While the current (non-celebrity) edition of The Apprentice plays out to record low ratings, fans of absurdity and stars being forced into awesomely ridiculous scenarios can rejoice in the fact that filming on the next Celebrity Apprentice is set to begin in New York City early next week. Not only that, but a source close to production has confirmed to exclusively three of the famous faces vying for Donald Trump’s love (and money): La Toya Jackson, Mark McGrath, and Star Jones.

Michael Jackson’s sister La Toya certainly has experience on reality TV. In 2007, she — along with people like Erik Estrada and Jack Osbourne — trained to become a Muncie, Indiana reserve police officer on CBS’ Armed & Famous. Then, in 2009, she followed in her brother Jermaine’s footsteps by appearing in the UK on Celebrity Big Brother, where she shared a house with the likes of Verne Troyer and Coolio.

Mark McGrath, best known as the lead singer of rock band Sugar Ray and a former co-host of Extra, also has a background in reality, serving as a guest judge on American Idol, and as host of not one, but two Pussycat Dolls-related reality shows: The Search for the Next Doll and Girlicious. He also currently hosts the syndicated version of Don’t Forget the Lyrics.

And then there is Star Jones. Outside of an appearance last year on a celebrity version of Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? (which, like The Apprentice, is a Mark Burnett production), Jones has been out of the spotlight since her nine-year run as a co-host on The View ended in 2006. (She did also manage to host a season 2 reunion episode of The Bad Girls Club.) Jones, Jackson, and McGrath will be three of the contestants on the fourth installment of Celebrity Apprentice, which will air in the first quarter of 2011. Expect more names to leak soon once the cast arrives in New York City in the next few days. Who else would you like to see in the Boardroom? And what do you think of these first three contestants? Hit the message boards and let us know.

For more Celebrity Apprentice news and various other reality ramblings, follow me on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss. And before you go, make sure to check out the latest edition of our TV Insiders podcast, where we weigh in on Survivor, Dancing With the Stars, and Glee. Just click on the play button below to sit in on our round table discussion, or click here to download the mp3 and take us with you on the go.

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