SPOILER ALERT: Do not read any further if you haven't watched the Celebrity Apprentice finale episode.
The wait to find out who won Season 7's Celebrity Apprentice is over! Donald Trump called the remaining two contestants into his boardroom for one last time on the Monday, Feb. 16 live finale — and the winner was …..Leeza Gibbons!
With over a million dollars raised for charity in total, Gibbons beat out Geraldo Rivera to the final prize in part by scooping an impressive $324,000 for her cause (Leeza's Care Connection) during the final task. Rivera raised just $146,000 for his charity Life's WORC.
The pair's final challenge was to create a commercial for Universal Orlando Resort along with selling resort packages to raise money for their charities. Gibbons and Rivera then had to present their commercial at a red carpet event in New York.
Rivera got help from previously eliminated contestants Vivica A. Fox, Ian Ziering, and Lorenzo Lamas (having clashed with both Ziering and Lamas in prior episodes) while Gibbons, whose leadership style was completely non-confrontational, was given a team consisting of Kevin Jonas, Brandi Glanville, and Johnny Damon.
The final presentation contained heartfelt speeches from both contestants, although Gibbons got the slight edge by arranging an emotional on-stage performance by Oliva Newton-John.
In the end, when the donations were counted, Trump declared that the result "wasn't even close," and despite the fact that Rivera's overall season-long fundraising total was nearly $300,000 more than Gibbons', Trump declared the entertainment show host the winner.
"Geraldo is a great champion," Trump told Us Weekly, admitting the decision to pick Gibbons was hard. "It helped that he lost the final task because frankly, that made a big difference," he explained of his final choice.
"She led great and so did he but they were very different," Trump continued, talking about the two finalists' leadership style. "It's so rare where you see a style where niceness leads. You just don't see that. So when I watched and saw that, that had a big impact and a lot of the cast felt the decision was the right decision."
For Gibbons, being crowned the winner was an emotional moment. "It feels amazing," she told Us of her win (which includes an extra $250,000 for her charity which helps families with relatives suffering from Alzheimer's Disease in her mother's memory). "Mostly because I made a promise to my mother and now it feels like I've lived up to it. I've made good on it. But everyone worked really hard and it just feels wonderful to be part of something that's able to make a difference like this."
Tell Us: Were you pleased “Lovely Leeza” won, or were you rooting for “Hurricane Geraldo?”
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