NBC has confirmed the celebrity lineup for its latest season of Celebrity Apprentice, the first to be hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger, along with a list of advisors that includes investment guru Warren Buffet and Steve Ballmer, former Microsoft CEO and all around loud person.
But first, the contestants. As per usual, the upcoming season will include 16 celebrities competing in business challenges to raise money for the charity of their choice. This year, the selection is heavy on the sports side, with a total of five from the sporting set, including Muhammad Ali’s daughter, Laila Ali (who is a retired boxing champion in her own right), former NFL star running back Eric Dickerson, Olympic medalist and WNBA star Lisa Leslie, mixed-martial arts fighter Chael Sonnen, and enigmatic former NFL running back Ricky Williams.
Also dominant on the cast list this year are television hosts, past and present, including Brooke Burke-Charvet (Dancing with the Stars), co-host of American Ninja Warrior Matt Iseman, former VH1 talk-show host Carrie Keagan, former TV host and fashion expert Carson Kressley, and former pop star/talk show host Carnie Wilson. Yeah, a lot of “formers” this year, as we’re used to seeing on the show.
Wilson isn’t alone on the musician front: Boy George will also be on the show. He is currently also coaching on the U.K. version of The Voice. Also a cast member is Vince Neil, lead singer for Motley Crue.
Naturally, as is typical of the show, reality TV stars will be part of the mix as well, including Nicole “Snooki” Polizza, Kyle Richards from the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and Porsha Williams from the Real Housewives of Atlanta. And finally, thrown in for obvious comic relief, comedian and actor Jon Lovitz will join the cast.
Equally as interesting as the contestants are the show’s business “advisors,” who will presumably evaluate the tasks and help Schwarzenegger make his tough boardroom firing decisions. Among these is Steve Ballmer, who served as CEO of Microsoft for 14 years from 2000 through to 2014, and now owns the Los Angeles Clippers. His personal wealth has been estimated at being upwards of $24 billion, according to the Forbes 400 list.
Celebrity Apprentice has also managed to snag the number-two name on the Forbes 400 list as an advisor: Warren Buffet. With an estimated net worth of $59 billion, Buffet is often called one of the most, if not the most successful investor in the world. Given his well-known philanthropic nature (he’s publicly noted plans to give away the majority of his wealth to needy causes), it’s no surprise he agreed to be part of the show, which often sees millions of dollars raised for charities of all kinds.
Appealing to the younger generation, Tyra Banks and Jessica Alba, who have both built their own successful business empires outside of their modeling and acting careers respectively, will round out the four advisors for the season.
Celebrity Apprentice has been running for seven seasons, and served as a sister show to The Apprentice. Donald Trump has always headed up the show, dolling out the tasks, and weeding the contestants down to a single winner through his intense boardroom discussions that always end with the signature phrase that he pretends he made up: “you’re fired.”
Following Trump’s controversial statements about immigrants in his announcement of his presidential bid, NBC confirmed that it would be parting ways with Trump, and put the show on hiatus. Last September, actor and former politician himself Arnold Schwarzenegger was given the gig.
There’s no confirmed air date for the upcoming eighth season.
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