Episode 1 of “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice” is ominously titled, “The Wolf in Charge of the Hen House.” The show opens in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as the returning best of the best — and worst of the worst — “Celebrity Apprentice” contestants join Donald Trump to be split into teams.
Trump puts one-time winner Bret Michaels and previous second-place contestant Trace Adkins in charge as team leaders. Donald takes the opportunity to criticize Brett for coming back, and exposing himself to the chance at going home a loser after his first win. Unfazed, Bret takes turns with Trace drafting their teammates. Bret chooses Omarosa Manigault first, determined to harness her negative energy for good. The guys leave Dennis Rodman as the last player picked. (Something tells us that never happened to Rodman in gym class.)
The contestants move to suites at Trump Tower, and convene to choose team names. Omarosa does a freestyle rap for Lil John, and her lyrics lead the team to “Team Power.” The opposing team chooses a name based on one of Trace Adkins’ lyrics, and — per Gary Busey — a birth control method, Plan B.
Project managers for the first challenge are chosen by whom each team thinks will be the biggest fundraiser.
Brande Roderick (project manager)
La Toya Jackson
Trace Adkins (project manager)
Each team will make meatballs at a meatball shop, and attempt to raise the most money selling their meatballs. Celebrity contestants will also bring their team’s signature meatball to “Live With Kelly and Michael.” Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan will choose who made the better meatball, and that team will get a cash bonus added to their total. The team that makes the most money will win the challenge, and all the money earned will go to the charity of the winning team’s project manager.
Trace leads Plan B with a risky strategy. He doesn’t want the team’s meatball restaurant to be open to the public. Instead, he wants 15 high-dollar donors to come dine on the team’s meatballs in private. In fact, he doesn’t even care if the meatballs taste good. “I don’t care if you taste my meatballs and throw up,” says Adkins. But his team disagrees, and works on creating a tasty meatball with a recipe from Rinna’s husband, Harry Hamlin.
Things are going swimmingly on Roderick’s Team Power, but Rodman is left with nothing to do as Brande doesn’t want him getting involved with trying to cook or use a computer.
Lil John and Bret bring a vegetarian meatball with pesto sauce and truffle oil to “Live with Kelly and Michael,” knowing Ripa is a vegetarian. Penn and Marilu bring “Naked Balls with Harry Sauce,” a play on Hamlin’s name for the recipe. And Penn juggles the meatballs for the audience.
Meanwhile, back at Team Power’s meatball shop, Omarosa plots to single-handedly “take out” Bret, the only former winner in the game “Ain’t nowhere where the Bible says you need to be weak,” says Omarosa. “The Bible says ‘vengeance is mine.'”
Balloons are raised and the checks start rolling in for Team Power, but Brande is stressing about her one billionaire donor, who she has yet to hear from.
Over at Plan B, the meatball shop is closed to the public and dead as a doornail. None of the promised donors have walked through the door, and the team is really nervous — and really bored. So Busey steps outside and flags down a tour bus, at which point Trace threatens to fit him with a shock collar.
The first donor through the door is musician Amy Grant, who buys $75,000 worth of meatballs. Gilbert Gottfried plunks down $10,000 and Valerie Bertinelli pays $5,000 for meatballs. WWE champion Nick Foley buys meatballs for $10,000 and super model Nikki Taylor joins the parade of celebrities exchanging big checks for meatballs.
Back at Team Power, a Playboy Bunny walks in with a $5,000 check, and Paul Teutel, Sr. of “American Chopper” fame shows up on his cruiser. But most of the customers are every day people walking in off the street, like the fans carrying a “Team Bret” poster. Bret was even shaking down concert roadies for their “stripper money.” The problem is, he notices Omaraosa, as treasurer, is cheering for every donation except the ones he is brining in. Hmm …
Visits From Judge Piers Morgan
Piers shows up to check out the scene at Plan B’s meatball shop, and Trace assigns Busey to give him the tour — and distract him from annoying Adkins. Like Trace’s teammates, Piers is not a fan of the high rollers only strategy. “That five dollars, in the end, could make all the difference,” Morgan says. “It’s a high-risk strategy.”
