Emily West is proud of the fact that she made big man Trace Adkins cry during her recent appearance on 'Celebrity Apprentice.'

During the performance of her new song, 'Blue Sky,' former 'Apprentice' contestant Adkins was shown shedding a tear. West says she wasn't surprised to see the gentle giant reveal a softer side.

"I didn't know if it was allergies up in New York or if he had to sneeze or something," West jokes to the Seattle Post. "But a lot of people are saying, 'No, I think you made Trace cry.' So I ran out to him at the ACMs backstage, and I just gave him a big old bear hug, and he gave me a huge bear hug back.

"He's such a bear, but he's so tender and so sweet. It just really made me feel good. He's such a real dude," she adds. "And I think I did maybe make him cry, because he's kind of a softie."

During her time on the show, West struck up quite a friendship with contestant Cyndi Lauper, whom she says was her childhood idol because she showed her it was OK to be a little different and wild.

"She taught me as a girl to kinda wave my freak flag, because I totally had one, and to not feel bad about it. And that's what she's done for so many girls. And, I guess, being in this business ... a lot of female acts kinda tend to stay pretty shy and look really pretty and they watch their mouth. And I'm not just one of those girls. And I don't think Miranda Lambert is either. But I just think a lot of women in today's music are just starting to wave their freak flag. And I've never had a problem with it. So I'm excited about the new rules about being a woman and not being pretty and having a mouth on you."

West will get another chance to let her freak flag fly (and probably not have to worry too much about watching her mouth!) when she joins Jamey Johnson, Montgomery Gentry and others on the upcoming Country Throwdown Tour, which kicks off May 14.