After a two-hour extravaganza (Tim Tebow! Magic tricks! Songs!) and the revelation that both Trace Adkins and Penn Jillette can launch semi-successful ice cream flavors and socials, it was time for one last firing and for one of the finalists to emerge victorious in this b-a-n-a-n-a-s season. Spoiler alert: Don’t keep reading if you haven’t watched the All-Star Celebrity Apprentice season finale. My recap will be up at 2 a.m. Update: Here it is!
Trace Adkins is the winner, meaning that Penn Jillette was fired by Donald Trump. The choice didn’t just come down to money, even though Trace raised more than Penn. Instead, it was a mixture of success at the Final Challenge as well as other business-y traits that Trump found appealing. Would either finalist have preferred the other to lose? Trace and Penn were so close. One was an atheist! The other was the devil! (Says the atheist ) As Penn told Trace during their respective events: One of them would win, but it wouldn’t be by much.
Can I admit that I was surprised by how well both guys held up in the finale? It would have been fun to see them crack, to actually see Trace hit Penn, or have Penn sick Teller on Trace. But it was more fun, I think, to see them go macro on such a micro challenge. Whose social would be better, for them and for charity? The answer, it turns out, is Us, America.
The elimination ceremony was inter-cut with footage from the challenge — a live-action circus equal parts gauntlet, verdict, and variety hour. Dee Snyder came back! Claudia came back! (What’s she been doing? I hope she’s happy.) Of course Omarosa was there, celebrating “10 years with the franchise.” Of course Donald wanted to know if she and Claudia and/or she and La Toya are friends. At one point, Penn encased Teller’s head in concrete and then smashed it apart (I think). Trace sang again. The elimination was deep, y’all — literally, the stage was stacked. So much was happening in the fore- and backgrounds, simultaneously. It was the Citizen Kane of finales:
Penn sold more ice cream and Trace raised a “tremendous” amount of money, but I like to think that Stephen Baldwin was winning because Stephen Baldwin wasn’t paying attention.
Was Trace the rightful winner? Sound off below!