John Rich could be country's first "Celebrity Apprentice"

Country singer John Rich first found success in the band Lonestar. After being fired from the band in 1998, he went on to form the duo Big & Rich, which released three albums. After Big & Rich went on hiatus in 2007, he continued working on his solo career and has co-written singles for multiple artists.
Virginia Sherwood/NBC
Country singer John Rich is one of four finalists on this season's "The Celebrity Apprentice"
NBC

(CBS/AP) Is it time for "The Celebrity Apprentice" to go country?

Country music stars generally have done well on the Donald Trump-hosted show - Trace Adkins was runner-up during the show's first season in 2008, while Clint Black took fifth place the following year - but none has ever won the title.

Pictures: "The Celebrity Apprentice"

That could change May 22 if John Rich of the duo Big & Rich can outperform the other three finalists - Lil Jon, Marlee Matlin and Meat Loaf.

Two of the four will be fired at the start of Sunday's show; the remaining two will be given a task to perform, and the winner will be chosen on the basis of that task.

One person who isn't surprised with how well Rich is doing is Adkins. He recommended Rich for the show.

"I knew John would excel in that situation, and he has," Adkins told The Associated Press in a recent interview. "I think it's John's to win, actually. I think he's got the best shot of anybody, from what I've seen."

The only way contestants can win money for their charities is by stepping up to be project manager. It's a risk, because the blame for losing often falls to the team leader.

Rich has won the two tasks that he led as project manager.

"I'm there to play for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital," Rich said. "My whole goal is to raise more money than anybody in the history of the show, as much as I possibly can.''

Rich, 37, has raised more than $680,000 for St. Jude so far.

"'Apprentice' is a tough show. It's a tough show to be a part of, but if you're there for the right reasons, it's just great," said Rich. "If you've ever been to St. Jude, you'll never get over it. These kids they need our money.''