The Apprentice

Survivor to follow current format

The next season of Survivor, to be held in Samoa, will follow the ‘redemption island’ format as used in the recent season. Also, two former well-known contestants will return as happened this season.

Fifth season of Chuck to be last

The president of NBC has confirmed that the upcoming fifth season of Chuck is likely to be the show’s last. Bob Greenblatt said of the recent decision to renew it for season number five: “It seemed to be the way to end it appropriately… and not get into a situation where it might end or might not end, and then it ends and we haven’t concluded the storyline. It gives [producers] a chance to plan for it. I think that’s the best way to do it.”

Love Hewitt heading to Law & Order: SVU?

Jennifer Love Hewitt is reported to be close to joining Law & Order: SVU for the show’s next season. The actress is said to be in advanced talks to appear in the crime series alongside Mariska Hargitay Christopher Meloni.

Trump not running for president

The Apprentice’s Donald Trump has announced that he will not be running for president in 2012 as a republican candidate. Trump said the decision followed “considerable deliberation and reflection” after weeks of an unofficial campaign.

Mundine inspiration for Spartacus role

Australian actor Dustin Clare has said he modelled his character in Spartacus: Gods of the Arena off boxer Anthony Mundine. Clare says he drew inspiration from the way Mundine carries himself in the ring.

Downton Abbey wins BAFTA TV Craft awrads

New ITV series Downton Abbey has led the way at the recent BAFTA TV Craft Awards in the UK, picking up two prizes for direction and sound.

CSI actress labels Bieber a brat on set

CSI cast member Marg Helgenberger has described Justin Bieber as being immature on the set of the crime series when he guest-starred. The actress told a radio station that Bieber acted like “a brat”.

Jersey Shore fourth season delayed

Production on Jersey Shore’s fourth season in Florence, Italy has been delayed due to a visit to the city by the Italian president. Florence officials were said to be reluctant to give permission to film during the visit.

Palin gets reality series

The daughter of former American vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has landed herself her own reality show. 20-year-old Bristol Palin will have cameras follow her as she moves from Alaska to Los Angeles to work for a charity.

Trump defends against racism

Donald Trump has denied being racist due to the fact that a black contestant won The Apprentice back in 2005. Trump was defending himself against recurring allegations of racism and cited Randal Pinkett’s 2005 win as a reason why he shouldn’t be seen as racist.

Liz Hurley joins Wonder Woman pilot

Liz Hurley has signed on to appear in the upcoming Wonder Woman pilot as a villain. The actress/model will play the lead character’s nemesis in the pilot for American network NBC.

Snoop Dogg and Larry King to roast Donald Trump

Snoop Dogg and Larry King have been confirmed to be a part of the Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump this month. The rapper and former talk-show host will join Jersey Shore’s Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino and Roast host Seth MacFarlane in roasting Trump.

LeAnn Rimes to guest on Drop Dead Diva

Country singer LeAnn Rimes will make a guest appearance on new drama series Drop Dead Diva. The show’s executive producer said:  “When we created this role, we specifically had LeAnn in mind. Her character is complex, brilliant and just when you think you know her, she’ll throw in a twist you won’t see coming.”

Michael Lohan filming for Celebrity Rehab

Lindsay Lohan’s father Michael has reportedly begun filming for the new season of Celebrity Rehab. TMZ reports that the 50-year-old has joined the series to confront anger issues.

While Terry Serepisos constantly finds himself in the news with yet more financial bad news, there is some good news for two of The Apprentice New Zealand’s former contestants.  Rich Henry and Nicky Clarke have announced their engagement.

Congrats to you both!

Top Gear gets revenge on Stig

The Top Gear presenters have exacted their revenge on The Stig on a recent episode of the motoring show in the UK, by using cardboard cut-outs of the infamous test driver as target practice. Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond took part in a drive-by shooting challenge which involves firing at the life-size Stig cut-outs with Hammond turning his around and saying: “[I’m] turning him round so I can shoot him in the back, ‘cos that’s how it’s done.” The stunt was in response to the recent revelations in an autobiography by racing driver Ben Collins that he has been working as The Stig on the BBC show.

Apprentice contestant charged with fraud

One of the contestants on the latest season of The Apprentice in the UK has admitted four counts of fraud in court recently. Christopher Farrell was arrested for the charges before the show screened and is set to be sentenced early next year. Suffice to say, Farrell was not hired on the show.

Armed woman sends TV station off air

An American TV station was forced to go off-air during a live evening news broadcast after a woman walked into the station’s lobby with a loaded gun held to her head. The North Carolina station bailed on its news broadcast in order to evacuate everyone from the building while police attempted to disarm the woman, She has since been taken to a hospital for mental evaluation.

Top ten banned MTV clips

The Hollywood Reporter has compiled a top ten list of the most controversial music videos that got banned from being broadcast on MTV due to their provocative or offensive content. Not surprisingly, Madonna features multiple times on the list. Check it out here.

