Donald Trump finished this season of The Celebrity Apprentice by declaring when he was announcing the winner that he was doing “something different.” This came after he had just spent several minutes telling everyone how closely matched the efforts were of his two finalists, Marlee Matlin and John Rich. It certainly seemed like he was going to declare two winners. Instead, there seemed to be a skip in the continuity of his speech, and this moved into Trump declaring John the winner of season four.
No one is surprised to see John Rich named the winner, although perhaps Marlee Matlin was. What is questionable is why Donald Trump thought this was something different. Choosing the person everyone expected to be the winner as the winner certainly isn’t different. And why did a short skip occur on something that was supposed to be airing live?
The two-hour season finale played out exactly as anyone would expect it to. Marlee and John were project managers of a final task to put out complete advertising for the 7-UP Retro campaign. They designed packaging, advertorials, created a commercial, and put on an event announcing the product with special guest stars.
Both Marlee and John had problems they had to work through, just like every season finale of The Celebrity Apprentice or The Apprentice. Sometimes it seems like they are given those problems as tests. Marlee had to find a way to work through a contract snafu of her spokesman Geoffrey Holder. In fact, it was Meat Loaf who worked through the issue and found a way to get Mr. Holder there.
John originally had issues with his special guests, the rock band Def Leppard, as they disagreed on what the band would be allowed to play. He got that all settled, and just when everything was going well, another problem popped up, and it was a big one. John introduced the band, and they didn’t show up. There was some type of time conflict, but he did what he needed to do, and ran onstage with his guitar and improvised some songs to grab the crowd and fill the time until the band could get there.
With both tasks completed, the only thing left to do was declare a winner. Trump talked to the fired celebrities to get their opinions, but one voice who had previously been very outspoken was silenced. Richard Hatch (to David Cassidy’s delight) had gone back to prison for his tax fraud charge, and couldn’t give his opinion. However, a majority of the other celebrities were siding with John for the win. Star Jones believed the win was John’s, because he had gone on to do fundraising he wasn’t even asked to do on this task. He went above and beyond the task, all in the name of charity.
After pleas from the two finalists, Trump decided on his winner. He mentioned how tough it was and that he had never had such a close finale before. He then mentioned he was going to do something different, and the camera skipped a few beats, before he then declared that the winner of this season of The Celebrity Apprentice is John Rich.
It’s unclear how a live event could have had the tape skip ahead like that, but there’s a strong chance it could have been on a tape delay, what with the volatile Meat Loaf in the room and sitting next to Gary Busey. It doesn’t seem like Trump would have been using profanity, so what were they editing out? It certainly seems like he had decided to declare two winners, but was then stopped and forced to name just one winner, and decided on John Rich.
If that wasn’t what happened at the end of the episode, someone, whether it’s Donald Trump or someone else connected to the show, needs to tell fans what happened in those last few minutes and why he felt declaring John Rich the winner was “something different.”
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Photo Credit: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC