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Trace Adkins ‘All-Star Celebrity Apprentice’ Return Is Thanks to Wife Rhonda

Trace Adkins Rhonda Adkins
Christopher Polk, Getty Images

Trace Adkins is still competing for a chance to win this season’s ‘All-Star Celebrity Apprentice,’ and the grand prize of $250,000 for his chosen charity, the American Red Cross. Yet, because his first appearance on “Celebrity Apprentice” in 2008 was “stressful” — and ultimately resulted in his second-place finish to Piers Morgan — the country superstar says it took his wife Rhonda’s powers of persuasion for him to compete again.

“They had to go to Rhonda to get me to do it,” Trace tells the Boot. “Chuck Labello is Vice-President of talent at NBC. I’ve known Chuck for a long long time. He used to book talent on Bill Maher’s ‘Politically Incorrect’ show [which I did] many, many times, so I got to know Chuck pretty well. Then he moved over to NBC and started doing this thing. He called me and wanted me to be on ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ again, and I said, ‘Dude, no thank you. I just barely survived the first one.’ I told him no a couple times, and then he called Rhonda and she made me do it.”

Trace says he was motivated to win the money for the Red Cross because of his own family’s tragedy, when their entire home was destroyed by fire in 2011. “I went up there with the mindset of, if I’m going to do this, I’m going to win it,” Trace explains. “I’m not coming up here to play, I’m coming up here to win. That’s the way I approached the game from day one. It’s worked out pretty well so far.”

Trace does acknowledge that spending time around some of his fellow contestants helps ease the daily grind of appearing on the show.

“Some days I have fun,” he notes. “It’s fun to work with those creative people, like Lil Jon and Marilu Henner. They’re cool and incredibly creative, so some days it’s really fun to just watch their brains work. Penn Jilette, that guy is a genius.”

‘Celebrity Apprentice’ airs Sunday nights at 9:00 PM ET on NBC.

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