Interview with Leeza Gibbson, Vivica A. Fox and Ian Ziering of "Celebrity Apprentice" on NBC - Primetime Article From The TV MegaSite
 

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By Suzanne

Interview with Leeza Gibbons, Vivica Fox and Ian Ziering of "Celebrity Apprentice" on NBC 11/4/14

This was a fun call! I didn't know ahead of time exactly who would be appearing, which made it even more interesting.  It was great to speak with all three of them. I first saw Vivica years ago on "Generations" and many other TV shows, and of course Leeza has been around for a long time on the entertainment news shows and had her own talk show. Ian Ziering was so awesome as Steve on "Beverly Hills 90210" as well as many movies.

NBC UNIVERSAL
Moderator: Erika Lewis
November 4, 2014 1:00 pm CT

Operator: Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Celebrity Apprentice Press and Media conference call. During the presentation all participants will be in a listen-only mode. Throughout the call we will conduct a question and answer session. At that time if you have a question please press the 1 followed by the 4 on your telephone.

If at any time you need to reach an operator, please press Star 0. As a reminder this conference is being recorded Tuesday, November 4, 2014. I would now like to turn the conference over to Erika Lewis, please go ahead.

Erika Lewis: Hi, good morning, good afternoon everyone and thank you for joining today's conference call for the Celebrity Apprentice Season 14. The cast was announced this morning which includes our guests today Vivica A. Fox, Leeza Gibbons and Ian Ziering.

If you register for a question this afternoon, please limit your turn to one question and one follow-up and try to make sure to direct your call to a specific person. You are welcome to rejoin the queue after that if you have further questions. Thank you very much (Alan) and I think we are ready to get started.

Operator: Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen if you'd like to register a question please press the 1 followed by the 4 on your telephone. You will hear a three-tone prompt to acknowledge your request. If your question has been answered and you would like to withdraw your registration, please press the 1 followed by the 3.

If you are using a speaker phone, please lift your handset before entering your request. One moment please for the first question. Our first question will come from the line of Daedrian McNaughton with Premier Guide Miami, please proceed with your question.

Daedrian McNaughton: Hi everyone thanks for taking the call today.

Vivica Fox: You're welcome.

Leeza Gibbons: Hi.

Daedrian McNaughton: Hi Leeza, in the past interview you stated that your mom taught you just to show up and do your best, do you think you've done your best on this show and what were some of your setbacks and if everyone could chime in that would be nice.

Leeza Gibbons: Thanks for the question. I think everybody brought their A game and everybody in this cast delivered their best, it's an incredible season. For me -- and I'll - I suspect for my buddies Ian and Vivica on the line too -- one of the first things that I noticed in terms of what you're calling drawbacks, this is a group of people that likes to be in charge of their own lives, right, everybody likes to be buckled into the driver's seat of their life.

Vivica Fox: Exactly.

Leeza Gibbons: And this requires that you collaborate, that you compromise. That, I think, you know, Vivica tell me if I'm speaking for you too, I don't think that comes naturally to a lot of us.

Vivica Fox: Absolutely. I mean not everyone, you know, I think what Leeza, Ian and I that we're so used to taking constructive criticism from producers and directors that we know how to bend and not everyone bends as easily as others, that's what I found out from working this season on Celebrity Apprentices.

Daedrian McNaughton: Thank you.

Operator: Our next question will come from the line of Donna Freydkin with USA Today, please proceed with your question.

Donna Freydkin: Hi, this is Donna from USA Today. Could you guys please talk about working with Joan Rivers who I know was a judge on two of the episodes.

Vivica Fox: Well for me it was an absolute pleasure because I had met Joan -- this is Vivica Fox answering -- over the years just being on the Red Carpet, you know, with the famous, you know, who are you wearing and when she would show up, you know, it was always so much love and such a pleasant surprise.

