Is there a reality show more misleadingly titled than The Celebrity Apprentice? Sure, there are a fair amount of genuine celebrities (however loosely one may have to occasionally define the term), but the show ceased to have anything to do with “apprenticeship” the minute the famous and semi-famous were added to the mix back in 2008. Prior to that, the competition was known simply as The Apprentice (or Donald Trump’s The Apprentice if you’re Donald Trump) and the show’s conceit of Trump searching for an enterprising wannabe with some kind of business background to take under his wing fit its title. Although, like any reality show, the show picked up its share of contestants who seemed far more interested in becoming famous than they were in working for Trump, the majority of them seemed genuinely hopeful that they might learn something from the dubiously-coiffed mogul.
Which brings us to Sunday’s season finale of the sixth season of Celebrity Apprentice and although absolutely no one on the show’s pretending they’re there to learn anything from anyone, this doesn’t mean viewers couldn’t tug free a lesson or two from the season. Okay, you might have needed some pliers and a clamp to do it, but they were there.
Lesson 1: Do Judge a Book by Its Cover
If there was any episode of a reality show that destroyed more popular aphorisms and proverbs about how best to deal with difficult people in one fell swoop than the sixth season’s premiere I’ve yet to see it. Team leader (and the 2010 Celebrity Apprentice champion) Bret Michaels was almost certainly thinking of The Art of War maxim to “keep his friends close and enemies closer” when he decided to choose perennially-toxic Omarosa Manigault for his team – even though he didn’t have to. Seriously, I’m not making this up. Omarosa, who has crafted one of the strangest side-careers ever – that of professional villain – wasted no time in doing her best (i.e. worst) to make Michaels – and everyone else on her team – as miserable as possible when she wasn’t busy sabotaging them.
Although the team Bret put together lost repeatedly for multiple reasons, there’s no question that having a viper like Omarosa in the next had a debilitating effect on the team’s morale. Nazis may have brought the Western Allies and the Soviet Union together under the adage “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” but that’s because neither of them were temporarily partnering with Omarosa.
This article was first posted on May 26, 2013