WASHINGTON (NNPA)—TV One’s new television show Donald J. Trump Presents “The Ultimate Merger” sounds more like business program about joint ventures than an African-American dating show—but it isn’t.
Trump and the producers of the highly-successful NBC reality program “The Apprentice” have brought their can’t miss formula to TV One hoping that one of their most infamous “Apprentice” contestants can close the deal on love.
If nothing else, Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, usually just known as Omarosa, always makes for good television. Trump knows this. That’s why he invited his season one contestant back for a second time as a participant on “Celebrity Apprentice” and has now green-lighted her a reality show of her own.
Omarosa’s on-screen persona is unapologetic, manipulative, contentious and downright mean. The self-described “b—-” and “diva” has also been called an ice queen, a race baiter, and worse by more than just the media. The 36-year-old Ohio native has made a career of being a professional reality show shrew. She doesn’t care. It’s worked for her so far, judging from the avalanche of bankable opportunities and publicity as of late.
“When you ask how much of that is really me, I’m a competitive woman, I’m an outgoing woman, a charismatic woman,” Omarosa said in an interview with the NNPA News Service.
After her appearance on the original “Apprentice” in 2004, Omarosa told Jet Magazine that the show’s producers edited the show to portray her as a villain saying that those types of “shows don’t happen, nor do they portray actual reality. They are constructed reality.”
She added: “Historically, African-Americans have been portrayed negatively on reality television. We don’t come across well. You’ve got to start looking and saying, ‘Is that really how all African-Americans are?’ Because they are trying to say that this is representative of our people.”
An entertaining trailer for the “Ultimate Merger” suggests that the show won’t lack in the sex and drama department. At one point, Omarosa questions if she’ll make it into heaven because of all of the debauchery going on, which is interesting considering Omarosa is a seminary student.
“I don’t think it’s unusual that Christians date nor is it unusual that Christians kiss,” Omarosa said.
These aren’t things that are unique to people in the secular world. I never read in the Bible where dating is off limits.”
The best way to describe the “Ultimate Merger” is to think of it as a dating version of “The Apprentice.” So instead of weekly episodes of seeing business- savvy people closing deals and coming up with marketing plans with the hopes of landing a cushy well-paying job, 12 successful and eligible bachelors are put through the paces on challenges that play upon their weaknesses, test their capabilities, and draw out their true intentions as they try to prove their love for “Lady O,” as they sometimes refer to Omarosa.
It’s a really big ego fest for her. The show’s premiere episode opens up much like “The Apprentice” with a shot of Omarosa in the back seat of a black town car pulling up to Trump’s New York office towers and then, inside Trump’s office where the billionaire, very corporate like, instructs Omarosa that he would like to help her dating life. He then hands her a briefcase with folders of a dozen handpicked bachelors inside.
The eight-episode show was filmed at the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Las Vegas.
In addition to the attractive “Apprentice”-like production, the show wins more so than the lead talent with the 12 suitors, who, like Omarosa herself, are also successful and ego-driven. They range from a foreign currency trader, a lawyer and a fashion designer to a special events company owner, a Christian rap artist, a former NFL linebacker and known recording artists like Al B. Sure! and Ray Lavender.
“I thought it was wonderful to have 12 type-A personalities in a room, as you know, I am very much a type-A personality,” Omarosa said in an NNPA interview. “I thought it was great to have very smart, accomplished, outgoing, charismatic African-American men and having them compete and show their talents. I thought it was a fascinating process.”