John Rich Dishes on 'Celebrity Apprentice' Win

8:44 AM PST 05/23/2011 by THR staff
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The country superstar says avoiding drama benefitted him.

Why does John Rich think he won the latest installment of NBC's Celebrity Apprentice?

Unlike other contestants like NeNe Leakes and Gary Busey, Rich said he avoided the drama.

“My goal was try to win and never have anybody say a bad word about me,” he said on NBC's Today show Monday. “I wanted to go into it like that, and I succeeded. It was great. I made friends with everybody on the cast.”

Rich earned $1.3 million for his charity, St. Jude Children’s Hospital. 

“I’m better when I’m playing on behalf of something bigger than myself, without a doubt,” the country superstar said. “Because there were a lot of times I wanted to engage the craziness or become part of the drama. I went, ‘I’d really like to go say that to him or her.’ And then I went, ‘You know what? I’m not going to do it.’ Cause you’re there for your charity. You’re not there for yourself.”

Speaking to the blog tasteofcountry.com, Rich said he learned many lessons from the show. The biggest one? "Well, I would say it’s real clear of what I have learned, and that is that I’m really at my best when I am playing on behalf of something bigger than me," he said. "In this case, it’s St. Jude. I told Trump that ‘Apprentice’ allows you to take everything that you’ve built for a career for your own self interest and leverage that on behalf of your charity. That means contacts, things you’ve learned, your marketing ability, your donors, your celebrity friends … the whole mountain of stuff that you build. It allowed me to make it not about me, but to use it on behalf of a charity like St. Jude."

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