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'Celebrity Apprentice' Got It Wrong — Clay Aiken Should Have Won

Mon, May 21, 2012 12:10pm EDT by Andy Swift 137 Comments
Arsenio Hall Celebrity Apprentice Winner 2012

Do you think Arsenio deserved his victory, or was Clay totally shafted? Vote now!

How many of you were surprised when Donald Trump told Arsenio Hall he was hired on the May 20 season finale of The Celebrity Apprentice? Oh, everyone? Me too, because it seemed that all signs were pointing to Clay Aiken as this season’s champion. Not only did Clay’s team earn more for his charity — he raised $301,500 while Arsenio only raised $167,000 — but nearly every returning contestant polled said they expected Clay to win.

So what happened?

The Donald attempted to justify Arsenio’s win during a May 21 appearance on the Today show — he explained that Arsenio remained undefeated throughout the competition, while Clay lost one week as Project Manager — but I’m not buying it.

Doesn’t everything in the business world come down to the almighty dollar? I’m no Trump, but I’d rather have someone like Clay at the helm of my company, knowing that he’d make more money for me even if he did lose out on one little account. And shouldn’t the contestants’ massive age gap — Clay is 23 years younger than Arsenio — prove even further that Clay has a natural business sense?

My suspicions increased when Arsenio started talking about how his experience on The Celebrity Apprentice could lead to more TV opportunities.

Arsenio Hall Talk Show In The Works — Major TV Networks Trying To Win Over Winner Of Celebrity Apprentice 2012

“This show — [Trump] believing in me, NBC believing in me — has kind of allowed me to re-enter [the TV world]” Arsenio said. “The greatest builder in the world has built a bridge I’m going to walk across back into into show business.”

Is it possible that Arsenio’s Apprentice win was really just part of a much larger comeback plan for the former late-night host? Everyone is buzzing about Arsenio getting a new show, and you have to admit, the Donald will have major bragging rights when he finally does.

What do YOU think? Did Arsenio deserve to win this season’s Apprentice, or was Clay robbed of the title? Drop me a comment with your reaction to the winner, and your thoughts about the late-night conspiracy.

— 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