Donald Trump Donald Trump

Donald Trump — who apparently is not running for president — says he initially struggled to persuade household names to sign up for Celebrity Apprentice when the series premiered in 2008. Not anymore (or so says the Donald).

"If you go back to the first Apprentice, a lot of celebrities didn't want to be on it. It was very hard because people didn't want to be fired," the 65-year-old mogul says. "This time around, it's become very easy to cast. We have had to turn down 25 people. Now that they see the success, and they get it."

The result? An 18-member cast (the largest in the show's history) — and also the best cast ever, according to Trump. We'll let you be the judge.

The cast members:


Penn Jillette, member of longtime magician duo Penn & Teller; star of Penn & Teller Tell A Lie

Arsenio Hall
, comedian and former late-night talk show host (The Arsenio Hall Show)

Dee Snyder, singer/songwriter; front-man of heavy metal band Twisted Sister

Clay Aiken
, pop-star and American Idol Season 2 runner-up

Adam Carolla, comedian/radio personality/talk-show host (The Adam Carolla Show)

Lou Ferrigno, star of CBS' old series The Incredible Hulk; former bodybuilder/Mr. Universe

George Takei, starred as Sulu in NBC's original series Star Trek; political and gay rights activist

Michael Andretti, race-car driver; son of racing legend Mario Andretti

Paul Teutul Sr., entrepreneur/founder of Orange County Choppers; star of Discovery's American Chopper


Patricia Velasquez, model/actress (Arrested Development, Rescue Me)

Cheryl Tiegs
, model best known for landing the cover of Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue three times

Aubrey O'Day, pop star, former member of Making The Band's girl group Danity Kane

Teresa Giudice
, star of Bravo's Real Housewives of New Jersey; author of the best-selling book Skinny Italian

Lisa Lampanelli, Grammy-nominated stand-up comedian, who specializes in insult humor

Victoria Gotti, star of A&E's Growing Up Gotti; daughter of Mafia boss John Gotti

Tia Carrere, model/actress, best known for her role in Wayne's World

Debbie Gibson
, singer/songwriter/producer; Broadway actress

Dayana Mendoza, Miss Universe 2008

Who do you think will win?

Celebrity Apprentice—which had its lowest-rated spring finale of all time last year—premieres Sunday, Feb. 12 at 9/8c on NBC.