Saturday, February 05, 2005

They came from all over the area and all walks of life, but they had one thing in common: They want to be Donald Trump.
Except for the ones who want to be Martha Stewart.
Thousands braved sleet and snow yesterday to audition for the fourth cycle of Trump's NBC reality show "The Apprentice" - as well as a new Martha Stewart-hosted spinoff.
"He's incredible and you want to learn from him," said Hila Braun, 29, of Englewood, N.J., who got on line at 6:30 a.m.
Some potential candidates started lining up Thursday afternoon for interviews that wouldn't start until 9 a.m. yesterday.
By the time the interviews started, wanna-bes were lined up for at least three blocks outside the Trump Building at 40 Wall St.
Groups of 10 people where whisked to a table where they talked to a casting producer, who had them introduce themselves.
A female investment banker was pressed for her salary by first-year "Apprentice" winner Bill Rancic, also sitting in on some groups.
"Give us a number," he said.
"What are you driving?" asked casting producer Scott Salyers.
Salyers then tossed out a topic and watched as the group bickered over whether women have an advantage in the workplace.
"Remember," Salyers told them. "Donald's always watching."
And he was. Trump hovered over the table, listening to the conversations.
"You get a pretty good idea," Trump told the Daily News yesterday. "Every once in a while you'll see someone who's a star. You'll see somebody that just works."
"I have a certain feeling - the success [of the show] is one of the things that causes this big adrenaline rush for me. If I came to 40 Wall St. and instead of thousands of people lined up five blocks long there were only three, I'd say it was done."
After one round, Rancic, Salyers and last season's winner, Kelley Perdew, conferred with Trump.
"There were a couple of standouts," Rancic said, noting the female investment banker.
"She was tough, she was a b---buster," Perdew said. "Half the people wanted to fire her."
While Trump was overseeing the contestants for his show, producers at another table were interviewing potential candidates for "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart."
Those contestants tended to wear brighter-colored dresses, and women outnumbered men.
There were more people vying to get on The Donald's show than on the domestic diva's.
Yesterday was the first part of a 28-city audition process. Filming is expected to start in April.


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