Celebrity Apprentice Casting Rumors: Let's Put Odds on the First Nine Hopefuls!

A brave group of stars will endure inevitable outbursts of rage from their comrades, possible humiliation in front of millions of TV viewers, and close proximity to Donald Trump’s waking-nightmare hair on Season 5 of Celebrity Apprentice (aka Season 12 of The Apprentice). Let’s ponder the chances of the first nine would-be contestants whose names have leaked to the media – in order from least- to most-likely to win.

Cheryl Tiegs: To my knowledge, the swimsuit model of yore doesn’t seem like the type who’d rip a rival limb from limb just to earn a spot in the Trump Family’s inner circle. And that makes her as likely a candidate as any for the first contestant out. Odds: 30-1

Teresa Giudice: Veteran of Real She-Beasts of New Jersey once flipped a table to get her point across during a dinner party. We can only hope she’ll pull a similar stunt in the boardroom once she’s inevitably fired by Mr. Trump. I mean, they only cast her so we’d get to experience the inevitable joy of her unceremonious dumping, yes? Odds: 20-1

George Takei: Openly gay Star Trek actor has enjoyed something of a career resurgence with zany appearances on Psych, Heroes, Community, and Howard Stern’s radio show, just to name a few. His snappy sense of humor could make him a crowd-pleasing oasis in a sea of fury, but he doesn’t immediately register as a guy who’ll excel at making guerilla ads for Laughing Cow cheese, or whatever the heck the contestants will be asked to do this time around. Odds: 12-1

Dee Snider: Someone’s got to bring the requisite rage to the party, and the outrageous Twisted Sister frontman — who’s also dabbled in horror films and reality TV — proved with “I Wanna Rock” and “We’re Not Gonna Take It” that he can scream with the best of ‘em. Odds: 10-1

Marco Andretti: IndyCar series star isn’t afraid of putting his life on the line in a competitive situation, which should serve him well if he accidentally finds himself caught in the middle of a Teresa-Dee cage match. Odds: 8-1

Victoria Gotti: Managed to sustain three whole seasons of reality ridiculata on A&E’s Growing Up Gotti, so Celebrity Apprentice should be a comfortable format. Plus, as the daughter of Gambino family mafia boss John Gotti, she should be skilled at making offers her opponents can’t refuse. Odds: 5-1

Clay Aiken: American Idol Season 2 runner-up not only survived but thrived staring down Simon Cowell’s guns of harsh truth, so The Donald’s steely stare will probably seem as threatening to him as a kitten in a field of dandelions. Plus, Clay’s never been afraid of a little verbal sparring, which should please his ratings-courting overlord. Odds: 4-1

Debbie Gibson: Hasn’t had a major hit in 20 years, but has somehow stayed on the radars of ’80s aficionados everywhere via concerts, theater, reality TV, and small-screen crapsterpieces like Mega Python vs. Gatoroid. Plus, this is a gal who, back in the day, simultaneously released a single and a fragrance called “Electric Youth,” so she knows a thing or two about marketing synergy. Odds: 5-2

Arsenio Hall: I don’t know why, but as I’m writing this item, the universe is telling me it’s time for a major Arsenio comeback. And that the comeback will begin with Celebrity Apprentice. I know, I know…that’s kind of an oxymoron, but what am I gonna do, ignore the universe? Odds: 2-1

What do you think of the rumored cast members for the latest Celebrity Apprentice installment? Who do you think is most likely to win? And do you think you’ll tune in? Sound off below, and for all my reality recaps and commentary, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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73 Comments
  1. Marilyn says:

    I used to like this show when there wasn’t so much drama. It used to be about people trying to get a job, now it’s just silliness. I won’t be watching.

    • Daniellle says:

      I agree. why does it have to be celebrities? Remember 1st season Bill? That was the best!

      • Marilyn says:

        Yes, that’s when it was a great show. It’s dumb now.

        • Chekov says:

          Sulu is Gay! what? I should have paid closer attention. Now I know why he kept sliding his chair over. I always wished those things were bolted to the deck.

      • kcalpar says:

        This isn’t Apprentice where folks are trying to get a job; celebrities have jobs, this is a series of challenges where two teams compete and the PM of the winning team gets a donation for the charity he or she supports. It’s just fun, and interesting to see what the celebs are really like offstage.

