'Celebrity Apprentice' Live Season Finale: Was Arsenio Or Clay Hired?

Sun, May 20, 2012 11:59pm EDT by 77 Comments
Celebrity Apprentice Winner 2012

Clay Aiken Vs. Arsenio Hall! Do you think the right celebrity was hired?

A season of boardroom battles and charitable cat fights came down to The Celebrity Apprentice‘s live finale May 20, and even though the final two contestants couldn’t have been any more vanilla — it was beloved good-guy Arsenio Hall against beloved good-guy Clay Aiken — I was still biting my nails until Donald Trump finally announced his decision to hire…

Arsenio!

Arsenio Hall Won Celebrity Apprentice 2012 — Did The Donald Hire The Wrong Guy?

That’s right, the forever-in-second-place comedian finally came in first — and to be honest, I was pretty surprised! Not only did Clay’s team earn more money ($301,500) than Arsenio’s ($167,000), but most of the returning contestants polled predicted his victory without hesitation.

EXCLUSIVE DETAILS: ‘Arsenio Hall Show’ Take 2 — Big Networks Want To Bring Arsenio Back To Late Night TV

But before we head to the comments section and debate whether or not the right celebrity won, can we all just agree that Clay and Arsenio’s duet of “Lean On Me” was a beautiful moment of television? Really, we’re all winners.

— Andy Swift

More Celebrity Apprentice:

  1. Exclusive: Dayana Mendoza Tells Me Getting Fired Was ‘A Relief’
  2. Exclusive: Lisa Lampanelli Reveals the Moments She Felt ‘Vindicated’
  3. Recap: Penn Jillette & Dayana Gang Up Against Clay Aiken

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Froi

Posted at 2:12 AM on May 21, 2012  

How was Arsenio far more offensive than Lisa?? He got into 1 altercation with Aubrey. Lisa got into fights with Lou, Patricia,Teresa,Victoria Gotti and poor Dayana. She cussed these people out, threw tantrums and did not apologize. So Lisa can bully and cuss out anybody on the show but Arsenio has to be perfect. Hmmmm…
As for the Magic Johnson foundation, it saves lives by testing people of all races for HIV. Not ust Black people like some clueless people think. Educate yourself!

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Chuck P

Posted at 2:11 AM on May 21, 2012  

Donald Trump chose the Black man over the Gay guy. This wsa a business decision for him. There are more Black folks in the country than Gay people. Clay should have won.based on money and talent and all around ability to be real, rather than so fake like Arsenio. If he is fortunate enough to get a TV show again, I wish him well, however I cannot see anything but a short lived show in his future.

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Susan

Posted at 2:10 AM on May 21, 2012  

Clay was a bully who kissed Lisa’s a$$.. Lisa’s money didn’t help Clay either.

Glad that Arsenio won!!!!

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gayle porth

Posted at 2:10 AM on May 21, 2012  

Ii

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CDP

Posted at 2:01 AM on May 21, 2012  

Clay should have won PERIOD

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Deann

Posted at 1:58 AM on May 21, 2012  

Recent reports show African American women have the highest rate of HIV infection. Most of the women were infected by men who vows to love them because they are living a double life. Many African Americans are infected do not know it. The Magic Johnson Foundation is helping to education African American communities on a disease that is killing a community. My question to you about the Foundation not being inclusive, what have the overall medial community doing to educate and provide treatment to community that don’t have a lot trust in doctors and nurses that don’t look like them or live in the community?

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Jo

Posted at 1:51 AM on May 21, 2012  

Clay Aiken is half Arsenio’s age, he raised almost TWICE the money as Arsenio (did I mention on a SIX figure base?) AND this was for a charity this young man started HIMSELF!. The only reasonable explanation for Trump’s “Assenionine” decision is the show must have been masterfully edited to have duped all of us viewers. What other plausible reason could there be? Certainly not as simple as Trump chose to be Hollyweird political, right?

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Lili

Posted at 12:35 AM on May 21, 2012  

I agree with you 100%. Arsenio was by far the best choice

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Marcel

Posted at 12:34 AM on May 21, 2012  

Disappointed in the Donald! Every reason was given to hire Clay, and it’s sad to see that most people playing AND watching thought so too. I think Trump played favorites in the end, regrdless of the facts. Clay should have been much more aggressive about his results in his closing statement but I think he was playing nice…he would have been better off playing against someone he didn’t like…Arsenio wanted it more, poured his passion on the table and Trump bought in to it. Sad ending to a good season.

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Margaret

Posted at 12:33 AM on May 21, 2012  

I agree with your comments. This was a strategic decision. Trump wants as much star capital for himself as possible. Aiken was clearly the winner and had Hall brought in the most money, that would have been the reason for his winning. Also, the Magic Johnson foundation only supports urban minorities — why not all urban people. The charity is not inclusive.

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Lili

Posted at 12:33 AM on May 21, 2012  

OMG…no one was more offensive than Lisa and Aubrey. Overall, Arsenio was the better choice. He raised less money, but Arsenio was undefeated as a project manager. I’m glad Arsenio won.

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Very Happy!

