'Celebrity Apprentice': And the winner is...

Image credit: Heidi Gutman/NBC

History was set to be made on the fifth season of The Celebrity Apprentice this evening — the kind of history that matters only to people like myself who obsess over absurd reality shows where Playboy models and people that used to dress up in green body paint pretend to work for Donald Trump for a few months in the hopes of being hired for a job position they will never fill. Before all was said and done this evening, Trump would be crowning either the first ever African-American Celebrity Apprentice (Arsenio Hall) or the first gay Celebrity Apprentice (Clay Aiken). To find out who won, and to sound off about the decision, read on for more. [SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you have already watched Sunday’s episode of The Celebrity Apprentice or want to know who won the show.]

It was déjà vu for Clay Aiken all over again. Nine years after Clay lost to Ruben Studdard in the American Idol finals, the crooner again had to settle for reality show runner-up honors, as his friend Arsenio Hall was named the winner of The Celebrity Apprentice. Along with the title — which is purely ceremonial since Arsenio will not actually go to work in any capacity for the Trump Organization — comes a $250,000 prize for Arsenio’s charity, the Magic Johnson Foundation. Trump’s decision was somewhat of a surprise since Arsenio at one point had a major blow-up at his nemesis Aubrey O’Day. (Clay also outgained Arsenio in party ticket contributions for the final task with $301,500 to $167,100 — money that each player got to keep for his charity.)

But while Clay’s carnival-themed party appeared to be superior to Arsenio’s more straightforward soiree, Arsenio scored major points for his PSA ad, which in grand Celebrity Apprentice fashion included lots of ridiculous wigs and costumes — as well as a cameo by Magic Johnson himself. In the end, that was enough for Trump to declare the former talk show host the victor, no doubt setting off canine celebrations in dog pounds from coast to coast.

My full Celebrity Apprentice finale recap will be up soon. [UPDATE: Dalton's full Celebrity Apprentice recap is now live!] But you can sound off on Trump’s verdict right here and right now. And also make sure to treat yourself to a wild podcast interview with the final two, where Clay and Arsenio discuss the entire season, including their hotheaded moments with Dayana Mendoza and Aubrey O’Day. Not only that, but i just posted a brand new interview with the victorious Arsenio. And for more reality rambling all year long, follow me on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

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