Our ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ contest champ reveals how Leeza Gibbons beat Geraldo Rivera

Still surprised that under-the-radar Leeza Gibbons was able to take down behemoth Geraldo Rivera in the finale of “Celebrity Apprentice?” Don’t be. “Throughout the entire season, Leeza was always the classiest and most composed,” explains Gold Derby’s latest contest champ Denton Davidson, who scored the best while predicting “Celebrity Apprentice” Season 7. “Leeza really never faltered once and was never called back to the boardroom by any of her teammates. She by far had the cleanest record going into the finale.”

Davidson, who also won our contests for “The Bachelorette,” “Big Brother,” “So You Think You Can Dance” and “The Voice,” earned the #1 position on our “Celebrity Apprentice” leaderboard thanks to his 84% accuracy. His prize is a $100 Amazon gift certificate and another spot on Gold Derby’s winners list. (To see how YOU scored, click here.)

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Davidson continues, “Geraldo was very controversial and was not well-liked. I think Donald Trump likes that because it’s good TV, but he does put weight on who other contestants feel should be the winner.”

How long was Davidson predicting Leeza to win? “From a long-term perspective, I actually selected Leeza to win from Day 1. When you look at who has won these in the past, it has always been a TV host-type or a big music star. No actor has ever won. So when I looked at this year’s contestants, I immediately thought Leeza and Geraldo were the favorites to win, but I just dislike Geraldo so I put my early bets on Leeza and the more I watched the more confident I became in that bet.”

Was Davidson ever worried that Trump would let Geraldo win because they’re friends in real life? “Somewhat, because I don’t think Donald has always picked the correct winner. For instance, Clay Aiken should have beaten Arsenio Hall, but I think Donald just liked Arsenio more. The difference is that Leeza is really hard not to like and she’s really the most likable person in the entire cast, so I wasn’t that worried he would choose Geraldo, especially since Leeza won the final task and there had only been one other woman to win this previously, Joan Rivers.”

Does Davidson have any tips or hints for predicting who Trump will fire each week? “There are so many previews and giveaways for this show, you really just have to pay attention. I also read too much to not run into a few spoilers on this show here and there. In general I don’t look for spoilers, but this show is so poorly protected in terms of spoilers that it’s constantly popping up in any articles you read about the show.”

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Davidson’s favorite moment of the season was Leeza’s rebuttal to Geraldo on why she should win. “I thought it was the perfect balance of class and sticking the knife right in him. He is such a cocky S.O.B. I enjoyed watching her point out how much better her record was than his and continuing by saying she even helped take him out of his 5-in-a-row losing streak by joining his team and leading them to their first win in a long stretch. She did a good job of putting the nail in his coffin.”

And his least-favorite moment from this season was seeing Brandi Glanville and Kenya Moore go at it week after week. “People love the drama of the show but I just can’t stand watching these housewives go back and forth. It just went on and on for too long. My other least favorite moment was Ian Ziering. As a kid of the 90s, I had high hopes for the ‘90210’ guy but he turned out to be a real freak. At one moment he told Terrell Owens he had ‘potential’ after Terrell was fired and I just found that hilarious as I consider Terrell Owens a much more accomplished person in general than Ian Ziering. And honestly, the show is too long. I fast-forward through most of it to get to the boardroom.”

Finally, if Leeza wouldn’t have been on this season, which celeb would Davidson have rallied behind? “I gained a lot of respect for Kevin Jonas. I think he was let go too early and could have contended to win it all. I liked that he didn’t give into Geraldo even though there was such an age gap and he was much more intelligent and dignified in his arguments than Ian Ziering.”

Make your own Oscars picks now — click here — or scroll down to predict the Best Picture winner using our easy drag-and-drop menu. Best predictions will win $1,000 prize. And the 24 Users with the best scores advance to a team to compete against our Experts and Editors next year. See who’s in our current Top 24 and their early Oscar predictions. Meet the guy who won our contest to predict Oscar nominations this year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar. Register/log in to your account so you can also compete to predict “The Walking Dead,” “Survivor,” “The Amazing Race” and more.

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