The moment we’ve all been waiting for is here—the season finale of The New Celebrity Apprentice and the crowning of a new winner!
The finale picked up where last week’s episode ended. The final challenge came down to Matt Iseman and Boy George competing for the win by working with their teams to produce an ad campaign, a party, and a 15-minute variety show for Carnival Corporation to illustrate the incredible value of the cruise experience.
The show opened with both contestants in full fundraising mode! Fundraising is something that Matt was worried about all season since he doesn’t have as many celebrity connections as Boy George, but luckily, he does have a community of over 50 million Americans in his corner supporting his quest for victory! “I called out for help from people with arthritis, and they showed up big for me. I knew I wasn’t doing this alone,” said Matt. And sure enough, floods of people in Arthritis Foundation green showed up to support Matt and donate for our cause and to help Matt during the final challenge! Boy George, who came into the fundraising challenge with confidence, didn’t realize just how many people were behind Matt and our cause. As Carson Kressley pointed out to him, “I think a lot of people have arthritis.”
After finishing the last of their fundraising and the arthritis community showing up strong for Matt, the contestants moved on to the party they planned as part of their final challenge. Team Matt came up with the slogan, “One destination that can take you anywhere.” Their party featured live animals, Ninja Warriors, a performance from Matt and musical guest Wilson Phillips!
Matt took time during the party to share his struggles with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with the audience and let them know why the Arthritis Foundation is so important to him. Matt was diagnosed with RA when he was 31 years old. “I want to tell you guys why I’m competing for the Arthritis Foundation, because for me, it’s personal. The pain was so great I could barely get out of bed. In the course of one year, I gained 55 lbs and stopped working out completely,” Matt told the audience. Luckily, Matt responded to the medication he was prescribed, but he acknowledged that there are a lot people who don’t respond to medications like he did. “That’s why I’m fighting. To try to be an inspiration and raise money for the Arthritis Foundation.”
Carson Kressley presented Team Boy George’s take on the ad campaign, which took a more comical angle with the tag line: “Tan lines? Maybe. Buffet lines? Never.” Their party featured music from Natasha Bedingfield, as well as Boy George, himself. Playing to his strengths, Boy George’s musical performance stole the show at their party.
On to the Boardroom for the Last Time
After the parties concluded, both teams headed to the boardroom. Arnold recognized both contestants for their hard work both on the show, and on behalf of their charities. Matt, having never worked with any of his teammates previously, praised them for everything they did to help make his final challenge so successful. His teammates were equally flattering and returned the praise: “He is gracious and humble, yet strong and smart. He was everything I hoped for, and I’m mad about him,” said Carnie Wilson. Kyle Richards added, “Matt is an incredible leader, so calm cool and collected, I don’t know how he does it. We were just all so proud to be part of Team Matt.” Carrie Keagan agreed, saying, “I think he’s the greatest guy, and you can see how much he cares about his charity.”
Boy George’s team praised his artistic vision and ability to infuse emotion and feeling into everything he does. The decision came down once again to a very close call. Carnival Corporation was impressed with both contestants’ performances, so The Governor decided to take a look at the fundraising to see who really came out on top.
Matt Wins It All & Raises Nearly $1 Million for the Arthritis Foundation!
After calling all the celebrities he knew, Boy George raised $445,925 for his charity, Safe Kids Worldwide. Matt, on the other hand, who called on his Arthritis Foundation family and our network of arthritis warriors across the nation, raised a whopping $573,329 for our cause, surpassing Boy George’s fundraising efforts by over $100,000! The judges praised Matt’s passion and how he shared his personal battle with arthritis, as well as his stellar performance throughout the season, and with that, Matt was named the winner of this challenge and the New Celebrity Apprentice!
Over the course of his participation on “The New Celebrity Apprentice,” Matt has raised nearly $1,000,000 to support our mission work. He won $100,000 in challenges along the way, raised over $573,000 in the final challenge, and was awarded an additional $250,000 for the Arthritis Foundation as the winner of the show! We couldn’t be more proud of Matt Iseman, our Champion of Yes!
With the total winnings being close to $1 million dollars, Matt is well-deserving not only of the title of New Celebrity Apprentice, but hero to our mission and to the millions of Americans across the country suffering from the debilitating pain of arthritis.
Congrats, Matt, and thanks to everyone who supported Matt and our mission along the way! Without your support, none of this would have been possible!