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The Celebrity Apprentice season premiere recap: That's a Spicy Meatball!

In a task geared to make the contestants say the word “balls” as often as possible, Trace Adkins rides a dangerous strategy to victory

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Celebrity Apprentice
Douglas Gorenstein/NBC

The Celebrity Apprentice

TV Show
Current Status:
On Hiatus
Reality TV

Ladies and gentlemen, our president has been reinaugurated. A new Super Bowl champion has been crowned. Argo has been named Best Picture. Amazing. Simply amazing. But none of these historic events can come close to matching the sheer brilliance of Donald Trump carrying on an extended conversation with Lisa Rinna about the size of her lips. I’m sorry! They just can’t. Nor can they match the strategic advice of one Gary Busey opining that “If you have to fart, fart quick but keep your energy up.” Nor are they even remotely as satisfying as witnessing a former Playboy Playmate take to her knees in front of rock star Bret Michaels. There are some things that just need to be seen to be believed. And they can only be seen in one place: The Celebrity Apprentice.

Admit it, you felt bad when you first started getting into this show — a sort of secret shame you were embarrassed to reveal to others. How could anyone take you seriously when you were busy watching Vincent Pastore pull off his elaborate and aborted “rat scheme” back in season 1? But that time is long past. There is no guilt in this pleasure. We no longer have to pretend we are viewing merely to see deserving charities be the recipients of millions upon millions of dollars. Hell, half the time I fast forward straight through those segments of the show where the checks are delivered and tears are shed. I’m not proud of that, but at least I’m honest.

But here’s the thing, Celebrity Apprentice fans: We’ve won! That’s right, we are no longer open game to be mocked for our excitement over seeing D-list stars attempt to sell RV equipment. The show is now in its sixth celebrity-themed season. And not only that, it’s now doing All-Star Celebrity Apprentice. Sure, that’s a double negative if ever I heard one, but the fact that we have all made it this far together warms my heart almost as much as watching Meat Loaf attempt to find his missing paint.

Now, I’ll admit it: When I first saw the names of the returning contestants who would be competing this season, I was aghast. Where’s Aubrey O’Day? Where’s Annie Duke? Clay Aiken? Cyndi Lauper? Where are the true all-stars? This cast makes no sense! And then it hit me: This show makes no sense. Which is precisely what makes it the best show in the history of shows. If they had an all-star cast that actually made sense, the entire universe might implode.

How perfect is this cast? Well, back when it was announced I actually went on a double-decker bus ride with the contestants throughout New York City. Before they arrived, I looked at the names of the all-stars in huge letters on a poster that covered the bus. Bret Michaels. Okay, that’s cool. Trace Adkins? Sure. Penn Jillette? Ready to make TV magic all over again! But then I saw another name. And I had no clue whatsoever who it was. Claudia Jordan?!? Now, understand that I have watched every single episode of Celebrity Apprentice. And yet I still had no idea who Claudia Jordan was. I had to Google her and only then did I realize she was the Deal or No Deal briefcase-holding model from season 2. How she qualifies as a celebrity or an all-star, I have no idea. I guess she must have raised a lot of money or something. Let’s ask her! “Last time I was here I was not able to raise one cent for my charity” (that’s from her in the premiere episode). So to summarize: No name recognition, no memorable moments, and no fundraising ability. Why is she here then? Because she has to be here! Her absurd inclusion is that special secret sauce that makes Donald Trump’s reality show such a curious beast. (Side note: I promise to never, ever use the words “special secret sauce” and “Donald Trump” in the same sentence again. My sincere apologies for any inadvertent images which may have flickered though your mind as a result of that. )

So let’s embrace them all, shall we? (Well, except for Omarosa who remains as tiresome as ever.) And let the embracing begin right now as we recap the six best things about episode 1 of All-Star Celebrity Apprentice!

NEXT: Bret Michaels picks Omarosa first. WAIT, HE DID WHAT?!?