'All-Star Celebrity Apprentice' Premiere Recap: Bandanas Will Roll
'All-Star Celebrity Apprentice' Premiere Recap: Bandanas Will Roll
Gina Pusateri
Gina Pusateri
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
It's lucky number season 13 for The Celebrity Apprentice and they've decided to commemorate that milestone by doing a loose interpretation of an All-Star season. I say that because there are very few actual all-stars included and maybe even a few are barely even celebrities to begin with.

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Donald Trump meets the "all-stars" at the Met, where he makes some wildly inappropriate comments about the state of Lisa Rinna's puffy lips and Omarosa's body shape. Good thing this isn't a real business or anything because I'd hate to be the HR person who has to approach The Don about being an old sexist skeeze.

Instead of splitting the teams up into men vs. women this time around as he usually does, he lets Trace Adkins (former runner-up) and Bret Michaels (the only returning winner) pick teams. He also takes a moment to call out Bret and his luxurious hair extensions for coming back to play again, saying that he doesn't agree with his decision to possibly strip himself of the respect he earned by already winning. Bret seems a little shaken, considering he hoped his willingness to play again would earn him a little admiration from The Donald. Anyway, here are the teams in the order they are picked:

Team Power
Bret Michaels
Lil Jon
Brande Roderick
LaToya Jackson
Claudia Jordan
Dennis Rodman

Team Plan B
Trace Adkins
Penn Jillette
Dee Snider
Marilu Henner
Stephen Baldwin
Lisa Rinna
Gary Busey

The teams break off and Trace volunteers right away to be the project manager, while Brande and Bret quibble over who will be the first PM for Team Power. Bret desperately wants to raise money for his charity for diabetes, which is something he lives with, while Brande insists that she can bring in big-time money and win the challenge, no question. After Brande gets on her knees and begs Bret (which is gross), he finally concedes.

In the boardroom, Trump is there with former winner and CNN personality Piers Morgan and his daughter Ivanka to assign this week's challenge. As per usual, it is a restaurant fundraising challenge. The teams have to take over a meatball shop and bring as much money in as possible, either from patrons off the street or big donors or both. Of course, the fact that it is a "meatball" challenge opens up the opportunity for a plethora of disgusting "ball" puns. Why couldn't it be a pizza joint? Or burgers? Calzones? Why do I have to spend two hours listening to Gary Busey talk about balls? So many questions.

In addition to raising funds, both teams will have to send representatives to Live with Kelly and Michael for the two stars of the morning talk show to pick the best tasting meatball and contribute $20,000 to the total of who they choose.

Team Power

Omarosa isn't wasting any time showing her true lizardy colors when she immediately calls out Bret for letting Brande be PM in front of Trump. She then tells Claudia that she would take personal pride in taking out the only winner in the game. I never saw Omarosa's season, but I'm beginning to understand why she's reality TV villain royalty.

The team develops a vegetarian meatball and gets to work on food production. They decorate the outside of their restaurant and plan on inviting the masses in as well as calling in for their big donors. Brande has trouble finding a place for Dennis to contribute, and he is very willing if incoherent. He eventually wanders to the kitchen to help roll out the meatballs.

Brande is also very confident about her fundraising ability. She has "like, so many billionaires" in her Rolodex, one of which may or may not be Hugh Hefner. Do Playboy Bunnies even know anyone besides Hugh Hefner? I didn't think he allowed that.

When the restaurant opens, other sexy women dressed as bunnies show up to donate as well as other "celebrities" such as Paul Tuttle, Danielle Staub and John Rich. Everyone except Brande's ace-in-the-hole shows up, leaving her worried that they will come short of beating the other team.

Team Plan B

Right off the bat, Trace decides not to concern themselves with the quality of the meatball nor opening the restaurant to the public. Basically, everyone on the team thinks that's a bad idea, but they have really no say in the matter. Stephen seems especially irritated with this strategy, even going as far as to say that he won't raise any money for Trace's charity and that he'll hold on to his big donors when he's PM in the future. A risky strategy for him, especially if this comes out at the boardroom later if they lose.

Instead of opening the meatball place for business, Trace discourages anyone from the public to join by putting up "Closed for Private Event" signs on the door. This leaves his whole team standing idly by as the challenge is on. Amy Grant, Valerie Bertinelli, Gilbert Gottfried, Mick Foley and Niki Taylor show up to donate to the cause.

Lil Jon and Bret represent Team Power and Penn and Marilu are the faces of Team Plan B at Live with Kelly and Michael. Team Power's meatball is a veggie meatball with pesto and truffle sauce, and Plan B's is something called a "hairy meatball," and Penn juggles. The winner cannot be more clear. Team Power does end up winning the $20,000 addition to their score.


Omarosa wastes no time in trying to manipulate the room into believing that Bret is the weakest player on the team. As the accountant, she accuses him of having raised the least amount of money. Claudia and Dennis also get into it a little with Piers about his personal vendetta against Omarosa. Claudia gets awful snappy with Piers, especially considering he's one of the people who may decide your fate.

Team Plan B is obviously less of a sh*t show than Team Power. Trace does say that Stephen raised the least amount of money on the team, a fact that Stephen all-too-easily corroborates. He admits to not having raised a single cent for the challenge, which really irritates the board members. Donald outright tells him that if they lose, he is the one who will be fired.

Fortunately for Stephen, Trace's Team Plan B pulls in about $419,000, as opposed to Team Power's $250,000. I just have to say that although Trace came through with the win, I found his strategy of not opening to the public to be disgraceful, especially because every dollar, no matter whose hand it comes from, ultimately goes to charity (the American Red Cross in this case), and every little bit is helpful.

The losers meet with The Donald to get to the bottom of who is really the worst person on the team. Omarosa manages to convince everyone there that it's not her, when in fact she may be the worst person in the world, let alone that room. The board members are not pleased that Brande has no grasp on who raised what for the challenge and is relying on the unreliable Omarosa for her figures. All she knows for sure is that she was the biggest fundraiser, bringing in over $130,000 on her own.

Brande decides to bring LaToya and Bret back to the boardroom to be considered for elimination since those are the two who raised the least, according to Omarosa, because, of course, she herself does not know. Ultimately, Donald cannot justify firing someone who raised that amount of money, and he can't fire LaToya because she is seemingly an innocent bystander who got caught in Omarosa's inaccurate accounting crossfire. This leads him to fire Bret, basically for having the incredulous attitude to come back on this show and try to win again. How dare he. 

Compete in Fantasy TV: Make your picks on who you think will be going home. Hurry, you have until March 10 at 12pm PST to cast your vote!

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(Image courtesy of NBC)

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