Often perceived as the ruthless business owner who has created the most favored words on TV, “You’re Fired!” Donald Trump sure knows how to create good TV programming. And season 11 of the Celebrity Apprentice which is set to premiere, Sunday, March 6, 2011 on NBC, has created the most buzz ever in the history of the show. This is due in part to the unending feud between Real Housewives of Atlanta star, Nene Leakes and former, The View co-host, Star Jones.
“It was brutal,” stated Donald Trump.
In our interview with Donald Trump, he spoke about the volatility on season 11 Celebrity Apprentice, calling the NYPD on set during taping, Nene Leakes becoming a big star and Charlie Sheen’s unbelievable entertaining interviews and hopes to have him on the show.
“The Celebrity Apprentice,” premiering on Sunday, March 6th at 9pm EST/PST. And airs every Sunday.
It is reported that season 11 Celebrity Apprentice is the most exciting with record breaking numbers, yet. Why is it the most exciting?
Donald Trump: The show has just worked out to be a miracle show. It’s an amazing group of people. Somebody said it is the greatest group ever assembled for a reality show and I really believe that. The first season was interesting because it was hard to get celebrities because nobody wanted to be fired. And then when you look at what happened with Joan Rivers and then ultimately with Piers who’s now doing Larry King and got – America’s Got Talent and then Larry King after- what we did and if you look at what happened to as an example, Trace Adkins who didn’t even win and he’s the number one country singer or right there and it’s so many things of – Joan Rivers is the number one comedian now in terms of dollars and other thing. And she did a little movie and said before this happened she was really – it was over. And now she doesn’t have a free night. So it’s really been an amazing thing. And of course Bret Michaels has gone to a different level to put it mildly. So for the first one it was hard to get really the right people. And I think we did a really good job. But now we turn down five for everyone that we take. I mean everybody wants to be on because even if they don’t make it all the way their brand is generally helped. Now some don’t do very well and frankly you can’t have everybody do well. But for the most part when they do well and if they’re smart, if they have confidence in themselves and they help their charity they are really helped and everybody wants to be on. It’s very easy to get them. It’s sometimes hard to say, like we turned down a couple that was so good by any other standard, I mean I’d love to have them on but we just couldn’t have any more than the number we had. As to keeping it fresh we don’t want to change the formula very much because we’re on the 11th season and it just works. But we really do have a great cast and the casting is very important. I saw another show come out recently with a cast of people and I mean we blow them away. We blow them away. And it’s I think by having really good really interesting people like we have I think that in itself keeps it fresh. And that’s why we’re into season 11.
What do you make of Gary Busey?
Donald Trump: Gary Busey is a piece of work. I call him the mad genius. He’s a brilliant guy. He’s a great actor but he is crazy. And he does things that are so wild and so different. And probably I have to say such unbelievable entertainment for viewers. It’s really amazing. He’s great. But he’s so different. We’re talking about Sheen, Charlie Sheen and all of the things that have been happening with him. He’s different. Gary’s really different. And it’s very exciting.
Was it a calculated move to have so many confrontational contestants on the show?
Donald Trump: Well I don’t know that I can say yes or no to that. I will say that this has been a very volatile group. It’s a certain intelligent volatile at the same time but without question the most volatile group we’ve ever had. It’s been an amazing group of people and I think it’s going to be amazing television. It’s just the group of people, the chemistry of the people. It’s very interesting but it’s got much more buzz than the last Celebrity Apprentice had. And the last one did very well with Bret Michaels but this one seems to have more buzz then those. I don’t know if that means anything. I don’t know what that means but a lot of people are talking about it. It’s a very – the chemistry of this cast has just been amazing. They’re fighting very passionately for their charities. I think the women are very volatile but the men have some moments where it’s a little bit scary. I mean we actually had to call the police force. We actually called New York City Police. There was a period of time where it was so crazy that I just sort of snuck out of the room and quietly left and we actually had to call the police. It’s crazy what has gone on with the show. This has been an amazing situation. So I think in a different way but they were very volatile to put it mildly. It was brutal.
What is your opinion on Nene Leakes?
Donald Trump: I think she’s fantastic. I think she’s really smart. I don’t know too much about Housewives of Atlanta but I can tell you that she is going to be a big – she’s already a star and a pretty big star. She’s going to be a very big star. She is really something special. She was great on the show. She continues to be great on the show. She’s tough and she’s smart. There are some scenes on the Celebrity Apprentice coming up that I have never seen scenes like them in all of the years I’ve watched television, not just The Apprentice but I’m talking about television that I jokingly said Omarosa’s looking like a very nice, very meek person by comparison to some of the things on other shows. Omarosa is coming out to be like an angel. I think people are going to love it but they’re going to love NeNe. I think NeNe is going to be a big monster in a positive way. She’s going to be a monster star and a very strong woman. There’s no doubt.
Donald Trump on running for President:
Donald Trump: Well there’s an independent group of people that want me to run. And it all has to do with the fact that they’re tired of seeing the United States being ripped off by China and by OPEC and by every other country that’s got a brain. And frankly, it’s amazing because it’s over 400,000 people. People are not in love with what’s happening with respect to our country. I will wait to make a decision. I will not make a decision until after the show is finished for the season. And that will be sometime prior to June. I will announce one way or the other sometime prior to June.
Why has the Celebrity Apprentice become so popular?
Donald Trump: Well it’s an interesting question because when The Apprentice first went on as you know it had many nights of the week where it was the number one show on television. And we had 42.3 million people watching the final. I think we had 41.5 million people watching the finale of season one. So that was obviously very special. The fact is however that you have to get used to – you almost need luck when you’re picking people out of nowhere that you don’t know. When you’re picking celebrities you really sort of know them. You’ve watched them over the years. You know how they react. You know – now you don’t know everything about them. Like NeNe surprised me both up and down and Meatloaf surprise me both up and down. And the same thing with every one of the celebrities. But you know a little bit more about what you’re getting. Number two is the public can relate to them. To do the regular show, now the first was a little bit of a fluke. It just hit like crazy. But to do a regular show you have to be almost lucky with the people. And more importantly it takes five or six or seven nights before people get to know who they’re watching. And that’s a long time. So whereas with the celebrities they know them immediately. They have their picture you know like in Atlanta or when you go Housewives of Atlanta NeNe’s going to have a lot of those people watching and rooting for her and the same thing with Meatloaf with all his fans. So I just like the celebrity concept better. I mean we had such great success with the regular one. But personally in terms of doing it I really like dealing with people that I’ve watched over the last 20 years. I’ve watched these people whether it’s Marlee Matlin, or Gary Busey, or any of them, I mean it’s an amazing cast. So I like it better. Personally I like doing it better. And I think the audience probably at this point likes it better also.
Will you consider Charlie Sheen for future Celebrity Apprentice?
Donald Trump: Well I know Charlie and I know him actually because he married the daughter of a member- his last wife was a member’s daughter of Marlago. And I got to know Charlie because he was at Marlago and in Palm Beach, Florida which is a club I own. And he’s a different kind of a guy. I did say to the parents I don’t think this is going to work so I was right about that. But I also got to like Charlie but he’s just a different kind of a guy. And you see that in his other interviews. His interviews are unbelievable entertainment. And that’s probably why he does well in the ratings business. And while I’m sure we won’t get him on Celebrity Apprentice we’d love to have him. Crazier things have happened.
Will Star Jones and Nene Leakes become friends?
Donald Trump: I will say that Star will never love NeNe. Star will never love NeNe I will tell you that. That’s the only thing I can give out for sure. There will never be a love loss between the two of them. These two will never be great buddies.
_By: Daedrian McNaughton