Image credit: NBC
A WHOOPLOAD "Country star" Trace Adkins squared off against "master illusionist" Penn Jillette in the finale of Donald Trump's ongoing contest to turn celebrities into slaves.
5. "I didn't win any money."
The night's pre-taped boardroom was especially low on drama. Everyone had done so well! Both Joan and Ivanka ran through the teams' small missteps (blah branding; too-specific flavor) while Donald generally congratulated everyone, including himself. He deserves an Emmy! Oh totally: Everyone always thinks the show is scripted, but Trace sticks up for it. Says Penn: "I don’t believe anything is distorted and everything is straightforward and I love that."
Everyone starts sucking up like a firing line that's firing compliments. And then the equation flips: Donald wants to know who hasn't won any money in the competition for their charities. Lil Jon hasn't and La Toya hasn't and Gary hasn't. You get $20,000 and you get $20,000 and you get $20,000. The Donald is firing money! It's simultaneously surreal and humane. Can humanity be pre-processed? There's no way Donald decided to start donating money to charity without a nudge in the script. Sorry! Not-script.
6. Lil Jon's standing ovation
Everyone loves Lil Jon: you, me, the live audience, and most of America. Right before Donald fired one finalist and anointed another, he spun the spotlight to the eliminated all-star. "We've never done this before," he said. "Ever." Lil Jon came up from the peanut gallery to the boardroom table. Lil Jon climbed up on the arm of Joan's chair. Lil Jon was awarded money for his charity. Lil Jon started crying. Lil Jon got a standing ovation that went on for more than a minute. Everyone was clapping. I was clapping. Also: Trace won.
Extra magic: The two hours were really, really good for charities, separate from the rest of the pomp and lunacy. The Red Cross helped Trace in a time of need; Penn spent some sweet, pre-packaged time with Opportunity Village. Dennis Rodman (gasp) put it best: "Everybody here has a great charity." Gary Busey turned the mechanical dog into a lawn mower. And Omarosa has never been friends with La Toya.
Enjoy the congratulatory confetti shower for the rest of the night, y'all. It's back to CSI guest spots in the morning.