Tonight the latest season of Donald
Trump‘s Celebrity Apprentice
kicks off its fifth season of pitting celebrities and
pseudo-celebrities against each other to raise money for each
contestant’s hand-chosen charity organization. Most other seasons of
the show have had 15 cast members but this season has been
super-sized to eighteen and includes members of and advocates for the LGBT community such as American Idol runner-up Clay
Aiken, Star Trek actor George
Takei (whose hilarious Facebook postings get added to my wall by
my mom on a daily basis), hysterical comedian and notorious Queen of
Mean Lisa Lampanelli and, last
but not least, oft-talked about animal-lover, singer, dancer, reality
TV starlet Aubrey O’Day.
We had the opportunity to speak with Aubrey about her participation in
the show and why she felt so strongly about raising money for her
chosen charity: GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network).
AfterEllen.com: When you were approached
to be on Celebrity
Apprentice what was your first
thought? Were you a regular fan of the show beforehand?
Aubrey O’Day: I had seen the
show enough. I mean, I don’t watch too much TV because I’m usually
in the studio recording or busy, but I was actually really excited
it from the beginning. I think a lot other people do [the show] to
revive their career or because their publicists or manager pushed them
into it. And when I took the meeting I was actually really excited and
couldn’t wait to start preparing. I
mean, I was on my way going to Columbia for law school.
AE: Oh, wow.
AO: So I have a very an intense
mind that likes to be
strategized and prepared. So after going and meeting and seeing the
interest that they had in me I watched all the seasons of Celebrity
Apprentice and locked down in my house for a least a couple days
watched every season back to back and kind of made out a map and
learned the way they filmed it. I always look at everything from a
producer mind. I probably have a stronger producer mind than a talent
mind which gets me in trouble sometimes with reality TV. But it’s
because I’ve done a lot of reality TV that I have that instinct. I’d
say after I watched it all and mapped it all out I was even more
I did it because I wanted to do something new with my life. I
wanted to have new challenges. The challenges in my life always revolve
around music, fans, acting, performing, singing, writing — I mean, I’ve
kind of had the same challenges in a very intense way all the way down
to very simple ways for the past six years of my time in the industry
and I’m kind of getting to a point where I wanted to see what else I
had to offer to the
world. I wasn’t sure if I’d be good, I wasn’t sure if I’d go home right
away, I wasn’t sure if I’d get there and see that other people were
smarter and have better ideas, I wasn’t sure that I’d be the best. I
just know that I’ve gone through a lot of hardships in my life and I’ve
always been able to come out fighting. I’d say the first week I was a
little nervous and I was trying to size it all up and kind of see where
I stood in the competition and I realized after the first episode or
the first couple days that I definitely should win and I’m one of
the smartest people there.
AE: That’s awesome. Do you have any
business experience or business
education prior to this? If not, I don’t know if you’ve seen those
Shannen Doherty commercials but she got her degree online. [Laughs]
AO: They are horrible!
AE: [Laughs] You can just pick up one
of those business degrees online
and see where that goes.
AO: No, no, I went to UC Irvine
and I had to take a variety of classes
in order to graduate. I wouldn’t say business studies in particular
but I have a family of attorneys and I came into college studying
dance. I was a dance major and left college as a political science
major and got really into law and political science and government. A
lot of the passion I developed in college was for
international rights. I wanted to go work internationally with
refugees. I got that in junior year of college when I traveled around
world with a program and with my family. I’ve been fortunate enough to
travel a lot. And not to like, vacation destinations. I’ve always
traveled to third world countries and been involved in the painful
aspects of the world more so than the beaches and mai tais.
AE: The mai tais are good too, though.
AO: Right. I learned a lot and
I have a very passionate mother that
wants to save the world in her own way and I don’t think she ever found
her voice and I think she raised a daughter with a very loud voice that
is trying to find out what she really wants to stand for.