Feb. 16, 2012 at 9:41 AM ET
It's almost time for another round of feuds, fundraisers and firings -- in other words, a new season "The Celebrity Apprentice" -- and it's going to be huge, according to boardroom boss Donald Trump. That's partly because, with 18 celebs competing, this is biggest cast ever the show has ever seen. And given just how big some of those 18 personalities are, that's really something.
On Thursday morning, Trump visited TODAY to give fans an idea of what to expect from those famous faces and just what the stars need to do to make it on the show.
The qualities required to go all the way include "toughness, intelligence," and above all else, Trump wants to see "cunning." Those were the all-important traits for past winners like Joan Rivers and Piers Morgan, and he already sees it in certain stars this time.
"I have to tell you, they're all really good," Trump assured TODAY host Matt Lauer before revealing his top picks. "Arsenio Hall is terrific.... Clay Aiken is totally different than I thought. I figured he wasn't going to be that strong of a player. He's a really strong player. Great singer, but he's a tough guy, and he's nasty. You wouldn't think it."
Also tough and nasty are Victori Gotti and "Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Teresa Giudice -- at least they seem so because Trump admitted, "I'm afraid to fire either one of them.... They may go all the way."
However the season plays out, there's one thing the boss is certain of: It'll be a success. That's because there's on key factor that his show has that none of its imitators can offer.
"Well, we've had ... 14 copies of the 'Apprentice' and every one of them failed almost immediately, and this works. I assume it's because of Trump," he laughed.
The new season of "The Celebrity Apprentice" premieres Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.
Will you tune in to see just how "nasty" things get for Aiken and the rest of the boardroom competition? Tell us on our Facebook page.