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April - June 2012

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Part 4

After the break we go back to the performanceand Arsenio & Clay are debuting their public service ads.

Clay-ad.jpgClay's ad is simple and straightforward. It's nice and he's agreat spokesperson.

Arsenio's ad seems a littlemore disjointed. Also, when Magic starts talking about the foundation, itsounds like they do way more than AIDS, which hasn't been stressed at all.

Magic-Johnson-ad.jpgWhat is the story with his charity?

Arsenio's performance isfirst and out comes Adam Carolla. It seems since he isn't allowed to roastArsenio, he has decided to roast Donald Trump instead. Okay, so how do you sayTeresa's name? Both Trump and Adam referred to her in this episode as TeresaJew Dice. I thought it was pronounced GeeUDeeChay. Which is it?

Sounds like Paul went offscript and roasted Adam a little bit during the performance. But it seemed toall go well. Lisa takes the stage and is foul and raunchy, which has it's timeand place to be funny, but this charity event doesn't seem like the place. Iwince as she makes allusions to Clay's sore ass because he's gay. Really that'sso funny it's worth going to? Arsenio comes up to the stage and does a niceclean set that is far more appropriate for the venue.

Arsenio-it-is-over.jpgArsenio can relax – for him it is all over.

After the commercial, Ivnakabrings us back to the performance segment to see Clay's team perform.


No-one-ever-thought-you-would-see-the-day.jpgDid you ever imagine you would see the day?

Aubrey-not-transparent.jpgI'm not at all transparent even though I'm wearing a black widowspider

bracelet and I pointedat Sparky during the lyric "how you did me wrong."

Teller-is-awesome.jpgHow awesome is Teller to participate in this?

Debbie and Dee come back on stage and do alittle 80′s musical competition, which is cute, but the crowd clearlyidentifies with Dee. Then Clay comes on and starts belting out the theme songfrom Dirty Dancing and then Aubrey joins him. They sound great.

Aubrey-kisses-Clay.jpgThis is becoming a common thing with these two.

The show is over. Arseniosays he wishes he were playing against someone he didn't like. But these twoare rooting for each other as much as they are hoping they will win.

Clay-hugs-Arsenio.jpgClay has no idea a conspiracy is afoot.

And so we come back fromcommercial and now I understand why the crowd is so much more into this crapthan I am.

Audience-fluffer.jpgThere is an audience fluffer.

Final boardroom

Ivnaka-bored.jpgIt's so boring, even Ivanka's mind starts to wander.

Arsenio's team raised$167,100.00.

Clay's team raised $301,500.00.

That's a huge difference!That right there seems like it should prove who the winner should be.Especially since Arsenio was getting big hitters like Eddie Murphy and Jay Lenosending him money.

We cut back to the live showand Trump introduces the two finalists.

Arsenio-hair-growing-back.jpgI like Arsenio's hair growing back like this.

Celebrity Votes:

Penn: Clay Aiken

Dee: Clay Aiken

Lisa: Clay Aiken but with Arsenio getting his own late night show next fall

Debbie: Clay Aiken

Dayana: Arsenio because Clay was mean to her

Teresa: Arsenio

DelishIvanka comes on andintroduces Clay Aiken and Arsenio Hall. Clearly it is some kind of performance.Clay's all alone on stage and starts singing Lean On Me, although I don't likethe key he's singing it in. What the hell is going on? Is Arsenio going tosing? Why are the two finalists fighting for the title singing together? DidMarlee do this with John Rich last season???

Yep, it's a freaking duetwith Clay and Arsenio. This clearly has some sort of ridiculous agenda that hasnothing to do with our show. You can't tell me Pierce Morgan came out andentertained the audience during his finale. Did he? Did Joan Rivers do standup, while Annie Duke played heads up with Ivanka? WTF is going on?

Boys-sing.jpgIt sounds nice… most of the time.

Arsenio is not a trainedsinger and so he falters on the pitch from time to time. Sadly he drags Claydown with him and it isn't until Clay retreats to stand next to the choir thathe can get back on track. It was sweet but completely bizarre for a competitionbetween these two men. Feels like a set up for something else – some futureevent or something.

The-end-of-a-feel-good-show.jpgThe men sing us out into the break and it's all feel goody,

like an after schoolspecial.

We come back from commercialand Clay and Arsenio are sitting in their chairs again as if nothing happened.It's like a Glee moment on Celebrity Apprentice. Too weird to even contemplateanymore. Moving on.

Clay says he should winCelebrity Apprentice because his mom had to sit through him losing a show oncealready and he really doesn't want to make her sit through it again.

