Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice includes stars with L.V. ties

Hugh Hefner, Crystal Harris and 2010 Playboy Playmate of the Year Hope Dworaczyk arrive at the Palms on May 15, 2010.
Photo: David Becker/WireImage

Billionaire real estate developer Donald Trump has revealed the cast of his next Celebrity Apprentice on NBC, and several Las Vegas-linked names are in the lineup. We reported Oct. 4 that he’d personally invited Strip headliners Criss Angel and Holly Madison to appear, but their live-stage commitments here were in conflict with the New York City shooting schedule.

However, while The Donald was in Las Vegas recently for his Miss Universe Pageant at Mandalay Bay Events Center and one of his regular visits to his Trump International Hotel here, he did sign one of his judges, glamorous supermodel and TV host Niki Taylor, to Celebrity Apprentice.

Leach Blog Photo

DJ Eric D-Lux, Paris Hilton, Lil Jon and Nicky Hilton at Vanity in the Hard Rock Hotel on April 24, 2010.

Last night in New York, the contestants gathered at a private cocktail party to meet for the first time at the mogul’s 5th Avenue Penthouse in Trump Tower. They included 2010 Playmate of the Year Hope Dworaczyk, who was crowned here at the Palms, Las Vegas resident LaToya Jackson and Las Vegas regulars and performers Dionne Warwick and Mark McGrath.

There are some eye-popping surprises I have learned in advance of the official NBC announcement and confirmations.

Star Jones, the controversial former co-host of The View, returns to television, along with Survivor winner Richard Hatch, who was disgraced by the IRS over tax questions. Three musician pals of mine will be competing: Meatloaf, recently at the Hard Rock here; Las Vegas nightclub regular rapper and deejay Lil Jon; and former teen dream David Cassidy.

Leach Blog Photo

LaToya Jackson is interviewed by Barbara Walters.

My pal Harry Hamlin’s wife Lisa Rinna also is part of the cast, as are Oscar winner Marlee Matlin, Nene Leakes of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, former MLB player Jose Canseco, actor Gary Busey and country singer John Rich of Big and Rich fame.

Preliminary film production starts today in New York, and then the challenges really get cracking Monday. From the 16 contestants, there will be fast eliminations to get down to a more manageable final 10.

Shooting continues through to the first week of December, and the new season will air with 10 episodes starting in March. All the contestants return for the finale in May.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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