It appears as though Terry Serepisos isn’t the only person from The Apprentice that is courting controversy.  Prior to Rich Henry entering the TV2 reality series he launched Get Frank, an online magazine for blokes. The content on the site was aggregated from other content producers who were offered a 50/50 split of revenues as advertising on Get Frank grew.

Three years on and it appears that Get Frank has been earning around $10k per month which has upset a number of theses content providers who haven’t been getting compensated.

Why not? Well according to an email Rich sent to Whale Oil

the page impres­sions that we gen­er­ate for each post in the edi­to­r­ial sec­tion a rev­enue split will be nickle & dime and just chewed up in admin­is­tra­tion, and with fur­ther thought and dis­cus­sion around our model we’re just not going to be able to derive enough value to jus­tify pay­ing a lump sum for that con­tent either.

This has infuriated a number of bloggers and content producers who feel as though Rich has stolen their content to build a $10k per month business for himself.

David Farrar of Kiwiblog wrote:

I do make some “pocket money” from advertising but on an hourly rate it would come to less than the minimum wage

The list of content producers that have been providing content to Get Frank now appears to be shrinking as one by one they demand the removal of their work.

Get Frank also has a site in Australia.  The company Limited is part owned by Shane Bradley’s Idea HQ which is also the majority shareholder in AdHub, the company that sells Get Frank’s advertising.

We asked Rich Henry for comment but had no reply.

A Peru-born woman with a connection to New Zealand is taking part in the new season of The Apprentice in the UK.

Paloma Vivanco-Coutts is one of the 16 business-savvy contestants selected to battle it out on the BBC show for a job with business mogul Sir Alan Sugar.

Vivanco-Coutts attended high school and the University of Auckland while she lived here before leaving for the UK in 2006. 

Both her and her family have lived in several countries around the world in the past, including stints in the US and Australia.

She is the daughter of renowned geneticist and global authority in animal reproduction and genetic improvement William Vivanco, who headed the science unit in NZ that produced the first cloned calf in the world, Lady.

Vivanco-Coutts worked for Telecom while she was living in NZ and is married to Kiwi Colin Coutts, who is head of IT and Operation for Fisher & Paykel UK and Ireland.

“I applied for The Apprentice, just to see how far I would get. The interview process was long and tough, but I think my Kiwi pragmatism and no-nonsense approach to business helped earn me a place on the show,” she said.

“I’ve toughened up a lot since working in the highly cut-throat UK market, and I’m hoping the resilience I’ve gained will carry me through the next few months.”

Source: NZ Herald


This week I had the opportunity speak to two very interesting people. Business magnate, socialite and the host of The Apprentice, Mr Donald Trump and one of reality televisions most renowned producers, Mr Mark Burnett.  On the 16th of September, the tenth season of The Apprentice begins in the US and promises to deliver relevance to the current economic climate.

“If you remember when we started The Apprentice it was this big hit but it was also in a different world” says Trump. “It was, you know, times were booming and now times are just the opposite of booming.”

Responding to the call for the show to be more reflective of the current times, this season’s contestants have been selected from the many who have lost their jobs and livelihood due to the economic downturn. 

“We have people that went to the best schools and they don’t have a job” Trump told us. “People that had really good jobs before and they have five kids in one case and doesn’t have a job, has zero income coming in.”

Mark Burnett added “We’ve got someone who got their Masters in Engineering, worked as a mechanical engineer, got downsized in the economy and now has now taken a job as a tow truck driver. Another woman who went to Stanford for cancer research had a job as a cancer researcher. The funding fell through because of the economy and now they’re taking care of their grandmother and living back in their parent’s house.”

Being a man with an eye for the ladies, Trump tells of another. “A beautiful young woman who went to Stanford Law, did a great job, great student, had a great job at a major law firm and now she’s selling cupcakes.”

So the contestants in this season aren’t just fresh out of school contenders for the $250,000 job with Trump, they’re actually talented professionals who have found themselves on the hard side of reality and out of work.  

When casting for this season, they weren’t looking for people who were feeling sorry for themselves.  In fact, the common theme was finding people who were fighting back.  And fighting your way back is certainly something that Donald Trump has done himself so these contestants have certainly earned his respect in that regard.

“The energy and the almost, the survival of some of these people is unbelievable. Unbelievable, where they have families where the families are just devastated by the fact that they have no money, they have nothing. But they have great educations and they had a great past. So it’s inspirational, but at the same time it’s very sad.”

And while it’s just a TV show, many of the contestants gave feedback throughout filming that it felt great to be back at work.  Coming from high flying jobs to doing nothing would be hard.  One can only imagine the near euphoric state of being back in your business element.

If you’re familiar with the show then you’ll know that the winners of each task are rewarded.  Often with lavish gifts or experiences.  This time round though, it’s a little different.  

