’70s teen heartthrob David Cassidy has the dubious distinction of being the first celebrity kicked off the latest cycle of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice.
The 2-hour premiere began with Donald Trump (that’s Mr. Trump!) separating the celebrities into two groups — men vs. women.
The men — comprised of Richard Hatch, Cassidy, Jose Canseco, Gary Busey, Meat Loaf, Mark McGrath, John Rich, and rapper Lil John — choose Hatch as team leader and settled on the name “Team Backbone” for their monkier.
The women –comprised of Star Jones, NeNe Leaks, Marlee Matlin, LaToya Jackson, Niki Taylor, Lisa Rinna, Dionne Warwick, and Playboy playmate Hope Dworaczyk –chose Jones as team leader and picked the name “Team ASAP” (Artists, Singers, Authors and Professionals with a Purpose.)
Trump gave each team the challenge of running a pizza joint in two different neighorhoods in New York. Hatch — who served hard time for failing to pay taxes from his Survivor winnings — proved to be a pushy (and rude) leader and at one point, physically pushed Cassidy while belittling him.
On the women’s side, Jones also showed her aggressive side, and at one point, confronted Rinna for criticizing her behind her back. (Rinna apologized.)
In the end, the women’s team sold more pizza — $170,000 worth, and that was enough to make them the winning team. That meant the men lost, and among the guys, Cassidy brought in the least money; in fact, his big ‘get’ was a $1,000 order made by his own daughter, Gossip Girl actress Katie Cassidy.
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Among the other highlights from the season premiere: Niki Taylor showing off her extraordinary pizza making skills. LaToya Jackson trying to remember what “ASAP” stood for, Gary Busey throwing pepperoni into the street as he attempted to sollicit customers to come inside the pizzeria, and Dionne Warwick as the slowest cashier in history.
Celebrity Apprentice airs Sunday nights on NBC.