Is there a rabbit under that hat?

When Donald Trump said “I’m going to do something a little different tonight,” I expected him to say “The winner of The Celebrity Apprentice 2011 is John Rich … AND Marlee Matlin.”

I thought he’d pick both. What was different about just picking one of them?

*UPDATE* Thanks to the person who commented below for this explanation: “Regarding your question above, the difference was he chose not to fire the runner up, which he does in every season. He simply stated the winner. By contract with NBC he still has to choose a single winner.” *END UPDATE*

Of the two, he definitely picked the best. John was a strong leader throughout the competition, whereas Marlee occasionally deferred to others and just tried to keep her head down around all the drama on the women’s team.

John and Marlee both raised more than $1 million for their charities. He worked for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (a cause dear to the Trump family’s heart) and she for The Starkey Hearing Foundation.

It was cute seeing that kid say "mama" for the first time, when he was wearing a hearing aid.

Since both John and Marlee are nice and professional and actually respect each other — unlike, say, Joan Rivers and Annie Duke — it was a surprisingly kind and gentle finale, with Marlee only getting irritated when John dared to bring in about $250,000 during the 7-Up challenge to put himself over the $1 million mark. They even sang a song together “For the Kids.”

Marlee had a smooth 1970s retro 7-Up challenge featuring the Harlem Globetrotters. But it sounded like she wasn’t as organized at first, and both La Toya Jackson and Richard Hatch were initially waiting for her to delegate tasks. Her team’s 7-Up can wasn’t as dynamic as John’s team, and their commercial was cool but not as funny as John’s Twisted Sister spoof.

John Rich, on the other hand, seemed very organized with this 1980s Def Leppard task, except he didn’t welcome Trump and the 7-Up executives and he introduced Def Leppard 20 minutes before they were actually intending to perform. (*Ooops*) It was an awkward mistake, but he covered well by performing himself. John and Lil Jon (The Jonz!) were such an adorable team and a majority of the “Celebrity Apprentice” cast picked John Rich to win over Marlee.

The only real drama of the night was when Star Jones called out NeNe Leakes for going after all the black women on the show. She brought race into it, which just opened the wounds between the two of them.

Gary Busey also tried to explain his kite plan again, revealing that Omaha Steaks actually went with his kite idea and somehow added a tiny kite into their product. I still don’t get it, but there it is.

All told, I think it was a satisfying and positive ending for a strange and extremely dramatic season.

Congrats, Hot John!