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November 20, 2017

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Photos: Penn Jillette wins $40,000 again for Opportunity Village on ‘Celebrity Apprentice’


Douglas Gorenstein/NBC

Lisa Rinna, Gary Busey and Penn Jillette on NBC’s “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice” on Sunday, April 21, 2013.

'All-Star Celebrity Apprentice': Episode 8 and Opportunity Village

Gary Busey and Penn Jillette on NBC's Launch slideshow »

There was no sleight of hand! It was not an illusion! Our Rio headliner magician Penn Jillette could easily have been shown the exit door on Sunday night’s “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice” on NBC. He was elected leader of Team Plan B, and, if you lost, Donald Trump fired you.

Penn was project manager of his dwindling team of celebrity contestants -- actor Gary Busey and actress Lisa Rinna -- tasked with creating a new advertising campaign to promote South African tourism. Trouble is, neither Penn nor Lisa had ever been there, and Gary only talked about his bad experiences when last in Johannesburg.

“For all intents and purposes, we are doing this as a two-person team,” Penn said.

They competed against Team Power led by project manager, actress and Playboy beauty Brande Roderick with country singer Trace Adkins, actress Marilu Henner and Wynn resident DJ Lil Jon, who suggested dressing a model in a shark costume to signify adventure. Maybe too dangerous an adventure?

Penn recruited pal Paul Simon’s bassist and drummer to get Zulu dancers and South African food for their campaign of “Beyond Safari: an exotic world of romance under South African skies.”

Poison rocker Bret Michaels returned to the boardroom as The Donald’s adviser, and together they said Brande had to be fired, although she might have saved herself if she’d bought Lil Jon in with her.

Penn won the day and a second $40,000 to donate to our beloved charity Opportunity Village. He’ll be back again next week and could even add to the $80,000 total that he’s now donated to O.V. from the show.

Meantime, Penn will be at O.V.’s Engelstad Campus on Tuesday at 1 p.m. for a viewing of Sunday night’s second winning episode.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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