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

Mon, May 21, 2012 12:10pm EST by 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

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Jeffrey Samuels

Posted at 7:55 PM on September 10, 2013  

No Contest. Clay could never match up to Arsenio. He’s not smart enough.

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Sam

Posted at 7:17 PM on December 9, 2013  

He’s actually a lot smarter than Arsenio. He’s just not a suck up like Arse, that’s all.
He won fair and square, but Trump can choose whomever he pleases since it’s his show.
The show was rigged right from the start–Arsenio was going to win no matter what happened.

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Myrtle Beached Whale

Posted at 11:48 PM on June 26, 2012  

2nd time he has been beaten by a black man with no talent.

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theONLYtruth

Posted at 10:31 AM on May 30, 2012  

Clay’s final task vs. Arsenio was much better. Clay raised much more money. Clay didn’t have an in-season meltdown like Arsenio did with the whimpering and the cursing out of other players. When Clay did have a problem with someone he worked it out and eventually picked them for his final task (i.e. Penn). The other contestants picked Clay to win. Is this a simple case of political correctness, “Let the black guy win”…or might a future Arsenio TV show be produced by Trump?…stay tuned…

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gc

Posted at 12:55 AM on May 30, 2012  

Hands down Clay should have won… he was the best on the show….

Trump might have given arsenio the title celebrity apprentice.. but it sure stinks when all of the other contestants are singing nothing but compliments to Clay and that he was robbed because the fix was in….
its a useless title for a useless man… enjoy it arsenio…
you got fired from your last talk show you had… this on is tanking before it even starts because people will remember this crap that was fed to everyone… no one will watch… just like next season of CA.. hopefully will be the last of this farce…

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Jean

Posted at 7:28 PM on May 28, 2012  

Someone’s futzing with the poll. The majority of people commenting on this site (and many others) thought Clay should have won–and the poll(s) reflected that last week–so……… how come, all of a sudden, on this one, 79 percent of the voters NOW thinkt ‘Arsenio should have won’??? I wish there were some way trolls (the computer geek ones) could NOT futz around with polls-and I don’t mean just this one. Either DT either chose Arsenio from the very beginning of the season or they are BOTH misogynists and DT thought he had more in common with Arsenio than he did with the more moral (smarter and more likable) Clay.

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Tinuke

Posted at 6:13 PM on May 28, 2012  

i’m glad Arsenio won. Kinda knew Trump would see Arsenio as a better fit than the other guy at least judging from his performance in ‘Coming to America’. Akeem & Simi. LOL. Like the show more now.

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Annette

Posted at 7:58 PM on May 27, 2012  

Just watched the last show again. Clay’s party was better, his PSA was better, his show was better. Watch the audience at the end of each show. After Arsenio’s show the croud was clapping loudly. But during & after Clay’s, you could see the crowd really getting into it. They were dancing along, arms were in the air, clapping. Clay raised nearly twice the money. His PSA was much more professional looking while Arsenio’s was cheap looking. I really liked both men & I thought it was great that they were good friends. In the end, Clay did a much better overall job on that last task. But, Arsenio kissed Trump’s butt more, so there you have it. The show is mostly fun to watch but the outcomes often leave a lot to be desired. Piers Morgan won over Trace Adkins only because of the money (that was a wrong decision, too). Since the outcome was probably fixed & apparently, for promotional purposes, I hope Trump at least made a private donation to Clay’s charity as compensation.

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Jenna17

Posted at 11:34 AM on May 27, 2012  

I couldn’t finish watching celebrity apprentice because my TV screen cracked from the sheer ugliness of Aiken. Woof!! Woof!! Wow is he one ugly dude or what? Some kind of freak of nature? Isn’t he a singer for the Senior Citizen crowd or something?

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Rita

Posted at 7:51 AM on May 28, 2012  

Jenna, Jenna, Jenna!! GET A LIFE!! Have you nothiu=ing better to do rhan badmouth somme’s looks? I feel Sorry for you & anyone else wo is SOUGLY oon the inside & has such a MEAN SPORIT! You seriously need help!!!

