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Loss to Piers Morgan Fueled Trace Adkins’ Run on ‘Celebrity Apprentice All-Stars’

Trace Adkins
Slaven Vlasic, Getty Images

Don’t let Trace Adkins‘ subdued reaction to winning ‘All-Star Celebrity Apprentice‘ fool you. The singer signed up to win this season, and not just because he wanted to help the American Red Cross. Adkins’ 2008 loss to Piers Morgan hasn’t sat well with him in the five years since, and he needed to get that taste out of his mouth.

During an interview with Taste of Country, the superstar admitted that he’s a very competitive person. “It’s the old jock in me,” he said before describing how the sting of Season 7 with Donald Trump never softened. When Trump announced Adkins had won on Sunday (May 19), the singer says he experienced a feeling comparable to winning a music award. You just won’t see him jumping up and down — it’s not who he is.

Filming of ‘All-Star Celebrity Apprentice’ began last fall, just before superstorm Sandy, which Adkins and his wife documented from their New York City hotel room. It ended on a night when severe tornadoes ravaged much of Oklahoma — both events highlighting the importance of the American Red Cross. The singer says he has a new appreciation for how the organization helps families, especially after they came to his family’s rescue following a 2011 house fire.

Within moments, he recalls, a representative from the Red Cross was by wife Rhonda’s side, asking if everyone was accounted for and calmly going through a list of the most important things she’d need in the following days. Photo identification, car keys, cash … he took control with a compassion Adkins hasn’t forgotten. He was beyond appreciative, as at the time he was flying to a show in Alaska.

“Embarrassing” is the word the singer uses to describe his feelings about what he thought happened after personal disasters, prior to the fire. The singer said he just assumed neighbors helped neighbors, and that was that. Instead, it’s the Red Cross and similar organizations who do much of the heavy lifting.

Adkins raised over $1.5 million for the Red Cross during his time on ‘All-Star Celebrity Apprentice,’ which was good enough to top magician Penn Jillette. When asked who from Season 13 he’d hire for his own enterprise, Adkins didn’t hesitate to say it’d be his fellow finalist. The two have already shared a stage, with Jillette playing bass during a finale performance of the title-track from Adkins’ new ‘Love Will …‘ album, which hit stores last week.

He learned some important lessons from Trump, as well. The country star recalls a scene during which the cast and Trump were filming a commercial for the show, and Trump had to read his lines. He finished and the director wanted to do it again.

“‘Why, was the camera out of focus? Because I read my lines perfectly,’” Adkins recalls Trump saying. They wanted another take merely out of habit, but didn’t get one from Trump. The confidence to call a job done is something Adkins says he admires and will try to apply to his own career.

Look for Trace Adkins at the Taste of Country Music Festival in June. He’s scheduled to play the middle day (June 14) of the three-day festival and says he’s excited about the lineup. Montgomery Gentry and Justin Moore are among the stars playing the same day. Lady Antebellum and Willie Nelson will also headline the inaugural festival. Buy tickets here.

Next: the Top 10 Trace Adkins Songs

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