'Celebrity Apprentice All-Stars': On the bus with Dennis Rodman, Lisa Rinna, Penn Jillette and the rest

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celebrity-apprentice-all-stars-gi.jpgA dozen of the 14 returning competitors on "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice" follow Donald Trump onto the top level of a double-decker bus at Rockefeller Center Friday.

There, it is so windy, his famous pomp blows forward.

"I'm getting blown to f***ing pieces here," Trump says. "At least you can report it's my hair."

Yes, it is, and he carefully sprays it before jumping out for a photo shoot.

At a little after 8 a.m., and Dennis Rodman looks less than happy, Gary Busey less than awake, but Lisa Rinna and Marilu Henner are all smiles. Zap2it was one of two sites allowed on the bus as it snaked around Manhattan, caused mini flash mobs, where everyone on the street had their cameras pointed up, and were cheering.

It was a vey odd morning.

Trump looks around him and credits his show for boosting the careers of Trace Adkins, Joan Rivers and others. 

"We took some of the good people we liked," Trump says of the show's first all-star edition. "We turned down 15 people who wanted to be on it."

RELATED: Meet the 'Celebrity Apprentice All-Stars'


Some, at least this early and on a windy day, seem less than enthused.

dennis-rodman-trump-tower.jpg"The only reason I did it was Donald asked me to do it," Rodman says.

Though wearing jeans, he is in a tux jacket with tails.

"I thought it would be fun to show people it was no fluke and I could win this damned thing," Rodman says. 

As the double-decker bus, outfitted with "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice" photos wends its way to Times Square, tourists stop and the celebrities scramble downstairs, and pose. Adkins looks as if he would rather be having surgery - without anesthesia.

This batch of celebrities includes players from many years: Adkins, actors Stephen Baldwin and Gary Busey, illusionist Penn Jillette, rapper Lil Jon, rockers Bret Michaels and Dee Snider and Rodman. The women are: actresses Henner and Rinna, singer La Toya Jackson, TV personalities Claudia Jordan and Omarosa (the only no-show at Friday's event) and former Playmate of the Year Brande Roderick.

Rinna says she learned from last time.

"The hardest part for me doing this last time is I don't think I was as prepared mentally," she says. "I was in a very, very tough group. Now I know what to expect."

Like the other women, Rinna was dressed up, full makeup and in feet-numbing shoes, which they were all admitting once they left the bus and were in an elevator going into a press conference.

Jillette is pretty sanguine about the circus swirling around him. 

penn-jillette-dee-snider.jpg"I like being in the middle of it," he says as he quietly observes everyone. "I am so perplexed that there is such unpleasantness that wells up, and I try to be cognizant of it."

Snider, though, looks as if he would toss himself into a mosh pit of fans, were they available. A Long Islander, he's on home turf and smiles at fans as they call up to him.

"The first season I was running a marathon and it turned out to be a half-marathon," Snider says. "This time I am sprinting from the start."

The celebrities had just gathered the night before, and some were adjusting to the cold and to the time zone.

"This is part of the business I always appreciated," Henner says. "The publicity, it is part of what we do. I have never been on top of a bus in cold weather before."

While some were adjusting, others were already plotting their game. Roderick comes right out and says she's already looking forward to the fundraising, and already missing her sons, 1 and 2.

When the bus pulled onto 12th Avenue, the farthest west street in Manhattan, to hold a press conference, Jackson, resplendent on a purple satin suit and matching sky-high heels joined the group.

And though NBC isn't airing this until March, Trump handicaps whom he thinks will win.

"I think Dennis Rodman has the edge, and he should win," Trump says. "What I have learned is you really can't predict. I have great credibility because I do the thing I ought to do."
Photo/Video credit: Getty Images