Hey everyone! Welcome back to another season of The Celebrity Apprentice. This year we have more celebrities than ever and you know that means... more firings, more Boardrooms, more drama and, most importantly, more incredible charities to raise money for! We have an amazing lineup with names such as Lou Ferrigno, Adam Carolla, Paul Teutul Sr., Victoria Gotti, Dee Snyder and Lisa Lampanelli. From comedians, actors, and housewives to singers and models the cast this season came with their game faces on ready to work for their charity and trying their hardest to avoid hearing my father's famous words.
I always find the dynamics of the first episode so interesting. Everyone is getting to know one another and you almost believe the group is one big happy family. But as an avid fan you know that it quickly becomes quite the opposite... Coming into this season, we find out instantly that no one wants to mess with Victoria. I personally loved when they switched to the mob music for Victoria's intro... much more appropriate. After meeting with my father, the teams split off to their war rooms to choose a team name and project manager. The frat boys came up with some "creative" choices, and I sort of hoped that they would choose one of Adam's suggested names just so we could all hear the explanation to my father. I didn't think the "Honey Badgers" was all that bad... They ended up with "Unanimous" and then moved on to the harder decision: who would be the first PM. Unlike the women's team, no one on the men's side was quick to jump up and volunteer. After a challenge from Adam, Paul Sr. stepped up. I liked that Paul confidently took the lead on this task. Over on Team Forte, the choice for PM was simple. Patricia was focused and was determined to take on the first task.
The teams made their way to the Boardroom and soon after would be making their way to the kitchens at Cafe Metro to make sandwiches. While the teams were in their planning phases, Paul Sr. nonchalantly brought up that he would be able to bring in a half a million dollars for this task. I love the confidence but don't necessarily think it was the best idea to announce numbers so early on in the game. By doing so, I think the rest of his team felt it was not as crucial to bring in their big money donors. For example, Clay then announced he would save his "big guns" for another task. While the men's team was coming up with their concept, Penn pointed out the importance of branding and urged the team to remain focused on the Orange County Chopper theme with Paul Sr. being their PM. I liked Penn's ability to recognize the importance of branding and cohesive messaging.
Forte put together a red carpet theme, and while I think it worked very well, I wasn't surprised, as this theme is used at least once every season in some capacity. As the teams were planning their sandwich strategy all were very focused on entertainment and who would be out front with the customers. I think Victoria brought up a very good point in asking who would be making the sandwiches. With groups filled with actors, comedians, athletes and models it's easy to put together a great "face" for your event, but I think the teams often forget that the behind-the-scenes preparation is as important, if not more important, a consideration. Early on you almost always see this struggle of who is a bigger celebrity or name. The women's group was no exception.
Overall I think the teams worked very well together. I was surprised that as PM, Patricia wasn't more concerned with Victoria's tardiness, but she did however do a great job empowering her team and conveying her passion for her charity. By doing this, I think she propelled her group to bring in some great donors and friends. On the men's team, Clay did a great job of upselling their customers and through that was able to bring in a great deal of money. Paul, who may be a bit "rough around the edges" as my sister Ivanka said, had tremendous support from friends and I think with his no nonsense attitude was able to lead the frat boys very strongly.
It was time for the first Boardroom. Sitting across from the largest group we have had to date, I think the tension and nervousness was certainly apparent. At the same time, there was huge confidence in the room. Both teams really felt as though they had brought this one home. I love when we see that forcefulness in the Boardroom, and although people don't often say it, you can almost always tell when a PM or team feels that they haven't performed well or that their head is about to be on the chopping block. This was quite the contrary in our first firing session. Patricia and Paul both were confident that they had won. As we know, it's all a numbers game and in our first fundraising task, Paul Sr. with his "Chopper" themed sandwiches was the winner. The money went to an incredible cause, the Make-A-Wish Foundation. And although Patricia was not able to win this time for her charity, The Wayuu Taya Foundation, a charity very close to her heart, she was able to bring tremendous awareness to it, which is invaluable.
The men left the ladies to battle it out, but there really was no huge brawl to be had. Instead, Patricia's choices to bring two ladies back in were quite simple, Victoria for her lack of focus during the actual task and Cheryl who was not working at the same fast pace as the other women. When we sat across from all three ladies it was clear that my father made the right choice in firing Cheryl. She was a great icon and businesswoman, but she didn't seem to have the same fight and fire as the other celebrities. In my opinion, this was the right decision, as she would not have lasted very long given the nature of what lies ahead!
I hope that you enjoyed our first episode; between the personalities and creative tasks, I don't think we have seen anything like this season in Celebrity Apprentice history. I will be tweeting live each week www.twitter.com/donaldjtrumpjr and posting exclusive photos on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/donaldjtrumpjr so please send over your comments and thoughts. I am looking forward to next week already!