All-Star Celebrity Apprentice 2013 winner: Trace Adkins beats Penn Jillette in Apprentice finale

ssorich@ledger-enquirer.comMay 19, 2013 

Trace Adkins beat Penn Jillette to win "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice" Sunday night.

What put Trace on top? Who there ever any concrete logic behind the decisions made on this show? But ultimately, I think Trace's fundraising power gave him the edge over Penn. He consistently raised significant amounts of money for his charity, the American Red Cross, and surpassed Penn in fundraising during the final task.

Plus, I think Donald Trump still holds a grudge over this piece Penn wrote after his first "Apprentice" run.

Among the lines in the 2012 tell-all piece: "Donald Trump just does what he wants, which is mostly pontificating to people who are sucking up to him, while the network people try to manipulate him into making the highest-rated show they can."

Harsh but true?

Either way, Penn addressed the piece on Sunday's finale and said he came to the all-star season with a good attitude that he retained throughout the season. He also apparently wrote a letter apologizing to Trump, who apparently accepted the apology.

That said, the debacle surfaced during the final moments of Sunday's show. Trump asked Penn about the tell-all essay shortly before announcing his decision.

The final task consisted of creating an ice cream flavor for Walgreens, making a commercial for the ice cream and then hosting a fundraising party to promote the ice cream. Trace opted for Maple Macadamia Mash-Up, while Penn created Vanilla & Chocolate Magic Swirtle Ice Cream.

Penn's ice cream out-sold Trace's, we learned on the finale. Penn's charity was Las Vegas-based Opportunity Village.

As the winner, Trace gets a $250,000 bonus check for the American Red Cross.

Am I happy with Trump's decision? Absolutely. I appreciate Trace's laid-back, silent-but-effective leadership style. For example, when Trump asked Trace why he should win, the country singer simply eyed Penn and said, "My ice cream's better than his."

Most importantly, the news gives me an excuse to reuse a video clip from our archives.

Anyone else remember when Trace performed at Sticks Country Music Festival in Auburn, Ala., in 2009?

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