'Celebrity Apprentice All-Stars' premiere: Omarosa came to play, Busey hails down a bus

Steven Bryan

During the opening moments of "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice," contestant Stephen Baldwin summed up the new season with a single sentence: "When you put Dennis Rodman, a Busey, and a Baldwin in a room at the same time, anything is possible."

Baldwin didn't factor in Minister Omarosa Onee Manigault, a three-time "Apprentice" contestant and a highly divisive reality show star. Gary Busey may have wielded a knife in the premiere, but Omarosa was the person most likely to stick it in someone's back.

Buseyisms make a return appearance

Instead of dividing the teams by gender as he has one in the past, Donald Trump had Bret Michaels and Trace Adkins make the selections. Picked second-to-last by Adkins, the always-eccentric Gary Busey wasted no time suggesting names for his team.

Gary's suggestions

In the boardroom before the first task, Trump asked Gary who was the star of his team, Plan B. "A star is nothing but a self-contained mass of gas that's way up in the sky that comes out at night," Busey offered.

During the first fundraising challenge, project manager Trace Adkins discovered that the secret to keeping Gary under control was to tell him exactly what he needed to do. Adkins even trusted the actor with a knife while chopping ingredients for their celebrity meatball shop.

Later in the challenge, though, Adkins wished he had placed a shock collar on Gary. The musician gambled on Plan B's star power and closed the fundraising shop to the public. At first, it looked like the strategy would bomb, so Busey kept running into the street to flag down New York City tour buses filled with sightseers.

Adkins even made Busey the official meatball tour guide for visiting advisor Piers Morgan. That tour gave birth to the first Buseyism of the season: Sin (self-imposed nonsense).

Omarosa is a study in contrast

With her ministry and the tragic death of fiancé Michael Clarke Duncan in 2012, one might have expected a more focused and compassionate Omarosa to return to the game. The reality-show villain came back, however, with claws out. She and former foe Piers Morgan clashed immediately in the boardroom. When Morgan reminded her that he's on Donald's side of the table, Omarosa was nonplussed.

"This is not CNN," she explained, referring to Morgan's regular news gig.

During the meatball challenge, Omarosa said it would be a privilege to take Bret Michaels out of the competition. "I would take personal pride in taking out the first winner -- the only winner -- in the game," Omarosa said to teammate Claudia Jordan. "Ain't nowhere the Bible says you need to be weak."

The Donald paints a target on a rocker

In a field of 14 veteran players, Bret Michaels was the only returning winner (Trace Adkins came in second to Piers Morgan during "Celebrity Apprentice" Season 7). Trump invited the rocker to return for the all-star edition, but he expressed disbelief that Michaels chose to play instead of being an advisor like other past winners.

Though Michaels expressed his heartfelt goal to raise money for the American Diabetes Association, Trump chastised Michaels for making what he called a terrible mistake. In the boardroom, Omarosa jumped on the anti-Bret bandwagon, criticizing his decision not to become the first project manager. As the minister said, in "Celebrity Apprentice," you are thrown in front of the bus instead of under it.

Record-breaking totals, celebrity clashes

Trace Adkins and Plan B came out on top in the meatball challenge, raising an impressive $419,539 for the American Red Cross. Brande Roderick, Team Power's project manager, had a rocking meatball shop, but, as Piers Morgan pointed out, she didn't have control of her team. Omarosa was named official cashier, but she refused to give Roderick accurate numbers.

Roderick also failed to call out Omarosa for her uncooperative behavior. Taking Michaels and La Toya Jackson back into the boardroom, Trump and daughter Ivanka berated Roderick on her lack of control. Still, Trump respected the more than $120,000 she personally raised for charity.

In the end, the first departure seemed pre-ordained.

Bret Michaels out.

Check out the Twitter reactions to the premiere episode of "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice":

Bret Michaels and his decisions

Trace Adkins's laconic style

Busey's drawing power

Omarosa/Piers Morgan