    • kacy says:

      Competing for money to benefit a great charity that a celeb has founded is hardly “silliness”, hello! Is it silly for Marlie to win tens of thousands of $ for a foundation that helps tens of thousands to hear?? Or help get homeless children off the streets (Cyndi Lauper), or teach kids how to avoid or manage diabetes (Bret Michaels), a childhood epidemic from bad diet?? This show not only exposes what each celeb is really like (from lazy to cheater to talented in unexpected ways (who knew Bret was an excellent photographer?) to class act), it also raises our consciousness about the cause for which they started a foundation; and how they solve challenges is interesting and fun. And everybody wins something for their charity, so it’s all good, no heartbreak here. NOT silly!!!

  2. Mark says:

    Sooooooooooo happy that Teresa is going to be on this. I hope she lasts a while. I think her odds should be better too. She actually has business experience. She’s very good at marketing herself.

  3. Jodi says:

    I think I may watch for Dee Snider alone.

  4. Jessica says:

    What are the odds that Clay Aiken will come in second??? Looking forward to seeing him again.

    • Sal says:

      How funny that would be. Clay has already shown the world that you don’t have to finish first in order to be a winner.
      I’ll be watching that show because he’s on it. But, I wish all of the contestants good luck. Should be a fun season.

      • Rueben says:

        I bet Clay and Sulu will room together. When we were on AI, Clay liked to share the bed, he said he was afraid of the dark. But I thought he may have had other plans.

  5. Sooze says:

    Looks like a very interesting cast! Love Arsenio, Clay, George and Dee. I would bet on Aiken to win, but I really like the idea of Arsenio and Clay in the final boardroom.

  6. Rocky says:

    Slezak, I really enjoyed this article – YESTERDAY – when it was written on the Entertainment Weekly site by Kate Ward. Slezak, you’re getting worse, which honestly I didn’t think was possible. Go back to focusing your energy on being president of the Alison Irahita fan club. She needs a fan these days.

  7. Lori says:

    I haven’t watched prior to this season, but will definitely be watching this one! Talk about a cast of character!…and no, that’s not a typo.
    As I work with Clay’s foundation for children with/without disabilities, the National Inclusion Project, I know how committed he will be to win dollars for them.
    I vote for Arsenio and Clay in the Top 2…with Clay pulling out the win at the last second. Can’t wait!!

  8. Marty says:

    I vote for Clay Aiken. Besides being talented, he is very intelligent and works very hard for his charity, The National Inclusion Project.

    GO CLAY!!

  9. Kekojoyzmom says:

    I’m pitting Clay and Arsenio in the finale. In the end though, I’m going all out for Clay! He’s a smart man with wit and charm but don’t forget that he can and will stand up for himself. Should be exciting!

  10. merikat says:

    Unfortunately, I will be watching this hot mess. My husband, bless his heart, is a Donald Trump addict. It ought to be another few weeks of dysfunctional insanity.

  11. MattG says:

    Don’t rule out Debbie Gibson! She may be sweet, but she packs a punch!

  12. Pearl says:

    i have to say, i was stunned by the name of Marco Andretti, buti liked so very much! I hope that he is in! Oh, and i agree that the show became to much drama, and verry little apprentice valuable stuff, but… Look in your reality TVs on air and tell me if you see something else, really…

  13. Toni says:

    Clay’s a bigger bitch than any housewife.

    Clay for the win.

  14. Doreen says:

    I voted for Clay for the win. He seems to have what it takes to come out on top this time and I’d like to see him win. However, I predict some strong competition from a few others. I watched Arsenio’s show in the past and hope he does well too.

  15. Lillian says:

    Clay all the way!

  16. junem says:

    I haven’t kept up in the past but will be this year for sure! I’m pulling for Clay Aiken to win for his charity, the National Inclusion Project — they work so hard for children with special needs. Interesting cast this year — should be lots of fun for everyone — hopefully not so much drama but more working to finish a project together as a team. Clay is fun, funny, and so talented. You go, Clay!

  17. May says:

    How exciting!

    Can’t wait to see Clay on this show. You have to see Aiken in action to appreciate how well he can – ahem….uh…”market” himself out for his charity! He will pull out all the stops for NIP…and I can’t wait to see the others fall like flies on this show.

    This should liven up the long, dull winter months.

    Clay Aiken it is…….Go Clay Go!

