'Celebrity Apprentice': John Rich addresses his secret six-year bromance with Lil Jon

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"The Celebrity Apprentice" finalist John Rich and his teammate Lil Jon had all their competitors fooled into thinking that they developed their close friendship after meeting on the show. 

Actually, Lil Jon admitted recently on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" that their culture-crossing bromance has spanned six years and that the two planned their alliance before the show started taping. And on a press call Monday (May 16), Rich came clean, too.

"Lil Jon and I had met each other I believe at an award show sometime in 2005 or 2006, somewhere in there," Rich explains. "And I like his music. I like his production, some of just the crazy songs that he has done."

The feeling was mutual as Rich says that Lil Jon is a fan of his extreme country music band called Big and Rich. So, the two kept in touch over the years and made an effort to see each other when they were in each other's hometowns.

"I actually called [Lil Jon] when I found out I was going to be on 'The Celebrity Apprentice,'" Rich adds. "Because he's one of the big stars I'm friends with, to tell him I was going to be on a TV show and might need him to help me out with the tasks at some point."

"And he started laughing," Rich continues. "And he said, 'Too late, because I'm on the same show.'"

According to Lil Jon, the two kept up the appearance that they didn't know each other through out the shooting.

"Sometimes when the cast would get together," Lil Jon tells DeGeneres. "He'll be on one side of the room and I'd be on the other side. And no one had a clue. And then it's the country guy and the hip-hop guy, you know they don't know each other. But, we did!"

Were you fooled? We certainly were.
Photo/Video credit: NBC