The Celebrity Apprentice: Guilty-pleasure TV at its Looniest

Familiar faces Bret Michaels, Stephen Baldwin, Gary Busey and Omarosa return for the all-star version of Donald Trump's wacky reality competition

Credit: NBC

Bret Michaels, Stephen Baldwin, and Brande Roderick are among the returning all-stars

With All-Star Celebrity Apprentice, TV’s most watchable nonsense returns to the screen

Most TV watchers have at least one guilty-pleasure show on their viewing lists, those shows we watch even though we know they’re mindless nonsense with no redeeming social or moral value — and yet we find ourselves helpless to resist. Mine is The Celebrity Apprentice

Last season, I couldn’t get enough, even when NBC supersized the episodes to two hours. Perhaps it says more about me than it does about the show, but I derived almost perverse enjoyment from watching these maniacs argue about minutiae and yell at each other like deranged inmates in Donald Trump’s D-list celebrity insane asylum.

Watching Lou Ferrigno throw his fellow contestants under the bus while insisting he gave “110 per cent” in every challenge (really Lou, it was more like 40, 50 tops) was a hoot, while I never imagined Clay Aiken was so fiercely competitive. 

Celebrity Apprentice: All-Stars

Suffice it to say I’m looking forward to the all-star edition of Celebrity Apprentice when it premieres this Sunday. The cast includes an array of celebs who competed in previous instalments, including Stephen Baldwin, Penn Jillette, Omarosa, Marilu Henner, Lil Jon, Lisa Rinna, Trace Adkins, Bret Michaels, Brande Roderick, La Toya Jackson and the entertainingly unpredictable Gary Busey.

Past winners Joan Rivers, John Rich, Piers Morgan and Arsenio Hall will also turn up to serve as Trump’s advisers in the boardroom. 

The Entertaining Insanity of Celebrity Apprentice

During a session at the recent TV Critics Association press tour, several of the all-stars were on hand to discuss the upcoming season, and had no compunctions about lashing out at each other — especially Omarosa, who dissed “crazy-ass La Toya Jackson” and remarked that “Steve Baldwin will stab you in the front as opposed to the back.” 

As country star Trace Adkins admitted, the show is set up to bring out the worst in people. “It puts me in a position where I’m forced to tolerate individuals that I normally wouldn’t tolerate,” he said. “And I just don’t live my life like that. I don’t have to spend time around people that I abhor.” 

So why return to endure another round of abuse at the hands of your fellow celebrities? For Gary Busey, the answer was clear — and honest: “I didn’t have anything else to do.”

All-Star Celebrity Apprentice premieres Sunday, March 3, at 9 pm on NBC.

Originally published in TVW. For daily programming updates and on-screen Entertainment news, subscribe to the free TVW e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.