Entertainment Betting: Who Will Win the New Celebrity Apprentice?
When Donald Trump was named President-elect of the United States, everything changed. Obviously, the biggest changes will come on a political and economic level, but our entertainment world saw a serious shift, too.
If you didn’t think about it yet, NBC already showed us with the return of The Celebrity Apprentice. The “new” Celebrity Apprentice kicked things off on Monday night, with iconic action movie star and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger calling the shots.
Arnie was a mixed bag in his first day on the job, but ultimately, he was still an imposing force in the boardroom, and also good for a few funny moments. When it was time to deliver that highly anticipated “you’re fired” line, the Governator didn’t disappoint, leaning back on his own iconic quotes to deliver a memorable line:
Whether that line sticks and whether “Arnie” will run the show into the ground remains to be seen, but it’s (at least initially) going to make for some must-see television. The ratings apparently weren’t great and people still seem unsure of how they feel about the new head honcho, but the reality remains the same: this show is about a bunch of celebrities working hard to earn money for charity and they’re incredibly ridiculous, dramatic and often flat out vicious in the process.
Donald Trump or no Donald Trump, that will continue, and we’re probably all going to keep watching, too.
The new Celebrity Apprentice is slated to air weekly on Monday night at 8/7 central. While we’ve already seen two episodes and watched as Carnie Wilson and Carrie Keagan got “terminated”, there is plenty of Celebrity Apprentice left to think about.
The biggest question, of course, is who will win? Let’s break down all the remaining Celebrity Apprentice contestants and pick an ultimate winner:
The Celebrity Apprentice Contestants
Formerly known as Brooke Burke, this model, actress, mother and businesswoman, enters The Celebrity Apprentice with quite an impressive resume. No stranger to the limelight, Burke once hosted a show on E!, but may be best known for competing on, winning, and later co-hosting Dancing With the Stars.
In addition, Burke has made a name for herself as an entrepreneur, philanthropist and innovative businesswoman. Burke looks to be the total package, as she has the looks, personality and experience to create, direct and sell any product. Burke’s resume displays all of the characteristics of a Celebrity Apprentice winner, making her one of our early favorites to win this season.
A design and fashion guru, the unmatchable Kressley initially rose to fame in Queer Eye For the Straight Guy. It remains to be determined if Kressley will be strong on the business side of things, but he’s no stranger to the limelight or lofty expectations. His elite experience with design, fashion and the mainstream media make him an interesting sleeper pick this season.
The Celebrity Apprentice contestants don’t come tougher than Sonnen, who has made a name for himself fighting in the UFC. In addition to his years of putting his body on the line, Sonnen has also made a name for himself as an MMA analyst and media personality. He’s got the looks, confidence and voice to rumble with anyone, but it could be fair to question his control and business savvy.
A living icon, Boy George is a former Grammy-winner and is known best for his days with the iconic band, Culture Club. George hasn’t been quite as renowned as he was back in the 1980’s, of course, but he’s found added success in his Broadway show, “Taboo”. George has plenty of experience in music and performance, but it will be interesting to see if he’s able to hack it in the business realm.
One of the best NFL running backs to ever play, Eric Dickerson is still fondly remembered for his agility and punishing running ability. He also still holds the league’s single-season rushing yardage record and rarely lets anyone forget it. On top of his accomplishments in pro football, Dickerson has always been known to have an outspoken personality and has dabbled in broadcasting, as well as playing a key role in the Big Brother’s organization.
Former Saturday Night Live star and current actor/comedian Jon Lovitz could be one of the livelier cast members in this year’s edition of The Celebrity Apprentice. Lovitz has been highly successful across Hollywood, but it remains to be seen what he can lend to a show that is driven by marketing and sales.
One of the fiercest Beverly Hills Housewives is hitting up New York to prove she has what it takes to bang elbows with some heavy-hitters, and she may not be one to overlook. While often quite emotional on her hit reality show, Richards also comes off as rather level-headed, runs her own clothing business and has a history of putting together impressive, lavish events. Richards also has an extensive acting career, dating back to her childhood. Richards has serious connections in California – not to mention an impressive real estate guru for a husband. Richards is among the potential favorites to run the table this year on The Celebrity Apprentice.
The late, great Muhammad Ali’s daughter has made a pretty good name on her own, as the four-time (undefeated) boxing champion has made a career beyond her athletic achievements. In addition to her name and boxing career, Ali has also been admirable for her fitness and nutrition expertise. Ali has also been heavily involved in numerous foundations and has raised large sums of money for charity. Her drive, strong personality and proven desire to win makes her a very tough competitor in this competition.
Probably the biggest WNBA star ever, Lisa Leslie brings years of experience as a sports star and leader to this year’s Celebrity Apprentice. Far from just an athlete, Leslie has also been a model, received a Master’s degree in business and provided analysis as a commentator for several broadcasts.
Currently the host of the ever popular American Ninja Warrior, Iseman has an impressive career as a comedian and host for various programs. Iseman has also had a lengthy career in acting and brings plenty of media experience to this year’s Celebrity Apprentice show.
