Donald Trump crowns Arsenio Hall as winner of NBC's 'The Celebrity Apprentice'by jmaloni
"The Celebrity Apprentice" raised more than $2 million for charity this season
Host and Executive Producer Donald J. Trump named legendary late-night talk show host Arsenio Hall as the next "Celebrity Apprentice" on Sunday's live season finale, concluding a controversial and closely watched fifth season of "The Celebrity Apprentice." Hall beat pop star Clay Aiken in the finale held at the Museum of Natural History in New York City. That event was followed by a party at the museum sponsored by Walgreens and Crystal Light.
In addition to the celebrated boardroom showdown, the finale revealed that Hall's designated charity will receive the $250,000 prize, which will be added to the show's total charity earnings for the season of $1,903,406. Hall raised a total of $522,100 for the Magic Johnson Foundation, while Aiken raised a total of $361,500 for The National Inclusion Project.
"Arsenio Hall clearly demonstrated that he has what it takes to be a winner," Trump said. "As the new 'Celebrity Apprentice,' he represents all the qualities necessary to follow through and come out on top with very significant winnings for his charity, Magic Johnson Foundation. Arsenio was smart and a good team player. He proved he had a winning strategy to make it through the grueling schedule. I congratulate him on his win - Arsenio's a star all the way and clearly back on top."
"Allow me to begin by saying, 'Woof Woof Woof!' This has been an amazing experience," Hall said. "I can't wait to deliver this $250,000 check to my friend "Erv" (Magic) for The Magic Johnson Foundation - it's a dream to be able to support the important work they do on a daily basis and I am humbled to be able to contribute to their ongoing mission. Working with Mr. Trump and his incredible staff on "The Celebrity Apprentice" has been an honor. And last but never least - I want to congratulate my lil' brother Clay, because tonight we are both truly winners! Reality's Batman and Robin! I will always treasure that friendship."
In the episodes before the finale, Trump called on last year's "Celebrity Apprentice" finalists, John Rich and Marlee Matlin, to interview the four remaining celebrities and help him choose the finalists. Trump then issued the last, and most challenging task: To create, host and sell tickets to a celebrity charity event, featuring a charity awareness ad and a variety show, starring none other than ... themselves. Eight celebrity contestants returned to help them and the two finalists had to work together to make sure the show went off without a hitch. With 10 celebrities performing it was the biggest finale event to date.
In addition to Walgreens and Crystal Light, this year's sponsors included Entertainment.com, Farouk Hair Systems, General Motors, Good Sam, Ivanka Trump Collection, Kraft, O-Cedar, Five Star Fragrance and The Mars Company.
When the season began on Feb. 12, the women included supermodel Cheryl Tiegs, pop star Debbie Gibson, actress and multi-Grammy winner Tia Carrere, author and reality star Victoria Gotti, comedienne Lisa Lampanelli, former Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza, singer and actress Aubrey O'Day, actress and model Patricia Velásquez, and star of "Real Housewives of New Jersey" Teresa Giudice.
The men included radio host Adam Carolla, the
"Incredible Hulk" Lou Ferrigno, magician/comedian Penn Jillette,
rock star Dee Snider, actor George Takei, IndyCar legend Michael
Andretti, and star of "American Chopper" Paul Teutul Sr.
Trump advisors included Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Eric Trump, as well as longtime Trump Organization employee George Ross.
For more information, visit NBC.com's official show site:http://www.nbc.com/the-apprentice/.