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LaToya Jackson: True Grit?

Gail Choice | 4/13/2011, 5 p.m.

LaToya Jackson proved to the world she's not to be messed with; the girl's got grit. On season four of Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice" LaToya stood up to the bullies, and those trying to get her off the show by doing what a true winner would do, take them all on and win.

If you haven't guessed by now "Celebrity Apprentice" is one of my favorite shows, mainly because at the beginning they actually had four sisters (Dionne Warwick, LaToya Jackson, NeNe Leakes and Star Jones) competing against each other along with the four White women on the women's team.

Dionne was the first of the sisters to be 'fired.' Trump said he had to fire her, because she dared him to do it, and nobody was going to dare him to do anything. The singer managed to shatter her image with a lot of fans. Her attitude, and how she dealt with people, even the other Black women was kind of shocking, I have to admit I was surprised at how mean she could be.

We also got to see a different LaToya Jackson in episode three. The celebrities were given two RVs to stage an "experience" in Manhattan. LaToya impressed the RV company executives with her knowledge of their product, and the ease and joy she expressed in her presentation was great. All of a sudden LaToya proved that she was a real contender on her own merits.

In episode four, LaToya was the next target. NeNe Leakes' of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" fame, zeroed in on LaToya while serving as project manager for a special type of phone. She felt LaToya was ineffective, especially when the Jackson family sibling said she was all of a sudden having trouble with her eyesight following Lasik surgery earlier in the year. NeNe, not caring and not impressed, put Jackson in charge of keeping them on a tight time schedule, which Jackson carried out without any trouble. Leakes' let Trump know that LaToya was a very 'weak link,' and surprisingly Academy Award winner, Marlee Matlin also on the team, echoed the same sentiment.

Mind you, this was the show where Dionne got the boot, see a pattern here folks?

Apparently Jackson recognized she was next on the chopping block, if Leakes and Matlin had their way. Matlin was the next project manager for a celebrity art project, and called herself putting Jackson on the spot. Did LaToya bring it? You darn right she did.

The celebrities sold their own artwork, and LaToya donated her extremely rare T-shirt that big brother Michael had signed, and it went for $99,000. Not to mention a baseball hat she created symbolizing Michael's diamond studded glove that too went for big bucks.

The better Jackson did the more Leakes turned up the heat. Jackson managed to neutralize Matlin, but Leakes is out for blood. LaToya, recognizing the game, stepped up to the plate and became the next project manager, this time promoting sun tan oil. Tensions were high because Jackson was like a fish out of water, she knew it, but that didn't stop her from doing her job. She literally puts blinders on, was not afraid to delegate, and not afraid to say 'no,' letting them all know she was in charge.

Basically, for Jackson, it was all or nothing. Girlfriend ignored the other team members; their legitimate concerns, and complaining. She felt they all wanted her to fail anyway, so it was: let them do the jobs they were given, and let them say what they want about her.

She called Leakes a 'big bully' and stood her ground. And as fate would have it, girlfriend won the challenge. But that didn't stop Leakes from getting ugly after the show, but Latoya, in 'true grit' fashion shook it off and kept on smiling.

Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on NBC Channel 4. If you want to watch the previous episodes of Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice," go to www.nbc.com and click on the show name. And if you want to learn more about LaToya, go to www.latoyaonline.com.

Gail can be reached at hollywoodbychoice_gail@yahoo.com