As a society, we love to be entertained, and the reason behind it is two-fold, as entertainment mainly provides us with fun and joy, but most importantly, it gives us the opportunity to temporarily escape and forget the issues that plague us on a daily basis. We find our entertainment in several ways, whether it be with movies, books, sports, music, board games, going on vacations, or just going out with our friends and family, but the main way in which most of us still entertain ourselves is by watching television. In the age we currently live in, the stories told on television are better than they have ever been, as there are hundreds of channels and thousands of shows which offer a multitude of genres to choose from, genres which include reality television.
For more than a decade, reality TV has become a monster in terms of popularity, due to the idea of watching how people live their lives while on camera, even though most of these shows happen to be heavily scripted in nature. The biggest sub-section of this genre is reality game shows, which are programs that take ordinary people and pits them against one another in some sort of competition to win a grand prize at the end, and that is exactly what The Apprentice was. The Apprentice began in 2004, and this show had people competing to get a job from the host who happens to also be the current president-elect of the United States, Donald Trump. This version of The Apprentice, had a total of seven seasons, but it continues now under the title Celebrity Apprentice, which showcases ‘celebrities’ who are raising money for a charity of their choice, and this show was also hosted by Trump up until last year. Trump became an even bigger household name thanks to these shows, so it is only fair that we get to examine one of the things that made him famous and ultimately aided him in his presidential victory. So here are 15 secrets you didn’t know about The Celebrity Apprentice.
15. Two Wrestlers Have Been Contestants
Professional wrestling has been around for decades now, and as evidenced by The Rock and John Cena, wrestlers do have the ability to step out of the ring to shine elsewhere on television or even on the big screen. As we all know, Donald Trump is no stranger to the world of wrestling, as he has hosted two WrestleManias back-to-back, feuded with his friend Vince McMahon on-screen, and currently has a spot in WWE’s Hall of Fame; which means that it is only natural that he has had wrestlers appear on his show. Goldberg is without a doubt one of the most dominant wrestlers to ever enter a ring, whether it be with WCW or WWE, especially when you take into account that he has only lost five matches in his entire career. Maria Kanellis is a former WWE Diva who spent six years with the company after competing in the 2004 Diva Search, and when she was not serving as a ditzy backstage interviewer, she would compete in the ring from time to time. These two both appeared in the third edition of Celebrity Apprentice, but neither ended up winning it, as Goldberg was fired in week six with Maria leaving four weeks later.
14. The Show Pitted Mother vs Daughter
As most of us have come to understand, family drama is the backbone of virtually every reality show currently on TV, and this is a formula that even Donald Trump decided to use in his show when he had the late Joan Rivers compete against her own daughter on Celebrity Apprentice’s second season. Joan Rivers was a legendary comedian who was known for her controversial persona in regards to making fun of celebrities and politicians, and she was also known for her fashion critiques. Her daughter Melissa, is an actress and television personality, who starred alongside her mother in a reality show with her mom called Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best? after their appearance on Trump’s show. Based on the setup of the show, the duo competed against each other virtually every week, and ended up going pretty deep into the competition, with Melissa getting fired in week ten for not raising as much money as her teammates, while Joan went on to win it all in the finale.
13. Khloe Kardashian Tried To Win
The Osbournes may have been the first celebrity family to allow cameras into their home to record what goes on in their daily lives, but even at the height of their show’s popularity, its ratings are nothing compared to what the Kardashians get every week for their show. The Kardashian clan has possibly become the most famous family in the world, which is saying something considering that their fame originated from O.J. Simpson‘s murder trial and Kim’s naughty video, and it is because of those two things that millions of people around the world know and love Khloe Kardashian. Khloe obviously stars in Keeping Up with the Kardashians, as well as several of its spin-offs, but she has also hosted shows like The X Factor; but she also wanted to win the coveted role of Trump’s apprentice. She competed in the show’s second edition, and lasted until week six where she was fired for never telling Donald about being arrested for a DUI in the past.
12. The Terminator Is Taking Over
To the dismay of millions of Americans, and billions of other people from around the world, Donald Trump is the next president of the United States, a job which is by far the most difficult in the entire world. Shortly after he announced his candidacy, NBC, who aired The Apprentice series, decided to re-evaluate their relationship with Trump, and decided that it was better to cut ties with the man who literally made the show what it was. Although Trump is no longer involved with the show, NBC chose not to cancel it, and has it slated to return on January 2, 2017, and when it premieres, it will have Arnold Schwarzenegger as its new host. Schwarzenegger is no stranger to politics as he served as California’s Governor for two terms from 2003 to 2011, but he will always be known for his bodybuilding past and his acting career which saw him become one of the biggest action stars in the world. Arnold’s most famous role comes from the Terminator franchise in which he plays the titular robot, which means it is quite possible that the show’s famous line may now be, “You’re terminated.”