  18. Kyle says:

    YAY AUBREY O’DAY!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. lynnk says:

    Agree I liked the old version but watching these celebrities scratch and claw to make money for their charities is pretty good entertainment as well. My vote goes to Clay he can be very driven when it comes to helping kids. Arsenio will be fun to watch as well, they both have good wit which should translate into some fun moments. Can do without the fighting and back stabbing as we saw last year. John Rich was a class act and deserved the win, Marlie was amazing as well.

  20. CLAYING4KEEPS says:

    I am not a regular watcher of TCA, but will not miss it with Clay Aiken as a participant! He is smart, business savy, a little snarky, & is dedicated to raising funds for his National Inclusion Foundation,(for the inclusion of all children, mentally/physically disabled, into the mainstream!)Clay has never been given the credit he so deserves for his talent & his huge heart!!! You GO Clay!!!

  21. Cindy Hedgepath says:

    Clay all the way!!! I have never watched before but if Clay is there then so am I.

  22. Aiken4Clay says:

    I will be watching for Clay Aiken!! He is such an amazing person, I’m so excited :) Never really watched the show but will be watching for Clay!He will be great in this competition!!

  23. Melissa says:

    Never watched before, but am looking forward to seeing Clay Aiken compete. He should have won Idol easily, and he did so well on the Millionaire Show, raising $300,000 for his charity. I remember he actually knew the final answer, but was afraid to risk the money, as it was for his foundation. Very intelligent guy, and extremely witty. Should be a lot of fun.
    He cares so much for children, and works so hard for everything, that I am hoping he comes the winner. Go Clay! Will watch just for you!!

  24. Judy L says:

    I so agree with most here….Clay Aiken will be brilliant, funny and
    determined to win that $$ for his foundation…National Inclusion Project! His love and concern for ALL children to be included so that EVERY child experiences what life has to offer is the motto of his foundation! My pick is definitely….CLAY AIKEN…ALL THE WAY!!

  25. Sharon says:

    I say Clay Aiken all the way. I have never watched this show, but will now.

  26. Yo says:

    Who are these people? I don’t know a number of them, which is no surprise. Mob daughters get television time? Good gawd. Clay is too brittle to win, and why would he want to?

    • kittymax says:

      Oh, Clay wants to win for his charity for autistic children that he founded while still in college. He’s a very competitive person also.

  27. kit says:

    Why would Clay want to win? Are you serious, YO? Because he is dedicated to his foundation, the National Inclusion Project, and is taking this opportunity to raise money for it. Bravo, Clay! I’m rooting for you to go all the way. I also hope he gets to sing. What a voice!

  28. Amie says:

    CLAY IS GOING ALL THE WAY!! I can’t wait to see him in action.

  29. Deb says:

    Clay will not come in second this time! Not only is he a champion for children with his work with UNICEF and his National Inclusion Project, which supports Inclusion of Special needs children in educational and social settings, but also a smart buisness man, who is charming, funny, snarky, caring and multitalented. Anyone who can stand up to Simon Cowell will not be intimidated by The Donald nor any other contestants. Clay can be stubborn and will not take any crap from anyone if he thinks a good idea will be compromised. I am going with Clay ALL THE WAY!!!

  30. Denise says:

    Clay to win it. I have watched the show since it first started and can’t wait for season 5 of celebrity apprentice. Clay will do very well in this competition. I also would love to see Clay and Arsenio in the finale. I will watch although I can’t stand Teresa from Real Housewives of New Jersey. I wonder what charity she will be playing for maybe for her own since it seems she needs the money.

  31. Cindy says:

    I can’t wait to see Clay on this show. He is smart, has business savvy and LOVES to earn money for his kids! No doubt he will come in first! The rest of the cast looks great – but no match for THE AIKEN! Go, Clay

  32. Jean says:

    Clay truly was the real winner of AI2; as his success following (compared to Ruben’s) is an indicator. Clay is very smart and astute; I don’t doubt he will finish either 1st or very close to the top.

    To the person who was shocked to find out George Takei gay- he came out a while ago and is married to his long-time partner.

  33. puteri says:

    Way to go Clay. He is gonna win this. Too bad CA is not aired in my country :(

    • kcalpar says:

      puteri, if you can get here and leave a comment, you can probably get to NBC.com, right? Go there and search for Celebrity Apprentice and then you can watch online, they have a vid of every show as well as clips of the fun parts and promos. If you can’t play vids, watch for the pic of Clay Aiken to come up with a blurb for “Clay’s Take”, and you can read his insiders take on show.

