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Niki Taylor goes from near death to Celebrity Apprentice

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The 2011 season of Celebrity Apprentice kicked off last night and despite Donald Trump hailing the entire set of contestants as ‘brilliant people’ in his contestant announcement; the one stand out name was Niki Taylor who has overcome life threatening injuries to be where she is today.

Almost 10 years ago in May 2001 Niki was involved in a near fatal car crash in Atlanta, Georgia and sustained terrible internal injuries including a collapsed lung and lacerated liver. Doctors had to rebuild her spine by implementing steel rods and she underwent 56 operations and years of physiotherapy which seemed to spell the end of her modelling career.

Taylor, 35 was back on the catwalk again at the People’s Choice Awards earlier this year in Los Angeles, and her inclusion in Celebrity Apprentice 2011 shows just how well she has recovered since that horrendous car crash.

She was awarded $35,000 on last night’s show after being voted MVP by her group and she donated the money to the American Red Cross which was her chosen charity.

Richard Hatch also featured on the show; another venture into ‘reality’ TV for him after winning the first season of Survivor. Despite a less than glorious past which includes tax evasion when he failed to declare his winnings and $321,000 in appearance fees from Survivor; that led to the US Attorney’s office charging him and sentencing him to 51 months in prison and three years supervised release.

Hatch is however looking to put that behind him and has teamed up with Grassroots Soccer which is a charity that was set up by Ethan Zohn (who also ranked among the winners in Survivor). The charity is aimed at young people in Africa and uses soccer as a way of teaching them about the dangers of HIV and AIDS.

A full list of the original 16 contestants is here, although David Cassidy was the first to receive his marching orders when Donald Trump told him; “You’re fired!”

The Women:
Diane Warwick
Marlee Matlin
Hope Dworaczyk
Star Jones
Lisa Rinna
NeNe Leakes
Niki Taylor
Latoya Jackson

The Men:
Gary Busey
John Rich
David Cassidy
Richard Hatch
Mark McGrath
Jose Conseco
Lil Jon
Meat Loaf

Please share your thoughts on Niki Taylor’s amazing recovery or the first episode of Celebrity Apprentice 2011 by leaving a comment.

Read about David Arquette’s minor car crash; the People’s Choice winners; Robert Schimmel, Justin Mentell and Robert Kubica’s car crashes.

images: wallpapergate.com, newparent.com

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