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Piers Morgan wins 'Celebrity Apprentice'

DAVID HINCKLEY, DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Ladies may love country boys, as Trace Adkins once declared in a hit song, but Donald Trump prefers a razor-tongued British import named Piers Morgan.

After a showdown maniacally hyped as good vs. evil, Trump Thursday night picked Morgan over Adkins as the winner of the hit TV show "Celebrity Apprentice."

For those keeping score at home, that's a win for evil.

Morgan is a former British tabloid editor best known here as a judge on "America's Got Talent." On his way to the after-party, he reveled in his new celebrity.

"I'm going to go back to 'America's Got Talent,'" he said. "And when somebody says, 'What do you know?' I can say, I won 'Celebrity Apprentice.'"

Morgan flashed his cunning style during last night's show by ordering waiters at a celebrity event to hold back on the food because the faster the attendees got drunk, the looser they'd be with their wallets.

This sort of acumen propelled him past 13 other celebrities to win $250,000 for his designated charity, the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. That choice, of course, is where the "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" swagger falls away from "Celebrity Apprentice," and it's revealed for what it is: a game with a fistful of fun moments and no losers.

The only real compelling moments came in the spotlights on the Fallen Heroes Fund and Adkins' chosen charity, the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network.

The fact that a number of Internet idiots have ridiculed Adkins for that choice shows where "Celebrity Apprentice" really can have an impact: raising awareness of a disorder that can be life-threatening for more than 12 million Americans - including Adkins' 6-year-old daughter.

The other big winner of "Celebrity Apprentice" was "the biggest celebrity of them all."

"Celebrity Apprentice," seen at first as a last romp for a once-sizzling show that had cooled to lukewarm, rejuvenated the franchise and reinstalled Trump at the water cooler. The show has already been re-upped for two more seasons.