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Lori

Posted at 6:14 AM on May 29, 2012  

Since when does the way you look determine how a business is run? ? I suppose you’re stunning or believe in your own mind you’re stunning?

Not a fan of the show but caught the last few weeks. Clay Aiken was more productive and effective both as a leader and participant.

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sam

Posted at 4:59 AM on May 27, 2012  

The fact that Arsenio said such terrible things to a woman on TV really makes me wonder where our morals are today. As for who should have won, it should have been Clay but for the fact that he won almost by double the contributions is not a joke, but yet it was pushed aside. But Knowing how Donald Trump is somewhat homophobic leaves a lot to be desired as to why he did not take into consideration how much money Clay raised when in years past that was the deciding factor on many tough endings. Look back on the series and you will see that Donald used the money as a factor but yet in this one he just ignored it. That tells me a lot about Mr. Trump. When Joan Rivers won he adamantly stated that he chose Joan because she raised more money when in fact, it should not have been her to win for many reasons and i like her.

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Mannix

Posted at 9:15 PM on December 23, 2013  

Aurbrey deserved , WHATEVER ARSENIO WON AND THAT’S ALL THAT MATTERS OK YOU RACIST

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Beatrix

Posted at 4:44 PM on May 26, 2012  

I am really amazes at the comments below, first let start with the fact that Clay had two run in with Pin and Diana. He was a coward and didn’t speak up for what he knew was wrong. Going along Lisa to beat up and show no respect for your PM was sad. During the interviews he was challenge with why didnt you step up to the plate more.. He had no response. As PM he lost…..Arsenio, he played his game the entire time. He stood on his principles no one else, being a leader does mean you have insult or ride individuals backs. His run in with Aubrey was necessary, she need to be put in her places and he was the only one that stood up to the terrible two-somes. His language was out of line but well deserved and understood. Everytime he was PM he won!!!! Which makes him a WINNER!!!!! The last task was a matter of taste, and they both did and awesome job!!!!! They play to their strength, and delivery and outstanding product. Now, let me say this I enjoyed Clay and found him to be very professional in some aspect. I was very please with the two of them being the finalist… But please do no say that Clay deserve to win over Arsenio, because if you do the positive and negatives Clay out weights Arsenios. Arsenio, talent also show he can sing just as well….Go back and watch the show…

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gc

Posted at 12:46 AM on May 30, 2012  

you call that singing what Arsenio sounded like… please… even i sound better than that…
arsenio didn’t win any tasks…Aubrey won them for him… he just sat back and agreed and let everyone else do the work while he took the credit… please…
you go back and watch all the show… and point out one task where arsenio actually did something… oh.. he went shopping… hard work !!!

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kathy

Posted at 9:20 AM on May 26, 2012  

I thought Clay should have won just from the fact that Lisa is a filthy mouthed person. What she said in the last show with nothing pure filth. Why Donald thought her comments were appropriate is beyond me. Probably will not watch next season.

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junie

Posted at 8:24 AM on May 26, 2012  

I can’t even believe I watched this show, I ran into the reruns on sat mornings at 6:00 am. I kept with it because I couldn’t wait for Lisa and Aubrey to be booted-they were painful to endure, but I thought Arsenio was a weak player from the beginning and never imagined he would win. He irritated me when he had that stupid talk show. I also thought something funky was going on between him and Donald when Arsenio brought up the careers of Piers Morgan and Joan Rivers post win. Something isn’t right. Clay definitely should have won.

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Joan Norgord

Posted at 3:21 AM on May 26, 2012  

Though Clay has a great deal of talent, has confidence, and proved that he can get a tough task accomplished, he was very unprofessional when it came to dealing with Diana. There she was, the project manager trying to help her team win, and trying to be involved. But Clay preferred to go along with big mouth Lisa. Actually, after he stood there and watched Lisa verbally beat Diana up, he went along with it when he could have said, let’s all do this together. He sounded like a wimpy baby saying I lost precious time trying to teach her about music—so unprofessional. Diana remained composed. She is true professional. She is the real winner.

