OFFSTAGE: John Rich Plays the Conservative One on Celebrity Apprentice

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

I love a good twist at the end of a commercial. And that’s ultimately what led John Rich and his teammates to win the challenge on Sunday’s (March 27) episode of Celebrity Apprentice. Their task was to create a 30-second television commercial for a revolutionary video phone. When Lil John pitched a racy concept to give the commercial a risqué, homosexual-friendly ending, Rich cautioned, “A man married to another man, while it is a big shocker on the thing, are they [the phone company] gonna go, ’But a lot of our audience is not gonna wanna buy the phone because of that?'” He later reiterates that their idea may be all wrong. “This was such a gamble of a move to make this the thing,” he said. “I’m concerned that this company will think we went too far over the edge.” His gut instinct was wrong — at least within the hypothetical Celebrity Apprentice context — because the video phone company chose the edgy idea, and the men’s team won. Dionne Warwick was not so lucky. The R&B legend was fired at the end of Sunday’s episode.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.