE -- Season 12 -- Pictured: Dayana Mendoza -- Photo by: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

Dayana Mendoza, 25: Miss Universe in 2008. From Venezuela. Every season, Trump demands eye candy, typically someone we’ve never heard of. And that’s the case here. Based on past experience, she’ll probably stay under the radar, get used as a pawn by others, then get eliminated halfway through.

Aubrey O’Day, 27: Singer. Former member of Diddy’s Danity Kane and reality star of her own show “All About Aubrey” on Oxygen. Like Carrerre, she has modeled in Playboy. More eye candy to say the least.

Dee Snider, 56: Twisted Sister frontman. He showed up on an episode last season. He has a huge, over-the-top personality, perfectly cast for “Celebrity Apprentice.” Good bet he’ll be around awhile.

George Takei, 74: Sulu on “Star Trek” and gay rights activist. Having interviewed him before, he is very wry and will go in with a very jovial attitude. But I’m not sure he has the energy or eye of the tiger to go all the way on a show like this.

THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE -- Season 12 -- Pictured: Paul Teutul Sr. -- Photo by: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE -- Season 12 -- Pictured: Paul Teutul Sr. -- Photo by: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

Paul Teutul, Sr, 62: Star of the Discovery Channel’s American Chopper. He is a tough dude with a temper and used to cameras. But can that translate into success in the boardroom? Doubtful.

Cheryl Tiegs, 64: Actress and former supermodel. Supermodels aren’t necessarily the archetypes who excel on “Celebrity Apprentice.” She is facing off against some very big personalities and could get run over. Then again, supermodels are built to be under-estimated.

Patricia Velásquez, 40, actress and supermodel who acted in “The Mummy” and “The Mummy Returns.” Yes. Trump likes supermodels. Here’s another one! I have no clue if she has what it takes to face off against the likes of Dee Snider and the mob gals.

Here’s Clay’s video on the website explaining why he’d be good on the show and the charity he is working for:

79 comments Add your comment

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squirrelly mc cheesy grill pon pon pon

January 4th, 2012
11:25 pm

Remember that time Howard Stern got old Takei and William Shatner to exchange shots at each other? Man that was classic. Hey Rodney for the sake of everyone try to score an interview with Tia, she is super hot!

JTesla

January 5th, 2012
12:02 am

I like the people they have this season, I like enough of them that I’ll actually watch for the very first time. Far better “celebrity” casting than most “celebrity” type shows.

kara

January 5th, 2012
5:57 am

This should be a fun season. Can’t wait to see Clay compete!

mom3boys

January 5th, 2012
6:25 am

Paul is both well-connected and a business man…he will be just fine.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Jon

January 5th, 2012
6:50 am

Will clay be paired with the womens team, cause he certainly is no man.

Highlander

January 5th, 2012
6:50 am

I don’t watch the show but I’d like to see how Penn Jillette does. He’s pretty sharp. And I’d just like to see Tia Carrere! :D

Mercedes S.

January 5th, 2012
7:04 am

I voted for Clay, Sulu, Lou and Cheryl – people I at least have heard of.

How is that percentage score supposed to work, though? If Clay gets 76% of the vote, and the rest of the people get a combined 158% – what scale is being used?

SK

January 5th, 2012
7:18 am

Michael Andretti is part of the cast, not Marco. From what I heard, the filming started the week after the horrible Las Vegas Indy car crash that killed that young driver, a friend of Marco’s, so dad Michael stepped in. (Clay does have a minor connection to ATL, albeit small. That is where he auditioned for American Idol in late 2002.)

MarioA.

January 5th, 2012
7:19 am

Mario has been a business owner for years running his multi million $ Indy Racing Team. He seems like a very level headed person that makes good decisions. I’d say there’s a couple of females in there as well that seem like hard working ladies that will do good but remember ‘they’re nothing without team players’

Nutmeg

January 5th, 2012
7:26 am

It’s seriously annoying that Trump casts male celebrities and female models. Come on… what about roughly equivalent levels of fame? I want to root for a woman, but I don’t want to root for a nice rack with good hair and nothing inside the cranium.

Deirdre

January 5th, 2012
7:38 am

I never watch this show but I admit that this is interesting casting.