  34. lucyo says:

    I’m SO looking forward to watching this season of Celeb App, primarily because of Clay Aiken. He’s so intelligent, clever, adorable. I’m also looking forward to seeing a few of the other celebs, including Arsenio Hall. Haven’t seen him on my TV in a long time, but I’ve always enjoyed him. My ideal is to have the two of them battle it out in the finale.

  35. April says:

    Clay Aiken will WIN!! I’m only watching this because of him!!

  36. A list of second rate celebrities always makes for good reality tv…

  37. kacy says:

    I like Celeb App a lot – maybe because we think we know something about a celeb, but watching them in live action and interaction brings out the real personality, which may not be anything like we imagined — or may be exactly like, lol. I usually start watching after the ranks have thinned out a bit, but with Clay on the show, I’m not gonna miss a second of it!!

  38. Jamie says:

    It is sad to see someone has started spamming this poll for Clay Aiken. You can see the totals change too quickly to be real. In the last 15 minutes, Clay has gone up over 3 1/2% and counting. Can you really blame Clay’s fans for having result to cheating?? If they didn’t spam these polls Clay would probably be near the bottom of pack. What else would they have to talk about if not for these polls? They also need to know that EVERYONE knows that the RESULTS FOR CLAY are BOGUS!

    • Jacko says:

      Wow? Last I check an hour ago Arsenio was in the slightly in lead and now Clay is not only in the lead but up by over 5%. Yes, Jamie, I agree someone is definitely cheating. I’ve heard the Claymates take these polls to seriously, but this is ridiculous. Are they that desperate to have Clay win this silly poll that they have to resort to cheating?

    • Nancy says:

      I’m not surprised to find out that the cheating for Clay Aiken has started here too. I think they are using some kind of macro to vote for Clay as the % is changing too fast There are 2 or 3 fans who go around to any poll or article that mentions Clay and fixes them by altering the poll results and/or leaving numerous bogus positive comments. My friend’s mother was even telling me about this older women who actually spends 2-3 hours a day just voting for Clay even making daily trips to the library and anywhere else that has free internet available just to get in “extra” votes.

      • Debbie says:

        Ok,I am that older woman, and I do get in an extra vote at the library every day I can. My other stop has blocked their outside access. It’s been fun, and almost a game for me.

        YOU, however, are a former fan out to ruin Clay. YOU get on the boards, have read my posts, and made up the story about your friend’s mother. Pathetic. Just vote for your own choice, which is likely Adam. That’s fine. He has a terrific voice too, I went to his concert, and bought the album.

        I don’t have a macro. I would not know how to use one. I don’t believe for a second that plenty of people don’t get in an extra vote at work for their favorites. On polls where there is unlimited voting, I give him all the support I can. Why not? I am hurting no one, and still have time to run the food pantry for our city for the last 25 years.

        If I could get an extra vote on this particular poll, I would. I do not know how others might be doing it, but it’s not just Clay fans, and never is. It just makes for a good story.

    • Miranda says:

      That is a lie!!! Try to vote more than once and see if you can do it. The truth is Clay has a very big fanbase who vote for him on the polls. I have faith in him and I know he will go far in this competition, he might even be in the finale. If this happens are you going to say that somebody is cheating? He has the potential to win and his fans know it. I think some fanbase of another Idol found this poll and they are posting the usual comments on every poll where Clay is involved. Don’t waste your time, it will be useless!!!!

      • Mary says:

        Please don’t insult mine and everyone’s intelligence as every poll can be manipulated just look at what happened this afternoon and still going on as I’m typing. Clay was losing this poll and now all of a sudden Clay is up over 12% and counting in a short amount of time. This poll is almost 1 month old and what all his fans just found this poll today. Not likely!! So keep the spamming coming as we all need a good laugh and the higher the % goes up the more I believe the others that Clay’s results are bogus. I’m actually looking forward to seeing Clay on the show and I’m sure we will all see another side of him rather than the innocent little choir boy from his AI days.

