'All-Star Celebrity Apprentice': Sizing up the new cast and who may actually win

Image credit: Dalton Ross

Filming commences today on All-Star Celebrity Apprentice as Donald Trump’s reality show brings back contestants from the first five celebrity seasons of the program. The cast is a curious one, missing some seemingly obvious choices like Annie Duke and Aubrey O’Day while including a few head-scratchers (Claudia Jordan? Does anyone even know who she is?). What’s also interesting is that no famous Celebrity Apprentice feuds — Omarosa versus Piers Morgan, Annie Duke versus Joan and Melissa Rivers, Lisa Lampanelli versus Dayana Mendoza — will be rekindled as none of the selected players have any past bad blood with anyone else.

I took a double-decker bus ride with Donald Trump and most of the new cast (La Toya Jackson and Omarosa were MIA) around Manhattan (some pictures of which you can see here) to take the temperature of the new crew. In terms of how they will actually do on the show, it seems like you can separate this cast into three groups: the frontrunners, the sleepers, and those that don’t stand a chance in hell of winning. Who falls into which category? Here’s my take:

THE FRONTRUNNERS

Penn Jillette
The dude is smart and very smooth in the Boardroom. His problem last time was not being a team player and supporting other people’s ideas. But in terms of intelligence, he’s got to be the best of the bunch here, and if Penn can just manage his ego, he should be the one to beat.

Lisa Rinna
She went out very early in season 4 after being on the losing end of a feud with Star Jones, but I think due to her polished nature she could go far. Also, The Donald may be too frightened of being sucked into the giant vortex that is her pair of lips to fire her. When I saw them myself up close and personal on the bus, I could not stop staring. And she saw me staring. And that was embarrassing. And yet I still could not look away.

Trace Adkins
The season 1 finalist’s biggest strength is that he manages to get the job done without being overbearing. His previous cast loved him so he has a good mix of social and strategic game. Plus, anyone that wears a cowboy hat on this show seems to do well. Even Clint “I use Tide detergent to masturbate” Black!

Marilu Henner
She may be too nice to play dirty and — more importantly — too nice to make good enough TV for Trump to keep her around. But if you’re looking for another person who actually seems somewhat qualified in the business world, then Marilu’s your gal.

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