And she was tough, you know, she would let you know you're not doing a good job or you need to step-up so it was definitely tough love and an absolute pleasure to spend some time with her and I was just as shocked and devastated as with everyone else was of her passing.

Ian Ziering: Hi this is Ian talking. I had a chance to be on Joan Rivers' talk show many, many, many years ago -- maybe it was the early 90s -- and have always been - had always been a fan of hers to meet her in person was really a thrill. She, you know, for a person who can dish out such caustic humor, she always maintained a sense of grace and elegance which was a nice juxtaposition against her comedy.

She was fun to be around and was very exciting to work with her.

Leeza Gibbons: Very supportive, a mentor for woman. Joan certainly knows business like nobody, she's just, I mean, like nobody else. She was so sharp and so honest and stayed so relevant but what everybody I think remembers about her is that cheerleader side of her, that warmth side of her, that supportive side of her, of really wanting to inspire and encourage -- especially other woman in business -- and it was really a very rare and wonderful treat to be able to work with her on this as I've done in other shows in the past, but this was really just a perfect venue for her.

Donna Freydkin: Thank you.

Operator: Our next question will come from the line of Rodney Ho with Atlanta General Constitution, please proceed with your question.

Rodney Ho: Hey, how you guys doing.

Leeza Gibbons: Hi Rodney.

Rodney Ho: Well, hey, since I'm coming from Atlanta we've got a couple of Atlanta people on the show, Keshia Knight Pulliam and Kenya Moore, I know you can't tell me what exactly happens in the show but what were your impressions or past, you know, talking with either of those woman?

Vivica Fox: From your two Atlanta natives, this is Vivica Fox speaking.

Rodney Ho: Yes.

Vivica Fox: I found them to be very intelligent, very outgoing and very driven and they make the show very interesting this season. So Atlantans will be very proud of Kenya and, gosh, Keshia.

Rodney Ho: Keishia.

Vivica Fox: I forgot her name, Keishia. Keishia, a/k/a froopie.

Leeza Gibbons: Amen to that Vivica. These woman are tough, they are competitive. They came in like we all did with the goal in mind of getting that prize money for their charities and seeing what they could do, you know. I've got to say, you know, I had never - when I was hosting pageants, I crowned Kenya.

Rodney Ho: Oh my goodness.

Leeza Gibbons: Right, so it was - that was my only experience with her when she was in a more vulnerable position. Not a lot of vulnerability, a lot of strength, but both of them are really fierce competitors, wouldn't you say Ian?

Ian Ziering: Absolutely, they came to the table hunting for bear. You know, they...

Rodney Ho: Oh my goodness.

Ian Ziering: ...well they had a goal in mind and they're objective was to raise a lot of money for their charities and what's nice -- what I noticed about everyone -- is that when you're asking for yourself, there's a bit of trepidation. But when you're going after something for a greater good, to actually do good things for other people, you know, there's no holds barred, there's no shame.

So they each approached it with, you know, that they're going to win and that was evident from meeting them.

Vivica Fox: And then I remember like one of our first challenges, like me and Kenya we were out on the streets of New York, passing out flyers, bringing people to our competition and had no shame in our game at all so they both worked really hard.

Leeza Gibbons: When there's so much money at stake, you know, last season the celebrities won like $3 million for their charities.

Rodney Ho: Yes.

Leeza Gibbons: So we all went into it knowing that. When there's that much money at stake, people are really, as Vivica said, you know, nobody had any shame in their game. It's amazing what you can do and how fearless you can become when you've really got your eye on that prize.

Rodney Ho: One follow-up, all three of you have been on Dancing With The Star's, tell me the difference...

Ian Ziering: Yes.

Rodney Ho: ...in terms of the experience for the three of you - each of you between this and Dancing With The Stars?

Vivica Fox: Wow, this is Vivica answering. This was...

Rodney Ho: Yes.

Vivica Fox: ...definitely harder than Dancing With The Stars.

Rodney Ho: Really.

