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Celebrity Apprentice: Annie Duke's Bad Beat By Joan Rivers

We kind of felt this one coming.

There was somewhat of a running theme on the Celebrity Apprentice this season that Annie Duke was "just a poker player." Yeah, she may be pwning the competition every week, but look what she does for a living. It's a deceitful way to make a living so of course she's good. Plus she's nowhere near the "celebrity" of some of the other contestants. So would Donald Trump really make his final "hire" a poker player instead of arguably the biggest celebrity name he had on the show?

Nope. In the end, as expected, Trump awarded this season's Celebrity Apprentice (title? hire?) to Joan Rivers instead of Annie Duke.

Before watching the finale (having determined that Rivers was going to win no matter what), we were originally going to make the headline of this post, "Annie Duke Andy Blochs The Celebrity Apprentice, Finishes Second."And believe it or not, the headline wasn't going to be a shot at either them. At the inaugural $50k H.O.R.S.E. event, Bloch outplayed Chip Reese heads-up. Straight-up outplayed Chip and outplayed the field leading up to the heads-up showdown. It was similar to how Annie outplayed everyone on the Celebrity Apprentice. In the end though, it wasn't meant to be for Bloch. Chip consistently got his money in with the worst of it, but kept winning hand after hand. Fate just wasn't going to let Andy win that tournament. We figured the same thing was going to be true here, as "fate" (NBC/Donald Trump) wouldn't let Annie triumph.

However, that wasn't so much the case last night, because Joan won the final challenge by taking 3 of the 5 criteria being judged. She wisely picked Herschel Walker (DAWGS...everybody knows you've got to give Herschel Walker the ball) as the first person to join her team, leaving Melissa Rivers, who there was no way Annie was choosing, on the bench while Annie picked Brande Roderick first, who there was no way Joan was choosing. Ultimately that move left Joan with a better overall team, particularly because two of Herschel's ideas were critical to Joan's overall win. 

It was a tactical error on Annie's part for sure. Bottomline is bottomline, and despite some controversy caused by Joan with the event planning firm, Joan won 3 of the 5 criteria in the final challenge. Surprisingly, little was made in the boardroom though of the fact that Joan's behavior was the cause for the event planning company to quit on both teams. It's fair to assume that, from the sounds of it, Annie's decor would've topped Joan's for the silent auction before the firm quit. Had that happened, Annie would've won 3 of the 5 criteria. And all the evidence was on TV for everyone to see that Joan was the cause of the firm quitting. However, she denied it (despite millions of people having just watched it unfold), and Trump didn't seem to really care. Joan once again acted like a spoiled 10 year-old brat when Annie very calmly tried pointing this all out, but again, Joan was never put in her place by Donald for her behavior. Annie very smartly told Trump that Joan's boardroom remarks throughout the season would have gotten her immediately fired in any other company (shown above(, and again, Trump just kind of brushed it off. The result just seemed predetermined.

Interestingly, with the exception of when she was skillfully pleading her case to win (the above clip again), Annie wore defeat on her face the entire final two boardrooms (the task one and the live one) as if she knew this as well. So it was surprising to see that, for a split second, she actually thought she won as Donald addressed her in the final seconds of the show. But Trump ultimately dropped the ax on her, and gave Joan Rivers (pictured here) the non-existent job.

Not sure how we feel about all of this. If judging on the strength of her play throughout the season, Annie definitely deserved to win. However, Joan did capture the final challenge, even though her bad behavior in causing the event planning group to quit might've swung that last project to her favor.

Amazingly in all of this, Joan somehow still seemed to have the overwhelming support of Internet posters, critics, casual fans, and the live audience. Her general behavior throughout the season was despicable. She was constantly condescending to Annie and to the poker community in general, telling Duke tonight repeatedly that she was "beneath" her. She got away with verbal murder all season, and Trump never had the balls to call her out on it and put a stop to it. Yeah, it was good for ratings. We get that. But to never make a mention of it is pretty pathetic, especially at the end when making his final decision.

It'll be hard for the Celebrity Apprentice to top this season in terms of drama and interest again. Unless, of course, they take Daniel Negreanu up on his offer to join the show. If they do, count us in on watching it again. If not, and we've said this before, but this time we're really done with the show.

