Congratulations to John Rich for winning the 2011 Celebrity Apprentice this past Sunday. I’ve been watching the Celebrity version of this show since the beginning. Both Marlee Matlin and John Rich did a phenomenal job in the final task of marketing 7-Up Retro. As impressive as Matlin has been all season, Rich just showed strength of leadership throughout the series that was unmatched.
On a side note, I think every country music fan would have shut off the show in disgust had he lost, with the memory of Trace Adkins losing to the awful Piers Morgan in 2008. So it was a good decision by Trump for that reason as well. Almost as good as his decision not to announce he was running for president (between that and the world not ending, it’s been a pretty good week for the world ).
I was actually excited to hear about the product the two contestants were asked to promote. 7-Up Retro (while probably not going to be nearly as popular as Brett Michael’s Troparocka last year), is a product I’m really looking forward to trying. Growing up in the 70′s, I remember drinking 7-Up and how crisp and refreshing it was. I also remember in my high school and college years when 7-Up turned nasty. I realized later that this is when they changed their formula from using cane sugar to corn syrup. I’m really looking forward to trying it again. Hopefully it’ll be as clean and crisp as I remember it as a kid.
More importantly, of course, is that the specially designed cans that’s in stores around the country will bring awareness to the two charities: Marlee Matlin’s charity The Starkey Hearing Foundation and John Rich’s charity St. Jude Children’s Research Hospitals. Both of these charities change the lives of thousands of children around the country and around the world.
While the figure of over $1 million dollars that Matlin and Rich raised for their respective charities sounds impressive, one important thing to note (as with most causes on this site) is that these represent only a tiny, tiny piece of the money they need to run every day. I think one mistake a lot of people make is thinking, “oh, since they raised a million dollars, they don’t need any more”. Nothing could be further from the truth. More important than the money this show raises is the awareness it brings to some very important causes, which rely on your donations to keep them going.
In addition, it seems that the men’s team forged some pretty deep friendships on the show. Celebrities Meat Loaf, John Rich, Lil John, and Mark McGrath have released a new single under their Celebrity Apprentice name “Backbone”. It’s called Stand In the Storm (Radio Edit) and also available for download at iTunes.
Last but not least, here are the final commercials from the show. Here’s John Rich’s Commercial, featuring Dee Snyder’s return as Twisted Sister.
And Marlee Matlin’s commercial, featuring the return of Meat Loaf and a boy-is-his-voice-still-amazing Geoffrey Holder.
Overall, it was an entertaining season of The Celebrity Apprentice, although ratings are definitely going down. It’ll be interesting to see what the producers of the show do the next go-around to keep the franchise going (my guess is, more outrageous characters and more outrageousness by Donald Trump, both of which could either help them or backfire horrifically). In any case, the show has been great to bring back some long lost celebrities, to help other celebrities cross over into the mainstream, and most importantly, to bring awareness to dozens of charities that otherwise few would have noticed.