“The winning project manager’s reward every week is to meet with a major industry titan in various industries” says Burnett. “It’s like a motivational speech from winners to give these people a chance and it’s amazing how they come out of these rewards energized.”

While it’s common to hear people talking about upcoming seasons as being the best ever, Trump emphasizes why he thinks it’s true in these case.

“It’s a better plot in terms of bad times versus good times. When you’re in good times it’s less urgent, it’s less important. And in a certain way maybe even less exciting. But I think the concept is almost better because of the times that we’re living in”

With a new plot in hand, the casting process sounded pretty horrific though.

“Donald sat there with myself and the NBC executives and we honestly were listening to story after story of unbelievably educated people.” Burnett said.  “I mean people, top universities, top law firms who are just on their ass, and I’ve got to tell you one minute we looked at each other, Donald and I and the NBC executives and said boy, it sure is great to have a job.”

Sad story after sad story after sad story from thousands of people from 11 different cities makes for compelling viewing.  So much so that as Trump says, “when NBC saw what was happening with the shooting, it was so good they couldn’t believe it and they actually bumped the show in order to put it on early.”  

With so many people affected by the economic turmoil, this season of The Apprentice could very well be one of the best rating as people seek solace and inspiration for their own circumstances.

The Apprentice begins on the 16th of September in the US.  The New Zealand air date is unknown.

Back row: Gene Folkes, Wade Hanson, Kelly Smith Beaty, Steuart Martens, Clint Robertson, Tyana Alvarado, Nicole Chiu, Alex Delgado
Front row: Stephanie Castagnier, James Weir, David Johnson, Poppy Carlig, Liza Mucheru-Wisner, Brandy Kuentzel, Mahsa Saeidi-Azcuy

Fatherʼs Day has got to be one of the lamest holidays. Nobody gets the day off, the presents are always half-arsed, and if you actually are a father it seems inappropriate to ask your wife for celebratory sex. (We donʼt know why, but it just is.)

To add to all that, most of us kids are pretty useless at even remembering to buy the old fellaʼ a present, meaning he misses out completely, despite the nationʼs retailers shoving it down our throats at every opportunity.

So, to make things a bit better for Dad on his special day, are offering a special Fatherʼs Day subscription package that will guarantee he gets a present for up to the next four years, no matter how slack you are at remembering.

Requiring just one transaction, Man Supplies will send a three pack of New Zealandʼs favourite socks – Jockey Gold Tops to your Dad for Fathers Day every year for the next one, two, three or four years.

Starting at just $24.99 for a three pack per year and with free delivery, itʼs a simple and cost effective way to ensure your Dad feels the love on Fathers Day. You can even pay the subscription off over the next 12 months if you want.

“When it comes to celebrating parents, Motherʼs Day traditionally takes the glory” says founder of Man Supplies and ex Apprentice Contestant Dan Phillips.

“Mumʼs get taken to a special restaurant or given flowers or chocolate or perfume, while Dad, more often than not, just gets a guilt laden phone call on the day…. It doesnʼt really cut it.”

“We wanted to give the guys out there a solution that ensured their Dad got something on Fathers Day, even if they do forget”.

“It literally is the gift that keeps on giving” Phillips continued – “and it means thereʼs no danger of forgetting Dad and being guilted into mowing his lawns, again. Itʼs win/win, times four, really”. is New Zealandʼs first and only sock and underwear subscription service. The website was launched in June 2010. Gold Top socks were added to the range this week.

The new owner of promises that all income earned within the first year of operation will be donated to people who booked with failed travel company Fly Direct Limited before it went into liquidation.

“I’ve been the victim of liquidations – most of the time the consumer is last on the list and lose everything they put in. I thought this was my chance to help others out”, Chris Whiteside the new owner of said.

Fly Direct Limited, which was to provide ski holiday packages into Wanaka from Christchurch and Wellington, was placed in liquidation before its first snow season flight leaving around 500 people that booked with the company out of pocket.

The new owner, Chris Whiteside, previously a candidate on TVNZ’s The Apprentice NZ, purchased the site off liquidators. is now running as a travel booking service and Mr Whiteside has announced he will donate all booking commission income to the customers who lost money.

“Liquidators reported at least $120,000 is owed to passengers, however it is not yet known if there will be a dividend to unsecured creditors. If people want to lend a hand and get great travel deals they should books flights, car rental and accommodation through I promise every cent of income from the first year of operation will be given to jilted passengers.”

Mr Whiteside said he would be covering all costs associated with running the site and all booking commission income generated from the site for the next year would be paid out to the liquidators.

“Hopefully this gesture will help some people out and get them a portion of their holiday money back”, Mr Whiteside said.

A lack of sufficient sales to cover forward commitments has been blamed for the failure of Fly Direct Limited.

Visit when you are booking travel to help these guys out!