Apprentice finalist Bill Rancic is the Donald's new right-hand man.After overseeing 13 weeks of fierce, backbiting competition among his underlings, Trump made his final choice on live television, telling Bill, "You're hired!"
Bill triumphed over runner-up Kwame Jackson, as well as a slew of other worthy opponents, to earn the coveted prize of heading up one of Trump's companies for a year at a salary of $250,000.
Trump cushioned the blow as he delivered the news to Kwame that he had missed out on the Donald-described "dream job of a lifetime."
"Kwame, I think you have an amazing future," Trump said. "You're a brilliant guy, great education, and I have no doubt you're going to be a big success. But right now, Bill, you're hired."
A cigar-club founder from Chicago, Bill, 32, chose the responsibility of overseeing the construction of Trump International Hotel in his hometown, turning down the option of running Trump's seaside golf course in Los Angeles. He also won a shiny new convertible, courtesy of show sponsor Chrysler.
The final two-hour episode that led to Trump's ultimate decision featured Kwame and Bill each leading a handpicked team of three of their fellow Apprentices through a Trump-assigned task.
Kwame's team was given the formidable task of keeping the ubiquitous Jessica Simpson in check during an appearance at a Trump casino hotel in Atlantic City, while Bill's team was placed in charge of a Trump charity golf tournament.
Thanks to show villain Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth (and, let's face it, maybe a dash of A-list ditziness from a certain blond someone), Simpson went missing more than once, irritating Trump and hindering the effectiveness of Kwame's mission.
Bill's team wasn't perfect either, and managed to misplace a key sponsor's sign at the tournament.
In the end, however, Kwame's biggest mistake--namely picking Omarosa for his team--proved costly, and led to his own termination at Trump's hands.
Kwame has been offered a big consolation prize: Before the finale, KFC offered the runner-up $25,000 for a one-week stint as the chain's top sales honcho. No official word from Jackson on whether he accept the offer.
Though the show is over, some of the bitter rivalries between contestants continue to play out in the press.
For example, the much reviled Omarosa has successfully stretched her 15 minutes of fame by claiming that contestant Ereka Vetrini called her "the N word," an accusation hotly denied by Ereka.
From what viewers saw, Ereka simply remarked, "This is like calling the kettle black." Omarosa says the comment went further, and attributes the missing slur to "creative editing."
"I know what 'pot calling the kettle black' is, and I wouldn't have responded that way to somebody calling me that!" Omarosa told People magazine.
"Omarosa, my darling, this show is not a conspiracy against you," Ereka snarked in response. "Please get some professional help."
Producers said no slur was heard in a full review of the show's tapes.
Omarosa and Ereka aren't the only two to publicly air their grievances. Katrina Campins has also bashed Amy Henry in the press, claiming that the Trump favorite bedded not one but two of her Apprentice counterparts.
"She and the rest of them claimed I used sex to sell, but she brought a lot more sex to the table than I did," Katrina told the New York Daily News. "She's denying it now, of course, and I'd be denying it if I slept with two people as well."
The two gentlemen Amy allegedly became intimate with were Nick Warnock--with whom she admits she had a "showmance"--and Bill, whom she claims she merely kissed at a party.
"I kissed my sister and best friend that night too!" Amy told Us Weekly. "It was innocent!" She said she's been dating a man at home in Texas--and confirmed to Star that Trump offered her a job managing the sales team at Trump World Tower.
"Other places have been calling. I'm still reviewing my options," she said nonchalantly.
Meanwhile, despite there being no love lost between certain contestants, several former Apprentices have managed to find true love.
Three Trump firees--Katrina, Kristi Frank and Sam Solovey--recently got engaged to their significant others. Sam even used his appearance on the Today show the morning after he was fired to propose to his girlfriend. (Sam also tried to woo Trump following Thursday's finale, offering the Donald a suitcase full of $250,000 in cash for a job. Trump was still considering the offer as of Thursday night.)
According to E! Online's TV columnist, Kristin Veitch, sources close to Bill say that he, too, recently popped the question to his girlfriend, but the big winner isn't talking. Tabloids have also claimed Rancic has been seeing another reality-show alum, Jen Schefft, who got her 15 minutes by being the choice of Andrew Firestone on ABC's The Bachelor (the made-for-TV twosome split in December).
Bill may have been the last man standing on The Apprentice, but the true victors are arguably Trump himself and NBC.
The show was a huge ratings earner for NBC. According to estimates released Friday, the finale was seen by 27.6 million viewers, eclipsing CBS powerhouse CSI (23.6 million) and making The Apprentice the most watched show of the night.
The network has rehired Trump for another two seasons of the Mark Burnett-produced Apprentice--and has agreed to double the mogul's paycheck. While Trump earned $50,000 grand per episode in the first season (like he needs it), he'll take home a whopping $3.2 million after the next two editions--32 episodes total.
More than 250,000 wannabe Trump peons applied for the second season of The Apprentice, which is expected to premiere this fall.
Maybe the Donald can do something about his hair in the interim.