An interview with Aubrey O’Day


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). 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 about 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 and 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 excited.

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 the 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. [Laughs]

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.