Donald Trump may not agree with the fact that George Takei wants to be married to his longtime partner, Brad Altman, but he seems to have a lot of respect for the "Star Trek" actor.
Takei, a contestant on NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" this season, is part of the men's team, known as "Unanimous." The first task this past week was to create and sell sandwiches on a project led by Paul Teutel Sr., star of "American Chopper." In it, Takei not only got a nickname ("Star Trek"), but was also said to be a "meek" member on a team filled with strong men.
Takei obviously took offense to that description, and Trump -- to his credit -- completely disagreed. In fact, Trump said that at best, Takei was "quiet," and that some of the strongest people use that quiet as a strength (something he respected).
If anyone has seen Takei's battle with William Shatner, or how hard he fights for charities like the one he's playing for on "Celebrity Apprentice" -- the Japanese American National Museum -- they would know that he's quite a strong guy for someone pushing 75. And really, despite the amazing job Teutel did in raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Takei is going to be the man to beat on "Celebrity Apprentice."
But Takei is really going to have to find a way to fit in, and not be so predictable. For instance, when the men's team was trying to come up with names for the team, Takei immediately jumped to something science-fiction related. That got a huge rebuke from the group, and if this were an MMO, he would've lost about 20 social points from each team member.
For fans like us, having a name with "galactic" in it would be great. But for "Apprentice," this instead looks like an attempt to take over the team. A sci-fi name for a team with only one member associated with sci-fi will make it look too much like this is George Takei's team, and not someone else's. That would've been a great strategic move -- if Takei was dealing with schmucks. But he isn't. These guys have come to play and they've come to win. Keeping that quiet demeanor may not make for good reality competition television, but it could help put Takei into the finals.
But anything can happen, and really, anyone can be put on the chopping block. And looking at the men's team, there are no true weak links yet -- these are some very business savvy members, so it could be lack of team integration that puts you on the outs with Unanimous, something Takei wants to be extra careful of.
If I were in a Takei betting pool, I would've won on the fact that I had it pegged he would bring up his life in an internment camp during World War II in the first episode (he did it in the boardroom). But I'm glad he did. Just because all of us have heard the story a thousand times (including listeners on Alpha Waves Radio), the general public really hasn't heard it. And it beautifully plays up Takei's charity, which deserves to win a lot of money on "Celebrity Apprentice."
There was almost a geekgasm in the first episode when Takei could not keep his eyes off the physique of "Incredible Hulk's" Lou Ferrigno. He might be 60, but I wish I looked even half that good at 35. Too bad Takei and Ferrigno are married (and Ferrigno is straight) -- that would've been a match made in geek heaven.
GEORGE TAKEI'S BIGGEST THREAT
At this moment, it has to be Paul Teutel. But that's not a very strong vote in that direction.
Teutel likes aggressive people, and Takei simply isn't that kind of person. But, as long as the two don't have to work too closely together, or have Teutel leading too many more projects, this shouldn't be a big deal.
But either these two will become real good friends (see: Richard Hatch and Rudy Bosch on "Survivor"), or they could very well become mortal enemies (see: Meat Loaf and Gary Busey, last season of "Celebrity Apprentice").
Takei is the second oldest celebrity to play "Celebrity Apprentice." He's topped only by Joan Rivers, who won Season 2 after raising $527,000 for her charity, "God's Love We Deliver." She was 75 then. Takei is 74.
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