Trump enlists celebrities for newest Apprentice
Gene Simmons, Stephen Baldwin, Carol Alt and Lennox Lewis are among the famous faces from the worlds of music, film, fashion and sport vying for the top spot in an upcoming edition of Donald Trump's The Apprentice.
NBC announced on Monday the 14 celebrity participants for the series, which began filming in mid-October and is set to air beginning Jan. 3.
The finalists were selected out of approximately 125 applicants, Trump told reporters at an embargoed news conference in October, just prior to the start of filming.
"They were all begging to be on the show," the bombastic real estate mogul said, adding that the final 14 "have all done something very dramatic with money."
The competitors are:
- Simmons, who aside from his days with rock band Kiss is a successful businessman and has also starred in his own reality TV series.
- Baldwin, an actor from the well-known clan of performers.
- Alt, a former model turned actress.
- Lewis, the former heavyweight boxing world champion from Canada.
- Vincent Pastore, best known for his turn on The Sopranos and a Spike TV host.
- Nely Galan, a former executive of the Telemundo network and executive producer of the extreme makeover reality program The Swan.
- Marilu Henner, the actress best known for her role in Taxi.
- Trace Adkins, country music recording artist.
- Nadia Comaneci, former gymnastics star and Olympic gold medallist.
- Tiffany Fallon, former Playboy Playmate of the Year.
- Jennie Finch, softball player and Olympic gold medallist.
- Piers Morgan, former British tabloids editor and judge from reality TV contests America's Got Talent and Britain's Got Talent.
- Tito Ortiz, mixed martial artscompetitor and former Ultimate Fighting champion
- Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, the notorious first-season Apprentice competitor who has also logged on reality TV appearances on Fear Factor and The Surreal Life.
Unlike previous editions of The Apprentice, which pitted ambitious individuals vying against one another for a job in the Trump empire, the new edition's celebrity finalists will compete in business-oriented tasks to raise funds for their favourite charities, with the eventual winner to score an additional $250,000 to donate.
As with the most recent editions of the NBC series, Trump has enlisted two of his children — Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. — as his advisers and co-judges.
After seeing flagging ratings for the past several editions, producers of the Trump series decided to test out a celebrity version for the upcoming series.