All-Star Celebrity Apprentice – Finale – Recap and Results (UPDATED)

RESULT: Trace Adkins is the NEW Celebrity Apprentice

Penn Jillette and Trace Adkins vie for the title of Celebrity Apprentice in tonight’s finale. Live, from New York City, Donald Trump crowns the first All-Star Celebrity Apprentice winner – The finalists scramble to put the finishing touches on their charity event, enlisting the help of special guests and returning All-Stars. In the end, Donald Trump makes his final decision, live â?? who will be fired, and who will become the very first All-Star Celebrity Apprentice? Boardroom Advisors: Joan Rivers and Ivanka Trump. Special Guests include Gilbert Gottfried, Blue Man Group, Taylor Hicks, Wayne Newton, George Wallace, Teller, The Oak Ridge Boys, Tim Tebow, Billy Ray Cyrus, Wynonna Judd and Vinny Pastore.

One of Us Will Win, But Not by Much

The show starts in Washington Square, which is far away from Trump Tower or Times Square. Penn is juggling and Trace is playing his guitar. Because if you don’t become the Celebrity Apprentice, you’re doomed to become a busker.

Then Trump walks into some fancy doorway — which doesn’t look like any building I remember from around that area. Inside is an audience of past contestants and various courtiers to the Trump court. Trump announces that Celebrity Apprentice has raised more than $13 million for charities throughout the years and that this is the most money-raisin’ season yet.

We watch a short recap of the season. The competition between Trace and Penn is set up as “Nashville vs. Vegas.” (I.E., God fearin’ country folk vs. gamblers and whores.)

We flash back to the cliffhanger problems from last week. Trace was worried about matching Penn’s killer rolodex, while Penn had to cut nine seconds out of his commercial.

Okay, so we know that whole story about Trace not getting his buddies to show up with money is bogus, right? Well, they had to come up with something to worry about.

After the credits, we go back to the editing room and Penn takes Lisa’s suggestion to cut out the ending part with Dennis Rodman popping up from behind the table. Penn decides to use that bit as a bonus out take during the presentation. Problem solved. Whew! That was a scary 30 seconds of real time!

Back to the live finale, where Trump introduces Ivanka and Don. Then more flashbacks.

Penn and his team ride in a limo and talk about the big stars coming to his ice cream social. Then we cut to Trace’s team where sad piano music plays as Trace worries if any of his friends will even show up to his little shindig.

We see La Toya guiding a flock of giant balloons into the event space. Lisa asks Penn to make decorating decisions, which sends him into straight male panic. He doesn’t know how to make decorating decisions!

For Team Trace, Marilu lists in painstaking detail every single thing that has to happen before their event can take place. Trace asks Gary to reprise his Buddy Holly role to end his presentation, prompting worries from Lil Jon that he’ll forget the lyrics.

Back to the live show, Trump introduces most of the celebrities who left early. The ones we’ve forgotten. Like Dee Snider and Claudia Jordan. Omarosa looks nervous in a white evening gown. Trump asks Omarosa if she and La Toya have made up. Omarosa doesn’t mention that she’s currently suing La Toya.

Trump checks in briefly with everyone. Stephen Baldwin apologizes for something. I can’t remember him doing anything that requires an apology. Just that he was a general jerk. Dee apologizes for not fighting with people in the Board Room. Claudia tries to explain why she didn’t mud wrestle Omarosa when Trump wanted her to. “She was scared,” Omarosa sneers. Claudia then blurts out the real reason — she didn’t want to give Omarosa any more screen time than she had to.

Trump asks Brande why she kept losing this season. Brande says something about “team dynamic” which either means that Omarosa was sucking all the life out of the room or that Annie Duke wasn’t there to carry the team.

Enough of the boring firees! We cut to Penn and Teller doing a cute magic trick with an audience member. Then a quick bit with Trace bemoaning Penn’s high-roller rolodex. Then commercials.

During the ice cream socials (which take place in the same room — or perhaps two adjoining rooms. In any case, close enough to spy on each other — Teller presents the ice cream by making it magically appear. Penn’s famous friends come in with big checks! Taylor Hicks is there! Dee Snider! Wayne Newton comes in, looking very well-groomed. The (former) mayor of Las Vegas presents a $250,000 check.

