*Spoiler Alert* If you haven’t watched the episode yet beware the following recap contains spoilers.
Celebrity Apprentice has crowned a new champion. Pull up a chair and sit down for this two-hour tale that should have been one-hour, except they needed the second hour for all the commercials. After Trump announces to the live audience several times how cold it is outside, like they don’t know that, he tells them that this season was bigger and better (and shorter) than any other season.
We return where we left off last week which was to creating a commercial and presentation for Universal Studio Theme Park. Team Geraldo is nearing an implosion because the kid actors are not where they’re supposed to be. Geraldo tells the kids to keep it moving because they can’t rest on their laurels. Hopefully, Geraldo won’t add motivational speaker for kids to his resume.
Over at Team Leeza they are trying to get a shot near Diagon Alley but the crowd is too big and getting in the way. Luckily, Kevin Jonas turns into Moses, parts the sea of people and they are able to get the shot. Leeza goes back to start the editing process leaving Kevin in charge of the remaining shots. Oh, yeah, there’s also Brandi and Johnny, but who cares.
Back at the live show, Trump introduces Ivanka and Don Jr. who are sitting at the boardroom table with him. Eric who is in the audience. Trump’s wife Melania, who does not look happy to be there, and their children, but there’s only one kid sitting there and apparently he doesn’t have a name.
Back to the video of the task, Geraldo lets Lorenzo, Ian, and Vivica, edit while he tries to secure the entertainment. He’s reached out to Tony Orlando and cries when he learns that Tony has agreed because his sister was developmentally disabled and this is Geraldo’s charity. Ian thinks the commercial is Geraldo-centric when it should have been family-centric if he had been the finalist. #sourgrapes.
Back at the live event, Trump brings out six of the fired contestants and pulls a John Travolta with Keisha Knight Pulliam’s name. Next out is Gilbert Gottfried, Jamie Anderson, Terrence Owens, Kate Gosselin, and Kenya Moore. Missing are Shawn Johnson and Sig Hansen. Sig is probably getting some Alaskan king crab as we speak and Shawn is probably cursed with yet another moon cycle. Trump asks Kenya if she’s a nice person. Kenya says yes and then says, “You look amazing…Ivanka.” Poor Trump thought Kenya was talking to him.
At the red-carpet event Geraldo shares that as an old guy can still get it up. Great. My ears are bleeding again. The Fox news crew shows up to support Geraldo and he is killing it with donations, but don’t count Leeza out, a couple of big checks are showing up for her too.
Geraldo’s presentation is up first and he screws up the names and projects of his teammates. For the last time Geraldo, it’s I-an, not E-an. The commercial is shown and the Universal executives look interested but Don Jr. looks bored out of his mind. Then Geraldo introduces Tony Orlando without the Dawns and he tells the touching story of his sister Rhonda who had the mental capacity of an 8 year old. He credits Geraldo’s exposé of the institution Willowbrook (think AHS-Asylum) to bring awareness to the poor treatment the disabled were receiving. He sings “Tie a Yellow Ribbon” and the entire room joins in. If Geraldo wins, it’s because of Tony.
Next it’s Leeza’s turn. Of course her presentation is flawless. She changed her slogan from the Magic of Memories to Moments of Memories. Good call. Leeza then speaks of her own mom losing her memories and to imagine if this happened to you. All without crying. Leeza thanks Trump for changing her life and giving her this platform. Olivia Newton John comes out and sings her song “Magic.” She sang well but the audience doesn’t join in. It’s a different vibe. Vivica discloses that she has found her girl crush in ONJ. Vivica, girl, you been spending way too much time with Geraldo.
It’s time for the final boardroom. Each of the teammates say warm and fuzzy things about Geraldo and Leeza. Ian says Geraldo is driven and confident. Brandi says Leeza is a leader without an ego. The feedback is given on the executives’ comments. They liked Team Geraldo’s slogan (that was handed to him) but thought the presentation was disjointed. The executives liked Team Leeza’s voiceover, that she covered different theme park experiences, and the fluidity of the story of her charity. However, they didn’t feel like the commercial’s storyline engaged the viewers enough.
Now for a surprise! Geraldo didn’t raise the most money for this task. It wasn’t even close. Geraldo raised $146K and Leeza raised $324K. Having said that, in total, Geraldo raised $725K while Leeza raised $464K for the season. Trumps tells everyone in the boardroom that they are all winners, but then asks the losers to leave.
Back to the live show, Trump attempts to solve phone-gate. He asks Kenya to come clean. She doesn’t and Trump says he believes her. Vivica says once Kenya’s hands start flapping about, the girl is lying. Brandi says that if it wasn’t Kenya, it was her hair or make-up person. Kenya resents this. She is here for charity, people, let’s keep it positive.
Moving on, Leeza and Geraldo are brought out on stage. Trump tells Leeza he’s shocked that she made it this far. He asks how she was able to get along with everyone. Leeza explains that she stayed in her lane, cut out the crazy, and dropped the drama. If only there was another task because there is her new slogan. Geraldo tells his “Boss” Trump that this was a competition and he had a responsibility to entertain.
A touching profile of Leeza’s Care Connection and Geraldo’s charity Life’s WORC is shown and they each speak about what they would do with the $250K. Leeza will invest back in the families that need the support and Geraldo will help the disabled to live fulfilled lives. Ivanka asks twitter questions to the fired celebrities because they must not have enough commercials and need to stretch things out. Melissa Rivers is brought out for a special, tear-jerking, tribute to honor her mother Joan Rivers.
Trump asks several of the fired castmembers who should win and it’s evenly split. The only shocker is Viviva, who worked with Geraldo at the end, and says she wants another woman to win. Because as we know from watching Vivica all season long she’s all about supporting fellow women, just ask Kenya.
Trump announces that the winner of the Universal Studios task is – Leeza. Trump gives each of the finalists one minute to pitch why they should be the next Celebrity Apprentice. Geraldo says he’s the not-safe choice. Leeza says she’s the smart choice. And I’m ready to change the channel if this thing isn’t announced soon.
There’s another round of commercials and Trump proclaims he’s just about ready to make his decision for this year’s Celebrity Apprentice. But wait, before he does that, he wants everyone to know that because the ratings were so good, NBC has extended Celebrity Apprentice for another season. #conflicted. And now that the shameless self-promoting and back-patting is over, Trump is really finally ready to makes his decision. This year’s Celebrity Apprentice is Leeza Gibbons! Yay Leeza! Nice people do finish first!