As for Nutmeg’s comment, I have to disagree. Tia was very famous during the Wayne’s World era, as was Debbie Gibson, teen pop princess and the real housewife plus the comedienne could hardly be called models. And Victoria Gotti……not exactly a candidate for a tiara. Cheryl Tiegs, while still lovely, is in her 60’s. Why not root for her? And how do you know there’s nothing inside the cranium until you actually see them in action?

Lee B.

January 5th, 2012
7:45 am

Can’t wait to see what Paul Teutel Sr. does in the boardroom. The furniture in there ain’t got a chance!

J

January 5th, 2012
7:52 am

Rodney — According to NBC (http://www.nbc.com/the-apprentice/candidates/michael-andretti/) it’s Michael Andretti, rather than Marco. And there’s an ATL connection there. Or at least a Roswell connection, with the Andretti cart place.

No connect

January 5th, 2012
7:56 am

J, no atl connection, those are in lotsd of states. That is like saying what is Dave Thomas atl connection…

Rickster

January 5th, 2012
8:22 am

The Donald better be careful of Penn Jillette. If the dude gets ticked… he could make The Donald’s hair disappear.

Rickster

January 5th, 2012
8:25 am

Of course… if Victoria Gotti gets ticked, she could make The Donald disappear – or have him whacked.

Harriett

January 5th, 2012
8:30 am

Good morning!

I don’t like Apprentice. I have tried to watch it at points during various seasons, but I hate the infighting and arguing. Not pleasant and not entertaining–at least for me. Also, I got a look at Clay in one of the previews and he looked kind of strange. Maybe it was the camera angle or something.

DSGreer

January 5th, 2012
8:31 am

Rodney – I think your assessments are pretty close on most of these.. At least I am familiar with most of them. As mentioned before, Dad Michael A. DID take over for son Marco –
My guesses for first 5 to go: Victoria G., Cheryl T., George Takei, Patricia V., Adam Carolla…
and last 5 standing: Clay Aiken, Arsenio H., Teresa G., and keeping the best eye-candy to the end -Aubrey O’Day,, Dayana…
From those remaining, I’d pick Paul T., Lisa L., Penn J., Debbie G. to round out the top half…

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Donaldhater

January 5th, 2012
8:49 am

Maybe Clay and George can hook up!

Metro Source » Celebrity Apprentice

January 5th, 2012
8:50 am

[...] Debbie Gibson, Arsenio Hall, Adam Carolla, Lisa Lampanelli and Cheryl Tiegs. View the full list here. Who are you pulling for? Visit Clay Aiken at his official site. Read extensive contestant bios [...]

Deirdre

January 5th, 2012
8:54 am

I think Clay will do well. He’s smart, personable and my guess is that he will be underestimated by the other contestants. Not sure a good cast is enough to get me to tune in.

COOL CLYDE

January 5th, 2012
9:03 am

Arsenio Hall my homeboy from Cleveland is going to win it in a land slide hands down! Go get it Arsenio and let this jump start your career!!!

Anna

January 5th, 2012
9:08 am

I predict that it will be Clay and Arsenio in the finale and that Clay will win. You just wait and see.

Harriett

January 5th, 2012
9:15 am

Clay should acquit himself nicely. I can’t see him in one of those abusive arguments, though.

JTesla

January 5th, 2012
10:13 am

Rodney, great blog entry by the way. Nice use of pictures, well researched individual entries, and knowledgable analysis.

Lil Birdie

January 5th, 2012
10:15 am

First hand experience, Arsenio has become a bitter ass.

Pitchy

January 5th, 2012
10:38 am

OM Goodness. Although Teresa Guidice is not a blond, she will have many blond moments. She’s pretty, but one floor short of skycraper. I truly hope I will see her in a different light on this show. I doubt it.

I see Paul has lost quite a bit of weight. Wonder if he’ll be slamming/breaking any doors on the show.

I’m going to predict that Clay will win. Too funny, since I haven’t even seen the first episode. Teresa should be the first casualty, but for ratings may not be. Some people will want to look into those beautiful, big grey eyes.

Arsenion may jump start his career, but he won’t win!

Pitchy

January 5th, 2012
10:45 am

Teresa Giudice, 39: cast member of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.” She seems likable and smart but tough as nails. She could be a wild card.

