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April 24, 2014

Why Donald Trump Wants Star Jones to Go Far on 'The Celebrity Apprentice'

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 25th 2011 4:00PM
'The Celebrity Apprentice' women's team presents Trump hotel campaign
This is far from the first time I've written these words, but I'm going to write them again: 'The Apprentice' is a sham of a competition, and it's because Donald Trump is the only one who determines who stays and who goes.

It's not like other competition shows, where a panel of judges have to come to some sort of consensus, or a voting show where the person who gets the fewest phoned-in, online and text votes goes home. No, the sorta-kinda-almost 2012 presidential candidate is the lone arbiter of whom gets fired, and he has often used weird rationales to fire someone who didn't necessarily deserve it, especially on the celebrity edition of the show (just ask Khloe Kardashian).

Trump used one of those rationales last night to fire La Toya Jackson. It was almost predictable. Even though Star Jones fumbled badly as the losing team's leader in last night's task, there was no way in hell she was ever going home. Why? Because Trump knows a good player when he sees one.

You may rake me over the coals for "spoiling" last night's show, but if you know anything about 'The Celebrity Apprentice' or Trump, you knew that once the women's team lost, last night's result was a foregone conclusion. Heck, all season long, the ads for the show have shown a confrontation between NeNe Leakes and Jones that has yet to happen -- it's going to happen as the teams get their task next week -- so it was fairly safe to assume that Jones was going to make it pretty far.

What was Trump's rationale for firing La Toya? That the women need the strongest team possible to compete with a small but gelling men's team. It's not that La Toya did anything particularly poorly on last night's task -- an ad campaign for Trump's luxury hotel chain that both teams royally screwed up -- it's just that she was the overall weakest player on the women's team.

Granted, Jones manipulated her way to that result by bringing the equally strong-willed Leakes back to the boardroom with her and La Toya, knowing that NeNe would be forced to criticize La Toya in order to save her own hide. But once Trump got the opening to shape the teams the way he wanted, La Toya was a goner.

Let's face it: The only thing that's (possibly) out of Trump's control on this show is which team wins and loses each task. But everything else is under his control -- who is on which team, what companies he works with on the tasks, and who gets fired. So the entire show progresses according to his whim.


And you know he wants Star Jones to make it as far as she can in this contest. NeNe seemed to be surprised that Star would "cut your head off" to save herself, but she shouldn't have been. I don't know Jones beyond what I've seen of her over the last 15 years on television, but I know she's cunning, manipulative, ruthless and will protect herself at any cost. And she does it in a way that makes you think she's acting as a team player ... when she really isn't.

For instance, after La Toya got the boot, NeNe begged Star to listen to people next time and at least consider other viewpoints. "I guess that's a lesson for me, then," she tells NeNe, with a complete look of sincerity in her eyes. Anyone watching, though, knew that she didn't mean a word of what she said.

In other words, she's an ideal 'Apprentice' contestant and perfect for the celebrity edition. You don't think Trump is going to try to wheedle his way to either a Jones / John Rich finale or -- if he's in a particularly amused mood -- a Jones / Leakes finale? He managed to prop up Joan Rivers long enough for her to make a highly charged finale against her "nemesis" Annie Duke two celebrity seasons ago. He mixed an matched teams to the point where he got Brett Michaels vs. Holly Robinson Peete last year, and likely only gave Michaels the win after he almost died (though they both deserved the win). What makes this year any different?

Trump's whims are the reason why you need to watch 'The Celebrity Apprentice' for the entertaining celebrity confrontations and meltdowns and not for the competition. Because, when it comes right down to it, it's not a competition at all, but an examination of who will make for a more entertaining finale. At least Trump is being more honest about it this time around.


'The Celebrity Apprentice' airs Sundays at 9PM ET on NBC.

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needhelp215@live.com

Trump blew it. Latoya Jackson did nothing but impress. I will not watch anymore of this season's apprentice. The women would not have the wins they did had it not been for Latoya. And she was fired for the future "dramas" that will surely play out between Nene and Star. Enough with the over zealous loudmouthed bullies being thrown together for childish back and forths. My analogy-do you watch the NBA because.it has the best athletes? Or.college basketball because they put in better effort and play better basketball. Or are you an NFL fan because it brings both together. Purity of sport.with the. Best athletes.
Star and nene are the NBA. Latoya may have only been Duke. But from the "drama" provided by others trying to step.on her and her being so.classy in standing up.for.herself would have provided.for.more.of.the NFL experience.
Trump, you went the cheap route. Because of that I will wait for.next season.

May 01 2011 at 11:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
needhelp215@live.com

Trump blew it. Latoya Jackson did nothing but impress. I will not watch anymore of this season's apprentice. The women would not have the wins they did had it not been for Latoya. And she was fired for the future "dramas" that will surely play out between Nene and Star. Enough with the over zealous loudmouthed bullies being thrown together for childish back and forths. My analogy-do you watch the NBA because.it has the best athletes? Or.college basketball because they put in better effort and play better basketball. Or are you an NFL fan because it brings both together. Purity of sport.with the. Best athletes.
Star and nene are the NBA. Latoya may have only been Duke. But from the "drama" provided by others trying to step.on her and her being so.classy in standing up.for.herself would have provided.for.more.of.the NFL experience.
Trump, you went the cheap route. Because of that I will wait for.next season.

May 01 2011 at 11:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kyle Phoenix

I believe that so far the women and to some degree the men are trapped in that building with Star Jones. From purely the POV of a fellow student of the 48 Laws of Power, I have watched Star play a masterful game. Not only is she technically intelligent but she's a masterful psychological evaluator and has impeccable manners. I predict she's the winner! Even when she objects or is wronged or is in the wrong, she presents the most professional face and level of maturity. They've all gotten on her nerves at various stages (Dionne Warwick, NeNe, LaToya) and she's been honest but at the same time she's held back from losing her temper, her cool, her dignity.

I normally don't watch TV but I was on my way out one evening and watched it just to see what Celebrity Apprentice was as I was thinking could I use this in the classroom teachings I do. I was blown away (and late) by watching the construction of the show and particularly how Star Jones was laying in the cut. How she was applying her lawyering skills at negotiation, manipulation and evaluation to half a dozen people so effortlessly. They're putty in her hands. She loses I'm done. She gets tossed off I'm done watching.

The NeNe/LaToya two-shot where she brought them back in (saving Hope for the next fall guy position---Marlee and NeNe being her real competition) was an excellent tactical move. I'll also add that negotiating product placement for her book Satan's Sisters (five women on a daytime talk show--fiction---Lord, are any of us ready for her! lol) in the opening promos of EVERY show! Wonderful. No, no, it gets better----Star's deflecting a downgrading of her abilities and picking it up with a grand compliment-----"My best mentors so far have been Johnnie Cochran in law, Barabara Walters in telelvision and now you, Mr. Trump in business"----I nearly fainted in ecstasy!!!!

LaToya----a little "special" and I think I mean that in a upper class/wealth way where she's steeped in being wealthy and treated a certain way and not use to this level of engagement and competition---never had a chance. I think she's in some ways genuinely kind and her apology to NeNe seemed real (the fact that Star orchestrated it made me delirious with joy!) and then Star bringing the two easiest targets to eliminate while leaving Marlee and Hope as lame ducks to get burned strategicly in the future was orgasmic. She is a mistress at Thick Face, Black Heart! She wedged NeNe, still new in getting over her grudge against the slightly bougie LaToya's classist condescension---she would have no where to go but to aligning with Star against LaToya who was put between Star who's so neutral that Trump himself might be in danger from her and NeNe who she'd been offending for awhile so no alliance/support was possible. Delightful manipulation! I think Trump canned LaToya on the grounds that she was playing short game. Ms. Star Jones is playing to win.

April 26 2011 at 12:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Wayne

I agree Donald has a thing for Hope its very obvious ...she gets thrown off the radar everytime....she does very little and says very little and Donald hardly ever asks her any questions in the boardroom...Donal wants ratings so it has very little to do with who should be fired...lets face it Star and Nee Nee makes great rating when they bicker.....

April 25 2011 at 7:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brenne

Why has Holly lasted this long other than the fact that Donald Trump seems quite fond of her? She has contributed extremely little to the competition. Even the one time that she was the team leader, her team led her. Other than taking up space, being, as an ex-team described- "positive energy ( that team leader lost her task and then quit), showing off her body, and joining the "Destroy Latoya" campaign, she has served no purpose for any one other than Trump. Holly should have been booted off even before Dionne. All of the women except Latoya seem quite manipulative and conniving and never speak one word against the obviously ineffective Holly. Obviously there were directed to not say anything negative against Holly. The vicious spirit of the women's team seem in direct alignment with Trumps own values.

April 25 2011 at 6:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Brenne's comment
Joel

Are you talking about Hope?

April 25 2011 at 6:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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