Posted at 12:31 AM on May 21, 2012  

I was extremely happy when I found out Mr. Hall won! He certainly deserves the victory. Aubry and Lisa tried desperately to sabotage Mr. Hall but it didn’t work. Good will always prevail over evil. Mr. Hall is a good, loyal and stand-up kind of gentleman. He’s professionl, intelligent, loving and a WINNER all the way around. Donald Trump made the right decision in making Mr. Hall the “2012 Celebrity Apprentice.” I support his decision 100%!! Congratulations Mr. Hall!!!! I am very, very proud of you and I wish you all the best!

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LittleMo

Posted at 12:28 AM on May 21, 2012  

It’s not always the dollar figure, though, and Joan Rivers was teh right choice. The one who comes the farthest from their starting point with the least “head start” perks at the beginning may have a lower “bottom line” but will turn out to be the better choice.That was the case with Bret Michaels. He made less money than Holly Robinson Peete but she had fundraising experience he didn’t, was already running a fondatino whereas Bret wasn’t. Bret had to learn more and come farther so, even wtih less money, he was the better choice. Same with Joan. This season I could have taken either one.

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Donna M.

Posted at 12:27 AM on May 21, 2012  

There is no reason that Arsenio should have won! All he did was ride the coattails of his team members. Clay worked hard each and every week. Not to mention he showed class! He did not swear like Arsenio and some of the others. Donald must have wanted to make brownie points with Magic Johnson. I thought the Celebrity Apprentice was supposed to be the best candidate. I guess not!

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Janet

Posted at 12:24 AM on May 21, 2012  

Arsion deserved a congratulations from her and not snubbed. She has no class and needs to grow up.

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Janet

Posted at 12:23 AM on May 21, 2012  

A bitch is still a bitch…..and that is Aubrey.

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Rob

Posted at 12:21 AM on May 21, 2012  

I think that Clay Aiken should have won but given Donald Trump’s narcissism, it is no surprise that Arsenio won. Just like when Joan Rivers won, it was a strategic move by Donald Trump as to which finalist could do more good (and/or more harm) to him and his brand. If Arsenio really does get back into the late night talk show arena, Trump just bought himself a boatload of free air time and advertisements. The best that Clay Aiken could do is write a song for him. Based on the money raised, what they showed of both areas, their charity awareness videos, their performances and the input of the other celebrities I really don’t see how Arsenio excelled in any area let alone a majority of them. Oh well, it was a fun show while it lasted but I’ve officially retired from watching it.

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Bea

Posted at 12:01 AM on May 21, 2012  

VERY DISAPPOINTING! What a joke Trump, bad business decision and to think the poor taste in jokes about Clay’s gay status, very poor taste. Lisa could’ve found other jokes to poke fun at…maybe that’s why Clay wasn’t chosen…hmmm, Trump may be homophobia….Clay Aiken-my vote-very impressive presentation.

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CassieInVA

Posted at 11:58 PM on May 20, 2012  

I’m so disappointed in Donald. He must have had an ulterior motive – perhaps he feels Arsenio will be in a better position to boost future Celebrity Apprentice ratings if he gets his talk show? Or Arsenio has more “hollywood and industry” friends? Clay played fair, didn’t resort to nasty foul name calling (Did Donald forget Arsenio calling Aubrey a Wh__ and B____? Really Donald…. what were you thinking? I can’t believe all of THAT was left out of the clips/discussions tonight.

Been a fan since the beginning; but this will be my last year watching… Just can’t get past this.

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debbie

Posted at 11:50 PM on May 20, 2012  

I cannot believe Arsenio won. Clay Aiken was by far the classier, better player. Really Donald??? I’m not sure The Donald cares for southern boys.

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Mary

Posted at 11:38 PM on May 20, 2012  

I was totally, utterly stunned that Arsenio Hall won. Seriously, he was offensive, (far more so than Lisa ever was) over emotional, used emotionalism to overshadow his poor performances time and time again, and quite frankly I was surprised that it worked on Donald Trump! Clay truly emerged the victor and the only thing I can think of is that Clay needed to be far more defined in his belief in himself. Arsenio actually came off quite lazy most of the time! Sorry, wasn’t impressed, plus seriously the Magic Johnson foundation, didn’t Magic just by the Dodgers? Does he really need Celebrity Apprentice to fund his charity, what does the charity actually do? Wow, Arsenio has a long way to go before he can be judging future apprentices!

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papa

Posted at 11:29 PM on May 20, 2012  

great choice good for you AH

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susan

Posted at 11:21 PM on May 20, 2012  

are you kidding me???!!!! … what a sham … i cannot think of one single reason why arsenio hall should have won out over clay aiken … arsenio???? based on WHAT !!! …

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kelli

Posted at 11:17 PM on May 20, 2012  

What a major disappointment!

AH showed his true colors when speaking/swearing
in one of the previous episodes.

Not to mention, Clay raised a MUCH greater amount of money and was a gentleman throughtout.

BIG mistake Donald.

PS. I will NEVER loo or think the same of AH after seeing him on this show.

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ron

Posted at 11:15 PM on May 20, 2012  

Surprised shocked just a few words to describe my reaction
Clay raises more money almost double and it
didn’t matter. I think magic Johnson got a vote

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