John Rich, the Nashville country producer and singer, lassoed the fourth season of “Celebrity Apprentice” with hard work, focus and leadership.
Donald Trump picked Rich over deaf Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin.
In the end, Rich raised more than $1 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.
Both played the game smart. Matlin raised $1 million on one challenge, more than anybody ever has, for the Starkey Hearing Foundation. Rich focused not just on raising money but coming up with creative ideas and winning two challenges for his charity as project manager before the finale.
Rich in that last challenge seemed to have his act together consistently in terms of leadership skills vs. Marlee. But Marlee’s presentation went off with virtually no hitches. Rich started his Def Leppard presentation 20 minutes early. Awkward! He filled the time by riffing a few minutes with music before introducing them again.
While Trump is prone to exaggeration, it can be fairly argued that this was the most entertaining of the four “celebrity” versions of “The Apprentice.” There were conflicts galore. David Cassidy vs. Richard Hatch. Star Jones vs. Lisa Rinna. NeNe Leakes vs. Star Jones. Meat Loaf vs. Gary Busey. NeNe vs. LaToya Jackson. Dionne Warwick was a sourpuss. Jose Canseco was lazy. Meat Loaf was overly emotional. It was fun week most weeks.
During the live portion, Cassidy felt some level of “vindication” that Hatch was in jail (yet again) for tax evasion and wasn’t able to make it.
“It’s a competition,” Jones said about battling Rinna. “Bring your A game.”
“I don’t like responding to that person,” Rinna said.
Trump then lets Busey talk and the crowd titters as he natters on about “neurolinguistic programming” and being able to read people. And he wants to re-sell his story about Omaha Steaks and that kite.
He also gives credit for giving Atlanta’s Lil Jon more exposure. Lil Jon during the show clearly got sick of Busey. “Now that I had a break from Gary, he’s good people,” he said.
There was an entire segment showing NeNe’s biggest outbursts. “I don’t regret leaving because I did what was best for me at the time,” she said. ” About Star: ”I don’t hold grudges.” Jones’ responses: “I was disheartened as I watched the episodes unfolded. She used this platform to attack every single black woman on the show.”
“It’s not a racial thing,” NeNe said.
“Here we go again!” Busey said.
“As a professional woman, I was embarrassed,” Star said, of NeNe’s behavior.
LaToya giggled. Why did she end up on Team NeNe? “Star was using NeNe as her mouthpiece,’ she said. “NeNe deep down has a good heart and I forgave her for what she said.”
Star will become friends “when pigs fly.”
The no-shows besides Hatch on the live show: Warwick and Canseco.
By Rodney Ho, firstname.lastname@example.org, AJCRadioTV blog