The Apprentice on Larry King Live: A Recapby Mike DeGeorge -- 04/23/2004
Former Apprentice contestants Kwame Jackson, Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, Amy Henry, Nick Warnock, Heidi Bressler, and Troy McClain joined winner Bill Rancic, Donald Trump, and Larry King for a roundtable discussion on Larry King Live on April 21.
When Trump started out the final boardroom segment by criticizing Kwame, Bill thought Trump might actually hire Kwame, since Trump liked to throw the viewers off. He calls the finale the best night of his life. Bill decided to enter the contest because he wanted to “test the waters” and prove himself as an entrepreneur. He was self-employed, having recently sold his company, so he had the flexibility to enter.
King notes that the chairman of the board of Goldman Sachs commented that he couldn't believe someone left Goldman Sachs to enter a contest. Kwame says he knew exactly where he would be in his Wall Street career a year from now, so he took the opportunity. He is currently being booked for speaking engagements.
Amy was looking for an exciting adventure, and would pay to do it again. She considers it a 13-week MBA, due to the skills required.
Troy, for his part, was truly after the job. He hoped that getting the job would validate his lack of education. In addition, his wife put him up to it, in order to follow through on the promise he made in his high school yearbook. He hoped an organization like Trump’s would “straighten out my rough edges.”
Omarosa claims that since whatever doesn’t kill her makes her stronger, she’s like Hercules now. She wanted to build her business experience, and has no regrets at all even though she obviously didn’t enjoy being hated.
Larry comments that Regis Philbin had made mention that he knew the show was edited quite a bit. Omarosa says that she’s not allowed to comment about what doesn’t make the air (which is a new one for her, apparently), but she agrees that things are not always as they seem.
Bill comes in and says that Mark Burnett is a purist and doesn’t feed them lines. Omarosa says that she never said that, and Bill answers that it was implied. She goes on to say that Bill has a script to follow, which he vehemently denies. She then says that everyone had their own experience, and resents everyone else projecting their experience on her… which, of course, SHE was just doing seconds earlier!
Amazing. I honestly believe that this woman is too clueless to realize how ridiculous she sounds.
Back to the show, Larry moves on to Nick, who entered because he wanted to meet Donald Trump. He grew up in Bayonne, New Jersey, and Trump was a hero to him.
Finally, Heidi is in Vegas hosting the VH-1 Diva Awards with Omarosa and Amy. She hasn’t slept in a week, but isn’t complaining! She entered because she wanted the job, and wanted to meet The Donald. It just goes to show, she says, that she showed up at the tryouts in a skirt and flip-flops and beat out the suit-wearing hopefuls!
Going back to the fight between Omarosa and Bill earlier, Larry asks Kwame what he thinks. Kwame stays out of it, not to cop out but to stay away from the “catty battles” and avoid playing the “reindeer games.” Well, he gets points from me for using that phrase!
Troy speaks up, and backs Bill. He says he was “never… scripted, coached, or anything.” Reality TV catches the essence of your personality. They caught the essence of Troy, the essence of Bill, and the essence of Omarosa.
In my opinion, I personally have covered a lot of reality TV, and have spoken to a lot of reality TV contestants. I’ve learned two things in that time. First, it’s all about the editing. And secondly, no editing in the world can make you look like an @$$hole unless you acted like an @$$hole.
Back to the show, Omarosa points out that Bill said on Today that they selected what they presented. Bill agrees. Omarosa says that this proves her point that they put the story together the way they want. Amy argues that they don’t put words in the contestants’ mouths, and Omarosa replies, “when did I say that?” Um, when you told Bill that he was following a script. Sheesh.
After a break, they show clips of Omarosa arguing with Heidi in the boardroom and Trump dressing down Kwame in the finale for not firing Omarosa.
Larry asks if Kwame would have done it differently. Kwame says that he never got the memo that he was Mark Burnett and could remove people from the show. Nice one, Kwame. But he says it’s 20/20 hindsight, and he was just focusing on the task at the time.
Larry asks Omarosa if she was unfairly portrayed. She says that they didn’t show the fact that she was the only person to sell artwork during that challenge (yes, they did…), they didn’t show that she presented at the advertising campaign (yes, they did), that they didn’t show the full house at the Jessica Simpson concert (yes, they did, and you had nothing to do with selling tickets anyway), and that they didn’t show the “ton of money” they raised for Operation: Smile (say it with me: YES, THEY DID).
Bill replies that they can only edit what the contestants give them. And you cannot manufacture a fictional person, period. I knew I liked Bill.
