As we get set to wave goodbye to “The Celebrity Apprentice” for a year, why not take a few minutes in order to see where this all-star edition stacks up against some of the others? This All-Star season had a polarizing end, but rather than just go down the “did Penn get screwed?” road again, let’s instead try to figure out whether or not Trace Adkins is a better or worse winner than some of the other people who previously graced this show.
Our criteria for judging this is pretty simple: Wins as Project Manager, task performance overall, and personal preference. We still like to think it’s a better scale than what Donald Trump actually uses for firing people on the show.
6. Joan Rivers – Let’s be honest: Joan had no business winning this season over “she’s a poker player!” Annie Duke. Joan played okay, but she nearly quit the show at one point over her daughter Melissa being fired. Not only that, but she had time off from tasks for other commitments (a personal pet peeve), and it still feels almost as though Trump picked her more for a final task, and for her celebrity cred, rather than her contributions across the season.
5. Arsenio Hall – Somewhat similar to Joan in that he had some strange behavior at times, was criticized quite a bit, but managed to win over someone in Clay Aiken who seemingly did a little bit of a better job. We really cannot point to a single event in his season where he really shined more so than anyone else on his team.
4. Trace Adkins – Trace is a likable guy with a big heart, but didn’t it feel almost ordained earlier this season that he was going to win? He was a great fundraiser, but it felt almost like he was hired more because Trump had an ax to grind with Penn Jillette over some of the things that he said about him in an article last year, and Penn had a much more dominant game than a man who seemed checked out for at least three episodes of the season. Even still, his body of work does put him above both Joan and Arsenio.
3. Bret Michaels – Slightly underrated here. Yes, he was wacky and created plenty of attention for himself when he didn’t need to. But he was also undefeated as a Project Manager, whereas the woman he faced off against in the finale (in Holly Robinson Peete) was not. While you can debate whether or not he won as a sympathy play, but we really think he would have had a good shot even if he didn’t have that brain hemorrhage in the weeks before.
2. John Rich – Easily one of the best winners of any season of this show (even non-celebrity versions), he managed to be pretty commanding, a creative thinker, and knew how to play the game. The only thing that may slightly diminish him is that he and Lil Jon did almost everything on this season together, and we don’t quite know if he would have done as well had the rapper not been there.
1. Piers Morgan – Now, we come to the man of hour. We wouldn’t want to be on a team with Piers, since he is fiercely competitive, shrewd, and knows how to argue better than anyone alive. However, he was absolutely brilliant on this season with some of the tricks he did. He raised a ton of money (and this was even before he was a big star in America), and he managed to beat Trace at a time when Trump had to take a beating from most of America for firing him.
Who do you think was the best-ever winner of this show? Be sure to share some of your thoughts! Meanwhile, click here if you do want to read even more on the Penn vs. Trace debate that is currently playing out time and time again in our head.