This made me spit out my tea……

Just Sayin'

January 5th, 2012
10:46 am

Looks like an entertaining and motley crew for Celebrity Apprentice. Am very glad that the show will be on at 9:00 rather than 10:00 this time. Looking forward to CA this season!

Pitchy

January 5th, 2012
10:51 am

I haven’t missed a season yet, and must admit this season’s lineup is pretty interesting.

Rickster

January 5th, 2012
10:55 am

Rodney, you wrote: “Marco Andretti, 24: IndyCar series driver. Dad’s Michael Andretti and grandfather to racing legend Mario Andretti.”

Since Michael is Mario’s son, that would make Marco “grandson to racing legend Mario Andretti.”

Lucky Wilder

January 5th, 2012
10:57 am

I love the predictions that Clay will win. That’s my wish. He’s so smart, witty, and charming that I do think he’ll go far, if not all the way.. Among the men, I consider Arsenio, Penn, and Adam strong competition. Time will tell! GO CLAY GO!

Rickster

January 5th, 2012
10:58 am

Pitchy, I’m proud to say I’ve not seen a season yet. So between the two of us… we’ve got both ends of the spectrum covered.

Pitchy

January 5th, 2012
11:01 am

Yes sir, we certainly do. :wink:

One of the funniest lines from last season was when NeNe called Latoya “Casper the Ghost.” I fell off the bed laughing so hard….

Deirdre

January 5th, 2012
11:01 am

According to NBC, as stated before, although Marco was originally slated to be on the show, his dad, Michael Andretti is the contestant.

Mercedes S.

January 5th, 2012
11:07 am

Look forward to reports on this blog how Clay’s doing.
Me, I’ll watch the fake (No Heidi, No Tim) Project Runway instead. Starts tonight. All Stars version, which RoHo has written about on other thread. And here’s something interesting: new series starting on Animal Planet, “American Stuffers”. Not show about obese people eating too much, it’s a show about taxidermy. Always wondered about that since I inherited a stuffed badger.

JTesla

January 5th, 2012
11:18 am

Mercedes, I probably shared this months ago, but search YouTube for “Chuck Testa” with Ojai Valley Taxidermy. Great commercial for his taxidermy business.

Devil's Advocate

January 5th, 2012
11:49 am

Seriously? Enough already! Easily predictable outcomes. Staged fights between Victoria and Theresa will be the most talked about. Arsenio will bring a few laughs. Clay will sing a song. donald will keep repeating how beautiful and striking some of the women are. Others will not be memorable. It is past time to bring back the NON celebrity apprentice, or can this show. I also predict ratings will be at an all time low, as many of us are realizing we are just watching celebrities trying to publicize their ” brand.” Needless to say, I won’t be watching. I’ll keep up with the highlights by watching entertainment news, maybe.

Devil's Advocate

January 5th, 2012
11:53 am

Lisa Lampenelli will win. She is the funniest.

Zach

January 5th, 2012
11:56 am

I can’t wait to see my idol Lisa Lampanelli poke fun at Trump and everybody else on the show. Should be amazing!!

JTesla

January 5th, 2012
11:58 am

For a minute there I wasn’t sure if you were joking or not, but then when you said Lisa Lampenelli is funny. That is when I figured out that it was a joke.

Devil's Advocate

January 5th, 2012
11:59 am

This show is just an adult version of some kid’s dance school. The one who brings in the most money will be crowned king or queen, or the apprentice.

[...] link: “Celebrity Apprentice” cast includes Clay Aiken, Lou Ferrigno, Arsenio Hall … – Atla… This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged arsenio-hall, atlanta-journal, cast-announced, [...]

Donna P.

January 5th, 2012
12:48 pm

Lisa Lampanelli should be a HOOT to watch. I like this cast.

kelly&carriefan

January 5th, 2012
1:22 pm

Whoa, back the truck up! That’s CLAY?! Dang, he looks totally different!

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Sam-A

January 5th, 2012
2:10 pm

K&CF: One of the daily entertainment shows had an interview with Kelly last night – unfortunately I missed part of it because I was cleaning up the kitchen, but saw her talking about her weight. It was interesting, and smart answers too – hope you saw it. One of those AJC things that flips around looks like it had at least part of the interview as well.

I sure don’t agree with Kelly’s political choices, but still love the girl, love her voice, love her music and will buy every album she puts out as long as I can.