        • Benjy says:

          Whadayawanna bet that Jamie, Jacko, Nancy & Mary are all the same person? Probably the same nutcase who tweeted Donald Trump & his son that Clay was “cheating” on Celeb Apprentice. LOL! Obsessed haters are so pathetic. But quite entertaining.

  39. Barbara Diab says:

    The one who is smart, clever, and passionate about the charity he co-founded back in 2003 will win — Clay Aiken! GO, CLAY, GO!

  40. sarah says:

    Hey, this is just for fun, so a lot of Arsenio fans vote a few times and a lot of Clay fans vote a few times. The poll means nothing. Just because they have fans and want to have fun amd vote multiple times, what is the harm in it? I am looking forward to the two of them, likeable guys and will be fun to watch! Really shouldn’t take this poll to seriously. Lighten up!

    • Hillary says:

      Chill out people. Where do you think all the Arsenio votest are coming from? Some votes are for A. but more are
      from anti Clay fans….votes against Clay.

      It’s all a big game.

      • cheryl says:

        Exactly, Hillary. They feel so frustrated about the possibility of Clay being in the spotlight for maybe more than a few weeks, or getting as far as to the finale, why not? Just the thought of it might be unbearable to certain people. At least they should try to hide their jealousy, because it’s so fun to see their frustration. haha!

  41. JJ says:

    Who care how many “extra” votes Clay has been given?? This poll has now been meaningless thanks to someone who finds necessary to fix the results. Clay’s fans take these polls so seriously because it’s the only thing they can control while they wait for Clay to do something. No one really thinks all these new people came here to cast their votes on this old poll. I’m sure several months from now someone will still be coming here everyday to add votes. Most of time Clay barely climbs out of last place on these polls but thanks to someones efforts he is now on the top on this poll.

    • Cynth says:

      Why on earth do YOU (JJ) & your other personalities above care so much who votes on this poll? Does it really mean that much to you?? I assure you it’s minor fun for Clay fans. Now crawl back under that rock you call the (bogus) 411. Ha!

    • cheryl says:

      JJ let me ask you, WTH are you doing on this poll? It’s fun for Clay fans to vote, but why would a hater take the time to follow anything Clay related, read and even post? It makes no sense at all.

  42. velvet says:

    I’ve watched the Celebrity Apprentice every year..and am really looking forward to it again especially since Clay Aiken is going to be on it…His drive to never give up and sense of humor should make him a great addition to the show. I know he’ll find for his charity…Go Clay!!

  43. Junem says:

    Really looking forward to seeing Clay Aiken on Celebrity Apprentice — he will be a wonderful contender. He’s smart, talented, and works really hard for his foundation, the National Inclusion Project. This season promises to be a fun one! I hope to see Clay go all the way!

  44. Michelle brodeur says:

    I hope Clay wins. Glad he is back to warm our hearts..

  45. Barb says:

    In actuality, the so called “haters” voicing opinions on this poll are really wanna be “clay fans”….they have supposedly left the fandom but just can’t quite let go.This is how they maintain a connection…sad but true.They are so easy to read, it’s sad.

    I think the cast this year is going to be fun and I’m sure they will all put their best effort forward because they are working for foundations and charities that do such important work. For this reason alone people should want to support this group. These are tough economic times and you do what you can to help these charities do their work. There are so many that need our help.

    Good luck to everyone,may the best contestant win.

  46. mary says:

    Great post Barb…the first paragraph completely explains the haters.This fact is so obvious, it’s laughable….they’re laughable. The more they deny that fact , the more it becomes the truth.

    Celebrity Apprentice has a great group of contestants this year, all with important charities to help. All the best to them. I hope they have a lot of fun and may the best man/woman win!!!!!

  47. Lu says:

    I’m voting for the one courageous enough to start a non-profit foundation for children, unselfish enough to always be working for it and using those God given lungs to sing…Clay Aiken.

  48. Jean says:

    By now most know that Clay and Arsenio were the finalists. During the last competition between them, Arsenio even thought HIS shindig was ‘boring’ and went over to Clay’s tent!! Lisa Lampinelli, who was on Arsenio’s team, wrote out a personal check for $10,000 for CLAY’S own charitable foundation. IF The Donald gives the ‘job’ to Arsenio – there will be a backlash like the one when Ruben ‘won’ AI2!!!! Clay is no ‘wimp’; he is a very astute businessman and knows what he wants and how to get it! By the way: no scamming on the part of Clay’s fans.

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