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The Celebrity Apprentice Season 5: Conference Call With Donald Trump, Arsenio Hall, Aubrey O'Day and Clay Aiken

Posted on 05/09/2012 by Todd in The Celebrity Apprentice and Cast Interviews

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Donald Trump, Arsenio Hall, Aubrey O'Day and Clay Aiken from The Celebrity Apprentice Season 5

by Todd Betzold


The Celebrity Apprentice started out with the largest cast ever this season...18 celebrities working, not sleeping and arguing their way through each weekly task. After all of that, we have seen 15 celebrities given the boot from Donald Trump...that leaves us with three celebrities on the verge of making it to the final task...Arsenio Hall, Aubrey O'Day and Clay Aiken. Today, Trump and the three finalists talked to reporters on a conference call about their charities, who surprised them this season and much more.


Q. Who from the show, including the ones that have left, have you learned the most from and what did you learn?
A. Aubrey: In prior seasons, I really enjoyed watching Marlee Matlin on the show. I thought she was very sincere and kind and a very determined worker. I also liked Joan Rivers because she made the show watchable and exciting. The female I love on this show is hands-down Lisa Lampanelli. She's the perfect blend of woman...she's funny...you know, I experienced a woman on-camera and off-camera. I spent more time with her off-camera than on-camera and I grew to fall in love with her. I think she has this enormous heart and she's so smart. I don't shy away from brilliant women...I enjoy them the most and I love to surround myself with them because I don't think you can get better by surrounding yourself with weaker, so I love to be around strong women and I saw her an my competition in this show and I couldn't wait to be around her every day to see what we could come up with next.


Trump: I thought Aubrey was going to say Dayana Mendoza (laughter).


Arsenio: I actually have to agree with Aubrey about Lisa. I got to work with her, not as long and I don't have as personal a relationship with her as Aubrey does, but I have to agree with a lot of the things she said. Lisa Lampanelli is a whole lot of woman. My second favorite female on the show is probably Clay (laughter). Its Dayana...she is really special in her own way and I really love her.


Clay: Holly Robinson Peete is someone I have watched in seasons past and had a lot of respect for. As far as learning from people on this show, I have to say honestly it's hard to be around Penn Jillette and not learn something. He's brilliant mind in every situation, regardless of our personal relationship, he's a genius...there's really no other way to describe than how intelligent he is...though I wasn't always a sponge for the information he had to give, he definitely has a lot to impart.


Q. Were you surprised by what you heard from John and Marlee? And you said it was your choice, so did they choose someone else?
A. Trump: No, I think they were pretty straight-forward. They respected certainly all three that are here, otherwise they wouldn't be here. They had some negatives to say, but they had a lot of respect for the three we have right now on the phone. No, I was surprised at how tough John Rich was...he was pretty tough, but they had a lot of respect for the three people that are on the phone and I'm not surprised by that.


Q. Even with all that happened throughout the season, how do you feel about Aubrey forcing you to raise your game?
A. Arsenio: You can never be angry at someone who forces you to raise your game, to quote you...you can't be mad. I think if you take to great athletes...take for instance Magic Johnson, whose foundation I played for...Magic Johnson absolutely loved and hated Larry Bird for exactly the concept you're speaking of.


Clay: I don't think you could say it any better than that. One of the great things...Aubrey is freakishly intelligent...sorry about the word freakishly, but she probably is (laughs). She's probably one of the smartest people on the show and she does...Aubrey and I have talked since the taping has finished about in many ways a lot of people, especially me, felt threatened by her because she was just that good. I think for so many people on the show, we knew from the beginning she was going to be the toughest competition...we knew from the beginning that she's the one we had to beat. So, I agree with Arsenio completely...Aubrey is someone who came on day one and planned on winning and she worked it all the way through and she really became the person to beat from day one.


