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The live Finale of All-Star Celebrity Apprentice brings such mixed emotion. I hate for the season to ever end but then I love it because it means an amazing after party.

By now you all know that Trace Adkins won, at least you do unless you live under a rock, so let’s just say, “Yay Trace,” and get right to the fabulous party. And trust me, it was fabulous. As the confetti flew it was time to head over to Cipriani. Following a week of waxing, tweezing, spray tanning, mani/pedi-ing and trying to find shape wear that would remove what wasn’t lost on a treadmill, it was time to party with the stars.

I walked in having shed my heels for Dr. Scholl’s Fast Flats and didn’t get far before coming across an ice cream station serving both Trace’s Maple Macadamia Mash Up and Penn Jillette’s Vanilla & Chocolate Magic Swirtle. Shape wear crushing my internal organs was not keeping me from that ice cream station. It really was Good & Delish!

No sooner had I licked my bowls clean than I turned around and bumped into a waiter standing there ready with the Cipriani signature drink, a peach Bellini. It was amazing how quickly I learned magic and made that drink disappear.

So there I was guzzling my peach Bellini thinking life doesn’t get any better when I spotted The Donald walking across the crowded floor surrounded by a throng of admirers. I had to pinch myself because I know I’ve had a very similar recurring dream.

The Donald has helped raise over $13 million for charity over the past several seasons. Just in the finale, approximately $2 million was raised for American Red Cross, Opportunity Village, and American Diabetes Association. Just amazing!

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But now the dish…..

Dee Snider was there with his wife, Suzette, who is beyond beautiful. I’ve met Dee a few times and to call him a nice guy is an understatement. He has the rock star hair and clothing but to the core is just a genuinely nice person.

If I told you how thin Marilu Henner is and thin as in not even a size zero thin. I started to hate that ice cream station. Marilu rocked a red dress and I just stared at her with my jaw hanging open wondering how she looked so perfect at 61. She grabbed my hand and then someone grabbed her before I could really talk to her or get more than a very blurry picture of her being dragged away.

Lil Jon walked past me and I remembered meeting him two years ago and loving him so I grabbed him like the stalker that I am. He asked if he minded if he came right back and for a second I was sure I was being blown off but then he came back and found me. There were so many people there trying to get his attention and he could have easily forgotten, but he didn’t. There were so many things I wanted to say to him like, “why did you give it up to John Rich that other season?” Instead I may have let it slip that I loved him. He smiled and gave me a hug.

Next up was LaToya Jackson. What struck me was that her manager and friend Jeffré Phillips actually thanked me for the blog I wrote about LaToya and then went and brought LaToya over to meet me since we had only spoken by phone. Even more striking was that she thanked me as well. It was surreal to think that LaToya Jackson was thanking me. She’s been written about by so many people but took the time to acknowledge what I wrote and thank me for it. It was an amazingly thoughtful thing for them both to do. LaToya and Jeffré were the epitome of class.

Omarosa was there. Gary Busey was there. I ran into Dennis Rodman. I don’t understand the controversy over his hair or his outfit. The man can pull off a feather boa like nobody I’ve ever seen. A Mohawk is that far off? I had expected Dennis to be one of the most approachable celebrities there but, well, I liked his hair.

Penn Jillette was there but I only was able to see him in passing as well as the very beautiful Lisa Rinna along with her gorgeous husband, Harry Hamlin.

As I was making my way around I saw Claudia Jordan who is just exquisite. I had my second camera malfunction of the night but Claudia was kind enough to send me a few of her pictures from the party. She has an amazing story, one I hope to share with you all soon.

Finally I ran into the All-Star Celebrity Apprentice in the flesh, Trace Adkins. He had already won me over in our phone conversation a few months back. In person he is even better. When he took my hand and called me, “darling” with that voice, well I melted a bit. Ok, a lot. He then thanked me for what I wrote about him and, believe me, it wasn’t lost on me that the All-Star Celebrity Apprentice was thanking me. He told me how nice it was to finally meet me and for all of two seconds I forgot he was Trace Adkins and it felt like a perfectly normal moment except that he’s a major country artist.

He got dragged off before I could tell him I think I went bankrupt downloading every song he’s ever sung on iTunes and that I would gladly do it again just to hear him sing. But I saw him again later on and he was just as charming. He smiled at me in such an “aw shucks” kind of way and I think I just may have fallen in love with him a little. I met his wife Rhonda who had sent me one of the kindest emails I have ever received and I think I fell in love with her too. Forget gold records or number one songs. They were just two of the most down to earth people hanging at a party.

Even with my flats, my feet heart, I had one too many peach Bellini’s, The Donald broke my heart by leaving with his beautiful wife, Melania and there’s only so much my kidneys and liver could take being crushed together with shape wear. The party was over and what a party it was.

