Donald Trump is at it again with his fourth installment of “Celebrity Apprentice,” which premiered earlier this month. This season’s cast is as unpredictable as the first and features A-List celebrities such as Lil Jon, La Toya Jackson, Gary Busey, NeNe Leakes, Meat Loaf and many more.
As in all seasons of “Celebrity Apprentice,” contestants will be battling each other to raise money for their individually chosen charities, in addition to the esteemed titled of “Celebrity Apprentice” and a $250,000 bonus check to their designated charity. The Daily Aztec had the opportunity to catch up with the man himself, along with Leakes and Meat Loaf, to get the inside scoop on the details of this season.
The Daily Aztec: Mr. Trump, how do you choose the celebrities for each season?
Donald Trump: Well the first season was interesting because it was hard to get celebrities because nobody wanted to be fired. So, you know, really for the first one, it was hard to get the right people. And I think we did a really good job. But now we turn down five for every one that we take. I mean everybody wants to be on because even if they don’t make it all the way their brand is generally helped. Now some don’t do very well and frankly, you know, you can’t have everybody do well. But for the most part when they do well and if they’re smart, if they have confidence in themselves and they help their charity they are really helped and everybody wants to be on.
DA: We’ve seen the clip of Meat Loaf having conflict with Gary Busey. Do you look for contestants who can have that sort of volatile chemistry?
DT: Well, I don’t know that I can say yes or no to that. I will say that this has been a very volatile group. It’s a certain intelligent volatile at the same time but without question the most volatile group we’ve ever had. It’s been an amazing group of people, and I think it’s going to be amazing television.
DA: Can you give some clues as to why this season is particularly volatile?
DT: Well, I don’t know. It’s just the group of people, the chemistry of the people. And, you know, it’s very interesting, but it’s got much more buzz than the last “Celebrity Apprentice” had. And the last one did very well with Bret Michaels, but this one seems to have more buzz than those. I don’t know if that means anything. I don’t know what that means, but a lot of people are talking about it. The chemistry of this cast has just been amazing.
NL: I would have to say that you have a lot of people on the show this season that are very passionate. I mean, they’re very passionate about their charities. We’re all very independent. I mean we’re our own stars and celebrities in our own mind. So, you just have a group of very passionate people who believe in certain things. And we all believe something totally different. So I think it’s just the passion amongst all of us.
DA: NeNe, will fans of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” see a different side of you on “Celebrity Apprentice”? And does this mean you’re planning to leave “Real Housewives” after three seasons?
NeNe Leakes: Well, no. Obviously I’m on the call to talk about “Celebrity Apprentice” and not “The Real Housewives.” But … absolutely the fans will see other sides of me because on the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” you don’t necessarily get to see the business side of me. So you will be able to see that on “Celebrity Apprentice.” So absolutely, there will be a difference.
DA: So Meat Loaf, we already know that you’d do anything for love, but what won’t you do for “The Apprentice”?
Meat Loaf: Oh, nothing. I’ll do everything for “The Apprentice.”
DA: NeNe and Meat Loaf, could you talk about your decision to join the show? Did you have any hesitation?
NL: I was scared to join. I definitely had hesitation. I was afraid, first of all. Of course, everybody’s afraid of Mr. Trump. I thought he loved being mean to everybody with that face and no smile. And I just thought I wasn’t going to be able to be smart enough to do this whole thing. And so, yes, I had hesitation. And after talking to the producers of the show I decided that I was going to go ahead and give it a shot. And I’m glad I did.
ML: I’m kind of in the same boat that NeNe’s in. The season with Sharon and them — I don’t know if that was an official invitation, but it had been brought to my attention and we were really busy and I said, “No.” And I have to admit that I have been asked to do probably every reality show in the world and I’ve said it over and over and over and over again. And this year, early on, way early, I got a phone call and the show actually, Bret had just won, and the phone call came in. So it was on the fly. And they said, “Do you want to do it?” And I went, “Yes, OK, I’ll do it.” And it was that quick. I didn’t talk to anybody.
DA: Mr. Trump, I think one question that’s on everyone’s mind right now is a little website called shouldtrumprun.com, where people are actually nominating you to run for president. Can you tell me what you think about that, if you’ve seen it?
DT: Well that’s an independent group of people who want me to run. And it all has to do with the fact that they’re tired of seeing the United States being ripped off by China and by OPEC and by every other country that’s got a brain and frankly, you know, it’s amazing because it’s over 400,000 people.
DA: Are you able to create more opportunities within your businesses by using things like “The Apprentice” to bring attention to them?
DT: Well, I think so and we like to use “The Apprentice” to show what we think of the market and what we think of the world and the world economy and the local economy. It really started off as a business show and it really continues to be that. And they say it’s the only business show that’s ever really worked big league on prime time television so we’re very proud of that.
DA: What is one thing you can say about this season’s cast?
DT: They’re fighting for their charities whether it’s Meat Loaf or NeNe or others. I mean, they’re all … fighting very passionately for their charities. And I will say this, there are some scenes on the “Celebrity Apprentice” coming up that I have never seen scenes like them in all of the years I’ve watched television, not just “The Apprentice” but I’m talking about throughout television that I jokingly said Omarosa’s looking like a very nice, very meek person by comparison to some of the things that …
NL: Stop playing Donald. Oh my God cause I’ve heard that already like, “NeNe, oh my gosh, are you making Omarosa look like an angel?” I’m like, oh my God.
“The Celebrity Apprentice” airs on NBC and will air every Sunday culminating with a live finale on May 22. For more information on this season’s cast or to see episodes and exclusive behind the scenes clips online, visit nbc.com/the-apprentice.