OFFSTAGE: John Rich Strikes Gold 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.)

John Rich didn’t just write a song on Sunday night’s (April 10) Celebrity Apprentice. He wrote a crazy pirate chant. It went with the week’s task to create a branded environment for Australian Gold sun care products. Mark McGrath was the project manager, but Rich looked like he was in charge of the chant. “Gold! Gold! Australian Gold! Rub in the moisture and feel your skin glow! Live the good life from your head to your toe! Gold! Gold! Australian Gold!” And then, Rich traded his cowboy hat for a three-corner pirate hat, put on some puffy striped capri pants and had Two-Foot Fred, his friend from the MuzikMafia, come out and help hawk the products. There were all kinds of clichés about bounty and treasure, but McGrath made a good point about his team’s outside-the-box thinking. “We’re all performers here, in all different genres, and we bring that creativity and that outside thinking,” he said. “You can’t just write a common song, so you have to think outside the box and I think we’re really good at that. We live and die by that edge, if you will.” By the end of the episode, host Donald Trump was singing the team’s praises — and Rich’s in particular. “John, you’re doing very well,” Trump declared. I don’t know if that was his way of foreshadowing what’s to come, but I hope it was. The women won this time around, which meant another man had to be fired. So buh-bye, Mark McGrath.

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