Montville Township resident Teresa Giudice found one of the most important things needed to succeed on "The Celebrity Apprentice" was sheer endurance.
"It's a lot of hours and a lot of work," Giudice said. "Even after cameras went down we still kept working."
Some days filming started at 4 a.m. and didn't finish until 11 p.m.
"They drop like flies, the ones that can't take the hours," she said of the contestants.
Giudice, a cast member on "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," author of two New York Times bestselling cookbooks, and married mother of four, is one of 18 contestants on the fifth season of "The Celebrity Apprentice," which premiered Sunday.
She said viewers will get to see more of her business side on the show than they have seen.
Each week, the celebrities work in teams to compete in business-driven tasks around New York. By the end of the episode, Donald Trump decides who will be "fired."
The celebrities designated charities to receive any money they win on the show. Giudice picked the kidney disease non-profit the NephCure Foundation because of her relationship with a Melville, N.Y.-based family whose 8-year-old child is suffering from a kidney disease, the foundation said.
“We are excited that Teresa is playing for NephCure on 'The Celebrity Apprentice,'” NephCure executive director Henry Brehm said. “We are all thankful for everything she has done to help bring awareness to the kidney disease FSGS (Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis) and Nephrotic Syndrome. We are extremely interested to see how successful she is on the show and how the season plays out.”
In the first episode, celebrity contestants were divided into a men's team and women's team. The women—Cheryl Tiegs, Debbie Gibson, Tia Carrere, Victoria Gotti, Lisa Lampanelli, Dayana Mendoza, Aubrey O’Day and Patricia Velásquez, and Giudice—picked Giudice as the face of the team for the first challenge because they said she was the one passersby would most likely recognize.
Giudice, a first-generation American whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Italy, said you have to work hard to succeed in anything. She was a buyer for retail stores until becoming a mom.
"I worked until I had my daughter Gia," Giudice said. "I couldn't leave her."
Living in Towaco
Giudice graduated from Berkeley College with a degree in fashion marketing and management. Her NBC bio says she is "a burgeoning businesswoman through her irresistible Italian-based cookbooks and forthcoming business ventures."
In an interview, she mentioned two of her latest ventures: a new sparkling wine and her third cookbook, "Fabulicious: Fast and Fit," due out in May. Gary's Wine and Marketplace in Wayne will be the first store to carry Fabellini, which Giudice described as a type of champagne that comes in two flavors, peach and raspberry.
Asked about another venture, a restaurant in Parsippany called Villa Di Vino that was mentioned in "Fabulicious," she said the deal fell through, but that such a restaurant still could come to fruition in the future.
She said they chose to build their home in Montville Township because her husband's parents built a home in town and Joe Giudice, who grew up in Lincoln Park, always loved Montville.
"Good area ... good school district for the kids," she said. "And now we're here."