In keeping with Celebrity Apprentice tradition, Monday’s premiere summoned 16 relatively familiar faces from all corners of obscurity to compete for camera time. I mean… for a charity of their choosing.
But this being the New edition of the long-running competition show — in which former host Donald Trump has been relegated to a mere executive producer — we also got to spend our first moments with the new head of the boardroom: actor/politician/possible cyborg Arnold Schwarzenegger. He may not have Trump’s business experience, but as a potential boss, he’s a hell of a lot more intimidating. (Come on, the man looks like a giant, confused mountain that some brave soul managed to squeezed into a suit jacket. Spooky!)
In a move that should have surprised absolutely no one, the man who starred in such films as Conan the Barbarian and Commando chose to separate the contestants by gender: the men (Team Arete) vs. the women (Team Prima). And to compensate for his own lack of business savvy, the Governator brought along a few famous advisors, including: entertainment lawyer Patrick M. Knapp Schwarzenegger, and beauty mogul Tyra Banks.
Though it’s too soon to be picking favorites, it’s pretty clear that human cartoons Jon Lovitz and Carson Kressley will prove this season’s richest sources of comic relief. (Lovitz amused me with his suitcase full of drugs, and I giggled every time Kressley announced a new discovery with childlike glee: “He knows Greek! Who knew?!”)
The first challenge, a live demonstration of Banks’ makeup line, could have been an easy win for the women, were it not for a few wild cards on Team Arete. And following a particularly nasty boardroom breakdown — most of the nastiness coming from Real Housewives of Atlanta star Porsha Stewart, who didn’t hesitate to turn on her “sister” Snooki — YouTube star Carrie Keagan was sent packing. (And, honestly, I’ve already forgotten what she looks like.)
Challenge No. 2 found the teams shooting commercials for Trident, complete with original hokey theme songs, but none of the ladies were smiling while Arete was declared the winning team. (And considering the ladies accidentally shot half of their footage sideways, can you really say you were surprised?) After a whole lot of awkward tension — including Snooki, for the second time, choosing not to throw anyone under the bus — project manager Carnie Wilson was terminated.
Your thoughts on the first two terminations? Schwarzenegger as a host? The new season in general? Grade the whole thing below, then drop a comment with your full review.