Former tabloid editor Piers Morgan recently won the US Celebrity Apprentice (watch on youtube). I’ve been watching random clips on the entire show on youtube (clips of US Apprentice on youtube) and it certainly has been entertaining; much more than I originally thought it would be.
One of the things that really got boring about the Apprentice was the concept that it was all a pantomime, complete with boo-hiss villains; and contestants who played up their egos for the cameras and everyone forgetting what the “game” (if you can call it that) was really meant to be about. However, this show was different. Perhaps it was the diverse range of characters, or perhaps Morgan added that raw edge and clarity that seemed to be lacking from both UK and US versions of the Apprentice.
Amongst the many competitors were Carol Alt, Lennox Lewis, Tito Ortiz, KISS front-man Gene Simmons and co-finalist and country star Trace Adkins. And Omarossa, a former contestant of the US Apprentice, returned; causing havok wherever she went.
Morgan’s strategy throughout the game seemed to be at times very up-front and in your face. At times Morgan’s strategy could be described as Machiavellian, especially during the episode where he played Soprano’s actor Vincent Pastore against his own integrity and in the process tried to cause subterfuge against the female team.
In the final Trump had a situation where he pitched “Good (Trace Adkins) vs. Evil (Piers Morgan)” and really put himself in an impossible situation.
Throughout the competition Morgan has been in your face and reinforcing the idea that the only way to get ahead or at the top is being nasty; whereas Adkins played it smooth, smart and with focus on his charity.
Some commentators and bloggers have said that Trump could have made a statement about this. He (Trump) could have awarded Adkins the win and claim that you don’t have to be nasty, don’t have to be Machiavellian and don’t have to be money-driven to win or get ahead. Trump could have used the opportunity to say that the all American values that Adkins represented still meant something, even in the 21st century.
However, I think that as soon as Trump pitched the idea “Good vs. Evil” he put himself in a knot. He couldn’t deny that Morgan raised more money, brought more celebrity and ultimately more “bums on seats” throughout the whole competition.
In the end, Trump could not appear to be hypocritical to the show’s ethos of “who raised the most money for charity”.
Whilst I agree with the idea that Trump had a perfect opportunity to say something about “capitalism vs. personal values”, I feel that in the end, the bottom line mattered the most; and in the end both charities benefited greatly.
Morgan’s donated his winnings to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund charity.
Links and resources;
- US Celebrity Apprentice homepage (NBC)
- Clips of US Celebrity Apprentice (Youtube)
- Piers Morgan Wins ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ (Associated Press))
- Piers Morgan wins US Celebrity Apprentice but is branded ‘evil’ (Times Online)