11. Donald Proposed To A Contestant
Marriage is supposed to be a sacred union between two individuals who truly love each other and who will try to spend the rest of their lives together through thick and thin, but as we learned during this past election, Donald Trump likes to trade-in his wife every couple of years. Donald has been married three times now, and while he was filming The Apprentice, he actually tried to land wife number four in the form of Brande Roderick, who appeared in the same season as Joan Rivers and Khloe Kardashian. Brande happens to be a former Playboy Playmate who also appeared on the show Baywatch, and while on The Apprentice in 2009, Trump allegedly proposed to her multiple times, saying that he wanted the beautiful blond to be his wife, all while he was married to his current wife Melania. When the season was over, Donald tried to get her back on the show, which worked as she returned for the 2013 season, where once again he asked her to be his wife multiple times.
10. The Original Show Was More Successful
Donald Trump made a lot of claims about his successes during the presidential campaign, several of which turned out to be outright lies, but he was telling the truth when he said that The Apprentice was a hit TV show, because ratings-wise it was. The original show which featured no celebrities whatsoever, first aired in 2004, and had actual regular people with business degrees and backgrounds trying to land a job, and each season finale (except for the final one in 2008) would garner at least 10 million viewers. You would think that a show which featured only ‘celebrities’ would garner even more viewers than a show without any, based on how much we adore celebrities, but as it turns out, not as many people cared about which celebrity won money for their charitable organization, as evidenced by the fact that aside from Celebrity Apprentice’s first season in 2008, the show’s finale never reached 10 million viewers, with the lowest viewership coming in the 2013 season with 5.1 million. The winner, Bill Rancic (far left), later starred in his own reality TV show with wife Giuliana, on Giuliana and Bill, which ran for 4 seasons on E! network.
9. Omarosa, The “Celebrity”
A celebrity is a famous individual who used to achieve their fame due to their skills at singing or acting, but now celebrities are seemingly created overnight thanks to the popularity of reality television, which is why Omarosa is for some reason labeled with the same title we would give someone of Jennifer Lawrence’s caliber. Before appearing on the first season of The Apprentice in 2004, Omarosa earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and a masters in communications, and these qualifications were why she was hired to work for Al Gore while he was Vice President during the Clinton Administration. Trump selected Omarosa to appear on the show, where she became known for her controversial tactics and harsh speech, and viewers got to see her all the way until the finale where she ultimately lost. Thanks to her appearance on the original show, Omarosa rather undeservingly gained fame and became a television personality, which is why she was brought back to compete in not one but two seasons of The Celebrity Apprentice, both of which she failed to win.
8. No Love For Scott Baio
When it came time for the Republican National Convention, many high-profile Republicans chose to not speak or even attend the event, which left the podium at the center of the stage devoid of any real heavy-hitters-which is why Scott Baio of all people were invited to speak on Trump’s behalf. For those who are too young to remember or even care, Baio was kind of a big deal in the late 1970s and throughout the 80s, primarily thanks to his roles on the sitcoms Happy Days and Charles in Charge, but since then, he has not really done any work of significant note for over 25 years now. Based on his appearance at the convention, as well as the impassioned, and outlandish words he used during his speech, you would think that he owed Donald Trump for helping to revitalize his career in some way like having him appear on The Celebrity Apprentice, but the reality is that Baio has never appeared on the show once.
7. The First Winner Was British
In basically every American reality show based on a competition, the majority of the contestants are people born and raised in the United States, with the reason for that being that people like to watch their fellow citizens and neighbors as they attempt to win some kind of grand prize. The Celebrity Apprentice is one of these types of reality shows, and although most of the celebrities who have starred on it have been American, there were some who were born elsewhere like Sharon Osbourne, and it was one of these foreign celebs who ended up winning the show’s inaugural season. Piers Morgan started out as a British Journalist, who went on to become a television personality by appearing in documentaries and co-hosting an interview show which dealt with British politics. In 2006, Morgan made his American TV debut as one of the judges for America’s Got Talent, and it was likely because of that NBC produced show that he landed his spot on The Celebrity Apprentice. He may have won the competition, but Piers never really connected with American viewers, considering that his interview show on CNN failed.
