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Arts in Review

Channel Surfing: Celebrity Apprentice

Like watching a figure skater fall or being unable to pull your eyes away from some terrible car wreck, celebrity inspired reality television shows are something of a unique and guilty pleasure in terms of television programming.

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By Trevor Fik (Staff Writer) – Email

Like watching a figure skater fall or being unable to pull your eyes away from some terrible car wreck, celebrity inspired reality television shows are something of a unique and guilty pleasure in terms of television programming.

They combine the relatively simple premise of reality TV shows, with the added allure of featuring well known celebrities as the contestants. The execution, however, is usually far from sound, as the “celebrity” contestants are only half as famous as the host, and possess twice the eccentricities of any normal human being.

This provides for many mid-season breakdowns, the occasional tantrum, and often for a fist fight or two in amongst the more bland episodes. In essence it is bad television at its finest.

Celebrity Apprentice embodies all of the criteria necessary for it to be a guilty pleasure celebrity reality show. While taking the traditional two team business task oriented format of the original Apprentice show, both teams of celebrities act under the guise of making money for charity.

Watching these B and C-list celebrities scrap for the occasional glimmer of spotlight brings out the very worst in the contestants, most of whom are only on the show to extend their fifteen minutes of fame for an extra second or two.

Backstabbing, threats, and all out brawls are common in The Celebrity Apprentice, a show that markets itself with having such notable celebrities as Stephen Baldwin, Gene Simmons, and Dennis Rodman compete. These individuals usually conjure up an “oh I did not know he/she was in/did that,” response when first introduced, prompting a quick Google search before settling in to watch.

Hosted by Donald Trump, a man so in love with himself it is often shocking to see him share any camera time at all, each team chooses a project manager to lead during a task. The winning project manager receives a cheque at the end of their task for the charity of their choice. It is all well and good to compete for charity, but you have to wonder if this is the reason any of the contestants are actually on the show.

None of these individuals are A-list actors, working for the Hollywood elite while they rake in million dollar paydays. These are people who have not pulled in a decent paycheque in years and cannot afford to work for the common good. In the end it is all about extending their stay in Hollywood anyway they can. So what if they have to live in a house with 28 other celebrities or head to sub-Saharan Africa to dine on the local arachnid cuisine, it is inevitably worth it if they get invited to a few more movie premieres, or get cast in a supporting role in a straight to DVD sequel.

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