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Celebrity Apprentice episode 1

Celebrity Apprentice: "Selling Hot Dogs"

In last night's episode of The Celebrity Apprentice, Donald Trump showed us he's still the same tough businessman he's always been — except am I the only one who thought he looked abnormally broad, like he was wearing extra shoulder pads? I think the old Apprentice got a surge of new life with its celebrity twist. Maybe it's because my expectations weren't too high for the first episode, but I was thoroughly entertained the entire hour. It probably doesn't hurt that I love fierce competition!

The episode opens with Donald informing the celebrities that they're all "commodities" and should use their "personal brand" to help them. While you and me aren't celebs with recognizable faces and reputations, we should always be working on our own brand. These are the qualities that you essentially sell to an interviewer to set you apart from the rest. Those are my two cents — now back to the drama!

The fourteen celebrity candidates are split into teams based on gender, which I think really heightens the competitive spirit. Omarosa volunteers to be the project manager for the women (team Empresario) and Stephen Baldwin steps up for the men (team Hydra). Immediately we're faced with striking differences in the teams' approaches — Nely Galan announces that she's brought matching hats for the team to symbolize unity, while the men are busy researching if the mythological Hydra had seven or three heads. I have to say, the hats have a huge lame factor.

To find out what celebrity is fired first and to see a video of the hot-dog vending madness

Stephen Baldwin's team whips Omarosa's team; the men raise $52,286 to the women's $17,038.79 and all of the money goes to a charity of Stephen's choice. The boardroom is full of animosity and there's an especially insulting exchange between Piers Morgan and Omarosa; he basically tells her that she's not a real celebrity and she calls him a "British asshole." I look forward to seeing how this relationship develops!

Omarosa drags Carol Alt and Tiffany Fallon to face the Trumps, but in the end Donald fires the former Playmate of the Year (Tiffany) for failing to call Hugh Hefner to buy an expensive hot dog. While Omarosa's viciousness makes my skin crawl and I'd like to see her get the boot, I think Donald made the right choice in the candidate he fired. Tiffany failed to use her celebrity and that was the whole point of the challenge. Following directions is a basic skill but if you don't have it, your employer will definitely notice.

Gene Simmons is still my favorite to take the cake, he certainly proved his celebrity in the first challenge and has some terrific one liners like “Omarosa is a survivor — like a cockroach — you cannot kill her!” I'm going to watch out for Nadia Comaneci though; did anyone else notice she hardly spoke one word the entire episode? She may have some tricks up her gymnast sleeve.

Photo courtesty of NBC

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