Once again, as is the case with finales on this show, Trump starts out behind what is supposed to be the board room table. But since the acoustics are all wrong, we know it's another live episode, and sure enough the wall slides up to reveal a studio audience, clapping politely. Here we go.
And then there's a whole multi-minute recap of the season thus far, up to last week's episode. Awesome. Let the filler begin! I've already written about all of it, so I'm just letting it all wash over me. Long story short: it's down to the two finalists, Piers Morgan and Trace Adkins, and we've got an hour and fifty minutes left to get through.
After the titles, Trump tells us that all fourteen celebrities from the season (save one) are hanging out in a green room. After all this time, some of them look only vaguely familiar. Who's the pregnant chick? I don't remember any expectant mothers on this season.
There's a promo during the commercials that tells us that we can text the word TRUMP to 30101 to donate to the charities, or something. Don't worry if you missed it, because it's being shown during every break for the rest of the night.
From the live studio, Trump sends us back in time to the night of the charity event that served as the final competition between Piers (with returning team members Stephen Baldwin and Carol Alt) and Trace (alongside Lennox Lewis and Marilu Henner). Seven hours beforehand, we see Piers on the speakerphone with the likes of Sharon Osbourne and Andrew Lloyd Webber (the latter of whom happens to have a camera crew on hand with him at Abbey Road Studios in London, just in case someone calls him and he wants it televised). As Piers and Stephen hit the streets, Piers continues hitting up rich Brits on his cell phone while Stephen just takes up space. In the van, the two of them reach a kind of rapprochement, starting with Stephen recognizing Piers's fundraising talent and Piers apologizing for any personal rudeness he may have directed towards Stephen in the past. It's kind of a nice moment, which Stephen wrecks by singing "Hallelujah." Stephen wrecks everything.
Trace meets up with the Backstreet Boys' road manager, who implies that the band might not go on if everything isn't right, as specified in their contract rider. While the guy has his back turned, Trace gets a call on his cell from BSB, one of whom seems to have forgotten his black fingernail polish. So Trace and Lennox, much to their embarrassment, have to make a nail-polish run to the local Duane Reade. The whole bit is accompanied by the laugh-track provided by the live audience, which is quite disconcerting.