OFFSTAGE: John Rich Calls In a Favor

(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 John Rich, but three hours of him on Celebrity Apprentice? Whew. I thought last night’s (May 8) episode dragged on and on and on. The first task was to produce a comedy show and sell the tickets for a lot of money. But Donald Trump had to confuse things by switching the teams around because two of the women couldn’t get along. Meatloaf swapped places with NeNe Leakes, so Rich’s teammates were Leakes, La Toya Jackson and Lil Jon. Right out of the gate, Rich virtually promised he could get Larry the Cable Guy and Jimmy Fallon. “I fired every trigger I had on that art sale. Most of my donors are tapped out. One ace I’ve had up my sleeve is a friendship with a guy named Jimmy Fallon,” he said.

Fallon did end up coming on with a serious $10,000 donation and a funny song. “This is a song I wrote about life on The Celebrity Apprentice,” Fallon said, then sang, “Yer fired, yer fired, yer fired, yer fired. Take that rolling suitcase out the door. Yer fired, yer fired, you son of a bitch, yer fired. Now don’t you mess around with Team Backbone.” By the end, Meatloaf cried, Leakes quit (after she had disappeared) and Jackson was fired.

Then the episode transitioned into a second task. It has to do with promoting a special OnStar rearview mirror you can use on practically any car, an idea so brilliant that it deserves its own blog. Stay tuned.

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