After an epic season of "The Celebrity Apprentice," finalists John Rich and Marlee Matlin rose to the top amid a very dramatic cast of competitors.
In the end, a smoothly run event by Marlee for 7 Up Retro and raising the highest amount of money ever on the series couldn't beat an impeccable body of work and a last-minute, though unnecessary, fundraising effort by John.
In the final challenge, John didn't flinch in the preparation of the event, but a couple mistakes during the actual event may have cost him the win. Donald Trump and the executives weren't happy about not being acknowledged as soon as they entered John's event. And then, John made a mistake that was tough to cover up. He introduced event performers Def Leppard almost twenty minutes too early and they didn't take the stage. Thankfully, he's a musician and was able to pick up a guitar to fill up the space, but not without some worried looks among the crowd.
Meanwhile, Marlee fell into a pattern we have seen before. She can take too much of a backseat to her team. After a while, they began to complain on-camera about being confused as to what they were supposed to be doing. And at this point in the game, one doesn't need such a basic management flaw pointed out by several people for Trump. But, Marlee is naturally a "lead by example" type person. So, when she wrapped her head around the situation, she began doing things herself and delegating tasks. But, was it too little, too late?
Her event ran very smoothly and she didn't make the mistake of ignoring her VIP guests when they arrived. If the event was lacking in anything, it was branding and signage.
There were two things we believe gave John the win. He consistently gives his all and earns great respect from his teammates. And though Trump said it doesn't really count in this challenge, John solicited last minute donations in the amount of $275,000 for his charity, St. Jude Children's Hospital. It didn't hurt that he blamed his timing mistake with Def Leppard on his shock from being presented a huge check. If anyone understands the excitement of money, it's Trump. Well-played, John.
Did you agree with Trump? Was John Rich your pick for the winner?
Photo/Video credit: NBC