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Deb

Posted at 9:07 PM on June 2, 2012  

I didn’t think Dayana was professiona at all–unless you call working for Trump professional. Just a bit of a conflict of interest for him to have her on the show–that’s most likely why she lasted so long. She really seemed to be sabotaging Clay during her stint as PM for the Jingle task. Clay had a heck of a lot more patience with her than most people would have. I felt that she was doing her best to annoy him. She even displayed a bit of homophobia when she told him she didn’t think he should sing, ‘Sam, he’s my favorite man.” She ruined that task when she came on stage without a mic and said something that no one could hear.
I did hear her say in a live interview later that she thought Clay was a nice man so I don’t think she was all that upset with him.

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Beat

Posted at 1:07 AM on May 26, 2012  

Clay Aiken should have won hands down. Arsenio Hall was a weak leader (not decisive about anything) and raised less money in the end. Donald Trump is losing his touch.

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Lisa

Posted at 6:10 PM on May 25, 2012  

Clay should have won outright! He was far more the better player and it showed in his final project! I’ve read that Dee Snyder and Adam Corolla were confused why Clay didn’t win too!

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Sharon Woodworth

Posted at 6:17 PM on May 24, 2012  

I think Clay Aiken should have won. Based on the last task, he kept it clean, fun, and entertaining. He earned the most money.
I didn’t like booze at Arsenio’s especially since his charity was for AIDs – so go out, booze it up and have sex I believe was his message……wrong.

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salticid

Posted at 7:17 PM on May 25, 2012  

Yeah, cuz we all know that AIDS is a result of alcohol. Condoms aren’t a solution, but prohibition is! Awareness and education are key, and your comment reeks of ignorance.

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Peg

Posted at 8:32 PM on May 25, 2012  

Actually, AIDS can be an indirect result of alcohol.
People who are drunk often make bad choices and don’t use protection.

 
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salticid

Posted at 11:13 AM on May 27, 2012  

Actually, there are a myriad of consequences that come from impaired judgement and reduced inhibitions. To say that THE message serving alcohol sends is specifically promoting AIDS is incredibly ignorant. It could send maybe 101 different messages, but in a nation where two-thirds of the population drinks – there really is no message at all.

 
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salticid

Posted at 11:35 AM on May 27, 2012  

And a quick follow up – drinking reduces heart disease. Maybe THAT was the message?? Or maybe the message was that alcohol actually increases long-term cognitive performance? Yes, I think that’s the one!

 
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Kristen

Posted at 1:38 PM on May 24, 2012  

Clay won the final project HANDS DOWN! He raised more money than Arsenio, even with all his famous friend contributions.

Clay should’ve used Piers’ argument about the “bottom line”. That’s the only thing that should’ve mattered, but it wasn’t even discussed?? Something sounds a little fishy if you ask me.

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Paula

Posted at 1:21 PM on May 24, 2012  

Trump is a partner, with Magic Johnson, to start a Michael Johnson TV network. And yes, Arsenio would be given a show on that network. Clay absolutely should have won. The final project was a farce – Arsenio would have won no matter what.

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Jozy

Posted at 9:55 PM on May 23, 2012  

I felt the same way about Clay doing an outstanding job and was totally surprised when Trump announced Arsenio the winner. It wouldn’t look good for Arsenio to brag about a TV show after loosing CELEBRITY APPRENTICE, so I guess it was a decision in the boardroom amongst the network and Trump. I was glad it was over so that I didn’t have to hear Lisa being crude one more minute.

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Emily

Posted at 4:54 PM on August 27, 2012  

Clay Aiken had been Shafted all right But Arseno should have been a true Friend and let Clay become the Celebrity Apprentice

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