'Celebrity Apprentice' gets fired up for another season
At least proceeds from the Celebrity Club International, created by Real Housewife of New Jersey Teresa Giudice and author/Mafia daughter Victoria Gotti -- who also supplied the special sauce -- go to charity. Contestants hustle to make the most for their teams on "The Celebrity Apprentice," returning for a fifth season Sunday, Feb. 19, on
On a warm day in October, Zap2it got the first look at the new season. This challenge consisted of the teams working two different locations for a sandwich shop chain.
Across town, balancing on the sort of heels that help fill chiropractors' bank accounts and wearing barely-there dresses, beauty pageant winners including former Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza prance in front of the Cafe Metro on West 52nd Street and smile at men who stop dead in midconversation and suddenly develop an appetite.
This is all supposed to be under wraps; imagine if they had wanted to draw attention to themselves. They did want, however, to draw customers into their respective restaurants.
"My job was to be outside to get the public to buy a sandwich for charity and make a donation," Ferrigno says. "I think we did very well."
The men's team includes
The men charge $9 for all sandwiches. Their location is better, just around the corner from one of the city's busiest intersections and in a neighborhood where grabbing a quick, cheap sandwich is a challenge.
One man says he will pay only $7 for a sandwich, an odd bargain, but he tips an amount that would buy a house. Paul Teutul Sr. called his pal Carlos Urbaneja, who owns restaurants and sports-car dealerships.
"I bought a bike from him," Urbaneja says, explaining their connection. He has someone pick up his water, and he's off. Had the health department visited during the men's team takeover, the shop would have racked up violations. Counters are gummy, the drain in the soda machine is clogged with lettuce and tomato, and the place needs sweeping.
However, at the Cafe Metro where the women rule, all is spotless. Not everyone is kitchen savvy, but Gotti and Giudice know what they're doing, evident by the way they slice food, flip a sandwich and clean as they go. Additional team members are models
Contestants work their smartphones, and Russell Simmons shows up and gives $10,000.
Once the lunch rush finishes, Ferrigno reflects on why he's participating in this reality show. "I am a smart person, and I have great character, and to give to people who have
"I hope to go as far as I can," he adds. "This is my new obstacle to overcome."
Teutul is pleased one of his clients came through with the huge check. "I know a lot of people," he says. "I don't want to blow everything in one shot."
The women are also tapping into their considerable contacts. Velasquez had called Simmons and was picking up large checks from other friends, including models agent Katie Ford.
"There is no way the guys will beat us," she says, unaware of Urbaneja's check.
The women started early after having worked until 9 the previous night. By late afternoon, they were justifiably tired. Well, maybe not Giudice, who seems to have boundless energy.
"To me, in the kitchen it's not hard because that is what I know," she says.
Separately, Gotti says, "I did what I do at home. You serve everybody and clean behind you."
Gotti, glamorous in
Gotti considers which of her teammates will hear
As they close the West 52nd Street branch for the day, a cleaning crew takes over. One must wish luck to the crews across town, where they need their own apprentices.