Tonight is the season finale of The Celebrity Apprentice! Who will Donald Trump choose as the winner: Leeza Gibbons or Geraldo Rivera? Read the live recap here to find out!
The episode starts off with Mr. Trump greeting the live studio audience. He says this season was bigger and better than ever before and that The Celebrity Apprentice has raised $15 million for charity. He mentions how great Geraldo and Leeza are (the audience cheered much more loudly for Leeza than Geraldo) before we see a recap of the season, which highlights both Leeza and Geraldo’s efforts thus far.
Next we pick up where last week’s episode ended. Geraldo and Lorenzo are on their way to get the kid actors to the right location. After the confusion of where the children needed to be, Geraldo has decided he will make all the decisions from that moment forward. He believes his decisiveness will be what will help him win.
Back at Team Leeza, Kevin’s fame has caused too much people to crowd around the team while they’re shooting their commercial. However, the crowd listens to him to move out of the way. Leeza gives Kevin a lot of credit for doing a great job with directing the commercial, and they even get ahead of schedule. Leeza delegates the responsibility of handling the rest of the commercial to Kevin while she starts to work on editing.
Team Geraldo are shooting their commercial without any problems now. Lorenzo admits in a confessional that Geraldo can be a pain, but he brings a lot of energy and results. Afterwards, we return to the live studio and Mr. Trump tells us that we can send in questions for them to answer on the show. Just tweet using #AskApprentice or submit your questions through their Facebook page.
We return from the commercial break and Mr. Trump thanks his children for their help during this season. Ivanka and Don Jr. are sitting on either side of him at the table, but Eric is in the audience. Mr. Trump also thanks his wife and their kids, who are sitting with Eric in the audience.
We get back to the task. Geraldo is able to book Tony Orlando to perform at his event, and Geraldo is reduced to tears by him being willing to help out. Team Leeza are editing their commerical and are feeling good about it. Leeza is very complimentary of her team. At Team Geraldo, Ian criticizes Geraldo’s commercial. He thinks it focuses too much on Geraldo than the family. Ian thinks they would have a better commercial if he was the project manager. Back at Team Leeza, they have finished editing their commercial, and now they are worried about the fundraising aspect of the task. They know Geraldo is tough to beat when it comes to bringing in money, but they’re determined to do their best.
Next we return to the studio and Mr. Trump welcomes back all the previously fired contestants (except for the ones who worked on the final task with Leeza and Geraldo). Shawn Johnson is absent, though. He briefly speaks to Terrell Owens about joining the Hall of Fame and then to Kenya about whether or not she is a nice person before we go to another commercial break.
Next we get to see the fundraising aspect of the task. They are back in New York to raise funds at a special event where they will be presenting their commercials. Huge checks from Fox News have come in for Geraldo. Ian brings in $30,000 for Geraldo too. However, Leeza is getting plenty of donations too. She gets two checks that are over $100,000. Later on, Mr. Trump appears to see Leeza and Geraldo’s presentations.
Before the presentations, the characters Optimus Prime and Bubblebee from the Transformers series greet the audience. Team Geraldo is the first to present. Geraldo speaks highly of his team and introduces them to the audience, but he mispronounces Ian’s name. Next we see their commercial. Geraldo is the main focus on their commercial, which is very cheesy overall. The commercial also doesn’t highlight what the park has to offer except a Harry Potter theme that is featured. Afterwards, Geraldo has a friend to come up to talk to the audience about cerebral palsy, and how the charity Geraldo is representing (Life’s WORC) can help out. It’s a solemn moment, but the vibe in the room lifts when Tony Orlando comes to perform for the crowd. Geraldo is feeling good about his chances, but Leeza’s presentation is up next.
