Ego vs ego. Brand vs brand. Vanity, lying, cheating, and money. Celebrity Apprentice returns for its second season.
No longer stripped on weeknights, as originally promised, the format is now single episodes comprising challenges and board room elimination.
Mr. Bouris is back for his third occasion in the CEO chair. As opposed to the first season he is now relaxed, pointed and authoritative. Celebrities this season are Patti Newton, Ian ‘Dicko’ Dickson, Charlotte Dawson, Marion Grasby, Lauren Eagle, Vince Sorrenti, Nathan Joliffe, Tania Zaetta, Ben Dark, Fiona O’Loughlin, Jason Akermanis and David Hasselhoff.
Episode One is all about The Hoff. Even our own celebrities are in awe of the former Baywatch star, who strides in larger than life and plays the part of The Hoff perfectly. In business you get what you paid for, and so far The Hoff is money well spent for Nine.
The first challenge for the teams is a dog pampering business for a day. It’s the boys (Team Platinum) versus the girls (Team Fortune). In the planning and execution there is plenty of friction. At least two males and two females lock horns from the first episode. Are they for real, or ramping it up for the cameras? In any case it works on screen. The second challenge involves each creating a piece of art to sell -they’re nearly all dreadful.
But the money they raise from the challenges is staggering -more than the series prize on offer.
Early standouts are Charlotte Dawson, who nails the Reality TV brief; Dicko, who turns on the punchlines; Patti Newton, whose seniority helps keep things grounded; and Tania Zaetta, whose own self-importance creates conflict.
I find it hard to believe The Hoff will get fired early on, and while he sells his personality like a trouper I suspect it will only get him so far with audiences too. We’ll need more depth from him in subsequent episodes.
Returning to the show is Deborah Thomas as Mr. Bouris’ associate with newcomer Dane Bouris, who doesn’t yet have the confidence of his father.
This season the show also sees a cheque being handed over to a charity each week, which is a bright spot amongst the drama of the board room.
While Deni Hines-style tantrums may nab headlines for this noisy-vessel show, the underlying driver is in us seeing another side of celebrities. The mix of recognisable faces and newcomers covers these bases. It helps to uncover the less-known personalities when we tire of the established ones.
Last season we warmed to Julia Morris, Jesinta Campbell and Shane Crawford.
Who will we warm to this time, and whose brand will self-implode?
Celebrity Apprentice Australia premieres 8pm Wednesday April 18th on Nine.