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"It Was Like a Sorority I Was Not Given Membership To": An Interview with Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth of ‘The Apprentice’by Betsy Wasser -- 03/19/2004
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Ask a group of Apprentice fans who they think will win, and you'll get an array of different answers. Some think country boy Troy has it sewn up, others believe that Amy will continue her winning streak, and still others think that Nick's combination of business ethics and salesmanship will take him to the top. But if you ask that same group of people which of the candidates was the most interesting, the most memorable, chances are good that they'll all have the same answer: Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth. Whether it was arguing with her teammates, suffering a leg wax for the good of the team, suffering a head injury, trying to advise her team away from risky artist Meghan, or leading the team to victory in the charity auction challenge, any time Omarosa was on the scene, chances were good we were in for an interesting show.
Omarosa was kind enough to talk to RealityNewsOnline about her experiences on The Apprentice. She declined to talk about her head injury or her statements that some of the other contestants made racist remarks, but she did tell us a great deal about her experience.
RealityNewsOnline: Omarosa, thank you for taking the time to talk to RealityNewsOnline. Let's start at the beginning: Why did you audition for this show?
Omarosa: I saw this as a once in a lifetime opportunity to serve as a CEO of one Mr. Trump's organizations. It was also a chance to learn from on of the most brilliant business men in the U.S.
RNO: Of all of the challenges you competed in, which one was the most interesting for you?
Omarosa: I was most interested in the Charity Auction that we organized at Sotheby's for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation. I was proud to make a contribution to such a worthy cause.
RNO: Which was the least interesting?
Omarosa: The least interesting task was the lemonade task.
RNO: From the beginning, you seemed to have trouble clicking with the rest of your group. Was it part of your strategy to isolate yourself, or was it just difficult for you to mesh with the rest of the team?
Omarosa: In the beginning I was not included in many of the key group decisions. My teammates simply tried to mute or ignore me. It was like a sorority that I was not given membership to.
RNO: After the boardroom in which Kristi was fired, Trump called your behavior "repulsive." After that happened, did you do anything to change your behavior?
Omarosa: Yes, I tried to build better relationships with my teammates. Unfortunately, I think it was too little too late.
RNO: In the bottled water challenge, you and Amy had a plan in which you would handle the marketing and she would handle the numbers, yet you were seen several times to talk numbers. Can you explain what happened?
Omarosa: I have the ABC's of selling down; Always Be CLOSING!!! When I saw that Amy was not closing the deal, I stepped in to close the deal. It's as simple as that.
RNO: Which of your teammates were you closest to? Which one do you respect the most? Which do you respect the least?
Omarosa: I am close to Bill, Troy, Sammy, Jessie, Tammy, and Kwame. I respect Bill for his ability to treat each of the contestants with the same respect and kindness. I respect each contestant for just beating out 215,000 applicants to get on the show.
RNO: In your final episode, you went back into the boardroom before Trump called you in. Why?
Omarosa: I went back into the boardroom because I was instructed by the producer to do so. I was told that I was going to have a one-on-one with Trump about my injury. It was a classic reality TV moment.
RNO: Do you think you were portrayed fairly on the show? Are there any misconceptions about you that you'd like to clear up?
Omarosa: Historically, African-American women have been portrayed in a negative light in reality television programming. As was the case with my portrayal on The Apprentice. I see the editing as humorous; it makes for a very dramatic presentation of the facts.
RNO: Why do you think you were fired?
Omarosa: I am not quite clear on why I was fired. I was the only one to sell a painting, I was the only one who did not select the artist, and I made a major contribution to the task. So I guess it was just my time.
RNO: Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us!
Betsy is the Assistant Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached with any comments at email@example.com.
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