Finally, we come back, with eight minutes to go. Trump says they've raised a total of a million dollars for charity (half of it from that Cantor Fitzgerald guy, he doesn't mention), and Trump will throw in an extra quarter-mil for the winner's charity. He gives everyone the "no losers" speech, and the lights go down as the final board room begins in earnest.
Trump asks Trace why he should pick him. Trace starts by expressing his respect for Piers's charity, and mentions his own USO award, but insists that his charity is just as worthy if not more so. It's for the children! Trump turns to Piers, who admits that Trace is a good guy, and would easily win on likeability, if that's what this competition were about. Piers says it's all about the numbers, some of which he happily rattles off: he won nine of eleven tasks, raised half a million dollars, pulled the biggest victory in The Apprentice history, and brought in the most celebrities. As far as that last point, I'm not going to sit here and tally them all, let alone their level of fame relative to each other, but let's not forget how Marilu arranged to have David Hyde-Pierce lurk creepily nearby in a hoodie and baseball cap while she was selling Broadway tickets.
Ivanka gets a turn, pointing out that this would be the shortest board room ever if Piers had a better "bedside manner." Piers makes an ill-advised crack about that, which Ivanka says is a good example of what she's talking about. Piers insists that he gave his all to raise as much money as possible, and stands by everything he did. Because time is running out, Trump turns to Don, Jr. for some token input. The kid blathers about something before coming around to a pointless question about Piers's use of his Rolodex. I'm actually glad the question is so pointless, because Trump tells them they've only got a minute left and Piers isn't allowed to answer. I'd hate to think that the answer to an interesting question got cut off. Trump finally tells Piers he played hard and did great. He tells Trace he's a great guy. And here's his final decision: Piers is the Celebrity Apprentice.
Cue the confetti! Cue the clapping! Cue the hugging! Cue the theme song! Flanked by his Trumplets, Trump says to us, "See you next season." And then he threatens, "We're going to be around for a[nother] long time."