Also known as Nicole Polizzi, the woman everyone will always remember as “Snooki” from Jersey Shore, is set to compete in The Celebrity Apprentice. Possibly seen as a joke by many from her drunken days on “The Shore”, Snooki has grown up over the past several years and has helped put together several hit reality shows. On top of that, Snooki may have more business savvy that some would first think, as she’s been involved in the mainstream media for years and has now authored four successful books.
This year’s Celebrity Apprentice gets another housewive, as Porsha Williams is best known from her time on Real Housewives of Atlanta. The reality TV star is more than a housewife, however, as she’s also dipped her toe in the business realm with various product lines.
The Celebrity Apprentice gets its fifth athlete and second NFL star, as former pro football running back Ricky Williams is slated to compete this season. Williams may best be known for his days with the Saints and Dolphins, while some may remember him for quitting pro football so he could “find himself”. Williams has worked as a college football analyst following his playing days and still serves as a cannabis advocate and health/wellness expert. Despite the public perception that Williams is a bit off, he seems to have a good head on his shoulders and may end up being a sleeper in this competition.
Hailing from the iconic rock group, Motley Crue, Neil will look to become the second hard rock and roll star to win The Celebrity Apprentice, as well as the fourth musician to win, overall. Neil may be one of the biggest sleepers of this entire group, as many just see him as a hardcore rock and roll star. In reality, Neil has been an impressive philanthropist and owns several businesses. His connections and experience could make him one of the top threats to win the 2017 Celebrity Apprentice.
Who Will Win?
Above everything else, the big thing we all want to know is who actually wins this thing? Before coming to a conclusion, let’s take a quick look back at all of the celebrity winners on the show. The “celebrity” edition of The Apprentice didn’t start until the series’ 7th installment, so we begin with the first true Celebrity Apprentice winner:
Celebrity Apprentice Winners
- Season 1 – Piers Morgan
- Season 2 – Joan Rivers
- Season 3 – Bret Michaels
- Season 4 – (non-celebrity edition)
- Season 5 – John Rich
- Season 6 – Arsenio Hall
- Season 7 – Trace Adkins
- Season 8 – Leeza Gibbons
Piers Morgan was the first Celebrity Apprentice, while Joan Rivers is the oldest to compete (and win). In eight Celebrity Apprentice seasons, two women have won and three musicians have won.
There isn’t an absurd amount of data to work with, but it’s worth noting that there have been some meltdowns on the show. Many will recall Gary Busey’s odd antics and several feuds that led to some cast members leaving the show or ultimately getting fired.
Most of the contestants bring solid backgrounds with creativity and specific expertise in their career genre, while many celebrity contestants have had a hand in managing businesses and pitching and selling products. The celebrity contestants that didn’t already have this type of experience understandably tend to be shed from the roster early on.
The winning celebrity also tends to be rather strong from a personality perspective, either in how others view them or in their ability to manage people, situations and their own emotions. For example, Piers Morgan has an attacking personality, no one was ever willing to mess with Joan Rivers and John Rich, Trace Adkins and Leeza Gibbons all exuded impressive confidence, direction and vision.
There have also been some very tight finishes in the Celebrity Apprentice history. Clay Aiken gave Arsenio Hall a serious run for his money in season six and arguably should have won, while Penn Jillette also was a very fitting candidate when he lost two Trace Adkins in season 13. Marlee Matlin was also highly impressive in a narrow defeat to John Rich in season five.
Looking back at The Celebrity Apprentice history, Trace Adkins still stands as the only cast member to finish runner-up and return later in the show to take first place. Bret Michaels won in season three and decided to return to defend his “title” the following year. For one reason or another, Donald Trump didn’t respect that decision and fired him early on in season five.
Celebrity Apprentice 2017 Prediction
After looking back at history and considering this year’s contestants and their key strengths and weaknesses, we think the winner of the new Celebrity Apprentice will be one of the following:
- Brooke Burke
- Kyle Richards
- Laila Ali
- Vince Neil
The other Celebrity Apprentice contestants all have their strengths, but at first glance, they also all have some serious flaws. Those red flags can deal with emotions, confidence, voice or simply a lack of connections or experience.
There are three serious components to winning The Celebrity Apprentice: direction, composure and connections. The winner needs to have the composure to deal with (and manage) so many other powerful personalities, the direction to envision and map out tasks and the connections to bring in celebrities and funds to both win weekly tasks and to also take home first place in the end.
Others did impress over the course of the first two episodes, but Brooke Burke seems to be the total package.
Burke has an extensive history with competition, the media, running businesses and selling products, as well as raising money. She also is about as well connected as anyone on this year’s Celebrity Apprentice and as a cancer survivor and a mother, we know she has the will and resolve to power through just about any situation.
Whether or not Arnold Schwarzenegger ultimately agrees remains to be determined. However, when we pull back and look at these contestants as a group, Burke makes the most sense to win the whole thing and not be “terminated”.