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Martha Announces Her Apprentice Hopefuls

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Although her “You’re fired”-style catchphrase has yet to be revealed – “You’re cooked” and “You’re toast” are said to be the leading contenders – Martha Stewart is ready to announce other details of NBC’s forthcoming The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, including the names of the 16 contestants.

The 13-week show “will feature a ‘conference room’ and candidates will live in a ‘loft,’ versus a ‘boardroom’ and a ‘suite,'” the network says in a statement.

The contestants, consisting of 10 women and six men and ranging in age from 22-42, run the gamut from ad executives and creative directors to accomplished chefs, lawyers, designers, a magazine publisher and a TV newscaster.

“I am incredibly impressed with this cast,” said Stewart. “Their poise and creativity is balanced by a tremendous entrepreneurial spirit. Many of the candidates were as accomplished or more so than I when I started to build my business. Even so, there are some explosive personalities among the candidates and they really create a lot of tension in the conference room.”

They are: Dawna, 37, a magazine publisher from St. Petersburg, Fla.; Marcela, 27, a cooking instructor from Tijuana, Mexico; Amanda, 30, an attorney for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, from Austin, Texas; Carrie, 31, a creative director from Southern California; David, 22, an Internet company owner from Maplewood, Mo.; Jim, 36, an ad executive from Gilbertsville, Pa.; Bethenny, 34, a natural-foods chef in New York City; Ryan, 28, a recent law-school graduate from Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Calif.; Howie, 33, a former Wall Streeter turned fashion company owner, from Closter, N.J.;. Chuck, 38, an interior designer from Philadelphia; Jennifer, 32, a prosecutor in Orange County, Calif.; Shawn, 32, a TV newscaster from Grosse Pointe, Mich.; Jeff, 42, a creative director in New York City; Leslie, 36, a marketing company owner from Alexandria, Va., who was named one of Hispanic Business magazine’s “100 Most Influential Hispanic Americans”; and Dawn, 33, a public relations consultant from Boston – and a member of Mensa.

The show is set to premiere Sept. 21 on NBC.