Personality Clash

If you missed the most recent “Celebrity Apprentice,” you missed mucho fireworks centering around country singer Clint Black (who’s performing tonight through Sunday at The Orleans).

Black’s first run-in was with Dennis Rodman, who suddenly and without apparent motive, started lashing out at Black, right in his face.

Then, Joan Rivers (the winner) clashed with Black, eventually calling him an egoist (“If he was in a bar, he’d pick himself up”) and a chauvinist (“He wouldn’t even let his wife have Equal in her coffee”).

In retrospect, Black tells me that fellow cast member Jesse James “may be right” about Rodman. (James said Rodman was an idiot.)

And Rivers? She would never last if she were part of Black’s concert touring company, he says.

“I’ve worked really hard to get rid of people who mistreat other people who work with me. And if you acted like Joan on the road, you’d come out of the hotel one day only to find an oil spot where the bus used to be, a hot dog and a road map.

“I don’t know what the deal was with Joan. I really think she was being herself. She was really that way the whole time I was around her.”

Rivers wasn’t the only negative person on the show, he says.

“There were other players, other cast members: They may have abusive personalities, where it’s just perfectly natural for them to personally attack you anytime they see fit. And that may just be who they are.

“In my organization, you don’t treat people that way and last,” he says.

Black says fellow cast member Scott Hamilton was right when he said, “This isn’t team building, it’s team shredding.”

“I sometimes felt like I was on Jerry Springer meets ‘Monsters vs. Aliens.’ I accidentally walked into the wrong show,” Black says.

At least one person asked Black, “What were you thinking” by going on the show in the first place?

But no one in the music or entertainment industries has asked him that. Those peers understand the appeal of the show, as a method of promotion and possible TV fun times.

Black did have fun when he took on the show’s “frighteningly challenging” tasks.

“It’s probably about 30 hours total per task — doing something these corporations and brands would take 18 months to do,” Black says.

“It would have been a lot more fun if everyone had tried to be team players, but that’s not what the show’s about.”

Even though Black is used to doing TV, he says it was impossible to imagine beforehand — not just the acrimony — but how many “man hours” were involved.

Black was present for every episode, averaging about 18 hours a day, six days a week, for 51/2 weeks.

“You get back to the hotel, and get a shower and go to bed, and get back up in time for ‘call time,’ ” he says.

“I averaged about five hours sleep a night,” he says. “I was a little surprised at how much of an impact that had. I think some people wigged out. It’s just a combination of stress and lack of sleep.”

They got Sundays off. But Black couldn’t shake the groove of 18-hour days.

“I found I wasn’t able to sleep late on Sunday, either. My body was in some kind of spasm I guess, and my brain had turned to applesauce.”

But really, the toughest part was dealing with the not-nice people, he says.

“I’m just used to the luxury of surrounding myself with people who know how to be kind.”

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