Even a pop princess can get a little peeved.
Sweet as pie Debbie Gibson might have an angelic reputation in real life. On the new installment of "The Celebrity Apprentice," her Chanel coated claws did come out.
"I got to tell you on very little sleep with cameras on you at all day, definitely there are moments where I got a little snippy with people!" says pop icon Debbie Gibson who immediately provides a little disclaimer.
"I have a very kind and nice demeanor," she adds. "But when pushed, I will snap.
"I have a backbone, but I don't feel like I have to flaunt that until I need to – and there were moments on the show when I needed my backbone!"
Gibson and her backbone are trying to stay alive in the boardroom this season and not hear those two fateful words: "You're fired."
First things first, she looks fantastic on the show. Debbie isn't sporting her trademark '80s look. As a style queen in those years, she did a mean side ponytail and could primp and crimp (her hair) with the best of them.
Her aging style secrets are simple. "If you just focus on being healthy you're going to look beautiful," she says.
JOINING THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE
Gibson was in a bit of the quandary when Donald Trump's office called and offered her a spot this season.
First, she wondered about the inner workings of the show.
"I watched the show as a fan. You wonder how much of the relationship issues are provoked by producers or whatever," he says. "What I learned was all of the roller coaster relationships and rivalries are real. You are in close quarters with people.
"You don't get along with everybody."
"I usually get along with everybody!" she insists. "But I had my share of, you know, rubbing elbows with somebody. Then it would take a turn.
"One day you'd be getting along and somebody you thought that you liked would show some color that you didn't like, and suddenly that took a turn.
"All that stuff is real," she says. "That was one of the biggest surprises for me."
LIFE ON THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE
Gibson wasn't so sure about joining the show, so she called a friend for advice.
"Oh God, I love Marlee Matlin," she says. "I called her and her interpreter and we all had breakfast. I just kind of picked her brain a bit.
"I wanted to go on the show and obviously be me and be authentic," she says. "I felt like Marlee was the least gimmicky of everybody I'd ever seen on the show. I thought I would approach it in a similar way."
Now, let's dish the dirt! Who was the toughest of the new contestants to deal with for Gibson?
"People were very hard on Dayana Mendoza. She is a beauty queen. People assume that beauty queens can't be creative, resourceful and smart. I found myself sticking up for her quite often," she says. "I thought they were extra hard on her."
"Lisa Lampanelli and I hit it off," she says. "We're both New Yorkers. I started in pop music. People assume that means you're kind of precious and prissy.
"I think Lisa might have been surprised by the fact that I'm very much like her," Debbie says. "I spent a lot of my life schlepping around New York and not having people do things for me.
"We had similar energy," she says. "We didn't care about how we looked. It was like, 'Let's get the job done and move on.'"
As for her strategy on the show, she says, "My strategy was to have no strategy, which might have not been the smartest thing or might have been the smartest thing.
"We'll have to see," she says. "I really did want to play the game well as a team player. I came into the boardroom with an open mind and a clean slate."
STEPPING INTO THE BOARDROOM
Did she get vicious in the boardroom?
"When Mr. Trump said, 'Who fell short,' I would simply answer the question. But I didn't have any agenda or anything against anybody in particular," she says.
"Some of the women would want to target one," she divulges. "I just couldn't sleep at night if I did that, so I didn't do it."
What lessons did she learn as a midlifer about business?
"The one thing I learned from the show was not to be shy about fundraising," she says.
She also learned that at any age you can get the job done – and fast.
"If you're given three months to stage an event, you'll probably use every minute of the three months," she says. "If you're given 24 hours, you can get it done.
"It's was a pretty incredible thing to realize,' she says.
What did she learn from Donald Trump? "Mr. Trump taught me that when you think you're tapped out all your resources, there are more," she says.
DEBBIE GIBSON POP PRINCESS
Her hit songs include "Only in My Dreams," "Shake Your Love" and "Out of the Blue along with "Foolish Beat." Remember "Lost in Your Eyes?"
In 1988, she was the youngest artist to write, produce and perform a number one single with "Foolish Beat. She went on to starring roles on Broadway and touring musicals.
On the style front, she created a perfume called Electric Youth for Revlon and had her own makeup line through Natural Wonder Cosmetics.
Debbie says that she has dropped 15 pounds focusing on good health and getting rid of habits of the past. She says during her crazy busy times she would eat mac and cheese. Now, she's a little bit more careful.
What is her secret to true happiness? "It's doing what you love to do," she says. "I love being on stage."
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