Vivica Fox: It is, for me, it definitely was. Dancing With The Star's you got to rehearse like, you know, six hours a day but then you got to walk away from it. We worked like 12 hour days, 6 days a week and, wow, there were some nights that I could barely go to sleep, you know, because my brain wouldn't shut-off because I was thinking - because we were turning the task around so fast.

Rodney Ho: How about you Ian?

Ian Ziering: Leeza?

Leeza Gibbons: Well Ian you're really sweet. First of all everyone knows Ian can dance. If you watched my season of the show you know it was not my greatest strength. I felt more comfortable in this environment because I know the language of business better than I know dance.

But I agree with Vivica, it - I think we all under - we knew it was going to be tough, but I underestimated how exhausting it would be and the mental stamina that, you know, Dancing With The Star's is physical stamina, this had mental and physical stamina and it didn't stop.

((Crosstalk))

Ian Ziering: Yes, I...

Vivica Fox: Agreed Leeza, yes, yes.

Ian Ziering: ...would agree with that. Dancing with the Star's is so physically rigorous, they tell you you don't have to rehearse at all but of course if you expect to win, you know, rehearse as much as you can to make it as good as it can possibly be.

Rodney Ho: Right.

Ian Ziering: I just learn best through repetition. So I wanted to go after it and do it again and again and again to the point where I ended up having foot surgery. I wore the bottom of my foot out. It's, you know, was an overcome able obstacle and certainly worth it, went pretty far.

But in this -- in the Celebrity Apprentice -- is a completely different skill set, you know, when I was in Dancing With The Stars I had the ability to act, to portray the part of a dancer, you know, I had it in my mind, I had the experience through other opportunities that I had some dancing with. But in Celebrity Apprentice, this is all - this is business acumen and that's a hat that you can't just act, you have to deliver on, so you need real world experience in this.

It was much more mentally taxing doing Celebrity Apprentice then it was doing Dancing with the Stars. Dancing with the Stars was much more physically taxing. Either way it was just great competition and with any of these competitions I always, you know, set my eye on the prize and that's my goal and work out a plan and work the plan.

Operator: Our next question will come from the line of Calia Underwood with US Weekly, please proceed with your question.

Calia Underwood: Hi guys.

Vivica Fox: Hello darling.

Calia Underwood: We were wondering if you could clue us into some of the most shocking moments of the season, did anything come as a surprise to you all?

Ian Ziering: Donald Trump got fired. I bet you're shocked to hear that. How can we talk about that without spoiling anything?

Vivica Fox: Yes.

Leeza Gibbons: Here's what we could say. You'll be shocked to find out that - I think everyone will be stunned to find out that Gilbert Gottfried is an animal. He's just an animal. It will be incredible to have that side of him revealed.

Vivica Fox: And then also you - I think shocking things that you'll be able to see -- shocked to see -- some of the friendships that develop. Like who works really well with each other and who doesn't work so well with each other, that will be shocking to find out.

Leeza Gibbons: It won't be shocking for anyone to see that Vivica A. Fox had such fantastic shoes the entire season, they need their own show. Her shoes need their own show.

Ian Ziering: Both of you fashionistas.

Vivica Fox: Well Ian please, your fashions were pretty hot too, you were definitely bringing you’re A game too with the fashion, so, we'll say the fashions will be shocking as well too because we were sharp.

Calia Underwood: Thank you.

Operator: Our next question will come from the line of Joshua Maloney with Niagara Frontier Publications, please proceed with your question.

Joshua Maloney: Thank you, I'm wondering, Vivica and Ian, what was it like working together first on Sharknato 2 and then competing against one another with the Celebrity Apprentice.

Vivica Fox: Wow.

Ian Ziering: May I take this.

(Crosstalk))

Vivica Fox: Yes, go ahead Ian.

