'The Celebrity Apprentice' recap: Chronic Fa-Tiegs Syndrome
This season's contestants include Master Illusionist Penn Gillette of Penn & Teller; pop icon Debbie Gibson; comedian and "Internet trailblazer" Adam Carolla, who gets a 2.5 more seconds of screen time for admitting, apropos of nothing, "I lost my virginity in a [Buick] Regal"; Miss Universe 2008 Dayana Mendoza; "late-night legend" Arsenio Hall, who will be soliciting donations from all Dog Pound alums, so get our your checkbooks, kids; movie star and Grammy winner (for Best Hawaiian Music Album, which is apparently a category?) Tia Carrere; rock star Dee Snider, who most definitely will not be blasting "We're Not Gonna Take It" during any challenges; that lady from the Comedy Central Roasts Lisa Lampanelli; American Chopper handlebar mustache enthusiast Paul Teutul, Sr.; actress (Marta from Arrested Development!) and philanthropist Patricia Velásquez; best-selling author, hair extension hoarder, breeder of Pauly D lookalikes, and the lady who saved Joey's dog statue from Friends from obscurity (seriously, what is that thing doing in this intro shot?) Victoria Gotti; Indy car racing legend Michael Andretti; vanguard supermodel (just don't tell Janice Dickinson) Cheryl Tiegs; American Idol first-loser-of-season-2 Clay Aiken, who is determined to destroy any Velvet Teddy Bears that come across his path; defenseless animal owner, former P. Diddy trick, and "singer" Aubrey O'Day
; The Incredible Hulk and I Love You, Man star Lou Ferrigno; the Real Housewife who turned table flipping into a lucrative practice -- and an art, really -- Teresa Giudice; and Star Trek icon, out-and-proud gay, and kick-ass tweeter George Takei. Whew! So many contestants! So much looseness with hyperbole! Two minutes in, and I'm exhausted already! The 18 Celeb-prenti meet Trump at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall, issuing various threats and strategy talking points along the way. Most notably (albeit predictably), Victoria Gotti warns, "I can make you disappear." Noted! Trump has actually hired a mini-orchestra to play him onto the stage with the show's theme. Trump tells them all about Lincoln Center -- its $90 million genesis under John D. Rockefeller, and its recent billion-dollar renovation -- before turning his attention to the contestants. He asks what Arsenio Hall has been up to recently. Well... not much, but apparently he travels in the same circles as Ruben Studdard (yeah, 2003 name check!), who told him not to "be the first black man to lose to Clay Aiken." Clay laughs it off and says that he hopes a Celebrity Apprentice victory can erase his reputation as a runner-up.
Next up, Teresa Giudice has big shoes to fill since NeNe Leakes competed last season. And I mean that literally: Nene wears a size 10-11! Speaking of curvy ladies, Trump is rarin' to roast Lisa after she took pot shots him on his Roast. Fellow comedian Adam Carolla jokes he's playing for the charity White Kids Without iPads (actually, it's Catholic Big Brothers). Trump moves to Victoria, and asks who she's planning to go to war with. Victoria remains mum in front of her fellow Apprenti but admits in an interview that high-maintenance Debbie Gibson and fellow Italiana Lisa should watch it. Lisa says she's got eyes on George Takei: "I'm gunnin' for you bitch." George responds, "My loins are girded." Arsenio: "I don't even know what that meant, but it's very scary!"