John Rich wins “Celebrity Apprentice”

By Kim Palacios The race between actress Marlee Matlin and country singer John Rich was a close one, with Rich coming out on top. Yet, his victory came in the wake of a major gaffe that could have cost him the title: during the finale, he announced his task’s main act, Def Leppard, some 20 minutes before they were ready to arrive on stage.

The final task itself was sponsored by 7-UP brand soft drink, which challenged Matlin and Rich to develop “retro” marketing campaigns that alluded to the 1970s and 1980s. Matlin was assigned the 1970s and chose a “Feel the Love” theme and a final presentation that brought in the Harlem Globetrotters. Rich was assigned the 1980’s and utilized rockers to take audiences back—Dee Snyder was involved as well as Def Leppard.

Unlike Trump’s original “The Apprentice”, in which contestants competed for a job working for the boss, “Celebrity Apprentice” finds players competing for dollars that will go to the charities of their choice. The finale usually promises the biggest purse, often featuring a set of generous last minute donations from featured companies or from Trump himself. Throughout the show, Rich raised more than $1M for his charity, St. Jude’s Children Hospital, and raised more than $250k during the finale alone.

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