Ian Ziering: I, you know, I had worked with Vivica before, a long time ago, on 90210 and had a great respect and appreciation for her from that and seeing her go on to such, you know, fantastic successes in the Kill Bill movies and all the other science fiction movies she's done. It was great to work with her on Sharknato; I knew she was going to bring a lot to the table.

I didn't know -- when we were both booked for Sharknato -- wasn't it until we were sitting across from each other in the make-up chair of Sharknato...

Vivica Fox: Yes.

Ian Ziering: ...when we realized that we were going to be working together in Celebrity Apprentice or working...

Vivica Fox: Exactly.

Ian Ziering: ...because you're not supposed to talk about it. But, you know, we kind of talked a little bit and we're both very happy and surprised to know that we were both going to be working on Celebrity Apprentice together, it was great, I love Vivica, such an awesome woman, so fun to work with.

Vivica Fox: Aw, me love you back, yes. And for me it was a welcomed surprise to find out that we were then going to do Celebrity Apprentice together. So last year we spent, you know, what about four or five months straight almost in New York. And it was cold, I can tell you that.

Ian Ziering: Yes.

Vivica Fox: It was a cold season. But it was good -- some days -- to see a kind face that I knew, that when it got really tough -- and it did get mentally exhausting some days -- that just to go over and was able to get a hug or just say, whoo, you know, are you hanging in there, just to be able to separate and got to know Ian really as a friend outside of a competitor on the show. So I was blessed and very, very happy that we got to do the two projects back-to--back.

Joshua Maloney: How do you guys prepare for something like this? Because as each of you have said and as we've heard from prior competitors it is obviously very physically and emotionally taxing so how do you sort of, you know, what's the mindset coming into it, how do you sought of prepare for something like this?

Vivica Fox: If I can jump in real quick guys, this is Vivica again. What I did is I asked a couple of people that had been on there in the past from Star Jones to Holly Robinson Peete to Mark McGrath, who we were doing Sharknato 2 with, wow, what was it like.

And the first thing that they all said is be prepared to work. So I said, okay, this isn't going to be, this is no-no, you don't work, so that, you know, and I said okay, you've got to be mentally tough and physically tough to endure this.

Leeza Gibbons: Yes Holly was really great giving me insight to as was Marilu Henner and I think that probably for most people because it's - you're putting yourself in an environment that's unfamiliar to you, you know, you want to kind of reach out and say, hang on, is this - am I going to be able to deliver and do my best and everybody from - well my buddy Bill Ranci from the very first Apprentice to everyone else that I spoke with -- it was just a handful of people -- said what a great experience it was for them, how much attention the opportunity brought to their charities -- which everybody on this call cares about -- and how much they grew and that's a real opportunity, you know.

This was probably one of the best opportunities for personal growth that I can imagine. You know, you don't know...

Joshua Maloney: I can imagine.

Leeza Gibbons: ...how much you can take, you don't know who you are going to be in this scenario, you think you do, but you really don't know until you get there and it was revealing.

Ian Ziering: I prepared by talking to a few past contestants, Mark McGrath, of course, because I was working with him right before on Sharknato, spoke to Annie Duke, but on top of that I also went back and watched every episode of Celebrity Apprentice. I wanted to see how the dynamic of the show played out. What things Donald looked for, what things he didn't like, what qualities in people he gravitated towards, what he was adverse to.

You know really you look at it like gang tape and on top of that knowing that I had to be prepared for any situation, you know, I looked deep into my rolodex to one, look for people with money and two, look for people with resources -- and varied resources -- because you never know what you're going to have to come up with, you need to pull rabbits out of your hat on this show.

So I had my - everything organized and categorized like a flow chart where I needed to go if I had to find something.

Leeza Gibbons: Oh, he's not kidding, he's not kidding. Ian you were like a machine with - talk about organized and strategized and it was unbelievable. I kind of was shaking in my boots until like the night before I had to get on the plane and probably should have done that kind of back-up.