UPDATE: The event planner, David Tutera, confirms Annie was telling the truth and that Rivers is "a monster." Read here.

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Annie was hosed big time! The Donnie is a friggin' donk. Just look at Atlantic City....ooops...and the fact that he knew Joan fried the Event Planner but did not confirm it when Annie played the card right! Yeah, Joan was given the title with an outright disgusting no class downright rude personality, a mouth that can't shut up and a Mini=Me of a skank daughter! Hell yeah, I'm on tilt.

Annie, you are so much more educated and had a hell of a lot of class. They just couldn't handle the truth!

Riley G Matthews

Did Joan Rivers win Celebrity Apprentice because Nevada would not let the Donald have a CASINO in Las Vegas, but only a condo building?

Wild Bill

Oh yeah, and Annie totally got slow-rolled. You see how she lit up when Trump made her think he was going to pick her at the end. I want a screen capture of that moment.

Funny, because it didn't happen to me.

Wild Bill

Joan Rivers would destroy Annie verbally and then Annie would try to point that out. Joan Rivers would then talk over here with (false)righteous indignation and accuse Annie of doing the very thing she was doing. Which was comical. At first, I thought how is Trump missing this (America's stupid so I get how most of them missed it)?

It was obvious, Annie maintained class the entire time. It was not until last night that I realized that was a bad tactic. Trump mistakes name-calling and insults for being a stronger player. Yes, I think it was fixed (so... this is probably moot) but you can see perhaps Annie was mistaken in how to appeal to the Don. In his board room all of that goes. Certainly, seems to be a pattern in his TV boardroom. Piers the year before ripped his opponents as badly as Joan did and won, so maybe Annie made a mistake in strategy by taking the high road.

You could argue Don didn't pick Joan not because he got snowed in like the viewing audience that she was the good guy, but because she was the Bad Guy and he recognized that and liked it.

Similar evidence, Brandi Rhoderick didn't get saved until she screamed at people and showed a spine, something Melissa Rivers never did until outside the boardroom, and Annie refused to do inside of it. Joan Rivers was on blast the entire time. The Don seems to think in your face conveys competence because that's the way he doesn business.

Think I'll blog about this in more detail...


If this was a "real appreentice" not celebrity Annie had it hands down.

WTF was annie thinking picking the team she did? Did she really expect to win having to rely on Tom G and Dennis Rodman? Soon as the teams were picked i knew it was over.

Like or hate her you have to admire J. Rivers taking a younger version of herself on at the age of 75.

The telling moment in the finale was also when Tom G. was lecturing Annie in the van about how she was letting joan get under her skin. Face it...Joan Annie on mega-tilt and got the best of her...and for a moment there it looked like she realized it. I love pissing people off at the poker table..get them to stop focusing on their game and make it all about you.

I think the Donald forgot he has a casino that poker players visit. Maybe now they won't go and they'll have a good reason to sweep the Taj's poker room into the Atlantic Ocean.

I am not a fan of A.Duke...but kudos to her for the $$ she raised. She played the game well...she is just not a likeable person and that is why she lost.

joel spencer

Joan Rivers is one hell of a phony. It is really nice to see that her face is melting. The show was rigged from the beginning. I watched one episode where Clint Black completely screwed up his presentation, and his team won, while Melissa Rivers' team lost and she said going into the boardroom, that she was the one who should be fired. Some innocent, non star got fired instead. Fuck Donald Trump, Fuck NBC, Fuck Joan Rivers.

Yeti Lee

No shit this was rigged look at Joan's charity and look at who is on the board of it. http://www.godslovewedeliver.org/about_directors.html Donald has family that works for this group, and that just proves the fix was in.

Johnny Hughes

Annie Duke raised three times the money Grand Canyon Face raised. It was supposed to be about fund raising for charity.

After that, everything was rigged for the woman who gave the Lippenzaner Stallions herpes. It was so obviously rigged. Two of Annie's team, the unfunny, pathetic comic who should be arrested for impersonating a comic, and cross-dresser Dennis Rodman whose lines against Annie were so obviously written.

Annie showed a lot of class, especially when the World War Two camp follower whore called all poker players Mafia.

Donald Trump manufactured insults to all poker players. Keep that in mind! Bear a grudge.

Johnny Hughes

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