Thank goodness, Larry finally moves away from Omarosa. He asks Heidi if the editing was fair to her. She says absolutely, that we saw the good AND bad sides of her. It wasn’t easy sharing her Mom’s cancer with America, but that’s what she signed up for, and it meant that we also saw the funny, feisty side of her and she’s glad.
Larry asks Nick about his “showmance” with Amy. Nick says they dated briefly after the show, but Amy lives in Austin and he lives in LA, and they’re in different stages of their lives. Amy echoes the “different stages of our lives” line, and adds that while they were on the show, they had the show in common. Afterward, well, they’re back to reality.
Larry asks Troy if he should have won. Troy says it was the saddest and greatest moment in his life, because he lost to Kwame. He wanted to win, he knew he was good for the job, but as Trump said, he doesn’t have it yet. He wants to come back and have another shot. Like Rudy on Survivor, he wants to keep coming back until he wins.
Same question for Kwame, who says he tried his best, and lost to a great guy. He’s now focusing on future opportunities.
Bill discusses his new job for a bit. They will be tearing down the old Sun-Times Building in about six months, and there is plenty of prep work to be done in the meantime. They need to deal with the city and pre-sell units, among other activities.
Donald Trump joins the show. He claims to be the biggest show of the year aside from the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards, and it was all due to him. We’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he was kidding.
Why did it work? Trump says there was great chemistry. He thinks some of them will do well, and some of them won’t. You never can tell.
Everyone is asked what they think of Trump, and naturally they suck up, even Omarosa. Probably a good idea. What does Donald think of Omarosa? He says he was going to come down hard on her, but now he can’t. But whether we like her or not, she’s good television.
Larry asks Trump about Regis’ comments that some of the show was planned. Trump claims that his good friend Regis was saying it with a smile, and it was picked up by the Post and got carried away.
He asks Trump if the show can succeed next season. Troy jumps in and says that as long as Trump gives him another chance, it will. I have to agree!
Donald stops and mentions that he heard that Troy wanted to go back to college. However, college is expensive and Troy has a family to support. So Trump has an offer, but only if he has the unanimous support of the other contestants.
Trump then offers to pay for 100% of Troy’s college education. Wow. The other contestants are solidly behind the idea, and Troy is speechless. Trump says, “you better pick a nice, good, expensive college.”
On the extreme other end of the spectrum, Larry wants to talk about the FHM photo shoot. I’ll just BET he does. Amy says she really didn’t think about it before she did it. Well, that’s always a good way to do business. She says that she’s not ashamed of the photos, but it’s not an image she wants to portray.
Omarosa is asked if she would have posed, and she says absolutely not. She wants a career in politics. She’s got the ethical makeup for it, I’ll give her that. Amy says that Omarosa wasn’t asked, and told her the week before that she was interested. In fact, Amy and Omarosa were supposed to do a Maxim shoot until Amy backed out. Omarosa denies it, and of course everyone believes her because she would NEVER lie.
Bill says they have nothing to be ashamed of, and if they want to do it, more power to them. Trump says he was surprised, and the photos were a little “out there.” He adds that the same women were offered a lot more money by Playboy and they turned it down. They did the FHM shoot for nothing, which, he says, may be one indicator of why they didn’t win! Heidi adds that almost all the women were offered the exact same money by Playboy, and everyone turned it down.
A caller asks Heidi and Bill what advice would they give to people who want to be on the show? Bill says to be yourself, don’t over-strategize, and learn from week to week.
Larry asks Nick what he would have done differently. Nick answers that he shouldn’t have been so coy. Okay.
Heidi answers the caller’s question, saying that people should be themselves and not try to be another Omarosa or Bill or Heidi. And don’t be intimidated by Trump.
The next caller asks what Amy thought about being called a Stepford Wife. She laughed at it. You can either be bitter or you can laugh about it. She didn’t come off well in interviews because she has a lot of energy, and that was threatening to the corporate culture.
Trump says that Amy was magnificent, she won more than anyone else. He was upset with his people for not seeing “the real Amy.” Apparently, the real Amy makes decisions, like posing nearly naked in a national magazine, without thinking about them. Trump goes on to say that he knows Amy better than his executives, and they were wrong. Amy is going to be successful. But he doesn’t offer her a job. Strange.
Larry King breaks in with the news that Michael Jackson was indicted on child molestation charges. Larry asks Trump what he thinks, because he knows Jackson well. Trump does not believe it and will stick up for Michael. Michael Jackson lived in Trump Tower and he never saw any sort of problem, so he doesn’t believe it.
Finally, Larry asks Bill what he thinks of his future. Bill is excited because Trump surrounds himself with great people. He looks forward to the challenge.
Mike DeGeorge has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, and has almost ten years of management experience. Email Mike at email@example.com.
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