Leeza and Geraldo Faceoff – Celebrity Apprentice Finale
For a while there, it looked liked we’d be eating a little crow as far as our prediction on who would win Celebrity Apprentice in Season 7 and that huge $250,000 prize for their charity.
We predicted it would come down to Leeza and Geraldo. Yes, we know, you didn’t have to be an Einstein to figure that one out. And we predicted that Leeza Gibbons would beat Geraldo, even though the almighty Geraldo was formidable when it came to fund-raising, not to mention tooting his own horn.
But surprisingly, Geraldo put in a very good showing in the finale and when his star turned out to be Tony Orlando, doubt crept in. It brought Geraldo to tears when Tony agreed to perform, melting some hardened hearts. Tony told the audience about his sister’s battle with cerebral palsy and Geraldo’s work on behalf of the disabled and mentally ill. (Geraldo won a Peabody Award for for his 1972 Expose of Willowbrook.) Tony’s performance of “Tie a Yellow Ribbon” even had the Transformer Bumblebee dancing.
Olivia Newton-John sang her hit song “Magic” to lend some of that to Leeza’s presentation and it also had everyone singing along and dancing, especially Vivica Fox, who called Olivia her crush.
As for the commercials, as we all knew was going to occur, “familiar icon” Geraldo dominated his but it was still very cute with the kids. He also used the “hero” tip he got from the execs to the best advantage. Leeza’s family oriented commercial was fine but didn’t have the cute factor going on. Nonetheless, she beat him because hers was more family-oriented and better represented that families can have a blast together as opposed to separate activities.
Other highlights of the 2-hour show included a look into the mystery of Viveca’s lost phone and the mysterious menopause tweet. Kenya Moore steadfastly denied any part in the caper but, hilariously, Viveca pointed out that once Kenya started waving her hands around, you knew she was lying. There was a tribute to the late Joan Rivers with clips from her winning stint on the show. Joan’s daughter, Melissa, made an appearance. Ivanka Trump handled a very short Q&A segment with questions from Twitter that had already been addressed throughout the season. A routine from Gilbert Gottfried would have been more entertaining, if one could only trust Gilbert to behave himself for a few minutes.
Surprisingly, Leeza also beat Geraldo on the money aspect of this task. She raised $324,000 to Geraldo’s $146,000. Ultimately, Leeza was chosen the Celebrity Apprentice because she won more tasks than Geraldo did, including that one where she was sent to help get Team Vortex out of the losing streak of the year. It certainly didn’t hurt that she was also able to effectively lead without being obnoxious while Geraldo, at least with his male teammates, was the alpha male all the way (or as Lorenzo Lamas put it, “a pain in the ass.”)
As a result of all of Leeza Gibbons’ hard work, Leeza’s Care Connection, the charity that Leeza started to share her mother’s story and help others dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease, will receive the top prize in addition to the funds Leeza raised.