Clay-lost-ass-PM.jpgI'm not sure I like that you lost as a Project Manager.

Uh-oh. Trump turns toArsenio and says he was very honored when Arsenio said if he got the DonaldTrump seal of approval, he would never forget it for the rest of his life.

Arsenio-not-as-strong.jpgWell he might not be as strong as Clay, but he sure knows

how to blow the rightsmoke up an ass.

There's more mention thatArsenio is trying to re-emerge and get a late night talk show. *sigh* lookslike DaisyHurts, one of our readers is right. See her post in the Finale part 1link about this crap.

Apparently Trump has run outof nothings to talk about because he turns to the fired Celebs and asks Lisa toask a question of Arsenio. She's clearly unprepared and comes up with the oneidea that shows she really does have issues about it, which means she probablywas always jealous of Dayana. She asks Arsenio if he finds her attractive.

Teresa-side-boob.jpgHoly side boob, Teresa!

Arsenio reaches far into hisbag of kiss ass to say she's not only visually beautiful but a great mind isthe sexiest thing a woman can have.

Then Trump says he (Arsenio)does find Lisa attractive but he doesn't find Dayana attractive. What? Withthat, he commands Dayana to ask Arsenio a question. She comes up with,"Arsenio, do you find Lisa attractive?"

Dayana-say-what.jpgOkay, fine, so she doesn't have the best ideas.

And she's the only one whoclaps and agrees when Arsenio reaches in all the way up to his shoulder in thatbag of his and pulls out the suggestion that if Lisa had started earlier shecould have been a Miss Universe too.

Thankfully we go tocommercial and Sparks promises to make his decision when we return. After thebreak, Ivanka talks about how strong Clay was as a leader and how Arsenio had agentler managing skill but both did well. Eric points out that Clay raised aton of money but Arsenio went undefeated as a project manager. I can't believethey are even taking those in to consideration when the winners were clearlychosen to service some alternate agenda other than who really earned it.

Whatever, with that Trumpannounces that Arsenio Hall is the new Celebrity Apprentice.

Arsenio-wins.jpgYou gotta be kidding me!

What I love about Arsenio winning is that itwill be an extra needle in Aubrey's delusional side. But that is about all Ilove about it. Don't get me wrong, he is a great guy and has a great charity,but he in no way was better skilled than Clay. Clay was stronger, morestrategic and maybe even smarter.

There were actually a lot ofplayers that were stronger than Arsenio but it suddenly makes sense how playerslike Dee, Adam and Penn were ousted for nonsensical reasons. They needed to beeradicated to pave the way for Arsenio to appear to deserve one of the two topspots. Has Trump ever picked such a gentle leader before?

I think this was a plannedset up from the get go and it was always going to be a sure thing that Arseniowould at least make the top two for promotion of his new talk show, MagicJohnson's new network, etc. I feel like it was a fourteen week productplacement and it totally pisses me off.

Clay was robbed again, damnit!

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Arsenio Hall Won, Clay Aiken is Celebrity Apprentice's True Winner

Arsenio Hall won, but Clay Aiken is Celebrity Apprentice's true winner

by Andy Dehnart / May 24, 2012, 7:10 AM

Clay Aiken lost his second national reality TV competition on Sunday, losing Celebrity Apprentice to Arsenio Hall, who joked that he was "Skinny Ruben" [studdard]. Both were deserving finalists and either would have been a satisfying winner, and their friendship throughout the competition made it even more rewarding. Still, I think Clay Aiken was the real winner.

The win itself is meaningless—except for the $250,000 for the winner's charity, which isn't insignificant, of course, but a nice addition to what they already earned. As part of the final task, Arsenio Hall raised $167,100 for the Magic Johnson Foundation, while Clay Aiken raised $301,500 for his National Inclusion Project. Yet Trump chose Arsenio.

First, a preface about the actual decision: Celebrity Apprentice finales are the weakest part of the show, which is odd because the penultimate episode is usually one of the strongest (it's entirely task-focused and Donald Trump is not present). But the finale, ugh: The weak reunion of fired celebrities. Donald Trump rocking back and forth, acting like he cares about the questions someone wrote for him. The padding. The live audience's laughter over the taped segments. And worst of all is Trump's decision, which typically makes less sense than usual, or perhaps that's just what I think because the person I like usually doesn't win. He didn't even offer any rationale on Sunday.

That said, it did seem obvious even last week that Clay would lose, regardless of the amount of money he raised. In the final task, he chose/was saddled with some of this season's problem children, primarily Aubrey "I did everything" O'Day and Debbie "My ego is so fragile if you simply ask me a question I shall cry" Gibson. (Debbie did own her bad behavior though, so props to her; Aubrey, of course, will never know.) And Trump just seemed to be gravitating toward Arsenio these last few weeks.