Trace actually does look scared. Penn’s checks are those big novelty checks and are hard to ignore. But Trace has his own friends. Billy Ray Cyrus is there. NASCAR donates $25,000. Tim Tebow is late (throwing Marilu into a conniption fit), but he shows up just in time to hand over $200,000.

Back to real time.

The members of Team Trace and Team Penn are introduced. Stephen Baldwin looks bummed to have to share stage space with them. Dennis Rodman is wearing a blond mohawk and a jacket made out of a very busy print. It sort of looks like a Hawaiian shirt. Only it’s a jacket. Lady Gaga would look at it and say, “Hmm. That’s a little out there, don’t you think?”

Trump asks Dennis about North Korea. Dennis probably had an incredibly insightful reply, but I didn’t understand it. Trump asks Marilu who should win and she, of course, names her team leader Trace.

We flashback to Trump’s arrival (complete with royal fanfare) to the socials. Ivanka likes Penn’s ice cream flavor. Lil Jon explains that Trace’s team made “Maple Macadamian Mash-Up.” Okay, one of us is getting that name wrong and I don’t think it’s me.

The presentations are given. Penn starts his with showgirls and more magic tricks. He shows his commercial. The Blue Man group stare at it, mesmerized. (Boy, Fringe really stole that bald observer concept from them, didn’t they? Maybe one of them will interfere with time, creating an alternate universe in which Trace isn’t destined to win the show.)

Penn finishes his presentation by showing the Dennis Rodman outtake, thus exposing the magic trick that Teller performed. The audience applauds.

Then Trace presents his ice cream commercial. The commercial is yet another domestic drama in which Gary is the doddering old dad given ice cream by an actress who looks not at all like anyone who would be related to him. He starts doing a dance “mash-up” which she films with her cell phone. Then we see the video going viral — signified by Marilu watching it and laughing, then some other random people dancing like Gary. The audience, including Penn, laughs uproariously.

Trace sings a song while playing his guitar. I suddenly remember that two of the five Celebrity Apprentice winners have been WGWGs. Another strike against Penn. Trace closes his presentation by talking up Gary’s portrayal of Buddy Holly and then having him sing “Not Fade Away.” I am unmoved, but the audience at the event is rocking out. No one is enjoying it more than Penn, who is head banging away. It’s really very sweet.

Then the suspenseful music starts and we cut to the final Board Room.

Trump congratulates Penn on raising a lot, but warns him that it isn’t just about the money. Trump asks Marilu about Trace and she confirms that he was a fantastic leader. Trump asks Gary something, then doesn’t give him a chance to answer it. Lil Jon claims to be psychically bonded with Trace. Trace admits he had the advantage in this season, because he done a final task before and wasn’t nervous going into it.

La Toya gives Penn an A+ for his leadership. “It was more like an A, wasn’t it?” Trump asks. “Don’t talk her down,” Penn objects. “Leading the witness!”

Trump then asks Penn if his thoughts about the show have changed. This leads to a discussion about how honest and unscripted the show is. Penn defends Trump and the show as being truthful in their storytelling. Trace jumps in to affirm that the show is unscripted, and Trump waves a piece of paper showing that his “script” is merely a double-sided page of notes. He thinks he deserves an Emmy!

Ivanka presents Walgreen’s assessments for Team Penn. They loved the flavor. They liked the commercial and thought the presentation was on point. Their only negative was that the packaging blended in too much with other ice creams. (Penn goes, “Huh.” Which, yes, it’s obvious that they had to design to the DeLish brand packaging and how were they supposed to make it pop?) Ivanka points out that the executives had to strain and really nitpick to find any negative at all.

Joan delivers the results for Team Trace. They loved the “star power” of Gary singing. They think his dance video could go viral. They thought the word “mash-up” would appeal to the kids. The negative was that maple is too specific a flavor.

We learn that Penn raised $503,000 (I think that was the amount), and then get a cliffhanger before Trace’s amount is revealed. Which means he raised more than Penn. Which means he won.

