John Rich Reaches the Final Four on ‘Celebrity Apprentice’
John Rich has made it to the final four on this season’s ‘Celebrity Apprentice, and the countdown to the May 22 finale has begun. Sunday night’s (May 8) special three-hour episode, titled ‘Laugh On,’ contained a few twists and turns resulting in not one, but three of the contestants leaving the show.
Not only did the men’s team, Backbone, win last week, but they gained a new team member, LaToya Jackson, whom John complimented by saying, ‘Mr. Trump thinks a lot of you.”
The first challenge of the night was issued, to produce a comedy show, and each team was given three comedians and 50 tickets to sell for as much as they could possibly charge. The winner would be the one who ultimately got the most money. Jim Cramer from ‘Mad Money‘ was brought in as one of the judges.
Donald Trump also shook up the teams a little, by having NeNe Leakes and Meat Loaf exchange places due to the escalating drama between Star Jones and the reality star of the ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta.’
LaToya was named project manager for Team Backbone, and for most of the first day of the task, NeNe went AWOL, and none of her teammates could locate her. Frustrated, John picked up a guitar and wrote a song called, ‘Where the Hell is NeNe?’ The Chairman of the Board even got into the act of tracking the missing contestant, and actually got her on the phone as she was climbing into a taxi. He begged her not to quit, but she walked (or drove) off the show entirely. Team Backbone finally received a text from NeNe saying she quit for good, causing an aggravated John to brand her an “amateur.”
However, the show must go on, and the team started calling their friends to purchase high-priced tickets for the comedy event. While John felt he called in all of his money markers with the art show, he said he’s had “one ace up his sleeve,” and that is his friendship with comedian and late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon, who donated his time, as well as $10,000 to help Team Backbone, capping off the night. He wrote a song paying tribute to ‘Apprentice’ titling it ‘You’re Fired!’ Even without their new teammate, John, Lil Jon and LaToya pulled it together to produce a very funny show.Team A.S.A.P. called in comedian-actor Tracy Morgan, only videotaping him, instead of asking him to join them in person.
Meanwhile, John’s former teammate, Meat Loaf, let the waterworks roll, both in and out of the boardroom, because he didn’t want the money raised for his charity, the Painted Turtle, to go to the other team. They entered the boardroom, and talked about Meat Loaf’s emotional state, so John, having a huge heart for the rock star and for children, said that if the other team lost, he would match whatever Meat’s team had raised, so the charity would not lose any money — which sent the rock star into another round of tears. Meat told Trump: “Working with him [pointing at John Rich] … this show has made me want to be a better person, and it has taught me things about myself I didn’t know. I have to say to you, personally, Mr. Trump, thank you very, very much.” Meat Loaf didn’t have to worry, as his team brought in $102,080 to win the challenge, plus the $82,500 that John Rich’s team collected.
Unfortunately, LaToya made history on the show again — first, she is the only person brought back to the show, and she is the only person to be fired twice.
The second task of the night’s episode was for both teams to produce a promotional video for Onstar based on creativity and originality, product integration and brand messaging. John stepped up for his third tour of duty as project manager to try and win $40,000 more for his charity of choice, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
However, John came down with a “crazy sinus infection” and felt ineffective for a portion of a day. He relied on his partner, rapper Lil Jon, to bring on the creativity. The pair came up with the winning ad, having sold the idea, even though they failed to show a woman wearing a seat belt, a big safety no-no. John ultimately won $695,000 for St. Jude.
The two Johns celebrated with shots and cigars in the green room, as they watched on TV what was going down in the boardroom between their friend, Star Jones and Marlee Matlin. They said, “Meat is going to have to fight, fight, fight in the boardroom … They’re eating Meat Loaf like a sandwich right now.”
Ultimately, it was Star Jones who heard Trump proclaim “You’re fired!”
Next week, the previous winners of ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ — Piers Morgan, Joan Rivers and Bret Michaels — will be brought back to help decide who moves forward. Two more celebrities will be let go, leaving the remaining two, one of which could very well be John Rich, to battle it out in the season finale on Sunday, May 22.
In the meantime, John joined forces with a few of his fellow ‘Apprentice’ pals, Lil Jon, Meat Loaf and Mark McGrath, to record a song for charity. The Daily Express reports that sales of the song, ‘Standing in the Storm,’ will go to the different charities championed by the contestants on the show this season. The tune is being released as a download from iTunes today (May 9).