Celebrity Apprentice 2012: Finalists Aiken, Arsenio, Aubrey

You've got to be tough, relentless, and know when to keep quiet to be named Celebrity Apprentice. The three finalists are in it to win it for their charities.  Photo: NBC Universal

SAN DIEGO, May 7, 2012 — “Celebrity Apprentice” is down to the home stretch until the final episode on May 20 when the winner and new Celebrity Apprentice will be selected by Donald Trump. Five players remained: Clay Aiken, Teresa Giudice, Arsenio Hall, Lisa Lampanelli, and Aubrey O’Day.

With only five people left, there is nowhere to hide. Everyone needs to contribute in a visible, real way.

The teams of Lisa Lampanelli and Clay Aiken as Team Forte faced off against Arsenio Hall, Teresa Guidice and Aubrey O’Day as Team Unanimous to determine the final four. The teams were asked to create a four-page print ad campaign for the “Chi Touch” digital touch screen hair dryer, and pitch it to parent company Farouk Systems and Elle Magazine execs. Can you say “product placement”? No one does product placement better than Donald Trump and Celebrity Apprentice.

Guidice and Lampanelli were project managers, and had to negotiate for their models. Guidice let Lampanelli get the upper hand, big surprise. Team Unanimous ended up forgetting about their models and used team member O’Day as the model.

The executives selected Team Forte’s ad as their winner, and Donald Trump fires Teresa Guidice because her team lost under her as project manager; Trump was critical of her poor negotiation skills with Lampanelli. Up against four entertainment professionals, Guidice could walk away with her head high for getting to the final five, but at this stage she was over her head.

The five finalists on Celebrity Apprentice 2012: Teresa Guidice, Arsenio Hall, Aubrey O’Day, Clay Aiken, Lisa Lampanelli. Photo: NBC.

The Final Four of Clay Aiken, Arsenio Hall, Lisa Lampanelli and Aubrey O’Day head back to the Boardroom, where Trump sends them to the Job Interview from Hell. The reigning Celebrity Apprentice, country music star John Rich, and his runner-up, actress Marlee Matlin put the finalists through the ringer they know all too well to make their recommendations to Trump on the which of the last competitors standing will get to the final two.

Matlin showed her ability to see through puffery and size up the sincerity of the contestants. A real passion by each celebrity for his or her charity and the ability to own their mistakes impressed her. Rich challenged the four finalists and didn’t let any of them get away with canned answers. He looked for toughness and a relentless focus on winning.

John Rich, last season’s Celebrity Apprentice, with The Donald. Photo: NBC

Despite being the top money earner for her charity out of the final four, Lampanelli was fired because she was considered overly emotional.

After the show on Sunday Lampanelli remained upbeat and cheerful with her Twitter followers, thrilled to have won so much money for her charity, the New York based Gay Men’s Health Crisis, and told them she looks forward to returning for the two-part finale. Lampanelli tweeted, “Thank God!! Now I can go get my roots done!!!!!”

Finalist Aubrey O’Day is resilient, creative, smart, and tenacious. She’s willing to stand her ground and speak up for herself, keys to winning. But despite her attributes she seems insecure. Whether it’s due to her age (27), or being underestimated as a young attractive woman, she comes off defensive and she hits back by being self-aggrandizing. It may leave her short of the finals.

Finalist Clay Aiken was underestimated by a lot of people, including this columnist. Claymates, I’ll say again you were right! We should have known that anyone who can conquer the pressure cooker that is American Idol can do anything. During the show John Rich tweeted Aiken and apologized for his tough interview saying “I was hitting ya pretty hard dude.” Aiken replied to Rich “You were the toughest part of the season! Ha!”

Finalist Arsenio Hall showed why he enjoyed so much success as a talk show host and comedian. He showed fire when needed but hasn’t let his emotions get the better of him. He’s also been one of the few competitors smart enough to get out of the way of trouble and avoid other peoples’ drama. He also demonstrated in his interview with Rich how much he wants to win. I like his chances of going all the way. 

“Celebrity Apprentice” airs next Sunday, May 13, and the final follows one week later on Sunday, May 20, both at 9 p.m. Eastern/Pacific on NBC.

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. Read more Media Migraine in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.


Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities at WashingtonTimes.com” when quoting from or linking to this story.  

Copyright © 2012 by Falcon Valley Group

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Gayle Falkenthal

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, MS, APR, is President of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego based communications consulting firm. Falkenthal is a veteran award winning broadcast and print journalist, editor, producer, talk host and commentator. She is an instructor at National University in San Diego, and previously taught in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University.


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