The Ultimate Merger

The Ultimate Merger
Donald J. Trump Presents
The Ultimate Merger
Also known as Omarosa's Ultimate Merger[1]
Format Reality
Game Show
Created by Donald J. Trump
Andy Litinsky
Starring Omarosa
(Season 1)
Toccara Jones
(Season 2)
Theme music composer Mark C. Rooney
Mark Morales
Opening theme "Real Love"
Performed by Mary J. Blige
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 8 (as of August 5, 2010)
Executive producer(s) Donald J. Trump
Robert C. Horowitz
Lewis Fenton
Andy Litinsky
Location(s) Las Vegas, Nevada
Running time 60 minutes
Original channel TV One
Original run June 17, 2010 (2010-06-17) – present
Related shows The Apprentice (U.S. TV series)
External links

Donald J. Trump Presents The Ultimate Merger is an American reality television dating game show. A spin-off of The Apprentice, the series premiered on TV One on June 17, 2010. Notably, The Ultimate Merger is the first reality dating series to feature contestants who are almost entirely from the African American professional class.[2] The series' first season starred Omarosa (née Manigault), a low-level staffer whose job was answering invitations in the office of then-Vice President Al Gore during the Clinton Administration, and who in 2004 appeared on the first season of The Apprentice, another American reality series.[3]

Season 2 is scheduled to premiere on August 4, 2011, starring former America's Next Top Model and Celebrity Fit Club contestant Toccara Jones.[4]


Show format

The format of The Ultimate Merger is reminiscent of two previous reality series, The Bachelorette and The Apprentice.[5] Twelve men selected by real estate mogul Donald Trump (host and co-executive producer of The Apprentice) compete for the affections of Omarosa, the former political consultant who has become the most infamous Apprentice contestant.[6][7][8][9] Omarosa receives assistance in the selection process from her spiritual advisor Dr. Jamal Harrison Bryant, pastor of the Empowerment Temple A.M.E. Church in Baltimore, Maryland.[10][11][12] Other personalities appearing on the series include comedians George Wallace and Loni Love, TV chef G. Garvin, author Karrine Steffans, and Apprentice alumni Katrina Campins, Troy McClaine and Nick Warnock.[13]

While on the show, the contestants live together in a huge suite at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.[1] In each episode, they are directed to participate in a mental or physical challenge designed to gauge each man's potential compatibility with Omarosa. The winner(s) of each challenge attend a date with her later that evening. Subsequently, the contestants must gather in the "Mediation Room", where Omarosa (assisted by Dr. Bryant or another celebrity guest) questions several of the contestants regarding their actions and attitudes while on the show. One or more contestants is then selected for elimination by Omarosa, and that man must immediately leave Trump International and the show.

This process resulted in one man, R&B singer Ray Lavender, remaining as the potential beau for Omarosa. However, because Lavender was legally separated at the time (and thus technically still married), he was eliminated as well -- and Omarosa was left with no one.[14]

Soon after the first season finale, Omarosa publicly revealed that she was in a new relationship with Academy Award-nominated actor Michael Clarke Duncan.[15]



Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, who prefers to use only her first name,[1][7] is a former political consultant who worked for then-Vice President Al Gore during the Clinton Administration.[16] She was a contestant on the first season of The Apprentice, where she was "fired" in Week 9 of the 15 week process. She returned for the series' seventh season (the first incarnation of The Celebrity Apprentice), but was "fired" once again in Week 10.[17] In 2000, she married Aaron Stallworth, but the two separated in 2005 and later divorced.[18][19]


Ray Lavender

Ray is a 33-year-old R&B singer originally from Monroe, Louisiana, now residing in Atlanta, Georgia.[21][22] Eliminated in episode 8.

Al B. Sure!

Al B. Sure! is a 41-year-old R&B recording artist from Mount Vernon, New York, best known for his 1988 single "Nite and Day".[23][24] He and Omarosa have dated previously.[5] Eliminated in episode 8.

Charles Parker

Charles is a 43-year-old foreign currency trader from Washington, D.C. He and Omarosa have dated previously.[25] Voluntarily leaves the show for personal reasons in episode 4. Returns -- and is eliminated -- in episode 8.

Isaac Keys

Isaac is a 32-year-old former NFL football player from St. Louis, Missouri, now residing in Los Angeles, California.[26] Eliminated in episode 7.

Lyle Silva

Lyle is a 36-year-old attorney originally from New Bedford, Massachusetts, now residing in Bowie, Maryland.[9][25] Eliminated in episode 7.

Javis Dortch

Javis is a 34-year-old entrepreneur originally from Jersey City, New Jersey,[27] now residing in Douglasville, Georgia.[22] Eliminated in episode 6.

C.J. Miller

C.J. is a 27-year-old author/model from Los Angeles, California. In 2009, he appeared as a contestant on the first season of the reality series True Beauty.[28] Eliminated in episode 5.

Michael Madd

Michael is a 29-year-old concert promoter from New York, New York. Eliminated in episode 4.

Eddy Puyol

Eddy is a 30-year-old Christian rapper from Miami, Florida, now residing in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.[11][29] Eliminated in episode 3.

Sterling Williams

Sterling is a 42-year-old fashion designer from Los Angeles, California. Eliminated in episode 3.

Jason Mitchell

Jason is a 30-year-old massage therapist from New York, New York. Eliminated in episode 2.

Darrell Kiedo

Darrell is a 40-year-old movie producer from Memphis, Tennessee. He is the author of the book The Black Actor's Guide to Not Working in Hollywood, which was published in 2003.[30][31] Eliminated in episode 1.


  1. ^ a b c Schneider, Michael (November 9, 2009). "Trump, Omarosa reunite for 'Merger'". Retrieved July 11, 2010. 
  2. ^ Caramanica, Jon (June 13, 2010). "The Monitor: 'Donald J. Trump Presents the Ultimate Merger'". Los Angeles Times.,0,4484137.story. Retrieved August 1, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Omarosa: 'The Apprentice' TV show's most popular contestant has the nation talking and watching.", JET, April 12, 2004. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
  4. ^ "Harlem's Toccara Jones On TV Ones 'The Ultimate Merger'". Harlem World. July 7, 2011. Retrieved July 19, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Bland, Bridget (June 14, 2010). "Omarosa Says New Reality Show Isn't Run-of-the-Mill 'Love' Fare". AOL Black Voices. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  6. ^ Eisinger, Amy (November 10, 2009). "Omarosa and Donald Trump back together for new reality series; he'll give her dating advice". New York Daily News. Retrieved July 4, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Kinon, Cristina (June 17, 2010). "Omarosa Manigault-Stallwort (sic) is back and has teamed up with Donald Trump to create new dating show". New York Daily News. Retrieved July 4, 2010. 
  8. ^ Martin, Pharoh (June 17, 2010). "Omarosa debuts sizzling new dating show on TV One". Retrieved July 4, 2010. 
  9. ^ a b Woodman, Tenley (June 17, 2010). "Who wants to date a diva?". Boston Herald. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  10. ^ "About Jamal Bryant". Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  11. ^ a b Streeter, Leslie Gray (June 18, 2010). "Dating show hijinks abound on premiere of Trump, Omarosa's 'Ultimate Merger'". Retrieved July 20, 2010. 
  12. ^ Pendleton, Tonya (July 1, 2010). "Omarosa Takes on Love in 'The Ultimate Merger'". Retrieved July 20, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Trump, TV One, Omarosa's Ultimate Merger". June 6, 2010. Retrieved July 23, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Omarosa Picks No One On Ultimate Merger Finale, Season 2 On The Way, Ray Lavender Interview". August 6, 2010. Retrieved August 6, 2010. 
  15. ^ Oppenheim, Gena (August 13, 2010). "Michael Clarke Duncan & Omarosa Gush About Their New Romance". Retrieved July 19, 2011. 
  16. ^ "The Surreal Life's Omarosa". People. July 18, 2005.,,1083768,00.html. Retrieved July 4, 2010. 
  17. ^ Soll, Lindsay (March 7, 2008). "'Celebrity Apprentice' recap: 'Selling out'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 5, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Omarosa Splits from Husband of Five Years".,,1082973,00.html. Retrieved 25 August 2011. 
  19. ^ "Omarosa, Trump Team Up For Dating Show". 
  20. ^ Ages, occupations and hometowns are correct as of June 17, 2010.
  21. ^ "Ray Lavender – Artist Profile". Retrieved July 21, 2010. 
  22. ^ a b Ho, Rodney (June 16, 2010). "TV One’s Omarosa dating game features two metro Atlantans". Retrieved July 6, 2010. 
  23. ^ Parham, Marti (January 14, 2008). "Where is ... Al B. Sure!". JET. Retrieved July 18, 2010. 
  24. ^ Mitchell, Gail (May 18, 2009). "Al B. Sure! Returns With Hidden Beach Debut". Retrieved July 18, 2010. 
  25. ^ a b "Omarosa Searches For True Love in Donald J. Trump's The Ultimate Merger". June 21, 2010. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  26. ^ Norwood, Candice Jade (July 12, 2010). "Isaac Keys hopes to unlock Omarosa’s heart". St. Louis American. Retrieved July 20, 2010. 
  27. ^ Colaneri, Katie (July 16, 2010). "Jersey City man wooing Omarosa on reality show". The Jersey Journal. Retrieved July 16, 2010. 
  28. ^ Westmark, Jan (December 31, 2008). "Gorgeous Contestants Face Off On ABC's "True Beauty"". All Headline News. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  29. ^ Bellini, Jason (June 14, 2010). "Christian hip-hop star to appear on Omarosa's reality show". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved July 6, 2010. 
  30. ^ Greenberg, Emily (June 17, 2010). "Memphis native, Darrell Kiedo, out to win Omarosa's heart". The Commercial Appeal. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  31. ^ "The black actor's guide to not working in Hollywood". Google Books.'s+Guide+to+Not+Working+in+Hollywood&hl=en&ei=muw8TJ_XJ8T38Ab32szuBQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCoQ6AEwAA. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 

External links

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