I think all of us though regardless of how well prepared you thought you were or not it comes down to, you know, taking a deep breath and moving forward because you don't have time to really think about anything else, you just have to get into action.

Ian Ziering: Yes and like you said Leeza the personal growth that you experience is tremendous. For me, you know, I never thought in a business sense. Being on Celebrity Apprentice, for me, was like getting an MBA at Trump University. Going through the prerequisites and studying all the prior shows and putting together my game and then implementing everything that I'd come to the party with really set my mind spinning, you know.

Since the show I've gotten involved in three businesses because I just found that I could do something, I could do it, I could make it happen and I'd never even applied myself in this direction so it's really spurred me on to do things that I'd never done before.

Operator: Our next question will come from the line of Earl Dittman with Digital Journal, please proceed with your question.

Earl Dittman: Hi guys, kind of take a backing on that same thought about being revealing, Leeza, as you had said, you know the great thing about watching this show is that we get to see celebrities out of their element and we get to learn things about them that we just didn't know and I think the other great thing is that I think you -- all of you -- get to learn things about yourselves.

And Ian just as you said you learned a little part of yourself, Vivica and Leeza, was there one little thing that you came out going gosh, I just didn't know that about myself and I'm so glad I went to this because, wow, that's a new person I didn't know.

Vivica Fox: Well for me it was my patience. I definitely learned to be a lot more inpatient and learned to kind of know my place, play my position and stay in my lane because there were times that you were the project manager that had to take the lead then there were other times that your job was to be an assistant.

So being that we all are type, you know, the type of people that are in charge of our careers and we run our system, we converse with our manager and our agent on what direction we want to go in. These - the challenges that we - the tasks that we were given some times and just knowing your place and playing your position and staying in lane for me that was like, oh wow, okay, I'm good at strategizing and more than anything else was I learned about patience because there were days that my patience was definitely tested.

Leeza Gibbons: Yes I concur 100% with that. I learned that my mother was right, that if you just, you know, put your blinders on and don't worry about the other horses in the race, you're going to succeed and, you know, you're going to do better. And for me, you know, you're looking at everybody else and part of the game is to figure out what everybody else is doing and, you know, how to build on that or how to defend yourself against that.

But, you know, I learned that I did best if I just focused on the task at hand. It was surprising to me - all of us have been around camera's for decades and I thought, well, it's a realty show, we're going to be very aware of where those cameras on and when they're shooting us. It took about a nano second for that to go away and for the entire experience I really had no awareness -- and really didn't care -- when the cameras were on or not because we were so focused on your competitive drive just gets into overdrive, and you started there Ian in overdrive.

Ian Ziering: Oh, you know what, every night I had to unwind and we'd come home, we'd just finished a day and, you know, I would just - I started just write down my thoughts for the day just to figure out where my head was. And then after the show was over -- after my participation within the context of the entire show was done -- it still took me about two or three weeks to unwind and settle back because I would just look...

Vivica Fox: Yes.

Ian Ziering: ...at things like how do I overcome, what do I need to accomplish to achieve my goal, how do I ghetto around, who can I talk to to facilitate. I mean everything just lights up when you're on The Apprentice as you get immersed in it your thought patterns change. And for me it took a little bit of time to decompress from that. It's such a - you're compressed and you're immersed in it. You do a new project every other day.

Earl Dittman: It sounds like an incredible, life changing experience for all of you.

Ian Ziering: It truly was for me, truly.

Vivica Fox: For me as well too.

Leeza Gibbons: Yes...

Vivica Fox: And I thought I knew New York but I sure learned a lot more about New York then what I ever thought to know.

Earl Dittman: Well I'm looking forward to it guys, thanks so much, I can't wait to see you on now.

Leeza Gibbons: I think you're going to love it, thanks.

Operator: Our next question will come from the line of Suzanne Lanoue with The TV MegaSite, please proceed with your question.