Leeza gets up on the stage next. She thanks Mr. Trump and says that he has changed her life. She speaks about her charity Leeza’s Care Connection before we see their commercial. The commercial focuses on a family and how “fun is the only agenda” needed. It’s much better than Geraldo’s commercial, but we’ll see what Mr. Trump and the Universal Orlando Resort executives think later. Afterwards, Leeza talks about her mother and Alzheimer’s disease. She speaks about memories and how they were taken away from her mother, and making memories is the overall theme that ties the task together with the charity. Next Olivia Newton-John comes to perform, and Leeza is feeling good. She’s grateful for Mr. Trump allowing her to represent her charity on the show, and she says in a confessional that she believes she did her best and gave it her all to win.
We return to the live studio, and Mr. Trump apologizes for mispronouncing Keshia’s name when he introduced her earlier. Mr. Trump also introduces the current Miss Universe Paulina Vega, who is sitting in the audience. Mr. Trump asks her which she would prefer: the title of Miss Universe or to be a winner of The Celebrity Apprentice. She says that Miss Universe was so recent, but says that maybe she could be on The Celebrity Apprentice next year. Mr. Trump says it could happen. Dayana Mendoza was on the show a few years ago, so it’s very possible we’ll see Paulina Vega compete next year.
Next we get to the boardroom after the presentations. Everyone is very complimentary of each other. Ian admits to wanting Geraldo gone early on, but gives him credit for staying above the fray when he was instrumental in a lot of key decisions throughout the competition. Geraldo also gives credit to Ian and Lorenzo for working hard for him, even though they butted heads throughout the season. In addition, Leeza’s team speaks very highly of her. Brandi calls her the best project manager and Johnny notes how she has won seven tasks in a row. Kevin also is glad to have been given the chance to work on Leeza’s team. Mr. Trump then asks Leeza her thoughts on Geraldo’s presentation. She is complimentary, but does not think Geraldo did better when asked by Mr. Trump.
Ivanka then tells Team Geraldo the executives’ thoughts on their presentation. They liked that they included themselves in the commercial to give it a celebrity endorsement, but thought the park wasn’t featured enough and they didn’t like how the kids and parents in the commercial were shown to have different experiences in the park. Don Jr. tells Team Leeza they liked almost everything about their presentation (Leeza’s voiceover, how her presentation tied neatly with her charity, and how they highlighted the park), except for the fact that no celebrities were included in the commercial and the story of a father with a strict agenda wasn’t too engaging. Next Mr. Trump gets into the fundraising aspect of the task, and says it wasn’t even close between the two teams. Team Geraldo raised $146,000 and Team Leeza raised $324,000. Wow, Leeza beat Geraldo in a fundraising task! Leeza has now raised half a million dollars for her charity. Since both teams can get to keep the money raised in the final task, Geraldo now has raised a total of over $700,000 for his charity.
We return to the live studio. Mr. Trump welcomes Johnny, Lorenzo, Kevin, Brandi, Vivica, and Ian. Mr. Trump talks to Ian briefly about how men and women work together, and Ian said that the men got along better. Next we see a recap of phone-gate. Mr. Trump then asks Kenya to come clean, but Kenya continues to deny she stole Vivica’s phone. However, Vivica is certain Kenya is still lying. Mr. Trump asks Brandi’s thoughts about who stole Vivica’s phone. She says if it wasn’t Kenya, then it was someone from Kenya’s hair and makeup crew since those were the only people allowed in the war room. Mr. Trump says he believes Kenya, even though it’s still very likely that Kenya stole Vivica’s phone even if she won’t admit it.
Next Gilbert Gottfried is given a montage and Mr. Trump is complimentary of him before Geraldo and Leeza are introduced and join Mr. Trump at the table. Mr. Trump says he is surprised Leeza did so well and didn’t expect her to make it this far. It’s a very backhanded compliment, but he says that Leeza did a great job. Mr. Trump talks about how Geraldo has butted heads with his teammates before we see a montage of Geraldo steamrolling his team, as well as how his teammates see him as very egotistical (especially Kevin). After the montage, Mr. Trump asks Kevin his thoughts on Geraldo. He says he was an amazing competitor. However, he says that Leeza should win when Mr. Trump asks. Brandi and Johnny also say Leeza should win when Mr. Trump asks them. Mr. Trump asks Leeza what’s the secret of leading a lot of people who didn’t get along with each other. She says that there is no secret to it. She was simply able to drop the crazy and focus on what was needed to do.
Next we see a video package highlighting Leeza’s Care Connection. We see Leeza interacting with the caregivers for the charity and informing them she won $100,000 for them after the Budweiser task. Afterwards, Ivanka asks Leeza what she would do with the money if she wins tonight. She said she’ll invest all the money back into the families the charity helps and continue to bring awareness to the cause.
We see a video package of Life’s WORC next and Geraldo visiting the workers of the charity. He interacts with the patients there with developmental mental disorders and talks about how the programs there are very helpful. Afterwards, Don Jr. asks Geraldo about his connection to the charity. He says he’s believes in the charity and speaks about how people with these developmental disorders need help throughout their whole lives, not just during childhood.
The question and answer segment is next. First, Ian is asked what is the biggest lesson he learned about business throughout the season. He said persistence is key. Next, Kevin is asked what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur . He says it’s focus. The third question goes to Vivica, and she is asked why she didn’t fight harder to be a finalist. She says that she’s a realist and knows that Leeza and Geraldo were much more qualified than her. Mr. Trump is impressed with Vivica’s answer.
Afterwards, Melissa Rivers is introduced and Mr. Trump asks how she’s doing before we see a video tribute for Joan Rivers. It’s a very touching video that shows her time on the show as a contestant and adviser. There is a standing ovation in the studio before it goes to the next commercial break.
We return from the commercial break and Mr. Trump asks fired contestants who should win. Kenya says it should be Geraldo. Kate also believes that Geraldo should win. Vivica believes it should be Leeza, and notes she would be the first female winner since Joan Rivers. Gilbert says it should be Geraldo. Jamie says it should be Leeza. Johnny says it should be Leeza. I’m surprised so many people think Geraldo should win since I think Leeza dominated the season.
Mr. Trump then gives Geraldo a minute to tell him why he should win. He talks in circles and says Leeza would be the safe choice and he made good television before he drives home the point that it’s about who raised the most money overall. Before Leeza is given a chance to respond, Mr. Trump reveals that Leeza won the final task. Leeza is given a chance to speak, and she says that she played the game with a lot of heart and integrity. She says she did not play a safe game, but a smart and strategic game. She also speaks about how often she won tasks, and notes how she helped Geraldo finally win a task when she went over to his team as project manager (this caused a big reaction of cheers from the audience). She also brings up the point that she was never brought back into the boardroom when Mr. Trump was to decide who should be fired, whereas Geraldo was brought back several times. Wow, Leeza’s final plea was much better than Geraldo’s. I’ll be stunned if Leeza does not win. She was clearly the better competitor throughout the entire season.
It’s decision time. Mr. Trump reveals that the show has been renewed for another season. He then asks Ivanka about her thoughts. She says there is no wrong decision and gives both Geraldo and Leeza a lot of credit for their efforts. He asks Don Jr. his thoughts. He says he does not envy his father’s position on having to make a decision and commends both Geraldo and Leeza. But who wins? Mr. Trump also commends both Geraldo and Leeza too, but he’s ready to make his decision.
The winner of The Celebrity Apprentice is……Leeza Gibbons!
Congrats to Leeza! She really was the rightful winner. She played a very impressive game from the very beginning and earned her victory tonight. Confetti rains down as Leeza hugs all the former fired contestants. We see her thanking everyone and then embracing her husband before the credits start to roll.
And that wraps up this season of The Celebrity Apprentice. It’s been a great season, and I’m happy to hear that the show has been renewed. Thanks for reading and feel free to post your thoughts on the finale in the comments section below.