Celebrity Apprentice Finale: Will Trace Adkins' Money or Penn Jillette's Tenacity Win?

TV Guide

Penn Jillette and Trace Adkins | Photo Credits: Virginia Sherwood/NBC

Rest easy; only one more person is getting fired. Enough celebrity blood on the floor. Donald "Mr." Trump picks his sixth Celebrity Apprentice — either country musician Trace Adkins or comedian-magician Penn Jillette — on Sunday at 9/8c on NBC.

As Trace and Penn duke it out, guest stars Blue Man Group, Tim Tebow, Wynonna Judd, Taylor Hicks and Billy Ray Cyrus will also stop by in what promises to be a fun two-hour finale. Better yet? No Omarosa!

Here's a breakdown of the final two contenders:

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Trace Adkins
His weaknesses:
To his detriment, Trace has shown a surly streak this year that we didn't see in his first season. It casts a cloud over his commitment to winning. He has also been lucky — infamously overlooking a misspelling of Melania Trump's ("Milania") name in her skin care ad campaign.
His strengths:
Trace makes greenbacks. He pulls off big surprises. Adkins raised $700,000-plus this season to benefit his charity, the American Red Cross. That's craaaze; far above everyone else, including the half-million of last week's eliminee Lisa Rinna. Trace was a fundraising beast in his original 2008 season, too, raising more than $100,000, only second most behind winner Piers Morgan that year. Trace's stoicism is his major weapon, his Teflon. He keeps his voice low, remains polite and has a creative idea or two that hits. What's wrong with that? And Adkins has the nuclear weapon: his Nashville country music friends' deep pockets.

Penn Jillette
His weaknesses:
Penn hasn't raised nearly that kind of money — only $60,000 for Opportunity Village, which serves intellectually challenged people. By the numbers, Penn is the (much) weaker candidate. He's prone to small errors, such as mistakenly referring to Melania Trump's position as a spokesperson of her company instead of the creator.
His strengths:
His effectiveness lies in clear thinking, creativity, and competence. He thinks big, works a crowd, and takes risks. (Yes, Lisa Lampanelli, I appreciated your R-rated routine for the Foxwoods executives in the Barclays Center.) It's easy to respect that American Dream spirit. When push comes to shove in this kind of competition, that skill set often wins. Penn even had to deal with the indignity and difficulty of helping to guide Gary Busey and Stephen Baldwin in tasks. That alone is a true test of leadership. Also, producers and editors have shed lots of light on Penn's extensive connections (recruiting a flautist for cultural authenticity in one episode). That looks to be the game-changer.

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In the end, I predict that Penn will win it. My credibility, you ask?  Having seen all 73 episodes, I am an expert well-schooled in the arts of The Celebrity Apprentice and holding it down since 2008. I even put the regular Apprentice season 1 DVDs on for ambient background noise. The tea leaves tell me the dialed-in Penn will win. Put your money on Penn, and tweet your thanks later to @nickwhitetvg.

The Celebrity Apprentice finale airs Sunday at 9/8c on NBC.

What did you think of this season of The Apprentice? Who do you think will win? Share in the comments below:

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