NBC Olympics and Mark Burnett Productions have joined forces to create an unprecedented promotion for "The Apprentice" whereby viewers can vote on NBCOlympics.com for one of 12 U.S. Olympians competing in the 2006 Olympic Winter Games to become a future candidate on season six. The participating U.S. Olympic Apprentice candidates are: Allison Baver, Travis Cabral, Casey FitzRandolph, Todd Hays, Chad Hedrick, Danny Kass, Joe Pack, Speedy Peterson, Angela Ruggiero, Katie Uhlaender, Seth Wescott and Chris Witty.
For the first time in the history of "The Apprentice," Mark Burnett, creator and executive producer, has opened the casting to the viewers and at an Olympic level. NBCOlympics.com, America's online home of the Torino Games, will conduct the voting which is set to begin tomorrow, Feb. 10 in conjunction with the Opening Ceremony and concludes after the Closing Ceremony, Sunday, Feb. 26. The winning Olympian will join the other candidates in Los Angeles, marking the first time production moves out of the New York area, when filming begins early this summer.
"We're thrilled to have an Olympian in our midst," said Donald Trump, executive producer, "The Apprentice." "And while we've let the viewers do a hiring...I'm still doing the firing. So we'll let the Games begin this fall," said Donald Trump.
"There is no bigger promotional platform than the Olympics," said Burnett. "I'm honored that NBC is utilizing one of its most cherished and powerful assets to help drive buzz for 'The Apprentice' brand. This promotion marks the first time I've ever invited the public to select a cast member for one of my shows. Our 'Olympic' Apprentice coupled with filming in Los Angeles will make for a fantastic sixth season."
"One does not reach the Olympic Games without enormous drive, perseverance, ambition and a willingness to take a risk; traits required of business leaders," said Gary Zenkel, President of NBC Olympics. "We are excited to have NBCOlympics.com host the voting and to deliver the first candidate to season six of the Apprentice."
Representing a variety of Olympic sports, from skeleton, snowboarding and ice hockey to speed skating and freestyle, complete bios and photos are available on NBCOlympics.com. A roster of the 12 U.S. Olympic athletes follows:
THE 12 U.S. OLYMPIC ATHLETES
Allison Baver Reading, Pa. Short Track
Travis Cabral South Lake Tahoe, Calif Freestyle
Casey FitzRandolph Verona, Wis. Speed Skating
Todd Hays Del Rio, Texas Bobsleigh
Chad Hedrick Spring, Texas Speed Skating
Danny Kass Pompton Plains, N.J. Snowboarding
Joe Pack Park City, Utah Freestyle
Speedy Peterson Boise, Idaho Freestyle
Angela Ruggiero Panorama City, Calif. Ice Hockey
Katie Uhlaender Breckenridge, Colo. Skeleton
Seth Wescott Farmington, Maine Snowboarding
Chris Witty West Allis, Wis. Speed Skating
Following the Closing Ceremony, season five of "The Apprentice" premieres on its new day, Monday, Feb. 27 at 9 p.m. ET/PT following "Deal or No Deal."