Q. Can you talk about leaving the show and why you decided to return?
A. Aubrey: First of all, I want to say thank you to Arsenio and Clay...that was very kind what you just said. I walked away from the show because I was put in a situation that was uncomfortable and unfamiliar, in regards to this specific show. Sometimes it's best to walk away from something because you can never take your words back and once you said them, for me, apologies are a difficult thing because I'm an actions speak louder than words kind of girl and it's easy to apologize, but it's much harder to show that you are sorry. So, I think that for me I always try to, if I don't have the best solution at hand right away, to walk away and find what will work for me. I think the one thing I've had in this industry consistently is the ability to go to sleep at night and not hate myself and I don't know that many people in this industry are able to do that. So, the one consistent thing, whether I get fired by Diddy or fired by Trump or have things go my way or not go my way, I want to go to bed at night and love who I am. So, sometimes that means walking away before coming back or before responding.


Q. If you do make it to the Final 2, is there someone you want on your team more than anyone else and why?
A. Aubrey: I can say the one person I want on my team, hands down, is Lisa Lampanelli and then you know also, I would like to have Dayana Mendoza on my team because I got the chance to work with her in the beginning and I understand her much better after watching this season and I would love to have the chance to work with her again.


Arsenio: You know who I would love to work with? Penn Jillette...I kind of idolize the guy, always have. You know, I was a magician as a kid, so Penn and I had a lot of cool things to talk about throughout our downtime in the van and I'd love to work with him because he does so much...he gives you so much when it comes to our specific situation.


Clay: I agree with Arsenio on Penn, which would surprise a lot of people, but he is a brilliant mind. Then I think I want to arm wrestle Aubrey for Lisa...since I got a chance to work with her in the last few tasks, I really have a lot of respect for Lisa. She plays the game very well and very toughly, but she is very brilliant...I may have to fight both of them for those people.


Arsenio: I would love to work with Paul again because you never know when you're going to need a motorcycle (laughter)...I just want to put that in.


Q. Mr. Trump, what surprised you the most while filming?
A. Arsenio: Probably looking and seeing Aubrey's nipples (laughter).


Aubrey: First of all, he asked that to Mr. Trump. Second of all, my nipples were not showing...that's a damn conspiracy (laughter).


Arsenio: Whatever conspiracy Teresa started, I'm about to tag my wagon onto (laughter).


Clay: I think that was for Mr. Trump.


Arsenio: Oh sorry, I guess I should have done my Trump voice (laughter).


Trump: Well, they gave good answers (laughter).


Q. What made you choose the charity you are playing for and what is one thing you want people to know about it?
A. Aubrey: My charity is GLSEN, which is the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. You know, I have worked with so many charities over the years with traveling around the world it's such a difficult choice...out of all the choices I had to make on Celebrity Apprentice, choosing my charity was the most difficult because there are so many people in need and because there are so many people that could benefit from all the tasks and the final presentation. So, I really chose GLSEN because they do so many wonderful things, but more importantly, they are not as big of an organization but the thing that they represent is huge and very relevant among society, so I wanted to be able to give them a bigger platform through Celebrity Apprentice.


Arsenio: My charity is The Magic Johnson Foundation...I've been involved with it for 20 years, almost 21 years. I'm sure everyone knows how I first got involved with in it. It was something Earvin wanted to do when he announced himself HIV+ and I was on the ground floor of that. It made this show perfect because it was something I really loved.


Clay: I was a special ed teacher before I went on Idol and a lot of the students I taught during the school year...and I ran a summer camp during the summer at the YMCA and when I get there in the summer, a lot of the kids I taught during the school year were not allowed to come to the summer camp because summer camp after school programs don't necessarily have the resources and the materials and the education and the training for staff in order to work with kids with disabilities and that frustrated me, so I started the organization that I'm playing for...it's called The National Inclusion Project and we train extracurricular activities, summer camps, soccer camps...recreational activities that don't usually have the ability to include kids with disabilities. We provide them resources and training and whatever they need in order to be an inclusive environment. Kids with disabilities know when they are being left out and it's not fair to them, so it's kind of a crossroads of my life before I started becoming a quote/unquote celebrity and now with this new job I get a chance to still have access and still do the type of work that I did before, so that's why I'm playing for The National Inclusion Project.


The Celebrity Apprentice airs Sundays at 9/8c on NBC.


(Image courtesy of NBC)


Follow Todd @tbetzold


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