Posted 15 April 2005 - 10:34 AM
Your Apprentice Questions Answered!
by Ali Gazan and Linda Holmes
Ask Donald Trump how the third season of The Apprentice is going and he'll cry, "People love it!" He'll also point out that it won its time slot a few episodes back with a mere clip show. Yet while it's true that millions are still tuning in, many of those fans have issues with the show (see, we do read your e-mails). So we presented your questions to Trump, face-to-face. Here's what he had to say.
Why are we seeing less of the tasks this season?
They are more complex. Remember, we started off selling lemonade and things like that. But suddenly, because of the success of the show, we've had Burger King, Pepsi, Crest. Pontiac is coming in shortly. They're launching a car on the show. We like that, because it's corporate America, which is great. [Also], people love the boardroom interaction better than the tasks. So we've shortened the tasks and lengthened the boardroom.
Do you watch footage of the tasks, or do you make your decisions strictly in the boardroom?
I watch as much footage of the tasks as I can; and of course I rely very much on George and Carolyn, since they've seen it all.
Do you take into account a person's overall performance or just how they performed that week?
When we started out, it was supposed to be week to week. But as we went through the season, I felt like it was unfair to go, "Gee, you're a star, and then you have a bad week, so you're fired." Bren had a couple of great weeks, and then he had that horrible week with the Dove commercial, but I didn't get rid of him. The past now has a much greater influence than it did at the beginning.
It also seems that people are more intent on sabotaging their own teams rather than beating the other group. Why aren't they reprimanded for that?
They're pretty strongly reprimanded. You see some of that in the boardroom, and [it happens] beyond the boardroom, with George and Carolyn.
You fired several project managers in a row. Don't you think that's been making the show too predictable?
If a project fails, generally speaking, the team leader is responsible. The project manager has a huge advantage, too — if they win, they're exempt the next week. But if they lose, as in life, they'll always be the most likely candidate to be fired.
And finally, on a recent episode, someone paid $1500 to spend a week with Lil' Kim. Now with her potentially going to jail, does that change anything?
Not really. They'll just have to spend some time with her in prison.
Posted 20 April 2005 - 12:06 PM
April 20, 2005 NYPost -- The storm-battered ship Norwegian Dawn was coming back to New York through gale-force winds to make a scheduled TV shoot for "The Apprentice" - a product placement that cost the cruise company more than $1million, sources said yesterday.
Donald Trump yesterday confirmed the ship _slammed by a 70-foot "freak wave" during the storm - was slated to be shot in New York early Sunday morning for an episode of his hit show. "We would love to have had them, but obviously they weren't able to make it," Trump told The Post.
Norwegian Cruise Line admitted the ship's return had been pushed up a week before departure - from 10 a.m. Sunday to 5 a.m. - but attributed the change to "operational reasons" and refused to elaborate. But a source close to the show said Norwegian paid Trump's producers a seven-figure sum for the ship to appear in the show - a big marketing coup. "They wanted to be on 'The Apprentice' because it's such a hot show," the source said.
Shaken passengers returned to New York a day late Monday morning, telling horror stories of the all-night storm and freak wave that struck on the way from the Bahamas. A New York travel agent with 35 years' experience said it was distressing Norwegian may have put the 8 a.m. Sunday filming session before the safety of its passengers.
"In the event of a storm, it's normal for a cruise ship to sail away from it, even if that means they'll be delayed in coming back," said the agent, who had clients on the cruise. "It's not uncommon to alter course in severe weather." Passenger Aldin Mamish, from New Jersey, said he was convinced the ship had been pushing to make port. "[It] should have stayed and waited for the storm to pass," said Mamish, 48, "but [it] didn't."
Norwegian spokeswoman Susan Robison last night refused to comment on the filming for "The Apprentice" or on the $1 million fee. But she denied the captain was under any pressure to hurry back. She said the captain had believed he could steer through the edges of the storm, but that it behaved differently than forecast. She said the captain slowed the ship to a low speed of only four knots to minimize the rocking of the ship and discomfort for the passengers. "There was no place to steer around," she said. "The captain acted completely appropriately, with his No.1 interest being the safety of the passengers and crew. We were not rushing anywhere."
