‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ Lisa Rinna Was On This Reality Show in Two Different Seasons

Lisa Rinna of Bravo TV’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills has had several acting gigs before appearing on the now infamous franchise, including Days of our Lives, Melrose Place, Nick Fury: Agent of Shield, and Veronica Mars.  

Some may not realize that Rinna also appeared on a popular NBC reality show as a contestant for two separate seasons.

Lisa Rinna | Desiree Navarro/WireImage

First go-round

Rinna first appeared on The Celebrity Apprentice 4 in March 2011, along with other famous faces including Marlee Matlin, Star Jones, La Toya Jackson, John Rich, Meat Loaf, Gary Busey, and fellow Real Housewife NeNe Leakes. The NBC reality show was a platform for celebrities to raise money for charity through competitive business projects.

In the second episode of the season, Rinna was fired by the show’s lead, now-President Donald Trump, after losing a challenge as project manager. Rinna does not have fond memories of her time on the program during that stint, where she was publicly criticized by Jones, according to the Hollywood Reporter.  “When I heard we were all on the girls’ team I was like, ‘Girl power! We are going to have so much fun!’” Rinna had told Access Hollywood. She said in the interview that she found cattiness instead of unity in her girl group. “[I’m a] little naïve girl from Medford, Oregon. Are you kidding me? I had no clue!”

Rinna was also disappointed with being dismissed off the show so soon. “I had a terrible time [the first time],” Rinna said, as noted by the Hollywood Reporter. “I really failed going in, because I knew I could play this game and I wanted to play and win a lot of money for charity, and I wasn’t able to do that. I came home really feeling badly … It was a thorn in my side that I failed miserably.”

Second chance

Rinna was asked back to the NBC hit show in 2013 for The Celebrity Apprentice 6, with other returning celebs including Marilu Henner, Penn Jillette, Stephen Baldwin, and previous winner Bret Michaels.

To say Rinna was hesitant to go back to the show is an understatement. “Every single one of the producers knew I had the worst time,” she said. “It was not something fun for me. I hated it. I asked them, ‘Are you kidding me? Hell would have to freeze over before I do it again.’”

After some contemplation and encouragement from her daughter, Rinna relented and decided to appear again on the reality show. She prepared by reading “The Art of War for Women,” in the hopes of not reliving her past mistakes on the program.

Made it to the final four

Though Rinna did not win the title of The Celebrity Apprentice when she returned in 2013, she was close, making it as one of the last four contestants. While she didn’t make it to the final two, Rinna wasn’t disappointed with the show or her performance.

“I didn’t find it sad or hard at all because I didn’t even expect to make the final four. Really on paper, I should be in the final two. If you look at it, I was the second-highest money raiser with $505,000,” Rinna told the Hollywood Reporter in 2013. “I won both challenges as project manager. My team won seven out of 10 tasks, and I was never brought back into the boardroom… I was so thrilled and so proud to have raised the amount of money for St. Jude that I feel like a winner… I was the last woman standing.”

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When asked in the interview of the difference between her run on the show in 2013 to when she was on in 2011, Rinna replied, “There is no comparison. I got redemption for myself in the sense that the first season I really didn’t get to play at all. This season I got to come and play and win. I really won in so many ways and it changed me as a person. I learned so much about myself… I think overall, it was a teachable moment — it was really great for my girls to see me do something that I failed at and I went back in and was able to do it and succeed. It was a really great thing for them to see.”

And best of all, Rinna made some great friends the second time around. “If I could go back and do it with this group of people, I’d do it again,” she told the Hollywood Reporter. “I never laughed harder. Gary Busey was on my team, and with him, I never laughed harder in my life. Penn and I laughed until I cried. Marilu turned out to be one of my dearest best friends.”

Rinna has clearly made her mark in reality television, and continues to do so on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills!