NEW YORK – Former Wildcat pitcher Jennie Finch will be part of the cast for “Celebrity Apprentice.”
The group was introduced to members of the press last month, but everyone was sworn to secrecy.
Now the secret can be told, says NBC, which made public Monday the names of the cast members.
Not that they needed any introduction. Not all of them, anyway.
Not Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, remembered for making everybody mad as a contestant on the first “Apprentice” season in 2004.
Vincent Pastore (aka “Big Pussy” from “The Sopranos”) was also instantly recognizable.
So was Stephen Baldwin, who explained his participation by noting he already had “done a bunch of reality . . . I thought it would be fun to play the game.”
Likewise Gene Simmons of Kiss, star of his own reality series and unabashed self-marketer.
“I’m in the Gene Simmons business,” he said, so doing “The Apprentice” can only help promote his many other ventures. “Everything helps everything.”
The 14 celebrities won’t be vying for a job with Donald Trump, as in the previous six “Apprentice” seasons, but instead will compete in business-oriented tasks around New York City to raise money for their favorite charities. The official “Celebrity Apprentice” will win a $250,000 bonus to donate.
Taping began in mid-October and the show debuts Jan. 3.
Cast members for this rejiggered “Apprentice” – which in the past relied on scrappy, ambitious star-wannabes – were selected from a field of some 125 celebrity applicants, Trump told reporters.
One deciding factor: Each of the chosen has had experience in business, Trump said. “These people have all done something very dramatic with money.” Other cast members include Nely Galan, former entertainment president of the Telemundo network; Marilu Henner, best-known from the sitcom “Taxi” a quarter-century ago; Carol Alt, actress and model; Trace Adkins, country singer; Nadia Comaneci, gold medal-winning Olympic gymnast; Tiffany Fallon, Playboy playmate of the year; Lennox Lewis, heavyweight boxing champion; Piers Morgan, “America’s Got Talent” judge, and Tito Ortiz, Ultimate Fighting champion.