Sunday, March 3, 2013

NBC's 'All-Star Celebrity Apprentice' is Off and Stunning

From L-R: Omarosa Manigault, Stephen Baldwin, Lisa Rinna, Dennis Rodman, Brande Roderick, Lil Jon, Penn Jillette, Donald Trump, Gary Busey, Bret Michaels, Claudia Jordan, Trace Adkins, La Toya Jackson, Dee Snider, Marilu Henner (Credit: Adam Olszewski/NBC)

The 13th season of NBC's Apprenticeits first as All-Star Celebrity Apprentice, featuring a collection of quasi-, pseudo-, almost- and genuine celebrities from previous seasons – hit the airwaves at 9 p.m. EST Sunday, March 3. And what an odd and motley crew of competitors it is.

I don't do this very often – the fingers are too old and rickety to type at the speed of thought for an hour or more – but I was fascinated enough in this opening episode to live-tweet it during the broadcast. 

(By the way, I'm looking for other series to adopt and follow weekly for Big Glowing Box, and I'm taking recommendations. If there's a show you'd like to see covered here – Girls? Scandal? Justified? – let me know in a comment space (below) and I'll consider it.)

Whether you watched Apprentice or opted for The Bible on History, either way you cast a vote for Mark Burnett! He's executive producer of both series (joined by his wife Roma Downey on The Bible), competing against himself on the highest-rated night of the week. Some guys....

As you probably know by now, Poison rock star Bret Michaels, last season's Celebrity Apprentice champion, was the first contender to be fired. For those who missed it, or who are devout anti-Twitterites, here is my post-by-post, blow-by-blow of the two-hour premiere:

9:01 p.m.: And we're off! "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice" is on the air! On NBC.


9:02: Your "all-star" Apprentices: Rodman, Rinna, Jordan, Gillette, Adkins, Brande, Li'l Jon, Omarosa, Baldwin, Michaels, Snider, Henner, Busey. LaToya.

9:05: Five minutes into the show: Chump – uh, Trump – has yet to insult the President of the United States. But it's early.

9:06: How can Rodman's team ever lose a money challenge? "Hello? Kim Jong Un? Kimmy, I need a million. Maybe a warhead? Thanks." 

9:06: Trace Adkins on Penn Jillette: "He's brilliant. But then, the Devil always is." 
  
9:08: Adkins: "I came here to play this game with...Gary Busey." I always suspected country music would make you crazy.

9:10: Dennis Rodman is the last one chosen to join a team. Big mistake, or lucky break?
  
9:12: Amazing. The teams have broken down along racial lines. A conspiracy 'trumped up' by President Obama is suspected. #TeamOreo
 
9:14: Playboy model Brande Roderick: "I want to be project manager because I have such big donors." I'm not touching that one.

9:15: Can't I turn on a TV set without seeing Piers Morgan's prissy mug SOMEWHERE? 

9:18: There is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON Bret Michaels should not be the first project manager. Stupid. And I liked Team Oreo better. 

9:21: "A star is nothing but a self-contained mass of gas. They come out at night." And Gary Busey is back in the boardroom!
 
9:25: Twenty-five minutes in, and I'm already sick of @OMAROSA. Gonna be a long season.

9:30: "You got the balls?" "We got the balls!" Having this bunch of "celebs" making meatballs out of the gate is sooo appropriate.

9:35: The wife says she's already sick of Piers Morgan. I just kinda figured that was understood. 

9:38: "Naked Balls in Harry Sauce," says Lisa Rinna, wife of Harry Hamlin. All righty, then.
 
9:40: I'm so old, I remember when LaToya Jackson was good lookin'. Now she looks like was assembled by a committee.

9:43: Did Trace Adkins really just put his chef's hat ON TOP of his cowboy hat? I'm loving that!

9:45: Roderick on her cell phone: "Are Playboy bunnies coming, too?" Didja see Rodman twitch?

9:48: Good point from Da Wife: Seeing all that long hair waving over food prep is a bit nauseating. "Celebrity Hairnets," anyone?

9:52: Team reps appear on "Live With Kelly & Michael." Was this really ever on the air? I can hear daytime ratings plummeting. 

9:54: Would you ever seriously consider eating EITHER of these teams' meatballs? Glad I ate before the show started. 

9:55: There is NO BODY in Trace Adkins' team's Meatball shop. Might make it hard to compete. IJS. #CricketsChirping

9:55: "Plan B From Outer Space" – worst movie ever made. "Plan B meatball strategy – worst move in @ApprenticeNBC history?

9:57: A cameo appearance from Amy Grant! With $75,000! Talk about answered prayer!

9:58: Adkins:"I love pretty women with big checks." But what good is it for celebs to come if the only ones there are OTHER celebs?

10:03: The biggest meatball of all has arrived: Piers Morgan is in the house! 

10:05: If they pack ALL the former celebs into the first episode, what's gonna surprise us the rest of the season? 

10:06: T. Boone Pickens weighs in: $100,000 check. Just like Adkins predicted! Maybe Trace's strategy wasn't so goofy after all. 

10:09: Jennifer Aniston is endorsing Aveeno now? How much did THAT deal cost? I use the stuff anyway; coulda saved your money with me. #Commercial

10:14: The next time Trump cracks a smile on @ApprenticeNBC will be the first time. Then the world will end.

10:15: Gotta love me some Trace Adkins. The last strong silent type in a world full of noise. No wonder he kept his store closed. 

10:18 Stephen Baldwin: WAY too honest. Saving his donors for his turn as project manager? Well, he is the funny-looking Baldwin.
 
10:21: Rodman to Piers: "What is the main reason you hate this woman? People don't like you either." @OMAROSA Yeah, Piers says, but I've won.

10:24: The black folks have better balls! According to Kelly & Michael. But Brande's team: $250,000 total. Trace's team: $419,539!

10:25: Adkins says he wanted one big win for his charity, the Red Cross, because they helped when his house burned last year. Nice. 

10:34: That's what we want: Hatred so powerful that it oozes through the screen! @piersmorgan vs. @OMAROSA – Alien vs. Predator!

10:35: A true leader's strength is the ability to step back and let his people lead. If Bret gets fired, it will be a travesty. @ApprenticeNBC

10:40: Why would you let the snake @OMAROSA be the one running the cash register? Like she's going to be accurate? #NumbersDontAdd

10:46: Brande Roderick had NO CLUE how her team fared moneywise. And as project manager, you at least have to have a clue.

10:51: I think Brande brought LaToya back to the boardroom because she dared speak up against her. Weak.

10:52: "Why would you trust one of the least trustworthy people in the history of the show?" @piersmorgan @OMAROSA #AlienvsPredator

10:53: Sweat beading up on Brande Roderick's brow.

10:54: "Put yourself in my position. I am a human being." – Trump. Alert the media. This is news! 

10:56: Trump can't understand why Michaels came back to compete. Uh, maybe to earn more $ for Diabetes Foundation, since he's diabetic? What a jerkface.

10:58: Week 1, and I'm already pissed. Bret Michaels got fired ONLY because he had the guts to come back and compete. That's crap.

11:01: Celebs who shoulda been fired never made the boardroom. Brande shoulda fired herself. Bret got hosed. #EveryRoseHasItsThorn

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