My favorite part of the night was seeing my friend Chuck LaBella who left Massapequa many years ago and and went on to become an Emmy nominated producer as well as VP of Talent Relations for NBC. I am a huge fan of Chuck’s in both the things he produces and the person that he is. Every single celebrity I spoke with described Chuck as a man with tremendous integrity and a big heart. Of course I already knew that and hearing it from Marilu Henner, LaToya Jackson or Trace Adkins didn’t make it better or truer, but it was nice that on a night that was about glamour and celebrity to know that it was also about celebrating a friend for his success and for the person he is.

Kristen is a single mom of 3 kids and studying at The CUNY School of Professional Studies. She is blogging while she still figures out what she wants to be when she grows up.

Ever have one of those days? You know the kind. Roll out of bed after hitting the snooze 11 times. Run out of coffee. Run out and buy coffee. Make coffee and think ah that was the worst of it only to realize no cream! And then something incredible happens and no not the kind of incredible where you can zip those jeans that have been giving you a hard time and oh look, there’s a twenty in the pocket. No. Way better than that!

Trace Adkins, All-Star Celebrity Apprentice contestant and country music celebrityThe incredible came as I was trying to fit 5 hours of errands into 45 minutes. My phone started buzzing and I picked it up intending to throw it into a wall but the name caught my eye. I stopped mid-hurl to see if my eyes were playing tricks but nope. It was real. Rhonda Adkins, wife of Trace Adkins, country music superstar, Celebrity Apprentice phenomenon was letting me know that Trace was calling me. In 30 minutes. As in Trace freakin Adkins!

My phone rang and the most incredible voice in country music asked to speak with Kristen Ferrari. I was so lost in that voice that for a minute I forgot I was Kristen Ferrari. I dumped an entire box of dog treats on the floor to distract the dog from barking at every squirrel in the neighborhood and had a seemingly normal conversation with the man who brought us You’re Gonna Miss This and my personal favorite, Honky Tonk Badonkadonk.

I say seemingly normal because he was so normal, down to earth and nice and if it weren’t for that voice I would have sworn it wasn’t a country music sensation on the other end. I resisted the urge to ask him to sing his side of the conversation. Maybe next time.

Anyway, why did Trace Adkins agree to another season? Wasn’t one enough? He laughed saying he had actually turned it down both times. But then Massapequa production and NBC VP, Chuck LaBella went over his head to his wife, Rhonda, and next thing you know, he was competing on Celebrity Apprentice and then Celebrity Apprentice All-Stars.

He laughed about it but also was clear that he loved the idea of raising money for the American Red Cross. After a devastating house fire in 2011, the Adkins family saw first-hand the need for people to have help in a crisis. Nobody plans for their house to burn down and having trained responders show up on the heels of the fire department eased the overwhelming process of how to move forward. Little things like knowing where important documents are can be overlooked without people who are trained to deal with crisis.

Trace talked about being in Alaska when the fire happened and the gratitude he felt for the Red Cross for being there when he couldn’t be. He considers himself a person who always tried to pay people back and hopes to do that with his latest stint on Celebrity Apprentice All-Stars.

I asked Trace about his fellow contestants. He spoke highly of Penn Jillette saying, “I picked Penn first. He was the man to beat and I wanted him on my team.”

Omarosa? And yes. I tried desperately to goad Trace into telling me how mean she was but he was a perfect gentlemen. He even surprised me when he said that he had planned on picking her second because he had played with her before and could have used her against the other team. “I’ve never had any problems with Omarosa. I’ve always been decent to her and she’s always been decent to me.”

Stephen Baldwin? Stephen didn’t bring in one penny. Wasn’t that sabotage? Wasn’t that sleazy? Trace didn’t bite simply saying, “I accept Stephen for who he is. I knew when I picked him that he wasn’t a fundraiser.”

Stephen was picked because he was from New York. Massapequa, actually, I told Trace, though after watching Stephen do nothing to help his team I wasn’t feeling the hometown pride. Trace felt that since they were playing in New York, it would help to have New Yorkers on the team.

What stood out to me was the generosity of the country music community. Combined with T Boone Pickens’ donation of $100K, Trace raised over $400K. I would have thought Bret Michaels would have been the big money drawer but the country music community pulled together giving Trace a big win.

Trace spoke again about the outpouring of support from the country music community and how appreciative he was especially considering that many donors couldn’t be shown because it would ruin the suspense of knowing which team raised the most money for the viewers. The amazing part is that nobody complained about not being shown making their donation. It was a true coming together for charity.

I asked him for a final thought about doing the show. He laughed heartily comparing it to AA saying you just try to get through, hour by hour without killing someone.

Trace called it a redeemable reality show. After all, behind all of the backstabbing and manipulation millions of dollars have been raised for charity.

Kristen is a single mom of 3 kids and studying at The CUNY School of Professional Studies. She is blogging while she still figures out what she wants to be when she grows up.