John Rich Advances to ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ Finale
John Rich is advancing as one of the final two competitors on 'Celebrity Apprentice.' Next week, he will either be crowned 'Celebrity Apprentice' or he won't. But one thing remains unwavering: Rich's commitment to the kids at St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital and raising cash for them.
Rich's opponent? Deaf actress Marlee Matlin.
During Rich's meetings with past winners of the show -- that'd be Joan Rivers, Piers Morgan and Bret Michaels -- he was classy and complimentary when discussing his teammates, but he also praised his own damn self, saying that he was able to fuse being creative with being business-minded, since the challenges were very left brain-right brain experiences. He also said that if he advanced, whoever his opponent would be in the final round would "experience John Rich in a way that they have not experienced John Rich yet." Thems fighting words, for sure!
In discussions, Michaels said that Rich is a top-of-his-game competitor who could go all the way, which is what Taste of Country has been saying for weeks.
It's worth noting that Rich's confidence could be mistaken for arrogance if spoken by anyone else, but Rich is so focused and determined when it comes to helping his charity win that final $250,000 lump sum that he always comes off as likable.
When Trump gathered the final four celebs -- Rich, Marlee Matlin, Lil Jon and Meat Loaf -- to ask which two players they felt belonged in the final two, every single person chose their self and Rich as their competitor. It was unanimous, with Meat Loaf saying that Rich's ability as a "wordsmith" put him in a class above. Rich chose Matlin as his choice for his final opponent since she raised $1 million, which he described as "ringing a new bell." He got his wish.
Rich summed up why he is giving it all, saying, "All my life, it's been about 'me me me me' so I am going to take everything I built with my life and career and use it on behalf of children!"
The task was dubbed "Retro Rumble," where the duo were asked to launch 7 Up Retro and celebrate the soda's "uncola" heritage, which entails designing packaging and in-store displays, writing, creating and producing a commercial and launching the product at a star-studded event. Fired cast members came back to assist Rich and Matlin, with Rich selecting Lil Jon, Mark McGrath and Star Jones as his aids.
Each team was given a decade to plan their launch around: the '70s with assists from the Harlem Globetrotters and the '80s with assists from Def Leppard. Matlin surprisingly chose the '70s, giving Rich a leg up to work with more musicians.
Rich, who has written hooks and marketed records his whole career, knows how to find a hook -- and his tagline for the soda was "7 Up Keeping it Real." Simple, but effective. He also delegated responsibilities deftly, putting the cut-throat Jones in logistical and tactician roles. Jones even confessed to crushin' on "Big Daddy Rich" and said that if he wasn't married, she'd date him.
The team also manufactured a zebra-print can, which is a bold pattern and one that's emblematic of the '80s; it's also eye-catching and can help it explode off the retail shelves and stand out. Rich contacted Twisted Sister vocalist Dee Snider about possibly starring in his team's commercial, since Snider is also an '80s icon. The snafu, however, is that Snider is starring on Broadway in 'Rock of Ages' and is contractually obligated to wear a Fu Manchu mustache -- and one that he can't shave -- for his role. Since it was for a charity event, Snider was able to shave the 'stache in a coup for Team Rich.
The commercial included a knock-off Madonna and Axl Rose, and then the real Dee Snider, transformed by a sip of 7 Up. Snider dressed up in classic '80s Twisted Sister attire for his commercial, and he literally looked like he crawled and clawed from the '80s.
When it came to Def Leppard's participation, Rich and the band's tour manager were not on the same page about how to incorporate the band into his overall plan, and thanks to the pressure of the situation as time wound down, Rich was ready to dismiss the band a little too hastily.
The episode ended there but the previews show even more chaos next week. Tune in then to find out if Rich wins, or if he is fired.
Watch John Rich Talk About the Strategies of 'Celebrity Apprentice'