Arsenio Hall Named 2012 Celebrity Apprentice; Clay Aiken is Runner-Up Clay Aiken

Comedian, actor and talk show host Arsenio Hall can officially add another accomplishment to his resume: Celebrity Apprentice winner.

On Sunday night, Hall, 56, became Donald Trump’s latest favored protégé as he was crowned winner of season 5 of the reality contest, beating out “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken in the process.

“I can’t wait to deliver this $250,000 check to my friend “Erv” for The Magic Johnson Foundation. It’s a dream to be able to support the important work they do on a daily basis and I am humbled to be able to contribute to their ongoing mission,” said Hall, who played in memory of his cousin who passed away from AIDS shortly before he signed on to do the show.

“I’ll be fighting the rest of my life in her memory,” he added.

People magazine reports that for the show’s final challenge, the Hall and Aiken were challenged with completing three tasks: stage a celebrity charity event, shoot a 30 second public service announcement for their charities, and raise money.

Although Aiken, who played for his own charity, the National Inclusion Project, raised $310,500 to Hall’s $167k during the final task, the ultimate decision was up to Mr. Trump, who picked Arsenio as the winner.

On Monday morning, Trump explained the win on the “Today” show by saying that even though Aiken raised more money in the final task, Hall was undefeated as project manager and, he said, “Arsenio stood out.”

“Arsenio worked hard and he did a great job and that’s why he won,” Trump, 65, explained.

When it comes to Arsenio’s future, the former late night host told the “Today” crew that he is ready to get back into the talk show world after so many years away — saying that a recent guest-hosting gig that he did on “Piers Morgan Tonight” helped to reinvigorate his passion for something he had previously not done in years.

Huffington Post recaps Arsenio’s win the video clip below:

Readers chime in: Do you think Arsenio Hall should have won Season 5 of Celebrity Apprentice? Did Aiken deserve the victory instead?