‘Celebrity Apprentice’: John Rich, Lil Jon Collaborate On Song

by | May 17, 2011 at 8:54 AM | Celebrity Apprentice, Interviews

John Rich (NBC)

John Rich (NBC)

Talk about timing!

Country star John Rich is striking while the iron is hot — releasing the six song CD “Rich Rocks” today, which features his first collaboration with “Celebrity Apprentice” teammate Lil Jon.

The track titled “You Had Me From Hell No” is an example, the singer says, “that cowboys and rappers can get along.”

“I have gotten huge response from country fans who are really liking Lil Jon too.  And from his side, he tells me there are a lot of his fans that are starting to look up my music.  It is just a great relationship all the way around.”

Rich – who will square off with deaf actress Marlee Matlin in the show’s live finale on Sunday night – sounded off about his relationships and experience on the show during a conference call with reporters on Monday.

On Piers Morgan insulting his hat: I think he was there to play his role of the agitator, he was throwing darts to see if he could get under your skin and make you say something off-collar or expose you a bit.  Listen, I wear a cowboy hat in New York City — you don’t think I walk around every corner and hear a “yeehaw?” That’s not a big deal to me.  I grew up in Amarillo, Texas – I’m a Texan. They put a cowboy hat on my head when I was three years old to keep the sun out of my face. It’s not a fashion statement to me — I’ve had one on my head my whole life. A British guy making fun of a cowboy hat on my head is not exactly something that is going to set me off. When he started picking on my creative writing, I though Okay, now he’s getting a little deeper and a little more personal. But I was not going to take that bait because I knew what it was. It was pretty transparent what he was trying to do.

Watch Piers Insult John’s Hat:

On the famous Meat Loaf Meltdown: I’m looking at these guys going What can I say to these guys to make this stop?  Meat Loaf was not playing around, and I don’t think Gary was in touch enough with the situation to realize that Meat Loaf was not playing around. It was really only a second away from something irreversible happening there…Something bad. I didn’t want to see that happen for anybody’s sake.  So I took a breath — it seemed like everything went down into slow motion for a minute — and reminded these guys that we are there for charity, and that our charities are going to be watching this episode and that this is embarrassing. As soon as I said that, it extinguished everything. Meat Loaf just relaxed and said “oh my gosh, what have I just done,” and Gary stepped back to his corner and said “we have to stop this.” For me, that was a critical few seconds that happened on the show. You know what? I think I handled it the right way since we’re there for charity … had I not been there for charity and just for drama, I would have just let the thing go and stepped back and see what would happen. But I stepped in on that.

On “Managing” Gary Busey: “Managing” is probably the right way to say it.  It is a management situation with Gary.  Gary – as everybody saw – has these moments of complete clarity and genius thought.  And then the rest of the time, he is kind of like a tornado.  So for Gary it was really all about giving him a job that you knew he could do well at.  And excel with.  It was a big lesson being around him.  It was a constant challenge to your focus.  Gary is really loud.  And he is kind of going in all directions at the same time.  And you can’t let him throw you off your game.  You can’t let him get your mind off why you are there…  Gary is a good person.  I like Gary Busey.  In fact, I hope to spend time with him in the future.  He is hilarious.  And he is intense.  And I am glad that I know him.

On Facing Matlin In The Finale: She is wickedly smart.  And she has a great sense of humor.  And she is very charming.  So she is able to really get a lot done when she is project manager or even when she is part of the team.  But I think there are other elements to Marlee that make her a really powerful person. She is a great mom.  She has several kids.  And to me, I have all the respect in the world for moms.  It is the hardest job there is.  So she is a great mom, a dynamic personality, and she has overcome her deafness.  She has overcome a huge challenge and gone on to accomplish great, great things and she has not let that slow her down at all.  She is really one of the strongest people I have ever met.  I would consider her like a superhero.  She needs an ‘M’ on her chest.  From the very beginning of “Celebrity Apprentice,” there was definitely a mutual respect from across the room between the two of us.  Just an unspoken thing.  It is hard to describe.  It was always there.  You could feel it in the air.

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