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'Celebrity Apprentice' 2009 Winner Helped By 'Fundraiser' Twist

'Celebrity Apprentice's final competition was definitely a fundraising task, just as poker champ Annie Duke had expected all along, but a twist gave Comedian Joan Rivers what she needed to take the win.

Rivers won $250,000 for her charity, God's Love We Deliver, but perhaps more importantly for her, beat out bitter rival Annie -- or as she calls her, Ann-me.

It wasn't close on the fundraising side with Annie trumping Rivers by more than three times the total, and racking up more than $400,000. But that didn't seem to matter for Trump as Rivers won out the final task, which involved Kodak and Cirque du Soleil, with better brand integration, a better guest experience and a more lively atmosphere at her event.

The poker player's temper spiked when Rivers caused the design team, hired to assist both teams, quit. The company pulled out on Rivers and Annie was caught in the crossfire as they cancelled on her too. Rivers denied she caused the designers to quit, contending that the designers were simply overwhelmed with the job.

"She called my friends Mafia and said that I was worse than Hitler. That is not professional," Annie pleaded in the final boardroom but apparently, name calling wasn't a deal breaker for Donald Trump.

"You are a two-faced person," said Rivers. "You have said I'm a cancer. You said you hoped I would die. You never said it to my face!"

"For six boardrooms," said Duke, "I sat here and acted professional and there's only so much a girl can take," Duke continued.

"You're not a girl anymore, darling," Rivers shot back. "You're a woman."

However, that wasn't even the most vicious part of the finale -- which went to Dennis Rodman and former pal Jesse James. Angry about being called out by James over addiction issues, Rodman said, "Of course I have a problem. I had a problem years ago. I fixed that, I came back."

Rodman called out James' claim that his friends didn't have money, and said: "Your wife (Sandra Bullock (photosSandra Bullock photos)) makes 20 million f-king dollars a movie and you're going to tell me your friends don't have money?"

To which James replied, "If you weren't so stupid you'd know that the only reason I said anything to you is because I care about you." Trump ended up siding with Rodman, telling James that calling someone stupid wasn't exactly a way to be a good friend.

As for the younger Rivers', Melissa Rivers, meltdown a few weeks ago, she defended her actions and said they were justified because: "I didn't have a meltdown in the boardroom, it was outside the boardrooms, in the confines." "I don't hate Annie," she added. "I have total respect for how she played the game. I just love my mother."

So comedian Joan Rivers was named the 'Celebrity Apprentice' winner, and received $250,000 for her charity, but our hats off to poker champ Annie Duke who raised amazing amounts of money for her charity, 'Refugees International', and was the true master of the game in our book.

May 11, 2009 |

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