Apprentice contestant Stephanie Castagnier, winner of a 1997 Chevy Lumina

Who knew there was a Canadian contestant on The Apprentice?
Donald Trump didn’t mention anything about Montreal-native Stephanie Castagnier when I visited him in New York last month. Found out this week and caught up with her on the red carpet at one of the Global rooftop parties thrown earlier this week at TIFF.
Castagnier, a real ball of energy, was suffering through the recession as a commercial real estate banker in Chicago when she heard auditions were taking place for another non-celebrity round of The Apprentice. The McGill grad camped out on the streets of New York and aced the audition to become one of 15 new contestants. The series returns Thursday night at 9 p.m. on NBC and Global.
Whatever the outcome of the game, Castagnier is already a winner, having landed a job as the executive director of Trump Networks in Chicago. Read more about her and tonight’s season premiere here in this story I wrote this week for The Canadian Press.
Generally, the U.S. networks do not allow Canadian contestants on their big reality gamers. CBS has a strict no Canucks policy on Survivor, where the contract is about the size of a phone book and entails all sorts of liability waivers strictly governed by U.S. laws. Amazing Race is pretty much a no-go zone for Canucks, too. Yet CBS welcomed Canadians to enter their short-lived series Rock Star, and Canadians won both times.

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