Posted 25 May 2005 - 05:50 AM
Damn! Just as the infamous Trump wrap-around hairdo made its first appearance on the head of The Donald (Justin Louis), this two-hour exercise in unauthorized narcissism came to a screeching halt. So unfair.
The movie was beyond subtle in its portrayal of Trump as a walking bloated ego. In fact, it was so over-the-top that you'd have to play a drinking game to ease the pain of watching. But be warned: don't drink every time Trump utters a word of self-praise, like "ambition," "talented" or "accomplished." If you do that, you'll fall over within minutes. Rather, chug after hearing a complete sentence of self-grandeur, such as "I am a mogul. A magnate... I am American royalty." Or, when he tells Ivana that women just flock to him. "They look at me. They can't keep their hands off me." Yeah, right. I'm willing to bet that there are a few strong women who can withstand the power of this TV Trump.
Nonetheless, this train wreck of a movie did offer up one gem: Katheryn Winnick, who stole the show as Ivana Trump. I laughed uncontrollably at this dialogue: "Would you prefer to be making love now, Donald?" How seductive. And when Ivana confronts Marla Maples in Aspen? Meow! That was hands down, the cheesiest (and best) part of the movie, reminiscent of those Dynasty catfights with female arms flailing in all directions.
The clumsy attempt at the end to catch up to present day Trump, aka The Apprentice-maker, was abrupt, to say the least. After almost two hours of '80s excess and '90s financial collapse, suddenly it's a decade later and Trump is asked to star in his own reality extravaganza. We learn that he doesn't "like firing people. I've never been comfortable with it." Wow, can't you just feel the irony? I might have, had it not been spelled out for me. — Vanessa Rothschild
Posted 25 May 2005 - 07:22 AM
Posted 05 July 2005 - 03:10 PM
Posted 05 July 2005 - 03:17 PM
Posted 27 February 2006 - 01:37 PM
Trump Talks Martha, Randall and Apprentice No. 5!
by Ileane Rudolph
Donald Trump, The Apprentice
The Donald has spoken. "When you win the World Series, like we did with The Apprentice, you don't make too many changes," Donald Trump says on the eve of the NBC series' fifth edition. "The big change is always the cast." True, but there are some other surprises this time around. Premiering tonight at 9 pm/ET — in its new Monday time slot opposite 24 — Trump has called in some reinforcements, as he reveals in this TV Guide Q&A.
TV Guide: I'm sure you're happy with the performance of last season's finale, because the ratings had been down a bit.
Donald Trump: There was a lot of confusion with Martha [Stewart's edition of The Apprentice]. A lot of confusion. People didn't know what was going on. Even through that, [the original] did well, and then it really went well towards the end. The ratings were very strong. [Reciting ratings from Variety, Dec. 21, page 6] "CSI, The Apprentice..." [Proudly] We killed The Amazing Race. Fifteen copies or relative copies [of The Apprentice] have failed. I'm starting to think I must be very good at this. We just finished shooting No. 5, and No. 6 is being shot in Los Angeles. NBC and [series creator] Mark [Burnett] and myself thought it would be really good to have a change of venue, and I have property in Los Angeles. I'm going to go out there pretty soon to pick the people.
TV Guide: Let's talk about The Apprentice, Season 5. Every year you shake things up a little. What can we expect this season?
Trump: I felt strongly about [not changing too much]. We started to get a little bit cute in No. 3, with the project managers' exempt and all that, and all it did was make things more complicated. On No. 4, we went back to the original concept and I really like it much better. There are certain things that have worked well — like [pitting the] men versus the women — but again, when you have a success like The Apprentice, you don't want to change it so much.
TV Guide: You once had "the street smart versus the book smart" college grads.
