As NBC's The Apprentice enters its 10th season, Donald Trump is putting celebrities aside and once again opening up the toughest job interview in the world to regular people. But this season, The Donald hand-picked the batch of 16 contestants based on one particular requirement: people affected by the recession.
"We wanted to go back to the original because of what's happening in the economy," Trump told TV Guide Magazine at the Paley Center for Media's Apprentice panel on September 13. "Now we have people with great ambition, but they got zapped [from their jobs] and got really hurt."
But even though Trump is working with contestants who are down on their luck, he says he won't be much softer in the boardroom. "At the beginning I sat down with them and said, 'Look, you're in trouble, but let's be tough, let's be smart and let's be fair.' These people are very inspirational, but some just cannot take the pressure coupled with what they've already been through."
Trump's daughter and fellow board member Ivanka says that after critiquing celebrities for the past two seasons, she's glad to be able to connect with the general public again. "I tend to be pretty honest, celebrity or not," Ivanka says. "As a young person, it's hard for me to be too aggressive with people who have accomplished so much. I don't think I'm intimidated by them, but I'm definitely deferential to people that I have a tremendous respect for."
Trump says we can expect another celebrity season in the spring.
The Apprentice premieres tonight at 9/8c on NBC.