Suzanne Lanoue: Hi, good morning, this is Suzanne Lanoue. I was wondering could you each speak about what it was like to work with Donald Trump and whether you'd met him before and if he's at all similar or very different from what we see on TV, his persona if you will.

((Crosstalk))

Vivica Fox: Well if I, that was my first time having that much contact with Mr. Trump and I found him to be a straight shooter, which is the kind of person that I like. I found that if you were honest with him and you didn't try to BS him, that you - that he would - he just responded to you a lot more positively. So like I said I got to know him and I personally got even more respect for him because he's a straight shooter and he likes making things happen and that's my kind of guy.

Leeza Gibbons: Donald Trump is so charismatic, such a powerful force, such a strong business icon but what I loved was seeing the off-camera side of him which is as Vivica said very straight-forward and no nonsense, but really funny, like really, really, funny. And he's very aware of making sure that everybody feels that they are having a shot.

Meaning, you know, he's just aware of everybody's presence in the room he's the Donald and equally as impressive to me were working with the advisors, his children, Don, Erik and Ivanka, wow, the work ethic in that family is so...

Vivica Fox: Yes.

Leeza Gibbons: ...extraordinary high that we couldn't not deliver because you thought everything we've done they've done and more. And they are great advisors, they taught me a lot too so I really, really enjoyed the whole family.

Vivica Fox: They had an excellent presence, excellent presence.

Ian Ziering: The family, the organization, really just class acts through and through. You know my first experience with Donald was when he came into the board room and he comes on - comes in with this very serious face and he sits down -- and this is even before the cameras had started rolling -- the first thing he says is I want you all to know that this is my hair, it is not a toupee...

Vivica Fox: He was very funny.

Ian Ziering: ...you know, but again, great sense of humor and a class act. You're right, Vivica, he's a very straight shooter, he tells it like it is, he's got an opinion and, you know, he's an amazing dynamic man who's an incredible builder, he's built up so many parts of New York, he's expanded down into the Washington, DC area into Florida with the Doral Golf Course down there in Ireland with...

Vivica Fox: Yes, that was surprising to find out too.

Ian Ziering: ...golf courses there.

Vivica Fox: Yes.

Ian Ziering: Just real incredible family and I think Ivanka is as close to what an American Princess would be if we had one, she's just elegant...

Vivica Fox: Agreed.

Ian Ziering: ...and smart...

Vivica Fox: Beautiful.

Ian Ziering: ...and so just such a role model. I couldn't imagine any woman who wouldn't want to be as accomplished and well-spoken and educated and beautiful as she is, she's just incredible and the boys are great too, Donald and Eric just chips off the old block.

Leeza Gibbons: Yes not ashamed to admit I'm obsessed with Ivanka, I've just - no shame, she's unbelievable.

Vivica Fox: Yes, there's a lot of the girls, a lot of the girls got girl crushes on Ivanka.

Leeza Gibbons: We sure did.

Vivica Fox: Like Ivanka's here today, oh my god, she's got on good shoes, she was awesome.

Leeza Gibbons: But nobody has a higher shoe - no one has a higher get-it factor than Donald Trump and it was amazing to be in his audience and watch him do his thing on his turf, just a really cool experience.

Suzanne Lanoue: Thank you, I look forward to seeing it.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Stephanie Peach with Mingle Media Tv.com, please proceed with your question.

Stephanie Peach: Thank you, hi everyone, I'm looking forward to seeing you all compete. Can you - and this is for anyone, can you please share a couple of the business lessons you learned about yourself to use like you said Ian - you're doing some business deals now, during this journey?

Ian Ziering: Yes, well, you know what, I would look for - I would look for ways to duplicate successful models. If there was an opportunity for me to be involved in something where whatever the product or goal was, if there was a similar business that was out there that was doing it already, I would look for ways to duplicate successful business models. And do what the successful people are doing to make them successful.

Leeza Gibbons: I realize that it takes both the ability to be a strong leader and to be a good follower or business does not get done and so we were all challenged with showing up in both of those categories on the tasks. And especially in this pressure cooker environment where things are accelerated at warp speed I learned that inspired thought requires bold action.

And most business leaders have that instinctively, that was really driven home for me during Celebrity Apprentice because you had to rely on - you had to take action, there was no time to overthink and sometimes we act without thinking but many times we continue thinking without acting and that's the kiss of death in business. So I really learned that you have to take bold action.

Stephanie Peach: Right and a follow-up question is how did your communication skills improve during this process?

Leeza Gibbons: Who said they did? Our communication skills, with our team members?

Vivica Fox: Well, like I said for me - for mine I would learn some, you know, I thought the sense to dish out constructive criticism sometimes. I had to learn like per episode like, you know, each person how to manipulate them to get the end result of what I want. Because you couldn't - some people you had to kind of, you know, handle them with kid gloves and other people you could just be a straight shooter with, you know, so you had to learn the difference of working with the personality per cast.

What was some of the other contestants' weaknesses and what were their strengths and who you could send to do certain things and they would deliver and then it wouldn't be a big argument or a set-back.

Stephanie Peach: Awesome, thank you so much.

Vivica Fox: You're welcome.

Operator: Our final question will come from the line of Elizabeth Collins with Realty Wanted, please proceed with your question.

Elizabeth Collins: Hi everyone.

Vivica Fox: Hello darling.

Leeza Gibbons: Hi.

Elizabeth Collins: I love just hearing you talk about the Trump family because I'm also not ashamed to say I'm obsessed with Ivanka.

Leeza Gibbons: Thank you.

Elizabeth Collins: I've always loved...

Leeza Gibbons: She is hot.

Elizabeth Collins: She's incredible. I've always loved the show, not just because it's fun seeing celebrities playing themselves instead of a character, but because of the charities that benefit from it. Would you mind each telling me the charities or foundations that you're working so hard for this season?

Vivica Fox: Ian do you want to start?

Ian Ziering: Yes, my charity was Epidermolysis Bullosa a medical research foundation that does such incredible work. You can find them online at ebkids.org and it's a fatal skin disease that causes the proteins in the skin to be malformed and eventually the skin just doesn't hold up. So these children end up living their lives in bandages, in constant pain. So having two little girls myself I couldn't imagine anything more horrible and I wanted to champion that cause because I felt that its overlooked and underfunded and I wanted to make a change for something that's being done here in the United States.

Vivica Fox: Leeza?

Leeza Gibbons: Thank you sweetie. I'm - my goal for getting on the show -- the incredible opportunity that it is -- is really this amazing pot of gold for charity. And for a charity like mine, which is called Leeza's Care Connection, this opportunity can be a real game changer. So my mother who has passed away from Alzheimer's disease was my guiding light the whole time.

Ten years ago I started our foundation because it was what I created in the world what we wished we'd had when my mom was going through her Alzheimer's disease. You know my dad and my brother and my sister and myself we were lost and we didn't, you know, we were stuck with this burning question now what?

So we created Leeza's Care Connection which is part of the answer for now what do you do when someone you love gets a diagnosis, how do you get support, how do you feel empowered, how do you call on your courage so that you can move forward and take care of that person and also hang onto yourself.

So my dog in the hunt was really representing all of those family caregivers, those heroes, who show up for duty every day when someone they love is sick or dying.

Vivica Fox: And this is Vivica, I'm the last one. I played for Best Buddies. I was introduced to Best Buddies with - through Carl Lewis -- Olympian Carl Lewis -- years ago and I fell in love with the Kennedy/Shriver family who works very, very hard to provide housing and employment opportunities for kids with - special needs kids and adults with special needs.

To see these kids with special needs, how they just want to be normal, the things that we take for granted, getting up, going to work, having someone take you serious, have someone look at your talent and not look at you because you have a special need and let it be a detriment.

