'All-Star Celebrity Apprentice' Finale Recap: Vegas vs. Nashville
'All-Star Celebrity Apprentice' Finale Recap: Vegas vs. Nashville
Gina Pusateri
Gina Pusateri
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
It's finally time for Donald Trump to fire his last all-star and, more important, give either Penn Jillette or Trace Adkins the bragging rights of being the first All-Star Celebrity Apprentice winner and receiving an additional $250,000 for their charity.

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Anyone who has seen The Apprentice before knows that they have the unique finale structure where they combine the live reunion show with footage from the final task. For the sake of the recap, though, I'll go through the teams' performances one at a time and then get into the live show.

Team Trace

Trace is still trying to get as much star power to come to his event as possible. He says Tim Tebow, former New York Jets quarterback, is a lock and will bring lots of money. The big trick up his sleeve, though, is having Gary Busey reprise his role as Buddy Holly to sing a song.

On the day of the event, Trace is somewhat nervous that all of the big names keep piling in the door for Penn's side of the room. But he still manages to bring in representatives from Wrangler Jeans and the Academy of Country Music with big checks, along with NASCAR driver Tony Stewart, Billy Ray Cyrus, Wynonna Judd and the incomparable Countess LuAnn de Lesseps from The Real Housewives of New York City.

Trace's video goes over quite successfully. The crowd is highly amused by Gary's dance moves in his video, even though the quality of the video seems a little amateur. The crowd also enjoys Trace's performance of "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk" and Gary's performance of "Fade Away." Overall, the event seems to have been a success, and Trace has never disappointed when it comes to fundraising tasks in the past.

Team Penn

Last time we saw Penn, he was trying to work out the extra 10 seconds in his video. Finding the extra 10 seconds to cut is hard because the magic trick in the commercial is a single take. They finally decide to remove the Dennis Rodman trick-reveal at the end of the video, but show it at the presentation as a "special feature."

The day of the event arrives, and Penn can't be bothered at all with the minor details of the party like the decorations and the signage, so he leaves that to La Toya and Lisa, who are quite happy to contribute in that manner. Some of the stars that Penn brings in are Debbie Harry, Taylor Hicks, Gilbert Gottfried, George Wallace and Wayne Newton. His partner, Teller, the Blue Man Group and the Jubilee Las Vegas showgirls are there too. Dennis Rodman is there in full hair and makeup, so he is kind of like a showgirl too.

Penn and Teller do a magic trick to introduce the ice cream, and then they debut their commercial. Of course, everyone loves the magic, and even Trace cracks a smile during their presentation. Everything seems more professional than Trace's presentation, but who knows if Penn even got close to raising what Trace earned.


Trace says he wasn't as nervous at the final task this time as he was when he was a finalist before, mostly because he's not competing against Piers Morgan, who he liked a whole lot less than Penn. Penn says that his whole Apprentice experience this time around was much improved, due mostly to the people he played with and his positive outlook going in.

The Walgreens executives have mostly positive things to say about both of the teams. They like Penn's ice cream name (Swirtle!), the magic theme of his presentation and the brand integration. The only negative is that the packaging isn't as eye-catching. The execs like Trace's use of Gary during the presentation, the idea of starting a viral video and the name "mash-up" because it appeals to a younger demographic.

At the event, Penn raised about $503,000 and Trace raised $564,000. Trace actually raised over $600,000, but it didn't count because it was brought in after the deadline.

To end the last boardroom, Donald Trump is nice enough to give money to the charities of all the celebs who hadn't raised any while they were there. So La Toya, Dennis and Gary all get $20,000 for their charities.

Live Show

One thing The Apprentice does do a solid job of is intertwining the live show with the footage of the last task. It keeps the audience interested, while at the same time gives Trump a minute or so to catch up with all of the other contestants and put on a bit of a spectacle.

So of course, Penn does a magic trick with an audience member where he makes her glasses appear on Teller's head that's been firmly inside a foam brick for the duration of the trick. And Trace sings a sweet country song (with Penn on bass, because dude has all sorts of talent, apparently) called "Love Wins."

On the catch up with the fired celebs segment, Bret Michaels is MIA for reasons unknown (maybe he's still bitter about being fired first?), and Trump compliments Dennis on his recent political activism in North Korea and his use of purple eye shadow and false eyelashes. Omarosa, who stole Michelle Obama's bangs and your little sister's prom dress, gets into a cat fight with La Toya. And Stephen Baldwin unapologetically kisses Trump's ass.

Both Penn and Trace get a few moments to showcase their charities. As usual, Penn gets rather emotional when talking about Opportunity Village, an organization that helps people with intellectual handicaps find employment. And Trace talks about how the American Red Cross personally helped his family when they lost everything in a house fire.

Then Trump reveals who will win an extra $100,000 from Walgreens for selling the most ice cream. Penn is the winner, which brings his total amount raised for the task above what Trace raised.

Before he announces the winner, Trump asks Lil Jon to join them on the other side of the stage. Since the show has aired, he lost his mother to complications from diabetes. Since he was playing for the American Diabetes Association, Trump donates $100,000 in his mother's name, and there's a huge standing ovation for Lil Jon and not a dry eye in the house. Even Lil Jon sheds a tear; at least, we assume he does behind those sunglasses.

Trump asks his advisers, Ivanka and Joan Rivers, who they think should win. And of course, Joan says Penn and Ivanka says Trace. Trace has raised more money for his charity than anyone in the history of the show, but Penn had the most team wins in the season. In the end, Trump names Trace Adkins the winner of All-Star Celebrity Apprentice.

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(Image courtesy of NBC)