But here's why Clay wins, in all other senses of the term: He didn't care about his old image, nor creating a new one. He was just himself, and while it wasn't a brand-new persona, it was surprising.

As a result, he transcended the image of the sweet, shy singer/runner-up who has a rabid fan base of middle-aged women, some of whom would jump on any perceived slight and protect their guy (some of them still do that). He's still an amazing singer and someone who cares a great deal about others and his charity, but he also isn't pandering to anyone.

The big surprise is that the actual person who emerged is funny, intelligent, competent, and committed—and not afraid to do or say things that could possibly alienate some fans. He didn't shy away from conflict during the season, embraced being controlling during the final task, and earned the respect of his fellow teammates because and/or despite that. He was, above all else, honest and genuine.

"We're now at plan F for 'fucked,'" Clay said during the second-to-last episode, and in another interview, he actually said, "So fuck Arsenio." Laughing, he added, "Can you use that?" He also can laugh at himself, like when Lisa Lampenelli made an anal sex joke ("achin'") about him during her set at the final charity event.

This from the guy who is still well-known enough to interrupt a kid's baseball game while looking for a shooting location during a task and have the irritated coach/dad do a 180 when he realizes: "Oh my god! I voted for you."

Clay didn't emerge from his previous image because he's willing to say "fuck" on national television, but can you imagine 2002 Clay Aiken saying "fuck" during or post-American Idol? Or can you imagine 2012 Clay Aiken saying "fuck" if he was trying to get something out of Celebrity Apprentice—even attention and cash for his charity? Arsenio admitted he wants a talk show, and hopes the platform will help him get it; even if Clay has similar ambitions, and there's nothing wrong with that, it never came across.

What we saw instead was, perhaps for the first time on national TV, a non-constructed version of Clay Aiken. He emerged from his American Idol box but didn't climb into a new one.

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The Follis Report

Celebrity Apprentice (Personal Brand) Winners and Losers.

While we all now know that Arsenio Hall is the ordained Celebrity Apprentice, the question that 18 celebrity managers and publicists are now asking is: "How well did my celeb score with the public and potential advertisers?" As I write this teams of celeb interns are busily foraging through Twitter posts and blogs to report back on how their celeb came off. Though their celeb may not have won, a good primetime showing could mean millions for their celeb in the form of that next TV deal or Superbowl spot. Here, then, are my big winners and losers.


Clay Aiken

Before this season's CA, few knew much about Clay Aiken beyond his being "that gay American Idol singer." Clay's amazing showing on CA has totally elevated his public awareness and personal brand. Not only did it reveal his amazing vocal talents to millions of potentially new fans, but it also revealed him to be a super smart, caring, determined, classy, easy-going, and genuinely good, likeable guy. Perhaps, more importantly, it will hopefully help break down negative attitudes that continue to exist toward the gay community.

Arsenio Hall

Arsenio Hall even joked about it himself, "I meet a lot of people who, when they meet me now, say: 'wow, man, I thought you were dead." I don't think he'll be hearing much of that any more. Like Clay, Arsenio proved that he's a class act, even with his Aubrey O'Day moment. (I doubt many could blame him) And, who knew the dude could sing! I'm not sure where Arsenio went since his show ended in the mid-nineties, but wherever that was, his great, likeable CA performance should open doors in a major way for him. Woof, woof, woof!

Dayana Mendoza

I don't think anyone knew Dayana Mendoza before this season's CA. They do now. Despite the negative stereotyping that Lisa Lampanelli did her damnedest to try to re-enforce, Dayana proved that you can be both drop-dead beautiful and smart. Her calm resolve against Lampanelli's relentless broadside salvos also proved she's as tough as they come. Though she may not have won the game her personal brand scored huge. Bravo, Dayana.


Lisa Lampanelli

If this was HBO or an esoteric cable channel Lisa Lampanelli might have gotten away with her condescending, foul-mouthed antics. Not on NBC in primetime. I'm sure she was told as much by her handlers (if there even is such a thing). Even with her 11th-hour attempt at crisis management by coughing up the 10k for Clay's charity and acting all sweet and self-effacing with her final comments, it was too little, too late. She may have won big bucks for her charity, but she blew it big time to take her career up a notch. Had she been smarter she could have won while staying true to her wickedly, wise-ass persona. Instead, she just came off wicked.

