"Celebrity Apprentice" has its finale Monday (8 p.m. Feb. 16, NBC), with some colorful souls colliding. Here's the story I sent to papers:
By Mike Hughes
Amid all the
shouting, “Celebrity Apprentice” does offer life lessons. Here
1) Reality shows may
seem hard, but real life – if you have eight kids – is harder. “I
wish I could be in 'Celebrity Apprentice' every day,” Kate Gosselin
said. “It was a lot easier (than) my everyday life.”
2) And it may not be
great to have a lot in common with your co-worker.
Early in the current
edition, Gerald Rivera and Ian Ziering – both intense, both
talkative – were together. “Start with the absolute, firm
foundation that Ian and I don't like each other,” Rivera said.
disputes that statement) was eventually ousted; Rivera kept
surviving. “Some people aren't so happy with the fact that I didn't
fire him,” Donald Trump said. “But that wasn't because he didn't
do well. They just don't like the guy very much.”
Now he's made it to
Monday's finale, in which each person is making a commercial for
Universal Orlando Resort and organizing a launch party. The finalists
-- Leeza Gibbons,
with her get-along attitude. (“I love the language of business,”
she said.) To help her, Trump assigned the previously ousted Kevin
Jonas, Brandi Glanville and Johnny Damon.
-- Rivera. Trump
assigned Lorenzo Lamas, Vivica Fox ... and Rivera's old foe, Ziering.
This time, however,
it's Rivera and Lamas who may have too much in common.
Both men describe
themselves as being very competitive. Both are in taut physical shape
– Lamas at 57, Rivera at 71. Each has had four divorces.
“I'm a changed
person now,” insists Rivera, who boasted in his autobiography of
having affairs with more than 1,000 women. His fifth marriage has
lasted 11 years; when he visited the Television Critics Association,
be brought along his 9-year-old daughter.
mellowness, however, vanishes when “Apprentice” begins. For the
commercial, Rivera chose himself as the star and co-writer; he
assigned Lamas (who has directed six episodes of action TV shows) to
direct ... then started overruling him.
For Lamas, this is
part of a broader picture. He grew up in Hollywood, the son of movie
stars Ferando Lamas and Arlene Dahl. He's a helicopter pilot and
ranges from acting to game shows to reality. “I've raised six
children in my live,” he said. “I've never been in a position to
turn down good-paying gigs.”
In 2003, hw was a
judge on “Are You Hot: The Search for America's Sexiest People,”
one of the first – and most derided – network reality shows. “I
think (producer) Mike Fleiss had the right idea .... It was ahead of
its time,” Lamas said.
Fleiss had also
created “The Bachelor,” which stored big. And in 2008, bachelor
Matt Grant chose Shayne Lamas. Her dad, Lorenzo, was busy then, as a
contestant on the “Gone Country” reality show.
The next year,
Shayne and Grant broke up – she later married blogger Nik Richie
and has a daughter – and joined her dad on “Leave It to Lamas.”
There are, apparently, lots of reality shows out there.
Apprentice” finale, 8-10:01 p.m. Monday, NBC.