I am so excited to watch Season Two of THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE. I think the cast is phenomenal and I can already see the dynamics coming into play.

I have to say being on Season One turned out to be one of the greatest experiences of my life. In the aftermath of the show I’ve been kept pretty busy, including a nationwide speaking tour on empowerment and entrepreneurship that reached over 75,000 people; and started a web site for women entrepreneurs called MsMogul.com. In addition to my day job as a television producer, I’ve gone back to school to get a Doctorate in Psychology (something I always wanted to do). The Celebrity Apprentice experience inspired me to do more, be more, and to examine my flaws and re-address them — in a word, it inspired me to GROW.

One of the amazing aspects of the show is that you get to spend quality time with an accomplished group of people from a wide variety of fields such as sports, entertainment, and business – what a gift! We have all watched television and seen someone win a gold medal at the Olympics, a singer win a Grammy, an actor win an Oscar, and witnessed an entrepreneur making a million; but don’t we all wonder “How did they do it? Could I ever do it, too?” We love to examine these people up close and try to “crack the code” of their success, see what drives them, and see what is their Achilles heel – made all the more relevant and fascinating given these crazy economic times we are living through.

The Celebrity Apprentice (besides being a whole lot of fun) is an incredible microcosm that shows the inner workings of success and the personality traits that can either elevate or ultimately derail someone. It’s my belief that the winning combination is a liberal dose of intelligence + stamina + life experience + great contacts (for fundraising) + strategy and oh yeah, make sure to develop a thick skin for when “The Donalds” of the world yell at you, and trust me, they will yell at you at some point in your career.

So let’s jump in and talk about this new season – I’m excited because I see a lot of people I admire and respect. Here are my initial impressions of the new Celebrity Apprentices:

Joan Rivers – age, experience, and fierceness are on her side to win it. I’m a big fan of hers – to be in the piranha-infested waters of entertainment this long; she has to have some business acumen. I like that she is honest, direct and doesn’t care what people think of her. Plus I’m sure that she has a pretty extensive Rolodex of contacts – an important component in raising money for the charity challenges. I’ll have to say that I think she is one of the people I look forward to learning the most from. She is my # 1 pick to win this. The one thing that could bring about Joan’s downfall is that while you are on the show, you barely have any time to sleep and it’s also very difficult to grab a bite while in the middle of the tasks. I lost eight pounds and was psycho-sleep deprived. In Season One, we had a lot of the Apprentices who fell apart – think of it as a physical and fiscal boot camp. I’m not sure if she has the stamina for this – but I am rooting for her.

Melissa Rivers – of course, we all know she’s the daughter of Joan. Let’s see if the apple falls far from the tree. She’s my # 1-A pick to win this. She may carry mama’s torch should mom not have the stamina.

Jesse James – (in my opinion) is a close 2nd. Jesse is a great entrepreneur. He’s managed to sustain both a very successful business and a successful marriage to actress Sandra Bullock. Plus having a relative who is a big celeb is a big bonus for some of the tasks – remember Stephen Baldwin bringing in his brother Alec for a cameo? Let’s face it – Jesse is one smart (and tough) dude. He will survive, and probably thrive on, the physical challenges. My only concern is that he might be one of those tough-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside guys who may not want go “there” when it gets ugly, and it always gets ugly.

Annie Duke – I don’t know very much about Annie at this point, but I’m going to give her a wild card vote. I’m just putting two and two together – she’s a poker champion, and poker is one of the ultimate mind games. I think she’s literally worth betting on and will definitely give Donald Trump a run for his poker chips.

Andrew Dice Clay – I’m predicting he’ll be this year’s Omarosa. He is tough when need be and I’m suspecting he’ll go pretty far. As for his egomaniacal antics – I learned from Gene Simmons and Omarosa that’s all that they are – just antics. Behind the façade, all these people tend to be extremely smart and good at heart.

Brande Roderick – I never underestimate a Playmate. People stereotype them as dumb, but I have found that they are far from it. They know how to use all of their gifts and assets to the best of their abilities – and I think they have a lot to teach the rest of us gals. Hopefully Brande will have learned the lesson from last season’s Playmate, Tiffany Fallon, and realize that she needs to be calling on her contacts on Day 1 in order to start raising money.

Herschel Walker – Athletes rock! Their stamina, drive and competitiveness leave most of us in the dust. And don’t forget the advantage of a fervent fan base – famous athletes can raise money in a fraction of the time that it takes most people. This former NFL running back could be quite a contender for the title of Celebrity Apprentice. Hopefully he studied the playbooks of Season One’s Lennox Lewis, Tito Ortiz and Nadia Comaneci and has developed a strategy that will work.

Tom Green – I just love him. Tom makes me laugh. I have met him on several occasions and he’s an absolute doll. Regardless of what happens, he will be entertaining to watch and I’m just happy he’s going to be on the show. (I can’t wait to see his initial introduction to Trump!) However Tom, I love you madly, but you don’t have a chance. Then again maybe Tom is crazy – crazy like a fox.

Natalie Gulbis – I don’t know much about this professional golfer – but again, athletes are not to be discounted. I’m looking forward to getting to know more about her on the show.

Scott Hamilton – Yet another great athlete. However, I don’t think Scott will make it past one of Trumps’ tirades. What many of you may not know is that it takes 2-3 hours to shoot the boardroom sessions. It’s very hot in the room, and after several hours of interrogations, you find that you are forced to throw your friends under the bus or end up under the tires yourself – it’s a truly brutal procedure. Very few people have the stomach for this. I found these sessions to be very difficult, and I consider myself a tough cookie.

Brian McKnight – LOOOOOOVE him! I hope they let him sing on the show. Once again, I think he might be too sweet to handle everything. I almost hope he gets fired right away. I don’t want to see one of my favorite ballad singers yelling at people in the boardroom – it will ruin my fantasy of what a wonderful guy I think he is.

Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins – big time wild card. T-Boz, don’t go chasing waterfalls and keep your eyes on the prize. I love her music, but I think she’ll get the ax pretty early on unless she’s got more life experience under her belt than I imagine. I wish her well though.

Khloe Kardasian – Love her reality show but I think the Apprentice will be a lot more than she bargained for. She’s got her own shop and she knows business, but this is a totally different league – it’s way tough!!!!

Clint Black – this year’s Trace Adkins for the country fans. I think of Clint Black as mild-mannered and sweet, and not really Apprentice winner material; but then again, look how close Trace’s quiet brilliance almost won him the title. I would love to be surprised by Clint!

Claudia Jordan – wow, I have no idea on this one! She’s one of the beautiful and sweet models from “Deal or No
Deal”. Unless she has a split personality and there’s a completely different person inside, I can’t imagine that this will bode well. Happily for her, she’ll be getting the exposure, and don’t underestimate the power of that… all of us have been touched by the TRUMP brand.

Dennis Rodman – ex-NBA star. Everything I have ever seen about Dennis implies that he’s extremely gifted, but that he tends to sabotage himself. He could be a total disaster (although fun to watch) or he could come from behind and win the race.

Stay tuned… after every Celebrity Apprentice episode I’ll be blogging about the show and giving you my perspective on what transpires. Along the way I will give you the inside scoop that will help you understand what goes on behind the scenes, and why normal people appear to be losing it. I’ll also express some of the lessons I carried away from the experience, in the hopes that you can use the advice to conquer whatever it is that is important to you.

Let the games begin!