Aubrey O'Day

It's not surprising that Aubrey O'Day and Lisa Lampanelli bonded. Both are talented and incredibly driven. Both are also narcissists who couldn't help but take every on-camera moment to exclaim how amazingly awesome they were and how amazingly retarded most of their teammates were. That's not the way to win the game or public favor. Of course, her fans will continue to adore her and she deserves props for her money-raising efforts for charity. However, her "don't hate me because I'm beautiful…and smart…and, did I mention awesomely creative?" attitude won't score points with the public or major advertisers.

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Aiken for a New Show: What Should Clay Aiken Do Next?

Aiken For A New Show: What Should Clay Aiken Do Next?

Published - May 31 2012 12:51AM EST

Sheri Stirrs , RR.com Original


(Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

Now that his stint on Celebrity Apprentice has wrapped, and he seemed to get a lot of viewer support on that show, it sets us to wondering what other shows Clay Aiken should do. Here's a few of our favorite ideas...

CSI Miami

Caruso's character's country cousin, Clay, in his first big TV drama role, (not counting Celebrity Apprentice) would certainly lighten the mood here, wouldn't he? Two redheads, one ultra-serious and one ultra-campy, could kick this crime drama up a few notches in the My Cousin Vinny department. Except, instead of defending a murder accusation, this cousin would help solve murders. He'd also be sure everyone got along.

Live with Kelly (and Clay)

Sure, he's no Anderson Cooper, but Clay Aiken as a permanent fixture in Regis Philbin's old co-host seat next to Kelly Ripa wouldn't be a bad idea. These two are both bubbly, upbeat and ready to laugh. What more do you need on a morning show than a double shot of caffeine with a lot of ham?A lot more apparently, since after Aiken's guest co-host appearance in 2006, Ripa went on about how "disrespectful" it was of Clay to cover her mouth with his hand at one point during the show. What's wrong with that? I've been wanting to do if for years.

Two and a Half Men

Well, Steven Tyler was a neighbor on Two and a Half Men, so why not Clay Aiken? He'd be great at delivering a few snarky comments to Alan or trying to correct Jake's manners. It would be awesome if somehow it's discovered that due to huge royalties on some cereal jingles that Clay wrote for Charlie when Charlie was on a booze and broads bender, it's really Clay who owns the beach house, not Walden. In sit-coms, money matters don't have to make sense, so there would be nothing Walden could do except move far, far away. Ah, in our dreams - and Clay, Alan and the rest of the cast would rock the show on their own!

Clay's Pigeons

Why not create a new game show for this energetic, talkative singer? With the running theme of "singing like a bird," guest wannabe songsters could compete for prizes, and well, let's face it - much needed publicity as they try to launch their singing careers. Clay's far-reaching Roladex evident on 'Apprentice would come in handy as the guest music moguls could roll in to help out. The audience could vote on which singers are "songbirds" destined for a new life in a singing career and which contestants are "vultures" - going after opportunities that are likely to only be dead for them. Can you just imagine the "cagey" set decor on this show?

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ACTV8.me Sweepstakes winner donates $25,000 to National Inclusion Project

]Contribution Made During Season Finale of Celebrity Apprentice

Cleve Collado considers himself the real winner of the Celebrity Apprentice. On the night of the show's Finale, he won $50,000 just by playing along on his phone! Collado remembers that night, “When I found out about the money, I was in denial at first because I didn’t know that just by playing along with The Celebrity Apprentice iPhone app I would win such an amount! When it eventually settled in, about 5 minutes later, I was ecstatic because I realized that I would be able to help my family out with expenses and that was the greatest feeling.”

ACTV8.ME created an app where audiences of Celebrity Apprentice could interact with the content and story narratives in a personalized and more meaningful way. To encourage participation, users were given the opportunity to enter a $50,000 sweepstakes throughout the entire Celebrity Apprentice season by registering from within the application.

ACTV8.ME aligned with the philanthropic nature of the show by announcing half the earnings would go to the winner’s charity of choice. “I chose the National Inclusion Project because a child with a disability just wants to be treated the same as everyone else. They want to live as normal a life as possible despite their disability. This is the goal of the Project - to make sure that no child is left on the sidelines,” says Collado.

This $25,000 brings the National Inclusion Project donations total to $75,000 since the Celebrity Apprentice Finale aired on May 20th.

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Clay Aiken Calls Carmel's Palladium "Incredible"

]Clay Aiken calls Carmel's Palladium 'incredible'

1:02 AM, Jun. 19, 2012

Written by Cathy Kightlinger

After singer-songwriter Clay Aiken's sound check in Carmel's Palladium on Saturday afternoon, the "American Idol" alum had nothing but good things to say about the venue and his reason for stopping there.

