Clay Aiken is a runner up once again!
The "American Idol" Season Two crooner famously lost to Ruben Studdard. Nonetheless, Aiken went on to become the bigger star. For some, it was deja vu as late night legend Arsenio Hall defeated Clay and was chosen as Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice."
Trump repeatedly called this season of the the show his "biggest ever." Eighteen celebs from every corner of the entertainment biz competed for the title and opportunity to win money for charity. Winner Arsenio raised money for the Magic Johnson Foundation and HIV/AIDS awareness. Finalist Aiken's charity is The National Inclusion Project.
For the finale challenge, Trump invited back former contestants to help Aiken and Hall. Team Arsenio consisted of comics Adam Carolla and Lisa Lampanelli plus reality wildcards, Paul Teutul Sr. and Teresa Giudice. Team Clay included magician Penn Jillette along with singers Debbie Gibson, Twisted Sister Dee Snider and the brazen Aubrey O'Day.
The judging was based on the finalists' abilities to raise money, put on a variety show and throw a great event. It seemed as if Clay had it in the bag. His event was a bold a colorful carnival. He also raised about twice as much cash as Arsenio.Their variety shows seemed about equal.
So what happened?
When it was time to choose a winner, Clay was fired and Arsenio was hired. Clay's ongoing "pick me because I'm the underdog" rant was matched by Arsenio. The old school host shared his own tales of being an underdog and yearnings for a comeback. Clay is young and fresh with the world at his feet. Perhaps Trump felt that the older Arsenio, who was undefeated as a project manager, needed the "title" more to revitalize his career.
Claymates, meanwhile, are furious. They are taking to blogs, facebook and twitter to sound off. They feel that Clay was robbed. Some bloggers are even wondering if his loss had to do with his recent comments in favor of marriage equality.
The great thing is that clearly both Arsenio and Clay respect and admire each other. Their "That's What Friends Are For" duet was the highlight of the evening. Who knew that Arsenio could sing? He also looked 20 years younger with his hair than the bald look he sported all season.
We almost expected our girl Aubrey to pull a Kanye West and run up on the stage. She indicated on the show that she was cheated out of being a finalist. Luckily, that did not happen.
Congrats, Arsenio! We look forward to your comeback.
What do you think?
Was the right man chosen as "Celebrity Apprentice?" Was Clay cheated? What do you think of Arsenio? Is it finally his time again?
Are you Team Arsenio or Team Clay? Or are you Team Aubrey?
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- Arts & Entertainment
- Clay Aiken
- Arsenio Hall
- Donald Trump