This season’s Celebrity Apprentice winner had to live in the shadows for much of the competition. When the cast was revealed, John Rich didn’t attract the most attention, at least compared to crazier celebrities like Gary Busey, NeNe Leakes and Star Jones. But while everyone else predictably melted down, Rich became a decided favorite. Therefore, the country star finally took center stage by becoming the big winner Sunday, although this season still won’t be remembered for his efforts.
Warning: Spoilers follow
Rich and Marlee Matlin squared off in the final battle to be the Celebrity Apprentice, as the two waged one final ad campaign for 7UP Retro. But the old contestants got their chance to come back as well, with Gary Busey plugging an Omaha Steaks kite, Leakes and Jones having one last shouting match, and Lisa Rinna showing off her cleavage several times.
However, Rich and Matlin attempted to power through anyway, although Rich stumbled by announcing musical guest Def Leppard 20 minutes early. Yet Donald Trump ignored Rich’s late mistakes, since this final decision had to take the whole body of work into account.
With that in mind, Rich came out on top, as the country star beat out the much more hyped contestants of the season. While all the headlines went to Busey, Jones, Leakes, Rinna, Matlin, Meat Loaf, Jose Canseco, Dionne Warwick and many others, Rich snuck up on everyone to be the last one standing.
But, as always, the wilder celebrities have already defined the season, along with their host. Before last week, the finale stood to be the most hyped of May sweeps, if only because Trump would then be free to run for president. In fact, he was expected to announce right after the finale when he would disclose his presidential plans, according to Fox News.
Instead, Trump sapped all of the suspense by announcing he wouldn’t run last week. Therefore, the finale was made just a little bit more anticlimactic, now that the show is no longer a political talking point. Still, Trump opened the show by walking down a rolling red carpet in New York, so he still had some ego-driven spectacle left over.
Since he won’t be on the campaign trail in 2012, Trump will have to settle for choosing the next Celebrity Apprentice in the spring. However, he can’t tease out a presidential bid in order to boost ratings next year, although he is bound to have something to say about the primaries anyway.
But for at least one moment, the show became more about choosing a winner than it was about Trump 2012 speculation — even if it took until the finale. In the end, Rich stood alone, after everyone finally took their eyes off of Trump, Busey, Leakes, Jones and the rest of the gang.
Entertainment Weekly- “The Celebrity Apprentice season finale recap: Clash of the Titans”
Fox News- “Trump: Stay Tuned for Announcement?”