Seriously, people complain about AI finales being boring and predictable? At least we got some kick awesome performances. (Excuse me, gotta go watch “Titanium” again…)

But, Trump is feeling magnanimous and rewards all the team members who didn’t make money for their own charities. Gary, La Toya, and Dennis all get $20,000 for their respective charities. Lil Jon gets $20,000 even though he’d already won money for the American Diabetes Association. Lisa and Marilu get nothing (but they did win a goodly amount in previous challenges).

Cut to the live show. Trump introduces the final two, starting with Penn. Which means he lost. Penn notes that Trace predicted they would be the final two. He also says that he had a “chip on his shoulder” during his first season, but now he trusts Trump and the show.

Then Amanda, the fake receptionist outside the Board Room, brings in an envelope declaring the winner of Walgreens’ flavor competition. I’m not surprised that Penn won that bit of the task, since chocolate will always triumph over maple as a flavor. Unless it’s paired with bacon.

Now we fill up time with the two of the most overexposed players of the season, Gary and Omarosa. Gary’s video montage consists of… oh sorry, fell asleep there for a minute. Trump asks about the mechanical dog and Gary says he turned it into a lawn mower. Well, that’s practical anyway.

Omarosa package is mostly her yelling at people. “I’m all about making good TV,” she purrs at Trump afterwards. He asks La Toya if she and Omarosa have made up. “We were never friends,” La Toya replies.

And then she and Omarosa start fighting on the live show. Trump is amused, then annoyed because they don’t stop fighting, even as he’s struggling to take the show into commercials. I believe that’s what the phrase “hoist on his own petard” was describing.

We see a video of Penn visiting Opportunity Village. There, many adorable mentally disabled people create art and do jobs that other people are unwilling to do. He explains how having a job gives them an identity beyond the “disabled” label. Back on the live show, Penn pulls a scarf one of the Opportunity Villagers made out of his pocket and actually chokes up. Aww! Penn has a heart!

Trump asks Marilu (again) who should win and she’s still Team Trace. Dennis makes the observation that Bret Michaels didn’t show up, but refuses to pick a favorite.

We get Trace’s video, which is interesting because of his reason for choosing the Red Cross. His own house burned down and his family lost everything. We see his charred guitars lying like corpses on the ground. The Red Cross helps seventy thousand people a year who lose their homes to fires. They also helped the survivors of Hurricane Sandy, as we saw earlier in the season.

Back to the live show, Joan Rivers introduces a special performance by Trace Adkins. Standing between the Trace and Penn, she looks like Bilbo Baggins next to two portly elves.

Trace sings a song called “Love Wins” while Penn plays his bass guitar. Nice try, Penn. But bass doesn’t count in the WGWG stakes. Just ask Casey Abrems.

We get yet more final statements from the top two, and just when we think Trump is going to name a winner….. he zags. He calls Lil Jon over to the winner’s side of the table. Apparently fans were really upset when Lil Jon was fired. And we learn that Lil Jon’s mother (who suffered a stroke before the season started) recently passed away. Trump gives Lil Jon another $100,000 just for the heck of it. Lil Jon goes back to his seat, where the other celebrities group hug him. He sits down and, even behind his sunglasses, we can tell he’s in tears.

Trump mentions something about a letter Penn wrote to him. I assume it was some kind of apology for badmouthing the show last year, or perhaps it was an acknowledgement of the error of his skepticism. It’s really not clear, but Penn and Trump appear to be cool now.

Then, in the anti-climax of anti-climaxes, Trump announces that Trace has won. Penn applauds and looks genuinely happy for Trace. I’m sure Penn knew that he wasn’t going to get this. He had to have known if he was paying attention at all during the event.

But it’s a little like Candice and Kree (except in this case the country singer prevailed). Both of them were worthy, and, after many bummer weeks, this season turned out pretty good. With Omarosa and Gary, we had two Lazaros, but eventually competence, creativity, and quiet excellence won out. And that’s when the season got good for me.

But, a lot of charities got money and valuable exposure. There are worse ways to waste TV time.

What was your favorite part of the season? Was there too much Gary this year, not enough, or was he just right? Let me know what you think! And hopefully we can do this all again next year!