Editor’s note: See CMT Insider‘s interviews with Trace Adkins, Piers Morgan and Donald Trump when the new episode premieres Saturday (March 29) at 1 p.m. ET/PT.
He came in second on The Celebrity Apprentice, but Trace Adkins says he met his primary objective as a contestant on the reality TV series.
“I wanted to win the thing, sure,” Adkins told CMT Insider in New York shortly after Donald Trump announced that British tabloid editor and TV personality Piers Morgan was this season’s winner. “Any time I enter into any competition — it goes way back to when I was playing football — I always want to win.
“But I achieved what I set out to. I raised a lot of awareness for the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network. A lot more people are aware of it now. I’ve had a lot of people contact me wanting to make donations, so it’s wonderful. Everything’s good.”
In light of Morgan’s skills in raising money for charity, Adkins said he wasn’t surprised by Trump’s choice.
“He creamed me on the money,” Adkins said. “So if that’s all Mr. Trump wanted to base it on, that’s his call.”
Morgan, on the other hand, was convinced Adkins would triumph.
“I was surprised, actually,” he told CMT Insider. “I thought it was going Trace’s way, and I could feel the mood in the room and the other contestants, and I thought maybe it would go to the nice guy — and not the obnoxious evil Brit. But, it’s a great day to be an obnoxious evil Brit.”
Asked if he enjoyed being portrayed in that manner, Morgan replied, “I don’t care what other people think of me. I didn’t come here to win a popularity competition. I came here to win a business game and raise money for charity. If I had wanted to be liked, I would have played it very differently. But, as Donald Trump said, if I had come in and been really nice to everyone, he would have fired my sorry little butt right away. So I recognize in Donald Trump a kindred spirit. He’s like me. He likes to win.”
Despite the on-camera friction between them, Morgan said, “Trace was a cool guy. I recognized right away that he’d be quite a threat because he was quiet — but effective — when he spoke. … He’s a nice guy, a decent man. And I know he found some of the way I behaved a bit uncomfortable, but that’s the way I am. I don’t apologize for it. I’m just a different kind of character.”
Adkins enjoyed his experience on The Celebrity Apprentice but don’t look for him to get involved in another reality TV show.
“No,” Adkins said. “Hell, no. I won’t do any more reality TV. I don’t watch much reality TV. I think most of it’s incredibly silly and a waste of time, most all of them, but this is the way they should be done. If you’re gonna do a reality TV show like this, the money should go to charity. That’s the way they ought to be done.”
As for his attitude toward Morgan, Adkins said, “Let’s put it this way. He was portrayed as being evil. He’s not evil. You know, Piers never saw my mean side.” With a chuckle, Adkins added, “It’s a good thing for him.”
Tim Hardiman and Laura Douglas of CMT Insider contributed to this story.