Arsenio takes the win on 'Celebrity Apprentice'
May 21st, 2012
05:11 PM ET

Arsenio takes the win on 'Celebrity Apprentice'

You couldn't find a better matched pair - or two people with closer ties to their charities - than Clay Aiken and Arsenio Hall, who managed to make it to the live season finale of "Celebrity Apprentice" on Sunday night.

Clay actually founded his "National Inclusion Project," while the "'Magic Johnson Foundation" was born out of an appearance the legendary basketball player made on Arsenio's '90s talk show (which, by the way, Arsenio announced he hopes to revive).

So the two went head-to-head with competing fundraising parties the same night. Both went with their strengths: For Arsenio, a team of comedians (plus "Real Housewife" Teresa Guidice), while Clay opted for a team of musicians (plus Penn Jillette).

Even though Aubrey O'Day had nothing to gain or lose this go-round, she still insisted on taking the lead when Donald Trump came to their party. Aubrey made no bones about it during Clay's musical presentation, when she sang a line about being done wrong while looking directly at the Donald.

I don't want to say that putting Aubrey in the finals would have been a bad idea, but it would've made for no contest whatsoever for the person she would have gone up against.

Indeed, there is no love lost for Aubrey or her BFF on the show, Lisa Lampanelli (who made "Celebrity Apprentice" history when she wrote a $10,000 check to Clay's charity, even though she was on Team Arsenio). The women who were fired early on were basically unanimous that Lisa and Aubrey were the biggest problems on the show, and pointed out the fact that two men were left in the finale.

For her part, Aubrey took the high road, grateful for the opportunity and seeing it all as a "teachable moment."

Meanwhile, Lou Ferrigno approaching Donald's desk with a check for more money he had raised, causing Donald to think he was going to fight him for a split second, was a great reminder of what Lou brought to the show (I'm not entirely sure what he was supposed to do with the check, now that the show is over). I'll just say it: Every season needs its Gary Busey.

And it was so bittersweet to see my favorite George Takei, once again.

Then came the moment of truth: Even though Clay raised the most money (thanks in no small part to Lisa), Donald went the other way and chose Arsenio as the winner of "Celebrity Apprentice."

Once the runner-up, always the runner-up. Sorry Clay!

Clay's micromanaging ways went a bit too far, and that was probably clear to Donald as well. Plus, you can't deny Arsenio's history of zero losses (at least until the final task).

Congratulations, Arsenio Hall and congratulations to the "Magic" Johnson Foundation! With the possible exception of Bret Michaels, who had diabetes, Arsenio kept himself laser-focused on his charity more than any other winner (and like I said, Clay was just as dedicated), and it was refreshing to see him walk away with the title of "Celebrity Apprentice."

Were you happy to see Arsenio win as well? Any suggestions for shows Clay might be able to win in the future? Share your thoughts on video or comment below.

soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Easter Cupcake Ideas

    great points altogether, you just won a new reader. What might you recommend in regards to your submit that you just made some days ago? Any certain?

    July 11, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. geneveve2

    I was partial to both of the final leaders. Although, if Clay made the most money, he should have won. That was how the show ran up until the last one. I enjoyed this seasons shows. Entertaining as always. The charities were all fine and so worthy. I am just happy all of them benefited either by cash, exposure, or both.
    Lou F. gave 110% (as he pointed out on EVERY show many times)
    Honestly, I had not heard of Lisa or Aubrey until CA came on.
    In a nutshell, the CA show is great because of the charities. The rest is just (kinda dumb) entertainment.

    May 28, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. RS

    Not going into any specifics, but it doesn't matter if someone thinks there was a conspiracy theory or not. The bottom line in Clay deserved the win with his ideas, hard work, ability to work with others, and especially with the wonderful charity event in which the National Inclusion Project branding was quite evident. The even was designed to create an understanding of the goals and purposes. So sad Clay's charity lost out on the $250k especially when the other contestant's charity is already so well known and draws in millions.

    May 26, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Hillary

    What's with """Even though Clay raised the most money (thanks in no small part to Lisa),"""" He raised over 300K. Lisa gave him 10K. Do the math.

