Clay Aiken and Arsenio Hall have one thing in common… they both made it to the final round of Celebrity Apprentice 2012. As the competition drew to a close, two serious questions came up about the former talk show host. First of all people wondered if Arsenio is sick (because he was playing for the Magic Johnson Foundation — an A.I.D.S. charity). Then, as they watched the last two star celebs friendship develop, they asked the fateful question, “Is Arsenio Hall gay?” Here’s the answer to that question to the best of anyone’s knowledge right now.
Clay Aiken is a pop music superstar who was essentially discovered on the hit television show American Idol. As a finalist on Celebrity Apprentice 2012, American has gotten to know him better. Folks who had never heard of him learned that he is gay, a single father who recently adopted, and used to be a special education teacher before he was a star. During the final round of the reality TV competition, Aiken was competing against 80s icon Arsenio Hall — the former talk show host who was known for being the on and off-stage side kick of comic Eddie Murphy.
While Clay was competing on behalf of the National Inclusion Project, a children’s charity, Arsenio competed on behalf of a medical charity. He supported the Magic Johnson Foundation, an A.I.D.S. charity.
Because Hall was playing for such a controversial non-profit organization, fans of the star wondered if he is sick now or if he was actually a gay man still in the closet. Concerned that he looks a bit more frail and less animated than he used to in the past, they wondered if he has contracted the deadly disease. Aubrey O’Day fueled gay rumors about Arsenio when she called him gay after he turned sown her [alleged] advances and called her a “skank”.
But Hall claimed he supported the AIDS foundation because he had a cousin who died right before he was contacted by the show producers and he told them he was all in — not because he was admitting he, himself, was or is sick. Reminding the audience of this fact when he was called to the final boardroom, he appeared healthier and more well rested than he had the entire time the cast was involved in challenges.
On the final night of the show, host Donald Trump welcomed glamorous looking reality TV stars in front of a live studio audience to watch Aiken and Hall compete for the title of Celebrity Apprentice on tape. They had all helped the two finalists throw their own respective celebrity benefits.
While they were filming the steps leading up to the fund-raisers, both men seemed to act like divas more than project managers. Neither had strong leadership skills (although both seemed like people who Trump would benefit from having on his winners team).
The division of stars who worked as assistants in the final round seemed to divvy up the worst of the worst between each of the guys. Clay Aiken was stuck with Debbie Gibson and Aubrey O’Day on his team. Arsenio Hall had to deal with Lisa Lampanelli and Adam Corolla.
Lampanelli donated $10,000 to the rival team, leaving Hall’s side in the lurch — but Debbie Gibson tried to tank Clay Aiken by pushing him into allowing one of their family members to paint a mural on the walls that (of course) that person failed to complete in a timely manner. He got stuck having to don a fashionable GLAD bag (we don’t mean the G.L.A.A.D. variety) to finish painting with the help of all the other team players.
During the early stages of the competition, mention was made about Arsenio Hall having a wife — but later that was changed to conversation about his “girlfriend”. Clay never talked about his romantic interests, but during the final show Hall claimed he had a date. Whoopi Goldberg showed up for him.Holding his hand, she came out to meet Donald Trump and his family — and the star said in one of the candid video clips that the smiles on all their faces meeting one another (as his friends) made it all worth while.
When the two parties merged into one, Hall and Aiken both acted as spokespeople for their respective charities. Clay quipped that he and Arsenio Hall arm wrestled over who got to show their charity promotion video first. Arsenio smiled really big and said Clay, “whipped his [arse]“. Both video clips were compelling, but Arsenio’s started off funny while Clay’s was more touching from the star.
During the variety show, Arsenio’s team roasted Donald Trump and Clay Aiken, both. The roast was something he had been clear to say not to do but Adam Carolla and Lisa Lampanelli refused to honor his wishes as the project manager. Arsenio then took to the mic and joked that he’d been out of the public eye so long that some people thought he was dead — then rolled into a clean but controversial comedy act. His jokes focused on him being black but he did it in a way that was witty and without language.
Clay Aiken told the cameras that he and Arsenio are very well matched. Everyone thought the best part of the variety shows would be when Penn and Teller got to perform, but Dee Snyder singing with Debbie Gibson had to be even funnier (and more surprising). Seeing the two finalists performing together to the delight of the audience made the night a success for guests, but for the two competitors [who truly like one another] and the viewers at home, by the end of the event only one thing was clear: the person who won most likely raised the most money.
Bringing out the finalists, live, Donald Trump welcomed Arsenio Hall. It was sad moment because you knew he was about to get fired. The Donald introduced Clay Aiken as a man who proved he was much more than an American Idol runner-up.
Watching Arsenio Hall and Clay Aiken sing together during the Celebrity Apprentice finale, it was clear the men are at bare minimum good friends. Rumors that the talk show host have varied over the years from claiming he was anti-gay (because he never had LGBT guests on his talk show) to claiming he was and is a flaming homosexual still in the closet have plagued the star. Seeing his relationship forged with the American Idol runner-up proved he’s certainly not homophobic — but straight? Meh.
The jury is still out on that question, although everyone hopes he is telling the truth about not having H.I.V. or A.I.D.S. (because no one wants the likable star to be sick). The most provocative statement he made about why he’s been out of the limelight was that he’d been raising his son. Oddly enough, there is no mention of a wife or girlfriend of Hall’s on either IMDb or Wikimedia. Clay Aiken is also raising his child alone.
But Trump skunked everyone when he named Arsenio Hall the winner of Celebrity Apprentice 2012.
On a cute note, he grabbed Clay Aiken, turned him around, and hugged him from behind while they both faced the camera.
Do you think if Arsenio Hall is gay that it is time for him — as the son of a Baptist minister — to come out? Since he spoke of being ready to host a new talk show, he really could be the next Ellen if he played to the right demographic — and would perhaps be more successful with a gay friendly platform.
Everyone seemed truly bummed Clay Aiken lost Celebrity Apprentice but fans were delighted to hear that Arsenio Hall won.