Aiken, who was in town to perform Barry Manilow's hit "Even Now" during the Great American Songbook Hall of Fame gala, described the acoustics in the Carmel concert hall as "incredible."

About 1,000 attended the gala show, which was set around the inaugural class of artists (Manilow, Cole Porter and Oscar-winning songwriting duo Alan and Marilyn Bergman) who were inducted into the Hall of Fame for their contributions to the songbook -- popular music from Broadway and Hollywood musicals prevalent from the 1920s to the 1960s.

As for Saturday's show, Aiken, who is well-known for his performances on "American Idol" and recently appeared on "Celebrity Apprentice," said he was honored to be asked to sing one of Manilow's tunes, especially since he has regularly been compared to the elder crooner.

"I've had comparisons drawn to him for years, and I've always said, 'If I can have a career that lasts a third as long as Barry's career has lasted, I'll be happy,' " said Aiken, who added that he had Manilow's hairstyle for a while, too.

Manilow, who performed three songs himself, including his smash "Copacabana," on Saturday, was flattered.

"He's a wonderful singer," said Manilow, who jokingly added that in 30 years, Aiken would look like him.


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"Idol" Star in Town for Haircut

Published: Jun 19, 2012 07:00 PM

Modified: Jun 18, 2012 04:16 PM

‘Idol’ star in town for haircut



Salon 29:11 owner Jamie O'Branovich gets singer and "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken ready for a haircut at her new Smithfield shop on Wednesday.


SMITHFIELD - Last Wednesday afternoon, nearly all of the chairs were filled at Salon 29:11, but stylist Jamie O’Branovich was saving a slot for a customer coming from out of town – singer Clay Aiken.

A small salon on Venture Drive might seem an odd choice for the former “American Idol” star, who’s known for frequently changing his hairstyle. But O’Branovich – who opened the salon in February – is Aiken’s cousin, and she’s looked after his hair for years.

“I think I change my hair more than any guy I know,” Aiken said as O’Branovich shampooed his head. “She’s put up with it.”

O’Branovich and Aiken grew up together, and she attended some of his early performances – long before he appeared on national TV and made a name for himself. While the singer grew up in Raleigh, he has family in Four Oaks and spent time in Johnston County.

With encouragement from his dad, he auditioned for Johnston Community College’s Country Music Showcase as a teenager. “It was the first thing I ever auditioned for in my life,” Aiken said. “I did it quite a bit until I went off for college.”

Aiken headed to UNC Charlotte to study special education, and O’Branovich got trained as a cosmetologist. When he appeared on “Idol” in 2003, O’Branovich visited him in California. “It was crazy for me to go from here to Los Angeles and see people holding signs with your name,” she recalled.

While Aiken was a runner-up on the show, he’s had one of the more successful careers among its former contestants. He tours the country regularly, and he’s often brought O’Branovich along to keep his hair in shape. Aiken even introduced her to some of his friends in the music industry.

She’s since been on tour with David Foster and others, getting the chance to do hair and makeup for a number of celebrities. These days, though, she’s busy with the new salon and a new baby, and she’ll miss Aiken’s coast-to-coast Christmas tour later this year. He had to let others handle his hair during his recent stint on “Celebrity Apprentice” too.

O’Branovich said the exposure has helped her career. “I think it’s gotten me to the level of confidence where I’m able to” own a salon,” she said. Salon 29:11 is among Smithfield’s most upscale, with a massage therapist offering his services to customers while they get their hair done. “You are too LA for Smithfield,” Aiken joked to his friend.

When O’Branovich worked in other local salons, Aiken preferred to have her come to his home. But since Salon 29:11 opened, he’s been making the hourlong drive to Smithfield, joining other customers who come from as far as Wilmington. The singer’s appearance didn’t cause much of a stir in the shop. “Now that she’s got her own place, it makes it easier for me,” he said.


Catching up with Clay Aiken During his visit to Smithfield last week, here’s what Aiken had to say about other happenings in his career:

• On his appearance on “Celebrity Apprentice”: “The Apprentice” was an opportunity to let people realize I could speak and complete sentences. ... I don’t know how to market a hair dryer.

• On his opposition to North Carolina’s Amendment One, which places a ban on gay marriage and civil unions into the state constitution: I said something on Twitter about Amendment One. When I did, CNN called and “Face the Nation” called.

• On encountering fans in the Triangle: People stare a lot ... they don’t care that much. (When people ask if he’s Clay Aiken), I try to get out of confirming it.

• On fellow North Carolina “Idol” contestant Scotty McCreery: I’ve actually never met him.

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