The ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ is always meant to be about a race to the finish. I just didn’t expect the race to involve Donald Trump and Mario Andretti or for them actually to be in race cars, zooming through the streets of Manhattan CGI style before pulling up at the Natural History Museum for the big finale. The only letdown on this was that it clearly wasn’t live on Sunday night as it was total daylight. Oh well, you can’t have everything.
Sign language interpreter Jack Jason couldn’t even get a High 5 from Donald Trump. He tried but then had to jump awkwardly out of the way as Trump just carried on walking. He was obviously eager to get to Amanda Miller.
I was eager to see who would be named the next ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ winner: Clay Aiken or Arsenio Hall. After the three elements (PSA, party, performance) Arsenio emerged triumphant but let’s have a look if he really deserved to win.
We got to see all the fired celebrities except Cheryl Tiegs return. I don’t know who gave Trump the questions to ask them, but they were duds. Like asking Victoria Gotti if her background helped her on the show. Not a great deal, since she was second celebrity out, would be my guess on that. He also asked Adam if he did so well because he’s a funny guy. Um…he didn’t do that well, Donald. Adam being a funny guy just helped me like him and wish he’d stayed in a lot longer.
For me, the funniest part will maybe seem a little cruel. Patricia Velásquez was busy telling a sob story of how she now didn’t have the money to build a school since most of the money she raised to build a school ended up going to the other team. Of course, she couldn’t get more from her donors, either, since their money hadn’t gone to the intended place. Donald seemed like he couldn’t care less.
“Well, you’re doing well. You’re doing well,” he said.
I thought he couldn’t have made it clearer that he wasn’t interested in anything else but the show. But he did when George Takei was unceremoniously cut off when he started talking about all the money he had raised outside of the show.
Didn’t they understand he had a light entertainment show to make! That can be the only reason they had finalists Clay and Arsenio duet on “Lean on Me.” That was probably the worst part of the ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ final but a reality TV competition doesn’t seem complete without a gospel choir and this is how they fitted one in here. ‘Survivor’ missed a trick.
There was, as usual, no apparent logic in how Donald Trump picked Arsenio Hall as the winner. From the moment he freaked out on Aubrey in the Boardroom, I was hoping he wouldn’t win.
So let’s have a look at the final task. The one that Donald supposedly based his decision on. The first was the ad. Clay’s was earnest and fine. Arsenio’s was memorable and fun. Round 1 to Arsenio, I think.
Next came the party. Last week the big drama over Clay’s party centered on Aiken’s demand to see sketches from Debbie’s cousin before he would allow her to paint a big mural on the wall. Disappointingly, that all got cleared up pretty easily.
But don’t worry, Aubrey was on hand to dramatize some other stuff. A random turned up at the party and when Clay began to introduce himself, Aubrey stepped in, hugged the guy and then attempted to escort him away.
“You want to let me do this since this is my show?” Clay asked rhetorically.
Aubrey wasn’t happy at being reminded that she was out of the show.
“If I wasn’t here, he wouldn’t have a show,” Aubrey informed everyone confidently. Miaaooww!
It was a mammoth effort getting the room painted. Clay even donned a trash bag to keep his suit and tie clean.
We didn’t see much of Team Arsenio getting ready because their party setting was more straightforward. But he was the one to pull in the big name donations, from Jay Leno, Chris Rock, Eddie Murphy, George Lopez and Jimmy Kimmel among others. Clay’s only truly big name was Kelly Clarkson. Strangely, though, Clay brought in a lot more money: $301,500 to $167,100. Clay had the best part, though, I think. It was more unusual and looked a lot of fun to be at.
Round 2 to Clay?
The last part was the performances of the two variety shows. Adam, Lisa, and Arsenio are all professional comedians, so they knew how to work a room. The comedy show Arsenio put on was hardly inventive but it made me chuckle. It managed to appeal to a wide spectrum and not really offend anyone.
In contrast, Clay’s show was crazy – and not in a good way. I never want to see Dee Snider and Debbie Gibson serenading each other with “Baby Love,” again. Aubrey’s performance of “I Will Survive” was later revealed to be technically inaccurate since he was actually fired, although he got to the end so that counts, of course. I can’t let this party go by without mentioning Penn’s dirty dancing with Aubrey, though. Yuck! The Dee and Debbie mashup was funny, though. Clay didn’t get the chance to finish his song alone as Aubrey O’Day ran up to suck face with him again. And Dee Snider actually sang the “Dirty Dancing” theme.
I think it was a tough call between the parties Clay’s was cheesy but fun. Arsenio’s was slick and cool.
In the boardroom, Donald gave victory to Arsenio. I didn’t know what to expect but as I said earlier, I wouldn’t have given it to him. I have my reasons. Donald’s reasons are less clear. Do you think Arsenio was the right winner for ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ 2012?