All Star Celebrity Apprentice: A behind the scenes look - WFLA News Channel 8

All Star Celebrity Apprentice: A behind the scenes look

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Under a blistering sun, the contestants of the 2013 All Star Celebrity Apprentice set out for the task at hand. The contestants flew to Orlando for the Universal Orlando Resort challenge last fall. Although they arrived the night before, they only headed to the park the next morning to begin their work. The popular show created by New York business mogul Donald Trump is now in its 6th celebrity season, the Apprentice franchise is in its 13th season overall. 

On this all star cast, there are 14 contestants. The entire group is split in half.  One group is named Team Power, the other Team Plan B. There are eight men and six women.

Playboy Playmate of the Year, Brande Roderick, TV personality and actress Claudia Jordan, former  NBA Hall-of-Famer Dennis Rodman, singer La Toya Jackson, DJ artist and rap star Lil Jon, reality-star Omarosa and the only previous winner ‘Poison' front man Bret Michaels are on Team Power.

Team Plan B has Twisted Sister front man Dee Snider, actors Gary Busey and Lisa Rinna, actress and author Marilu Henner and magician and illusionist Penn Jillette, along with actor Stephen Baldwin and country singer Trace Adkins.

For the Universal Challenge, the goal was to create an experience for park-goers they wouldn't soon forget. So Team Power and Team Plan B headed to separate sides of the theme park and got to work.

 Work is the keyword. There is a lot of work.

"I would wake up at 6 am and wouldn't go to bed until 11pm," said contestant and hip hop artist Lil John."You have to come up with creative ideas in a hour so and then execute your ideas," he added.

And they have do it all in a very short time. The Universal Orlando Challenge was only one day. NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman, whose previous stint on the show ended unceremoniously, said work isn't necessarily the problem, time is.

"You have to get up at 6 o clock in the morning. Then you have to come and prepare yourself to do this at 11," Rodman said. "It's more waiting around than anything"

But once the task began, the hustling did too. By nightfall the contestants were back in New York for the boardroom to see who would hear the now iconic ‘Trump-ism' "You're fired!"

So why would  these successful men and women put themselves through this once, let alone two or three times? What motivates them to put stand in the line of fire? In a word, charity. Each of the 14 candidates plays for the charity of their choice and those choices are close to their hearts. Rapper star Lil John is playing for the American Diabetes Association because of his mother.

"My mom was diagnosed with diabetes when I was younger and as I grew older I didn't see her take insulin. I thought it went into remission," John said. He was wrong. She wasn't and recently his mother had a major medical setback. 

"She recently had a stroke about two months ago and it was because her blood sugar was too high, her blood pressure was too high and I didn't know she had diabetes," John said.

So he endures the pressure to raise money in her name.

"My reason for coming was the awareness of friends and family of those who have diabetes because we need to stay on top them and make sure they take care of themselves."

 For three-time Apprentice alum Omarosa Manigault, it is a cause close to and painful for her heart. She's playing for the Sue Duncan Children's Center in Chicago. According the Center's web site, the aim of the school is to "transform the lives of children by nurturing their academic, athletic, and artistic growth." One of those children grew up to be an Oscar nominated film actor. Michael Clarke Duncan, Omarosa's late fiance attended the school and was a big supporter. He died in September 2012 after suffering a heart attack two months prior.

Omarosa is playing because of him.

 "Maybe three time's the charm," Omarosa said. "I've come to win. I'm playing for my late fiance Michael Clark Duncan who recently passed away. We're big supporters of the center," she said.

Omarosa admits it's been a rough year for her and says this is a way to get back into the swing of things.

"This is called celebrity therapy. They're really helping me and we're having a good time." 

For actress Lisa Rinna coming back is a matter of redemption too. She felt she got knocked off the horse too soon the first time around.

"For me, what brought me back was, I wanted a second chance," she said. "I felt that I was only on two episodes and I felt that life gave me a second chance to show my daughters what it's like to be thrown somehow and to get back in there and fight for something that you really believe in... which is my charity St. Judes," Rinna said.

Anyone who's watched the show knows it can get intense. Donald Trump knows that, as do his advisors which include his children Ivanka and sons Eric and Donald Jr.

"You can see a lot of intensity and it started with a bang right from the beginning," Trump Jr. said. 

And because the contestants have been on the show before, he believes it makes it even more energetic.

"Just because they've all played the game before, they know what to expect.  Sometimes   in prior seasons where it took a little bit longer for everyone to get into their crazy stride,"  Trump Jr. said.

Not this season. Arguably, one of the more interesting contestants to participate is actor Gary Busey. That choice alone makes the show worth watching.

Eric Trump said many of the stars hit their breaking point, because of the amount of work that goes into it.

"Every year you get a different feeling on the show. But the amount of work that goes into this,  these guys are on non-stop for weeks and weeks it just doesn't end." He added, "I think that's why a lot of them hit their breaking point. They're not used it. Obviously these are all very hard working people but when you put them in that environment you have to be on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week you can't miss a moment or you can't have a bad moment."

And under the heat of the intense Florida sky, the pressure mounted and Dee Snider wasn't able to hold on. He was team lead for that Universal Orlando Resort challenge, the second of  the All Star season's tasks. In the boardroom, Trump let him go after his team lost. Omarosa's team won. She broke down in tears… a departure from her normal steely persona. But the tears couldn't last long, the next day it was off to another task.

The work didn't end.

You can watch The All Star Celebrity Apprentice Sunday nights at 9 o'clock on WFLA News Channel 8.







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