‘The Celebrity Apprentice’ spotlight: Will Matt Iseman be a warrior in the boardroom?

Matt -

While we have always loved the original Japanese version of “Ninja Warrior,” one of the surprises of the past few years has been the ever-growing success of “American Ninja Warrior” here in the United States. We’ve seen the show expand from one with a small following to a summer sensation, and Matt Iseman has been at the front of that as one of the hosts ever since 2010.

We’ll be honest when we say that we’re not a super-regular viewer of the show, but we’re familiar enough with him leading into this season of “The Celebrity Apprentice.” Can he succeed on this show, which is so very different from his own? That’s what we are going to try to figure out today.

Claim to Fame – Co-host for “American Ninja Warrior” for the past several years. Beyond that, he’s also appeared regularly on “Clean House” and hosted the game shows “Scream Play” and “Casino Night.” He’s got some acting chops, having appeared on everything from “Hot in Cleveland” to “NCIS.”

Charity The Arthritis Foundation. Iseman was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis early on in his adult life, so this is something that he has a personal connection to. That’s a common thread with many of the celebrities taking part in the show this time.

Strengths – Matt’s a hustler. He’s done stand-up comedy, acting, and hosting at length over the course of his career, so odds are he’s had some doors slammed in his face. People who do experience this sort of struggle are also people who tend to do well on this show because they know what it means to bust your butt. As someone who’s also performed on USO tours, we also think that Matt knows a thing or two about giving back in a pretty substantial way. He caters to a different audience than many of the other male celebrities this season, and he may able to use that as a valuable creative voice in the room.

Weaknesses – We feel like Matt’s voice is probably more memorable in some ways than his name, so we’re not sure he’s going to be recognized like a Jon Lovitz or a Boy George if you’ve got a task that involves getting attention on the street. He’s an unknown still in many ways because we don’t know what his Rolodex is going to be like for some of the fundraising tasks. Does he have the same number of rich friends as some of the other people this season? It’s hard to think so, but part of the beauty of this competition sometimes is that you can be surprised.

Prediction – In order to win “The Celebrity Apprentice,” you tend to need a combination of hard work, creativity, and fundraising skill. We’re fairly confident that Matt has the first two pinned down, and we’re not going to have a good sense of the third until the show airs. We do think that he has the capacity to do very well.

For some other spotlights for this season of “The Celebrity Apprentice,” be sure to head over to the link here right now! (Photo: NBC.)

Love TV? Be sure to like Matt & Jess on Facebook for more updates!