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On last night’s season premiere of Celebrity Apprentice, we met our new gang of folks of questionable notoriety on a quest to make money for charity…and advance their dead (in the case of Arsenio Hall and Dee Snider) or just getting started (Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Teresa Giudice) careers.

The first challenge was for each team to take over a sandwich shop, and sell sandwiches to raise money for their respective charities. The ladies decided to go with the name Forte, suggested by pop queen Debbie Gibson, which seems like a grammatically incorrect choice, but that’s probably not a strong point for this bunch. The men choose Unanimous, since they’re all friends. Aww. I would have expected something manlier given their choice of Paul Teutul of American Chopper as their project manager. Something like “Brakes and Babes” or “Muscle Confidential.”

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The women chose model and “international actress” (per her voice-over intro), Patricia Velasquez, as their project manager since she has board experience running her charity, Wayuú Tayá Foundation, dedicated to helping the group of Venezuelan indigenous.

The first WTF moment of the season came when the women had to decide who was the most recognizable face to stand outside their deli and draw folks in. In a group with egos this big, you know some feelings would be hurt, and thank God Aubrey O’Day has no filter and said she was disgusted by the thought that she was not the most recognizable, since she has more Twitter followers than everyone else on the team. Yes, but Aubrey, your Twitter fans are not the type to leave their parent’s basement.

 

Each team tackled their deli in very different ways: The women focused on the experience of the deli, creating a “celebrity club” atmosphere with a red carpet, and the men focused solely on creating as many sandwiches as possible, coming up with one master sandwich (the Chopper) and then allowing folks to make modifications. I’m happy to see the women could not go one day without a step and repeat. Paparazzi addiction is REAL, y’all. Paul invited his chopper friends to cause a scene outside, and promised to bring the big donors, at least “half a mil”. Penn juggled and yelled BULLSHIT to people in the street as they walked by.

If we’re going to judge the success of the events by the amounts of random celebrities showing up, then Forte definitely had a leg up with folks like Wylef Jean showing up to jam out with Debbie and Aubrey (who predictably had a diva fit over who would get to sing), Russell Simmons (who will apparently show up to any reality show taping, anywhere, even ones involving Kelly Bensimon) showing up to order a vegan sandwich, and former Apprentice cast mate Carol Alt also showed up and got to work.

Already, the weakest links began to show during this relatively easy challenge. On the men’s side, poor George Takei ended up becoming Paul’s target for his easy-going demeanor. He just misses being on Facebook and posting hundreds of funny photos a day, you guys! Clay Aiken, almost unrecognizable from his days on American Idol also seems to be a bit weaker than the other men on Unanimous.

For the women, it’s very clear that Victoria Gotti may be this season’s Nene Leakes. While the women were busy hitting the phones to draw up donors, she was on the phone with her agent, and with what sounded like her insurance company. Apparently prep time for Victoria is an opportunity for her to run her errands. She then didn’t show up when it was time to hit the deli on opening day, showing up hours later complaining of a tearing accident with her eye.

Coming back to the boardroom at the end of the challenge, the men win, meaning one of the ladies has to go. Patricia singles out Cheryl Tiegs, who looked like she’d rather be just about anywhere else in the world than filming the show, and Victoria Gotti as the team members she’d fire. When questioned by Donald about her weak performance, she complained that she was relegated to the back to serve sandwiches, and that she didn’t agree with how the shop was being run.

Since apparently everyone thinks Victoria is one step away from ordering a hit on everyone (seriously, the mob jokes were so tedious after the 40th one), Donald ended up letting Cheryl go, even after she said she was able to bring in $10,000 or $15,000, which Patricia denies. There can be only one model on Team Forte, and Dayana Mendoza is acceptable, since she idolizes Patricia. The person who should be fired is Donald’s tanner, who made him look jaundiced. I’m actually concerned for the Donald!

All in all, I was impressed with the un-diva like behavior of everyone on this episode, except for Aubrey O’Day who simply can not help herself. Even Teresa blended into the background for the first time in her life. I hope the good behavior ends soon so the show can give us what we want: celebrity meltdowns in the name of philanthropy!

TELL US: DO YOU AGREE WITH THE FIRST FIRING? DO YOU THINK GEORGE TAKEI IS TOO SLOW? WHO DO YOU THINK IS THE MOST RECOGNIZABLE CELEBRITY ON TEAM FORTE? DO YOU THINK DONALD TRUMP’S TANNING FACILITY SHOULD BE CLOSED DOWN?

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