It's something I've been involved in for the last ten years and they actually came by and celebrated a birthday with me when I was filming the show. And for me Best Buddies is just something that I believe in and was proud to represent them.

Elizabeth Collins: Thank you it's so wonderful to hear you all talking about and how passionate you are about these charities. Okay so now you're fighting for your charities and let's say you are in the board room fighting for your spot, what's your best strategy to not get fired and how do you balance your professionalism with Mr. Trump but also put up a good fight for yourself?

Vivica Fox:: Well for me -- this is Vivica -- I found that just being honest with Mr. Trump and not trying to sugar coat if things didn't go well, to take responsibility and to learn from each task and I just felt for me my strongest tool for survival in the board room was honesty but don't come at me crazy, boo, because it's all in my popcorn and I'm going to leave it there.

Leeza Gibbons: Nicely done Vivica. She's right, it's, I mean, you know, it's a no BS zone in that board room and I think all of us are fans of it as well but when you're in the middle of it, the energy really shifts and I think that the - if you - the direct approach is probably always the best approach. And maybe for some people, I don't know, maybe for some people it was a conflict of ethics and professionalism or they're competition, which one leads and which one recedes, we'll have to see how that plays out this year.

Ian Ziering: Yes, it's really best to just be open, I felt, that it was just be open and honest and fuel your passion on a foundation of integrity. If you're doing things and letting people know what you're doing and inspiring them to take part of the journey with you, when you're in the board room it's pretty hard to shoot that down.

Did I lose everybody?

Elizabeth Collins: Thank you so much. It sounds like you guys are having so much fun together I look forward to the show.

Ian Ziering: Thank you.

Vivica Fox: We do too.

Operator: I will now turn the conference back over to Erika Lewis for some closing remarks.

Erika Lewis: Hi, everybody, unfortunately we are out of time today but I want to thank you all for joining us and thanks to Vivica, Leeza and Ian for their time.

Vivica Fox: You're welcome.

((Crosstalk))

Leeza Gibbons: Thank you.

Erika Lewis: Thank you so much guys. So everybody Apprentice will kick-off with a two-night event Sunday, January 4th and Monday, the 5th on NBC. Please follow us on Twitter at Apprentice NBC and should you have any additional questions about the show you can email me at the email address listed on your conference invite.

Thank you guys, have a wonderful day.

Ian Ziering: Thank you.

Vivica Fox: Bye-bye, talk to you all soon.

Leeza Gibbons: Stay tuned.

Ian Ziering: Bye everybody.

Leeza Gibbons: Big hugs you guys.

Vivica Fox: Bye, take care. Miss you, bye.

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen that does conclude the conference call for today. We thank you for your participation and ask that you please disconnect your lines, have a great day everyone.

END

THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE
Donald Trump is back for a brand new season of “The Celebrity Apprentice.” This is the seventh installment of “The Celebrity Apprentice” and the fourteenth season of “The Apprentice” series.
This season, join sixteen all new business-savvy celebrity contestants as they try to raise money and awareness for their charity of choice. The last person standing will be chosen as this season’s Celebrity Apprentice and have the honor of delivering a $250,000 bonus check to their designated charity. Every week, the celebrity contestants will work in two teams, each under the guidance of a designated project manager, to compete in business-driven tasks around New York City, using their fame, along with their proven business acumen, to win challenges. Contestants are subjected to long hours, grueling deadlines, intellectual challenges, personality clashes, and intense scrutiny under the careful watch of Donald Trump and his advisors.
Certain challenges encourage contestants to reach out to their network of celebrity contacts for assistance or donations, leading to surprise visits by some of the world’s biggest stars and pop culture icons. Each task will end in the boardroom, where contestants must account for their actions and be judged by Trump and his advisors. Returning this season are Trump’s children and colleagues, Ivanka, Donald Jr. and Eric, as well as surprise guests along the way.

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