A spoiler warning shouldn't be needed here, but just in case: spoilers below for the New Celebrity Apprentice finale.
For its first season not under the guidance of Donald Trump, NBC's Celebrity Apprentice ended up making more headlines for Trump-related reasons than the competition happening each week. But even though the POTUS' social media wars with new star Arnold Schwarzenegger are likely not over, they won't have Celebrity Apprentice ratings to discuss, as the reality show has declared its latest winner! [Drum roll] A big round of applause for the new victor, comedian and TV host Matt Iseman.
I suppose one could call Matt Iseman both the inaugural winner of The New Celebrity Apprentice as well as the Season 8 winner of Celebrity Apprentice and the Season 15 winner of The Apprentice, but we won't let our heads spiral around that one for too long. Tonight's finale came down to just two finalists competing for the top prize of $250,000 for a chosen charity: Team Arete O.G. Matt Iseman and Arete-to-Prim's Boy George. American Ninja Warrior host vs. "Karma Chameleon" crooner. A battle for the ages. Or the ageless.
The big task that Matt Iseman and Boy George were hit with involved setting up an event for Carnival Corporation that meant beaucoup chances to raise money. Each contestant planned and put on his own variety show extravaganza, and if you thought it wasn't going to include a Wilson Phillips cameo and some baby kangaroos, you'd have been wrong! Boy George admittedly had the livelier affair, what with more famous faces and the sight of Arnold Schwarzenegger cutting a rug, but after all the funds were tallied, Iseman had raised over $573,000 for the Arthritis Foundation, compared to Boy George raising just under $445,000 for Safe Kids Worldwide. All for a good cause, to be sure, but in this case, it caused Matt Iseman to get the win.
The two finalists shared a lovely exchange following the finale's airing, proving that for all the hubbub, this show can really do some good things for people.
As of this writing, Donald Trump has not taken to his Twitter account to comment on the winner of tonight's Celebrity Apprentice, though he may chime in tomorrow after the ratings report comes out. And by "may," I mean "definitely will if he hasn't already." These are strange times.
Celebrity Apprentice isn't locked in for a future season with NBC, and while the appeal of having Arnold Schwarzenegger on board (among other things) will likely lead to another batch of episodes ordered, the show's weekly ratings have been sagging. Both in viewership, last week's episode drew a season-low audience of 3.48 million viewers in Live+Same Day stats, as well as another season-low rating of 0.9 in the key demographic of adults 18-49 years old. It's currently closer to the bottom of Monday night programming than the top. Get to the toppah!