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8 unforgettable Celebrity Apprentice contestants

Wednesday 31st October 2018

While The Apprentice is still as big as ever in the UK, it's the end of era over in the United States.

After eight unforgettable seasons of Donald Trump and (briefly) Arnold Schwarzenegger, we’ve seen everyone from La Toya Jackson to George Takei step into the boardroom of The Celebrity Apprentice.

So, after all the tantrums and tasks, let’s look back at eight of the most memorable contestants from over the years.

Gary Busey

Like someone from a bygone era, Gary Busey was undeniably in over his head on The Celebrity Apprentice. Probably the only contestant to ever get lost on the way to a task, Busey bumbled his way through seven weeks with a lovable grin on his face.

Busey is well-known for his eccentric behaviour since a tragic motorcycle in 1988, but honestly, it's made him into even more of an iconic personality than before. Just like his later appearance on Celebrity Big Brother, Busey was worth every penny for Season 4 and All-Star The Celebrity Apprentice.

Omarosa Manigault-Newman

Making the jump from the civilian version of The Apprentice to its celebrity counterpart, Omarosa Manigault-Newman continued to be one of the best reality contestants of all time as she refused to bow to even Donald Trump himself.

Omarosa famously locked horns with Piers Morgan and welcomed him to the “war room” by pouring a glass of wine over his head. Omarosa is a TV villain legend in her own right having appeared on The Apprentice three times. Like Shangela from RuPaul’s Drag Race, this is one woman you just can’t get rid of.

Penn Jillette

They thankfully didn’t get the mute one for Season 5 of The Celebrity Apprentice, meaning the larger than life Penn Jillette could try and work his magic on Mr. Trump. Coming in second place for the All-Star version just a year later, Jillette has been outspoken about what happened on The Celebrity Apprentice behind-the-scenes.

After Omarosa accused Trump of racially insensitive and sexual comments, Jillette confirmed that he’d heard the language while filming the show. He’s always been known as the one that talks out of Penn and Teller, and boy did he.

Joan Rivers

Putting comedy royalty like Joan Rivers on a show like The Celebrity Apprentice was always going to be a surefire way to pull in the ratings. The loudmouth comic starred alongside her daughter in Season 2 and refused to keep her opinions to herself. Collins memorably wasted no time in telling poker player Annie Duke she was a “piece of sh*t” when Melissa Rivers was fired.

Sadly, Joan passed away in 2014 after adding winning The Celebrity Apprentice to her list of many lifetime achievements. As a fitting tribute, Rivers had filmed a posthumous appearance for The Celebrity Apprentice and was highly praised by Donald Trump after her passing.

Piers Morgan

Up there with the likes of The Apprentice (UK version) contestant Katie Hopkins, Piers Morgan is marmite through and through. After winning Season 1, Morgan remained close to the show and later returned as one of Trump’s aides.

Morgan has since held a rather underwhelming interview with the POTUS thanks to his notoriety as a journalist in the States. Piers also has the random honour of being one of only 46 people that President Trump follows on Twitter.

Khloe Kardashian

While the Kardashian name hadn’t rocketed the superstardom that it has these days, Khloe Kardashian was still a pretty big name to cast on The Celebrity Apprentice back in 2009. Although Kardashian proved to be a meme-worthy addition to Season 2, she claimed that she only did the show because Kris Jenner wanted her to.

Kardashian was later fired when it turned out she’d missed time on the show for a DUI. Continuing Trump’s trend of firing contestants for apparently no reason, he disagreed with Kardashian’s actions and gave her the boot.

Lou Ferrigno

The man behind the Incredible Hulk (he still provides the voice in the Marvel Cinematic Universe), Lou Ferrigno smashed his way onto Season 5 and released his Emerald Giant.

Anyone who’d seen The Incredible Hulk TV series knows that you won’t like Bruce Banner when he’s angry, but audiences had no idea that Ferrigno had adopted so much of his character’s personality. The week he was fired, Ferrigno spectacularly blew up in the boardroom and threatened to throw Lisa Lampanelli through a wall.

NeNe Leakes

Another star who was always going to grab headlines was the Real Housewives’ NeNe Leakes. Famous for speaking her mind, Leakes didn’t hold back when she launched into a mouthy tirade against Star Jones in Season 4. Elsewhere, La Toya Jackson felt the wrath of NeNe when she told her to “go and hide” in the bathroom.

Deciding to exit on her own terms before she was fired, Leakes told Chelsea Handler that she was over The Celebrity Apprentice during her stint in 2011 and was ready to pull her wig off through frustration.

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