Full Show Index
Advertise With Us
Write For Us
“I Stick By My Decision”: An Interview with Ereka Vetrini of ‘The Apprentice’by Betsy Wasser -- 03/04/2004
View Printable version of this article
Cosmetics executive Ereka Vetrini made quite an impression on The Apprentice. She was the first project manager for Protégé, scoring a decisive win in the lemonade challenge. She clashed with Omarosa, creating some explosive arguments. And her final trip to the boardroom was among the most memorable. Here, Ereka took some time to talk to RealityNewsOnline about her experience on The Apprentice.
RealityNewsOnline: Ereka, thank you very much for taking the time to talk to RealityNewsOnline. First things first: Why did you decide to go on this show?
Ereka: Because it was my next big challenge! I loved my job, but an opportunity like this can not be passed up.
RNO: You were the project manager twice (for the lemonade challenge and for the Trump Ice challenge). Was your leadership strategy at all different for the two challenges?
Ereka: What you have to remember is that there is really very little time to create a strategy. For the most part, you are running against the clock. I was basically thrown into the fire for the lemonade task. No one wanted to lead a bunch of A-type personality women into battle, and unfortunately two of my teammates (you can guess which ones) were impossible to work with.
As for the Trump Ice task, you have to remember that we had no control over which customers we sold to, we were not allowed to create a marketing plan, and our price point was significantly higher than our [competitors’]. It was a tough sell, and I feel like my biggest mistake was give so much responsibility to the self-proclaimed salesman, Nick.
RNO: What was the women’s team’s reaction when Trump and Carolyn told you that you were relying too much on sex appeal to win your tasks? Now that you’ve had a chance to look back on it, do you think they were right?
Ereka: Not at all. What viewers should ask themselves is: Who created these tasks? We were dressing for the assignment. All of us are classy professionals, who in real life always dress and act appropriately. We wouldn't be as successful as we are if we didn't.
If we did not use our "advantages" there would have been even more criticism. It is true that all of the women on our show are beautiful, however we are also all very confident and intelligent and I think that is what makes us sexy. If we weren't confident and intelligent, tying up our shirts may have gotten us $5 for a glass of lemonade, but it would not have gotten us $20, $30, and $40 for a single glass, which is what we sold a glass for.
RNO: Some of your teammates said that you were overly emotional. Do you think that’s fair?
Ereka: On a separate occasion, Donald Trump pointed to Katrina and me and said, “The other team might consider you emotional, but I consider you passionate, and that's what I am.” Plus the only other teammate who called me emotional was Omarosa, and her opinion is worth very little to me.
RNO: Speaking of her, you had some memorable clashes with Omarosa in the first few episodes, but then your conflict seemed to cool down. What happened? Was it just a matter of being on different teams?
Ereka: Yes, if we were on the same team, I'm sure the conflict would have continued. We have very different personalities. I was one of the first to see through her, and lucky for me, now all of America can see what she's really all about. She's a wonderful speaker, but underneath it all there's a mean spirit and a terrible employee.
RNO: After the real estate challenge, Bill said the he felt you and Katrina turned on him in the boardroom. Do you think that’s valid?
Ereka: Not at all, that's not in my nature. What you didn't see was that Bill started pointing fingers at Katrina and me when he was in the hot seat for poor negotiation. We were just defending ourselves. He even tried to take responsibility for the renovations, which was clearly Katrina's accomplishment.
RNO: Can you explain in more detail than we were shown why your team’s paperwork was so disorganized at the end of the water challenge?
Ereka: After each sale, we had to complete a standard Sales Authorization Form that was very straightforward. For the few sales that Nick did make, he failed to fill out the proper paperwork. At the end of the day, I had to babysit him and fix all his mistakes. It was definitely exaggerated, but yes I was frustrated with Nick.
RNO: Do you think it was fair to choose Bill to go to the boardroom with you instead of Katrina? Now that you’ve had more time to think about it, do you think your friendship influenced your decision? Do you still think Bill betrayed you?
Ereka: I stick by my decision. We were very successful in selling to restaurant and bars, however we failed on our sales to distributors. Nick, Bill, and I were the only ones negotiating sales to distributors. That is why Katrina stayed out of the board room.
I was very disappointed in Bill, as he mentioned in the boardroom we worked very well together he even said he was impressed on how I held my own. However, he decided to turn against me at the last minute probably because he saw me as more of a threat than Nick.
RNO: You were on a lot of winning teams. What was the best reward you won?
Ereka: The private jet to Boston!
RNO: Is there anything you’d like our readers to know about your time on the show, maybe something that we didn’t see because of editing?
Ereka: I just want everyone to know that I'm not the racist that Omarosa claims I am. She apologized on video for that statement. That statement really hurt me. That is the only time I cried. I remember thinking, "What have I gotten myself into?" I'm an extremely open-minded person and I only judge people by their character.
Betsy is the Assistant Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached with any comments at email@example.com.
Be sure to sign up for our e-mail update so you can stay informed about new articles on the site! And take a look at the rest of the site. You can find all of our recent articles on this show at our The Apprentice page and take a look at our sections on Survivor: All-Stars and Celebrity Mole. You can even buy reality show stuff at our Reality TV Store!
For more news about The Apprentice, be sure to check out SirLinksALot!
View Printable version of this article