    May 26, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • claniac24

      They haven't posted either of my two entries either, I suspect it's because I was specific in my complaints. So I'm not specific here. Will this, my third effort, get posted?

      May 26, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Hillary

    What happened to my post? It says below that comments are not pre-screened so wha?????

    May 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Chelsea

    You need to fix your comment section because I have tried to post twice now and neither are showing.

    May 26, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. barb

    I thought I'd try post must have become lost in cyberspace or did you specify that one should only post if they agree with you?

    May 26, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. nate

    More PR spin for Trump, Burnett, NBC. Too late for the SPIN to be effective.

    May 26, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Pat

    Nice to see my first comment didn't get published because I'm totally NOT on the party line. Media spin and 'freedom of speech' runs rampant once again. Do you all really think the American public is stupid?

    May 26, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bella

    I guess nothing gets posted if yo don't agree with the blogger. Mine didn't make it either. Oh,well. Media censorship isn't a new thing.

    May 26, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  11. kuanna23

    I guess my post isn't going to be published either. Did I come down too hard on Trump & nbc?

    May 26, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  12. Sparks


    May 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Shanna

    Could not disagree more with this "Clay's micromanaging ways went a bit too far, and that was probably clear to Donald as well."

    Clay needed to be a strict manager with saboteurs like Aubrey and the clueless Debbie Gibson on his team. Clay is a teacher and rules with a velvet fist. He should have won. He was robbed.

    May 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • TR

      About time the gay didn't get preference.
      America is tired of that faction being over represented!

      May 23, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Joy

    Clay worked so hard and had the "People Skills" needed for team work. Can the
    Trump corporation, at least, find a position for him?? Clay deserved more than was said – in the show's finale!!

    May 22, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mikonoel

    YES!!!!! I'm so proud of Aresenio and it was good to see him on the screen again. Great decision making, overall great job!!!

    May 22, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  16. mikonoel

    YES!!!!! I'm so proud of Aresenio and it was good to see him on the screen again. Great job!!!

    May 22, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Harry Mandel

    George Ross is and advisor to the show.

    May 22, 2012 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
  18. Ellen Kowitt

    The whole Trump family is integral to the success of this show.

    May 22, 2012 at 7:20 am | Report abuse |
    • DTR

      Donald's ego drives the show. His sons are clowns trying to grease down their hair, attempting to sound seasoned and decisive at the same time. Puh-lease. The daughter is window dressing, but offers more than the clown sons.

      Let's just listen to Donald Trump for 50 mins instead of watching D list celebs act like children for more than 5 mins TOPS.

      May 23, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Carmen Lozada

    I couldn't agree more – when Danity Kane went their separate ways I was upset at PDiddy, after seeing her true colors and her inability to humble herself long enough to understand that there is more to this world than Aubrey O'Day I think he should have fired her long before he did. Maybe then we could still be enjoying the rest of that incredible group!

    May 22, 2012 at 2:40 am | Report abuse |
  20. Nancy

    Did anyone even watch this show this year? I heard no buzz – no press. Time for the "Donald" to go back to real estate....or retire and enjoy his grandkids. Boring show and no one cared who won.

    May 21, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clete

      Agree with you completely. The show and Donald Trump are a total waste of time. Winning on this show is about as important as listening to Penguins fart.

      May 23, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Ellen Claire Kowit

    I hope they continue to have the show on Prime-Time.

    May 21, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Julie

    Where did my post go? well, see if I care!

    May 21, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  23. phillip ward

    It is obvious why P Diddyy kicked Aubrey O'day off his girls team..she can't sing and she's all about herself, which is not a good postion to take on CA. she was always in the Trumps face using the word.."I"..... and shes not smart enough to realize thats what eventually got her Fired!! It's a team work show not an "I", show and for as smart as you thinks she is, you couldn't figure that out...

    May 21, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julie

      I completly agree with you! she was/is a royal pain! should have been thrown out! I even avoided parts of the show because of her and the @#$%$&^* mouth!

      May 21, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |

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