Trump: Right, but the concept of men versus women has been there a very long time and it's probably a natural thing. We have made certain changes [for Season 5] but I can't really tell you that it's still men versus women, because that's what the show is for.
TV Guide: OK, let's talk about the contestants. As usual, most are good-looking and have impressive resumes.
Trump: Incredible resumes. Rather than going over all of them, because I don't have all day, let's look down the list. Allie: She went to Harvard, got an MBA, graduated very high in her class. Brilliant, very energetic. A great television character. Charmaine: She made presentations to companies that were just unbelievable. Better than people who have been doing it for 20 years. She's a natural salesperson, but beyond that an unbelievable presenter. Lenny: Russian, as tough as they come. Made himself a millionaire by the strap of his boots. Total killer, but with a heart. Again, a great character.
TV Guide: Michael looks like a possible show hunk.
Trump: [Assessing hunks] has never been my thing, but he's a very handsome guy. Very successful. He's a management consultant, he's done great. Tarek is very interesting. He's a member of Mensa, a very tiny group of people get into that. That's when you have a genius IQ. He's very different, as you'll see.
TV Guide: There's always one woman who scares everyone, who's kind of a barracuda.
Trump: Roxanne is very, very smart. University of Michigan Law School. Top student. Brilliant. She is really something. Andrea — amazing. She's made millions of dollars, probably the most successful cast member from a dollar standpoint. She skipped college, [yet is] possibly the most successful of all of them. She's a very, very tough and smart person.
TV Guide: Are there any Sam or Omarosa types?
Trump: You never know. Sam wasn't Sam until we went on the air. When we shot Apprentice [Season] 1, we never knew that Omarosa was Omarosa. We didn't know other people would be such stars and that was even after we shot and edited. I don't know who's going to become a star until the audience sees them. There are three or four of them in this group who I think could have "it," but it's bad for me to mention their names, because I'm usually wrong. There are some very beautiful [candidates], but that's been proven to not be [a critical factor].
TV Guide: What are some of the companies the candidates work with this season?
Trump: We'll be working with Microsoft, General Motors, Yahoo, Procter & Gamble.... Every company that's been on The Apprentice has had among their most successful launches. The Pontiac Solstice was a huge success, for example.
TV Guide: Can we expect any subs for Carolyn [Kepcher] or George [Ross]?
Trump: My daughter Ivanka, who went to the Wharton School of Finance — the No. 1 business school, where she got all A's — and who joined me less than a year ago, will substitute for Carolyn on occasion. And my son Donald Jr., who has been in my business for five years, will substitute for George on occasion.
TV Guide: Did you think of that or did Mark?
Trump: It was the most natural thing. Mark was in my office when Ivanka walked in and he said, "You know, she's 6 feet tall, she's a great beauty and she's had all A's in school.... We've got to have her on the show. "
TV Guide: Will she and Donald Jr. be tough in the boardroom?
Trump: They're tough and smart.
TV Guide: Who's going to scare the candidates more?
Trump: That's another thing I can't tell. I may think one, but the audience will think another. But they're really good. They're the ultimate Apprentices when you get right down to it.
TV Guide: This year, you're on Mondays, up against a very popular 24.
Trump: We always get great ratings. Don't forget, in Season 1, for many episodes we would beat CSI. We were the only ones ever to do that. [Competing against] 24 is a lot easier than CSI. The only thing that I would say is a risk is that we did really well on Thursday nights and people knew us in that slot and now we're in a different one — a very good slot, but a different one. The only thing I would be concerned about is whether the audience will find us.
TV Guide: You got tons of publicity when you invited Season 4's champ, Randall, to bring the runner-up, Rebecca, with him. Would you ever do that again?
Trump: That was unbelievable. I've gotten thousands of letters on that. That was a spur-of-the-moment decision made on live television. I can't tell you I would or I wouldn't [do it again], although I thought it was a good thing to do at the time. Randall certainly came out looking strong when he said no.
