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Meet the 2012 ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ Contestants

Here’s the lowdown on who’s trying to not get fired, from Clay Aiken to Dee Snider

celebrity apprentice

Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

This Sunday marks the season premiere of The Celebrity Apprentice, the long-running reality competition now in its fifth season for which washed-up celebrities engage in menial tasks to both impress host Donald Trump and reignite whatever small amount of fame they once possessed. And per usual, this season’s cast is stacked with “talent.” Who better to watch trying to impress an egotistical old man than the likes of Clay Aiken, Dee Snider, Aresenio Hall, and Debbie Gibson? So to prepare you for what is sure to be an incredible season, we’ve broken down this year’s contestants and how we think they’ll fare.

By Dan Hyman

celebrity apprentice, Lisa Lampanelli

Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

Lisa Lampanelli

Age: 50

Claim To Fame: Believe it or not, before rising to acclaim as a raunchy stand-up comedian, Lampanelli was an assistant and fact-checker right here at Rolling Stone. These days though, she's best known as the lone recurring female presence on Comedy Central's infamous roasts where she’s generally stereotyped as a horny loudmouth.

What To Expect: This is one lady with major cajones. Quite simply, her roast appearances are proof that Lampanelli can take an insult, swallow it, and spit it right back at 'cha. This is one contestant the others should be keeping their eye on. Lampanelli means business.

celebrity apprentice, Dayana Mendoza

Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

Dayana Mendoza

Age: 25

Claim To Fame: This beauty queen, after being named Miss Venezuela in 2007, racked up the title of Miss Universe only a year later. In an unsurprising revelation, we discovered she's signed to Trump Model Management; this likely explains why she was cast despite being relatively unknown to most Americans. 

What To Expect: Something tells us Mendoza is not the brightest bulb; her time may therefore be limited. Perhaps we got this vibe because Velasquez, the youngest contestant on the show, stated during a 2009 visit to Guantanamo Bay that it was "a relaxing place.”

celebrity apprentice, Aubrey O'Day

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Aubrey O’Day

Age: 28

Claim To Fame: This blonde bombshell, who caught Diddy's eye during Season Three of MTV's Making The Band, is best known as the former lead singer of girl group Danity Kane. She didn't last long, however; Diddy dismissed her from the group after it became painfully obvious she was only self-interested. Now she’s the star of the fittingly titled Oxygen-network reality show All About Aubrey, and is also prepping her solo debut for release later this year.

What To Expect: Unlike the other beauties in the cast, O'Day is a seriously promising contender – if for no other reason than girl's got some major sass. And we also think anyone who’s worked for Diddy is well-equipped to deal with the megalomaniacal beast that is Donald Trump.

celebrity apprentice, Dee Snider

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Dee Snider

Age: 56

Claim To Fame: As the frontman of hair-metal giants Twisted Sister, Snider embodies all that was (and is) beautiful about this musical era – from his outsize personality to his larger-than-life looks consisting of long locks, excessive eye shadow, rouge and bright red lipstick.

What To Expect: You can call Snider many things, but a quitter is certainly not one of them. Despite two decades having passed since his band's peak, Snider has somehow managed to remain (marginally) relevant. If his never-ending battle to stay in the limelight is proof, this is one man who won't go down without a fight.

celebrity apprentice, George Takei

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George Takei

Age: 74

Claim To Fame: This Japanese-American actor is a legend to sci-fi nerds everywhere, thanks to his role as Hikaru Sulu, helmsmen of the USS Enterprise, on Star Trek.

What To Expect: He may have played a straight-shooter on TV, but the season's oldest contestant is a certified wiseass: Friend him on Facebook and expect to be inundated with excessive posts aiming for something reminiscent of humor. This lightheartedness may not make for a long stay on Celebrity Apprentice, however; Trump isn't generally keen on smart-alecs.

celebrity apprentice, Paul Teutul, Sr.

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Paul Teutul, Sr.

Age: 62

Claim To Fame: This tatted-up titan of a man with a killer Fu Manchu mustache is the founder of Orange County Choppers and the central character in the reality series American Chopper. He also is a certified badass.

What To Expect: Watch even one episode of Chopper and it becomes clear Teutul has a short temper and a hard nose for business. Whether or not his fiery attitude and penchant for yelling at others will serve him well on Apprentice remains to be seen. Chances are he's an all-or-nothing type of contestant.

celebrity apprentice, Cheryl Tiegs

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Cheryl Tiegs

Age: 64

Claim To Fame: As the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover girl on three separate occasions in the Seventies and Eighties, Tiegs established herself as a modeling icon. In recent times, she's served as a judge on ABC's True Beauty and yes, even has her own line of wigs for Revlon.

What To Expect: The fact that Tiegs has disposed of four husbands during her lifetime signals that she's a no-BS kind of’ gal. Also working in her favor is the fact that Trump grew up during her modeling heyday; chances are he's already an admirer of her work.

celebrity apprentice, Patricia Velasquez

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Patricia Velasquez

Age: 41

Claim To Fame: This long-legged lady is widely considered to be the first Latin supermodel. And like Tiegs, Velasquez is also a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue alumnus. Back in 1992, she appeared in the Red Hot Chili Peppers video for "Breaking The Girl," which is completely meaningless, but nonetheless amazing.

What To Expect: Velasquez should hope for challenges that require the use of other languages: she's fluent in English, French, Italian and Spanish. But seeing as this is almost certainly unlikely to happen as the show is broadcast in English, not much is working in Velasquez’s favor

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