Season 14 of NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” finally came to a close on Monday as the two finalists, Leeza Gibbons and Geraldo Rivera, finished out their final task and joined Donald Trump at the live finale boardroom.
After a very long season that saw incredible feuds, had some shocking and bizarre moments as well as having raised thousands of dollars for various worthy charities, Leeza Gibbons was named the 2015 Celebrity Apprentice. Ultimately it came down to the fact that she simply had a better track record than her competitor. She was never once sent back to the boardroom throughout the entire season. Meanwhile, Rivera was sent back more times than anyone else in the competition. When Donald Trump gave her a chance to make a case for herself, Gibbons was quick to remind him, and the live audience, that she saved Rivera’s bacon as project manager when she was put on Team Vortex to pull it out of a five-task losing streak.
The two-hour block kicked off with the thrilling conclusion to last week’s final task, which saw Gibbons and Rivera have to make a commercial and create a presentation to promote Universal theme park and resort. Last week’s episode ended on a bit of a cliff-hanger when Rivera’s team only had a half hour left to film while his cast of children was at the other end of the park. Luckily, he managed to get everyone in place in time and the rest of filming anti-climactically went off without a hitch. Meanwhile, Gibbons' team was running like a well-oiled machine thanks to the impeccable leadership of Kevin Jonas. Although he was eliminated in the second week of the competition, he proved an incredible competitor. Trump even confessed that he saw him winning the whole competition if it wasn’t for his one tiny mistake that got him fired. But no one out thinks Donald, so here we are.
Gibbons ended up winning the competition with many finding her commercial more informative and Geraldo’s commercial having entirely too much Geraldo. While the first competition was winding down, Trump brought out the 13 previously fired contestants (Shawn Johnson was unable to make it to New York City from Nashville due to the weather). After completely butchering Keshia Knight Pulliam’s name, Trump proceeded to make most of them sit there awkwardly and didn’t talk to them for more than an hour. Seriously, Kate Gosselin didn’t say one single word at the finale. Miss Universe, Paulina Vega stopped by briefly, because Trump basically owns her. She admitted that she hoped her profile was large enough to allow her a spot on “Celebrity Apprentice.”
Trump did manage to address the most shocking moment of this season, appropriately known as “Phonegate.” While project managing a task that she would later be fired for failing, Kenya Moore was accused of stealing Vivica A. Fox’s phone and sending an embarrassing tweet about menopause. All night the show teased that we would finally get to the bottom of this crime. During the live show, with dozens of eyes on her, Trump asked Moore directly if she took the phone. Moore said “no” but Fox maintained that she was lying. So, ultimately the promise to get to the bottom of the scandal was a lie, but it was nice to see the two women go at it once again.
After the dust had settled on all of the recapped drama from this year’s volatile competition, Gibbons ultimately walked away with her head held the highest. Not only did she win the competition, but also she did it with class and a poise that was unparalleled. It was almost possible to forget she was even a part of the show in the earlier rounds. She never caused drama and always managed to get through each of her tasks with an apparent ease. Meanwhile, Rivera irritated everyone in the room and watching at home. As we close the book on another long season of D-Listers competing for dominance, we can sleep with ease knowing that NBC has picked the show up for a 15th Season.
Odds and Ends
- The contestants were very generously described as “the biggest names in the business.”
- Seriously, Kevin Jonas should have won. Nothing against Leeza, but the man parted a crowd of tweens like it was the Red Sea.
- "Guess I’ll just sit here.” – The four people Trump brought on stage and didn’t talk to for at least an hour.
- Although he didn’t win, like I’d hoped, Ian Zeiring brought in $30,000 for a charity that wasn’t even his. At the end of the day, this crazy show really does do good for some worthwhile causes.
- Geraldo got Lorenzo Lamas’ show wrong and Ian Ziering’s name wrong… Unacceptable in a finalist.
- Tony Orlando really made an impact – he almost got a tear out of my eye when he was talking about Geraldo’s expose. It really proves that journalism can have a great impact on the world and… Never mind, Olivia Newton John is here.
- Gibbons was the first and only person to beat Rivera in fundraising, earning about $200,000 more than the newsman in the final task.
- The show brought out Melissa Rivers to help pay a tribute to her mother, and “Celebrity Apprentice” winner, the incomparable Joan Rivers.
- Trump confirmed it, see you for Season 15 everyone!