TV Guide: Was that the right choice for an entrepreneur to make?
Trump: He's a very decisive guy and honestly, when he made the decision, I thought he was making a mistake. Now that time has gone by, I think he did the right thing.
TV Guide: Is he doing a good job for you?
Trump: He's doing great.
TV Guide: You'll just have to think of something equally surprising for the Season 5 finale.
Trump: I promise.
Posted 26 May 2006 - 03:06 PM
Does Trump Fake Apprentice Twists?
by Matt Webb Mitovich
Donald Trump, The Apprentice
Oftentimes at this point in The Apprentice's umpteen-week "job interview" — this round's season-ender unspools on May 29 and June 5 — the two candidates managing their final tasks are faced with most unexpected hurdles. Think back to Season 1, when Kwame Jackson was nearly waylaid by MIA concert performer Jessica Simpson (a near-flake-out that actually makes all the more sense now that we know so much more about the pop tart). Or look as recently as last season's finale, when Joe Piscopo — yes, Joe Piscopo — was "forced" to bail as the host of Rebecca Jarvis' charity event, all because of some vague "union" rule.
Such final-task "surprises" obviously stir up the drama — to a point that it gets a person thinking: Is the omniscient Donald Trump amping up the "reality" with some behind-the-scenes sleight of hand? Did Jessica really get "lost"? Could it have been the Donald's well-manicured hand that actually pulled the power plug on Jennifer Massey's Season 2 Xbox display? Was Season 3's Tana Goertz really unable to get her hands on an American flag? Was Piscopo truly ineligible to pimp his D-list self in a plum prime-time TV appearance?
TVGuide.com took our theory to Trump, apparently unafraid that he would use his vast resources to make us, you know, "disappear." His response to the suggestion that someone (OK, he himself) has been "manufacturing final-task conflicts?" "No," he says. "The answer is that this is simply the way things have happened."
Trump says he was as stymied as anyone by Piscopo's abrupt exit as host of Rebecca's comedy event. "Who would have thought that Joe Piscopo, who was desperate to be on the show, would decide not to because he didn't want to violate some union thing that I am sure he could have worked out very easily," says the corporate titan. "I was very surprised and disappointed by him."
Then touching upon the Season 1 finale's famous blonde moment, Trump says it "was sort of a 'miracle' that happened. I mean, it was very interesting!"
Trump reiterates that nothing about The Apprentice is or ever has been planned. "I've never had a script, I've never had a written word," he insists. "In fact, [daughter] Ivanka was surprised after she did a few shows [subbing for Carolyn] to realize there is absolutely no scripting."
Ivanka herself tells TVGuide.com she was "taken aback" by the freewheeling nature of the show. "But that's what makes it a great thing to watch," she says. "It wouldn't come across as genuine or as effective if he was reading something."
Back to our original hypothesis, Trump says, "Just like we don't script, we also don't [create obstacles for] events just for the fun of it. It's just the way it happens."
That seemingly also rules out the possibility that he literally played God by making it rain on Season 4 champ Randal Pinkett's charity softball game. "No, I didn't," says the Donald. "I wish I had that power!"
Posted 16 February 2007 - 03:16 PM
Donald Trump Challenges Vince McMahon
Earlier this week during the taping of RAW®, business icon Donald Trump may have overstepped his bounds when he challenged mogul Vince McMahon to a hair match that will take place at WrestleMania® 23 in Detroit on April 1 live on Pay-Per View.
“It looks like Trump and McMahon will settle everything at WrestleMania 23 and Trump may get a haircut after it is all over,” said one excited WWE fan.
WWE Monday Night RAW® featuring Donald Trump’s WrestleMania 23 challenge to Vince McMahon will air during a special Thursday Night edition of WWE Monday Night RAW on USA Network (8-10 pm ET/PT).
The two billionaires have been feuding for weeks, after Trump upstaged McMahon on WWE fan appreciation night by dumping thousands of dollars from an arena ceiling.
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