Credit: Photo: Gary Gershoff/WireImage; A.M Parks/iphoto

Gene Simmons picked up the first lesson of NBC’s The Celebrity Apprentice the quickest: “Omarosa’s a survivor, like a cockroach,” he said. “No matter what you do you cannot kill her.” These turned out to be the wisest words spoken all night — the season one villain not only led the failed team of women in the premiere episode, but she also lived to see another Trump boardroom.

In what could’ve quickly become just another Surreal Life episode — with former Playmate Tiffany Fallon, Stephen Baldwin and Vincent Pastore among the contestants — the reality show got a second wind in its seventh season as the business-minded celebs kicked off the competition for the privilege of handing over a $250,000 check to their favorite charity.

Last night’s task — raising money via a hot dog cart — revealed who might have the brains to meet that goal and impress Donald Trump. Besides pegging Omarosa, KISS rock star Simmons first realized his biggest asset as a celeb — rich friends. So he got on the phone and called in favors (think $10,000 for one hot dog). Marilu Henner (Taxi) ultimately ignored project manager Omarosa’s idea that celebrity was second to their product and brought in $11,000 from just three strategic sales.

In all, the men raised $52,286, compared to the women’s $17,038, and Tiffany was fired. But who’s proving to be the smartest player so far? Simmons, Henner — or Omarosa, who leveraged her past experience to take the role as team leader? –Janice MorrisPhoto: Gary Gershoff/WireImage; A.M. Parks/iphoto