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Stepping up to give Diddy a bit of help

The Week Ahead

August 04, 2008|From the Associated Press

Sean Combs aims to conquer the airwaves.

His latest series, "I Want to Work for Diddy," premieres at 9 tonight on VH1, adding to a pair of Combs-produced reality shows on sister network MTV -- "Run's House" and "Making the Band," which returns Aug. 13.

"It's all part of my strategic plan to take over TV: Diddy TV," he said.

The new show arose from his need for a personal assistant and a realization that conventional recruitment methods weren't finding a suitable candidate.

He put out the word through the media that he was welcoming applicants. Then he created a competition-style television series for choosing a winner from among 13 finalists vying for the job.

"But the show isn't about just seeing if I could find someone to work for me. It's about people chasing their dreams," he said. "I don't say it in a cocky way, but I take pride in being one of the best at doing what I do," which, of course, encompasses a multi-pronged entertainment and fashion empire.

Combs sees himself as serving as an inspiration, particularly for young African Americans, "to show them that they can do more things than shoot basketball or rap."

On the series, a panel of judges makes the initial eliminations, Combs said, with him entering the picture toward the finish.

The candidates "had to fight to get to me," he explained. "To get to me is like getting to the Wizard of Oz. They had to prove themselves. They had to walk down the yellow brick road."

"I Want to Work for Diddy," which he said has wrapped production, may sound a bit like Donald Trump's "The Apprentice." That's OK with Combs.

"My show has a whole different style and a whole different energy," he noted. "But if 'The Apprentice' helped to open up the door for this show, then so be it."

And though he called Trump a friend and business giant, he didn't hesitate when asked who would be more fun to work for.

"Oh, definitely, me," Combs said with a laugh.

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