When Piers visits Brande at Team Power, he criticizes Brande for not knowing how much money the team has raised or how many meatballs the team has cooked. “Trump is a numbers guy,” says Morgan.
Last Minute Donations
In the eleventh hour, Trace brings in a meatball donation of $100,000 from oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens. While Brande, with only 15 minutes remaining in the day, gets a hold of the billionaire donor to find out the check delivery is still 40 minutes away. She breaks down into tears, saying “Don’t tell me you’re gonna be here to support me if you’re not.” And who could blame her?
When Trump asks Team Power how they did, Omarosa immediately pipes up to throw Bret under the bus. Brande defends Bret, but admits he was in the bottom two or three donation earners. La Toya criticizes Brande’s ability to delegate as a leader.
Trump turns his attention to Plan B and Penn calls him gutsy, brave, focused, and “a blast.” He praises Trace’s strategy of going after “as we say in Vegas, ‘the whales,'” but admits he would not have been brave enough to make that decision. Busey goes off on a meandering speech about how kind Trace is, and Trump criticizes the innuendo behind the team’s meatball name (“Naked Balls with Harry Sauce.)
When asked who was the worst player on the team, Trace says it was Baldwin, who didn’t bring in a penny. Earlier we saw that Stephen was saving his donors for a challenge when he is project manager, and Piers and Ivanka say he should be fired on those grounds, if his team loses. Trump says Stephen should have hit up his brother Alec Baldwin for donations.
The attention turns back to Brande, and Donald and Piers criticize her choice of which contestants on her team had the most star power. Rodman then calls out Piers for his bashing of Omarosa. “What is the main reason why you hate this woman here?” asks Dennis. “You’re obviously a d*** too, so people don’t like you either.” Then the claws come out when Cl
audia goes after Piers for “b****ing and complaining” and causing gossip over how featured Omarosa was on Team Power’s promo poster.
“The reality is I won this show, because I know how to play it,” says Piers. And Ivanka wants to know why Claudia is going up against one of her judges, and “as a woman” making derogatory statements toward Piers involving remarks about women.
Trump puts it all to rest and the show moves on.
The Winning Team
Donald lets the teams know they raised more money than has ever been raised on the first episode of a “Celebrity Apprentice” season. Kelly and Michael chose Team Power’s meatball, so Brande’s team gets an extra $20,000 added to their sales total.
Team Power raised $230,533, and is supplemented by the $20,000 from Rip and Strahan. Plan B raised $419,539, so someone from Brande’s team will be going home. Trace’s charity, the American Red Cross will receive the sum of the donations, totaling over $670,000.
Brande shocks Ivanka by not knowing who raised what, in order to decide whom to bring in to the boardroom with her. Ivanka also confronts Omarosa about refusing to tell Brande who brought in the least amount of money. Brande defends herself saying, “I did not get told the truth from my teammates.
Omarosa continues to go after Bret, making him out to be a liar and saying “he perpetrated the biggest fraud on [Brande].” Trump shuts everyone up and demands to know how much each contestant brought in. Donald and Piers say one or more of them is lying, because the amounts don’t add up.
It’s then up to Omarosa as cashier to tell who brought in what. Her totals are still off, so she’s lying too. It’s up to brande to decide who to bring back to the boardroom, and she chooses La Toya and Brett, based on Omarosa’s numbers. She’s now under attack by Donald and Piers for losing total control of her team.
Piers digs in to Brande for trusting the biggest villainess in “Apprentice” history with the cash register and the donor reports, and points out that Omarosa just threw Bret under a double-decker bus.
Ultimately Michaels gets told by Trump, “You’re fired.” Why did the only winner of “Celebrity Apprentice” on “All-Star” get kicked off the show so early? Trump just couldn’t be comfortable with Brett’s decision to return after already winning once. “The one problem I have is I never understood why you came back,” Donald tells Brett. “Deep down, even if you did great, psychologically it’s awfully hard for me to pick you again.”
So what does Michaels have to say about Omarosa now? “She is an absolute manipulative villain,” says Brett. He also says he’d come back to the show again if he was asked.