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“I Knew Trump Had It in for the Project Manager”: An Interview with Jason Curis of ‘The Apprentice’by Betsy Wasser -- 01/20/2004
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Jason Curis had a hard time impressing Donald Trump on The Apprentice. On the first episode, Trump blasted Jason for interrupting him. On the second episode, things got worse when Trump blamed Jason for Versacorp’s loss of the advertising challenge. To the surprise of many viewers, Trump kept sleepy Sam and sent Jason packing. We sat down with Jason Curis to find out his thoughts on Trump, the women’s success so far, and, of course, Sam.
RealityNewsOnline: Jason, thank you for taking the time to talk to RealityNewsOnline. Why did you decide to go on the show? What, if anything, did you do to prepare for it?
Jason: I didn't even know about the show. My ex-girlfriend called me after four months of not seeing or talking to each other and told me about it. We filmed a ONE TAKE video the next day and sent it in. I was called after that and went through many interviews for the show.
RNO: In the boardroom in the first episode, Donald Trump criticized you for interrupting him. Do you think you made a mistake by doing so, or do you think that Trump overreacted?
Jason: I was the last one on the row in the boardroom. Donald asked everyone the same question that he asked me except HE interrupted me when I was giving my answer. I politely told him to let me finish my answer. I just think that everyone was intimidated by him and I treated him like any other person. The reason that I was quiet in the boardroom was because I helped save the guys’ team that day. Sam almost lost our whole amount of money that we made that day until I saved us in the end.
RNO: The women have won the first two challenges, dominating the first. Why do you think they have so far been more successful than the men?
Jason: I really don't know. The lemonade I can see why: buying cups from beautiful smart women vs. guys selling the same product to people. Most of the New Yorkers thought that we either spiked the lemonade or that it should be free. I was shocked that they won in the second episode. Maybe I'm a little biased, though.
RNO: As Project Manager, why did you ultimately decide not to meet with the client?
Jason: I never decided not to meet with the client. I decided to call the client because of where we were in the project. We just didn't actually meet them in person because of being one man down and pressed for time. If we had met with the client in person, we would have missed our window for any ads being completed. This means that presenting to Donny Deutsch in the end, we would have had nothing other than a verbal presentation. We would have definitely lost this way, so I was in a catch-22 from the beginning.
RNO: You mentioned that you gave Sam only a small task. What job did you give him?
Jason: After Sam distracted our whole team and slowed us down, I gave Sam the task of picking our airline music for our presentation to Donny Deutsch in the end. This was only selecting one noise for the whole presentation. This made Sam feel important by having him think that he had an important job. However, he never selected the music because he fell asleep and so we never had it in our presentation. His only job was to hand out cigars at the end of our presentation, as long as he was awake.
RNO: In the boardroom, Nick told Donald Trump that you were a good leader, and Trump suggested that he only said so in hopes that you wouldn't pick him. Why do you think Trump made such an issue of Nick's support of you?
Jason: Trump is a very unpredictable guy. Sometimes he says things that really don't make sense to us. I really don't why he said that.
RNO: Why did you choose Nick as the second person to face Trump in the boardroom with you?
Jason: I chose Nick second in the boardroom for two reasons. First, I had to choose someone from the group. Everyone did an equally good job except Sam, so the choice was very difficult. I couldn't go into the boardroom with one other person, I had to have two. Second, Nick was really one of the stronger guys in the group, so I wanted him in the group to protect him. I knew that Trump had it in for the project manager this time around. However, I also knew that Sam really messed up enough to give me some chance to survive. By bringing Nick into the boardroom, I was protecting him and putting Sam and myself on the chopping block. Trump had no reason to fire Nick so I knew he would be okay. Nick was supposed to be my backup, except after Trump said not to talk, he didn't.
RNO: Of the remaining candidates, which one would you hire as president of one of your companies? Why?
Jason: All of the candidates would be interview-able material. And since I do have multiple companies, I could see myself hiring someone. However, after really getting to know these people, I don't think that any of them would really want to work for someone else. These people are all entrepreneurs, and I think that they need to work for themselves. So, I don't think that I would hire any of them.
RNO: Do you think that appearing on this show will help or hurt your future business prospects? If you had the chance, would you do it again?
Jason: I really don't care how I am portrayed. Working for you has its ups and downs. I really didn't do anything wrong, nor illegal, nor dishonest, so this show can only help my business relationships. If I had the chance, I think that I would do it again. This was an awesome experience from start to finish. Yes, I'm bummed that I am out so early, but I learned a lot and had a great time with the whole experience.
RNO: What's next for you?
Jason: The next thing for myself is to expand my company and continue to grow at the rate that will in five years lead me to buying the buildings that Trump looks at. And knocking on his door to either buy his buildings or set up some deals to have him partner with me in Detroit properties.
RNO: Thank you again, Jason, for taking the time to answer these questions!
Betsy can be reached with any comments at email@example.com.
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