Trace Adkins Wins "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice" - NBC New York

Trace Adkins Wins "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice"

For 12 weeks, 14 celebrities raised millions of dollars for charity in an effort to win the competition.



    Trace Adkins Wins "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice"
    Getty Images
    Adkins has been a supporter of the American Red Cross after his home was destroyed in 2011 by a fire.

    Five years ago, four-time Grammy nominee Trace Adkins was a runner-up on the show.

    In 2013, he's the winner of "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice."

    With the victory over legendary Las Vegas magician Penn Jillette, Adkins won $250,000 for his charity, The American Red Cross.

    The road to the win was not an easy one.

    In their final task, both Jillette and Adkins had to create their own flavor of ice cream for Walgreens "Delish" brand. Both competitors also had to promote their brand with a 60-second commercial and hold a launch party. For the commercial, Adkins enlisted Gary Busey to dance to a hip hop track that they hoped would go viral. After the ad ran, Adkins performed "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk."

    "That's probably the nastiest song that's ever been played at an ice cream social," Adkins said.

    In a surprising move, Adkins then had the entertaining, but unpredictable Busey perform "Not Fade Away," a reprisal of his Academy Award-nominated role in "The Buddy Holly Story." Leading up to the event, Adkins was confident, but was worried about what Jillette was up to.

    "Penn Jillette is the most ethical atheist I've ever met," Adkins said with a smirk. "He's got magic, but I got Jesus."

    Jillette got off to a great start during the Ice Cream social after a former Las Vegas mayor donated $250,000. But Adkins wasn't far behind, after sizable donations from Wynonna Judd and Billy Ray Cyrus. Adkins' ace in hole was former New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow, who promised to make a $200,000 donation to Adkins' charity, but was stuck in traffic. At the last second, Tebow arrived and donated $300,000 instead.

    Jillette had plenty of weapons and tricks in his top hat too. At the start of his presentation, the magician announced a long list of celebrities in attendance including Wayne Newton, Taylor Hicks and the Blue Man group. Jillette's biggest magic trick however was how he managed to avoid a scary situation in the editing room for his ad. Forced to cut his ad, which ran over two minutes, to 60-seconds for the social, Jillette used additional time to show the "rest" of the ad that they were forced to cut.

    Once the party was over, both groups headed back to the board room. Jillette's and Adkins' team members said they enjoyed their time with the finalists.

    "He was cool, man," Dennis Rodman said of Jillette. "He was right on point. I just watched him do his magic."

    "I think Trace should win," Marilu Henner said.

    After the pleasantries, Ivanka Trump told Jillette that the Walgreens executives loved his presentation and had a hard time finding negatives. Special guest Joan Rivers told Adkins that Walgreens also enjoyed his presentation, but wasn't a fan of the name of his flavor, Maple Macadamia Mash Up . That didn't stop his fundraising effort; Adkins raised $564,000 to Jillette's $503,000. As far as who had the best selling ice cream, Jillette won that part of the challenge and took home $100,000 for his Opportunity Village charity, courtesy of Walgreens. Combined, the duo sold over 400,000 pints of ice cream in just a week.

    But before a decision was made, Adkins performed "Love Will" with the Harlem Gospel Choir and Jillette on bass.

    Finally, Adkins and Jillette had a minute to plead their case, but neither stood out. Joan Rivers said she thought it should be a tie, but ultimately sided with Jillette. Ivanka picked Adkins. But before a decision was made, in a shocking move, Trump called up Lil John, who had been fired a few weeks earlier, and donated $100,000 to his charity, The American Diabetes Association.

    With no other loose ends to tie up, Trump then cut to the chase and quickly named Adkins the "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice" Winner.

    Adkins has been a supporter of the charity after his home was destroyed in 2011 by a fire. During one segment, Adkins visited with one of the volunteers that helped his family during the disaster.