6. A Convict/Governor Competed
The world of politics is filled with numerous examples of corrupt politicians, individuals who went out of their way to run for some sort of elected office, where they promised their electorate to work for them and to try and make their lives better, but who ultimately decided to use their office for their own self-interest. Donald Trump has not even taken office yet, and there are already worries that he will use the presidency to benefit himself economically, which is a kind of corruption you would think he would stay away from, seeing as he claims to know how bad the political system is, and because he had a real corrupt politician sitting right across the boardroom table in the show’s third edition with former Illinois Governor Rob Blagojevich. As it turns out, Rob is a democrat who started his political career by being elected to the position of state representative before joining congress. He became Governor of Illinois in 2002, and was arrested in 2008 and later impeached due to corruption which entailed receiving bribes in exchange for specific political appointments, including Barack Obama’s vacant senate seat. Not only did Rob get fired early in the season, but he ultimately got sentenced to 14 years in prison as well.
5. Actual Celebrities Were Not Involved
When you sit down to watch a TV show, you expect that the title of the show will actually have some relevance with the product, and although the Celebrity Apprentice did in fact feature celebrities competing against one another, there were not really that many high-profile individuals. As of right now, The Celebrity Apprentice has had over seventy celebrities on its roster, of which only a handful can truly be considered high-profile, including the likes of Khloe Kardashian, Sharon Osbourne, Bret Michaels, Gene Simmons, Trace Adkins and even Cyndi Lauper. The majority of the casts though have been filled with many more forgettable names such as Stephen Baldwin, Annie Duke, Andrew Dice Clay, the aforementioned Omarosa and Blagojevich, Victoria Gotti and Lou Ferrigno. This show has also had former athletes and models on it, but none who can really be considered high-profile; heck, even Dancing with the Stars has had more celebrities on it than this show.
4. Lil Jon Accused Trump Of Racial Slurs
Jonathan Smith, otherwise known as Lil Jon, is a record producer, songwriter, rapper and entrepreneur who appeared on both the 2011 and 2013 editions of The Celebrity Apprentice, where he finished in 4th and 3rd place respectively. Although Lil Jon went fairly deep in both his appearances, he did not really perform all that well considering that in 2011 he was fired for simply admitting that he never believed he would ever make it to such a late stage in the competition; whereas in 2013, he was fired because of the fact that he raised less money and offered an overall performance which was worse than his first appearance. During the 2013 season though, Lil Jon accused Trump of referring to him as “Uncle Tom” several times, and according to crew members, Trump was unaware that the term was a slur and that he had to stop saying it; but of course, Trump refused to listen to logic.
3. Khloe Did Not Want To Be On The Show
As was mentioned earlier on this list, reality star Khloe Kardashian appeared on the second edition of The Celebrity Apprentice, and aside from being fired for an inconsequential personal reason, she hated her entire time on the show, a show which she did not even want to be a part of. In the years since her participation on the show, Khloe has said in interviews that she hated every minute that she was on it, due to the fact that the challenges forced her to do things which she would have not done in real life, and that the entire experience was very stressful, especially when having to deal with Donald Trump and the possibility of getting fired. If she hated being on the show, and did not even want to appear on it, then why did she decide to put herself through such an experience? The answer is quite simple, her mother told her to do it.
2. Trump Repeatedly Harassed Brande Roderick
In the final month of this year’s presidential election, Trump made headlines with a video in which he said terrible things about women, a tape which then led to multiple women claiming that they were sexually assaulted in some way by the current president-elect. As it turns out, these were not the only distasteful remarks he made about a woman in the presence of other people and recording devices, as he did so with the aforementioned Brande Roderick as well. During the 2013 edition of Celebrity Apprentice, Brande and her team were on the chopping block, and when Bret Michaels told Trump that Brande had begged on her hands and knees to not be fired, Trump responded by saying, “Must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees,” directly to Brande; that moment was actually recorded on camera and later aired on TV, but that was not the only remarks he said about Brande. According to crew members, Trump was seemingly obsessed with her appearance, to the extent that he frequently commented about how great her breasts were, and would even talk in explicit terms about what activities he would like to do with her.
1. Trump Called Marlee Matlin Retarded
During the his presidential campaign, Donald Trump said and did some terrible and disgusting things, with one of the worst being when he made fun of a disabled journalist on live TV during one of his campaign rallies. As despicable as that event was, that was not the only time that Trump insulted someone dealing with a disability, as he also allegedly did so with Marlee Matlin during the fourth edition of Celebrity Apprentice. Matlin is an actress who went deaf when she was only eighteen months old, and despite this, she has had an accomplished career which includes a Golden Globe Award and Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in the movie Children of a Lesser God; and she has also received several Emmy nominations. Obviously, with Matlin being deaf, she does not speak as clearly as people without the disability do, and Trump apparently did know about this because according to crew members, he referred to Matlin as “retarded.”