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Celebrity Apprentice Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

This is an interview with Donald Trump, Paul Teutul, Sr. and Dayana Mendoza on March 13, 2012 about appearing on the show Celebrity Apprentice.

Apprentice

Question:
Paul, you were around for this whole challenge this past week, so going into the presentation and after you saw it, how did you feel you guys did? And do you think that Michael Andretti was used fine?

Paul Teutul, Sr.:
That's a tough question. There's a lot of controversy over that group. I think that a lot of people saw it as being unfair, but to answer the question, it's like yes and no. Should he have been the task manager? Yeah, he should have. But to me it's like if I'm in a store buying the store Buick and Michael Andretti is in the store and he says, ???That's the car to buy,??? well, that's the car I'm buying.

Question:
Donald, how much of a challenge was it for you in the Board Room this week trying to debate between firing Lou or firing Michael>

Donald J. Trump:
I wanted more out of Michael. But, Michael's a great guy and he really proved his medal when he drove, but that's his strength. He drove really well. But, he really should have been the head of the team and he should have taken more control of the team, and I think we made the right decision, but Michael is an absolutely great guy.

Question:
20 years from now how do you want people to remember The Celebrity Apprentice, and what memory do Dayana and Paul have that they'll remember forever?

Donald J. Trump:
Celebrity Apprentice has just been amazing and The Apprentice, the whole Apprentice franchise that we started, it's in many, many countries all over the world now and it's become so important. And this week, even that last half hour was through the roof with a very tremendous rating, and you know just continues to do well. So, we're very proud of it.

I think just that we did a great job and we taught people a lot. You know, I get many, many letters from people, not only young people, just people generally saying they've learned so much by watching The Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice, and originally that's how it started. It was going to be really an educational show, and then it went to number one on many evenings, and it was like the number one show on television and continues to do well.

I think it's great if people can learn something from it. And as far as Paul and Dayana, they've both been incredible. They're really smart people, really good people. In one case we have a great beauty, and in another case we have a very strong guy who's married to a great beauty. But, they're both amazing people and they've really played the game well. Despite everything else, they're really smart, and that's why they're still here.

Question:
Donald, Teresa Giudice has been much quieter than you expected. Why?

Donald J. Trump:
Well, I don't want to give much up, but as Dayana can tell you and Paul can tell you, she gets wild very soon. But I agree with you, she's much different. She's a very quality person. She's much different than I thought she would be. I thought she'd be a total wild woman and really she's not. She's more reserved if anything else, and I think it's a lot different than when you see her on the other show because I don't know why. I'm not sure if it's rebranding or just that she's maybe intimidated by a lot of other people because she is a little bit intimidated by some of the other people. It's a tough group.

Question:
She's going to get wild very soon?

Donald J. Trump:
Not negatively. When I say surprised, I don't mean a negative surprise, but it's surprising to me that she's not more volatile.

Question:
This season has started off fantastic. Are you already having fun?

Donald J. Trump:
I'm having fun and I'm meeting some great people and I knew Paul a little bit through The Jay Leno Show over the years. And he always wanted to make me a Chopper and he made one and it's a masterpiece. I just told one of the big shows, Entertainment Tonight that it just shows what we can do in this country, in terms of technology and craftsmanship and manufacturing, because the Chopper he made is a masterpiece. Nobody else could do it like that. And so I've known that. And Dayana, who doesn't come from this country, has turned out to be just amazing. So I've had a lot of fun. I've met a lot of great people.

Question:
Dayana, how have you enjoyed doing the show? Has this opened your eyes to the different ways of the country or the different ways of people, period?

Dayana Mendoza:
To start with, it's a different language for me, and I do speak English well, I would consider, but when people are talking too fast, probably not most of the words that are used I understand. So, it probably holds me back a little from evaluating a task or thinking it through, obviously, if I don't understand it that well. But anyway, I'm still so fortunate and honored to be part of the cast and be able to work with these amazing people that have been working for probably 25 years of their life. I'm just 25 years old. And Mr. Trump, I thank him a lot for all the support and always being there to help out.

Question:
How are you getting along with all the other girls?

Dayana Mendoza:
Well, so far so good, I guess.

Donald J. Trump:
Not so well with Lisa.

Dayana Mendoza:
So far so good for what you guys can see right now. I think you're going to see things exploding very soon, probably next Sunday, right away. But, I'm there to work and do my best and be professional and not trying to involve my personal feelings and personal issues with others, and that's what I have to deal with most of the time during the show.

Donald J. Trump:
If I were a television producer or if I were a movie producer, I would sign up Dayana right away. She's had a huge impact on everybody that watches her, and she blows away 99% of the people that I see on television and I see in the movies. She's star, and I think I can speak for Paul when I said, I mean, she would be so great, when I see, and I'm not going to mention names, but I see people on televisions where it's not even a contest, and I would sign her up in two seconds. But fortunately, for the world I'm a real estate guy not a television producer, but if I were a producer I'd sign her up instantaneously.

Question:
Did you ever in your wildest dreams think this would be as successful as it has been?

Donald J. Trump:
No, I had no idea. My father would be spinning right now. He would have no idea. He said, ???You know you're a brilliant real estate mind,??? he used to tell me all the time, and I'd say, ???Thanks a lot, Pop, I appreciate it.??? He was touch cookie too. That's sort of like Paul as a father, I will tell you, tough, but he was a tough cookie. But, he always used to think I was a great real estate guy. If he would have said that we would have had the number one show on television he would have said, ???You have to be kidding,??? because it wasn't his world.

But, it's turned out to be so successful and who would have known this? I mean, NBC didn't know because they originally signed just for one season, and then there was a filler. And then, as you remember, went to the number one show on television, so nobody would have thought this would have happened and we're having a lot of fun with it and it's great for everybody that's been on it. I can't speak for Paul, but I guarantee you his business is going to be through the roof. It already is probably.

You look at Trace Adkins. I mean, he became the number one country singer. You look at Piers Morgan, he took over Larry King and people hadn't heard of Piers, but he took over Larry King and he did America's Next Talent. And so many things. Joan Rivers went to the number one comedian in the country and her career was not doing well. I mean, she's the first to say it. She said it in her movie. She did the show and she became the highest paid comedian in the world right now.

So it's been great for everybody. Dayana is going to be big things. Dayana hopefully is going to pay me 25% of everything she makes for the rest of her life, but maybe she won't do that, and Paul will give me 25% of every Chopper he sells, so we'll be happy. But, you know no, I have some great people and I'm proud of the people. When they leave the show they all, even the ones that don't do as well as you would think they would do, they all do really well because they were on the show.

Question:
Paul, coming from a reality show yourself, why did you decide to do another one?

Paul Teutul, Sr.:
I guess to get out of the comfort zone. I've been doing my reality show for ten years now and it's still going good. So, you know I just thought that it would be good to try and do something different, and when I say different it's very different than my show. So, I thought it was a great experience. You know, a lot of times when I say get out of your comfort zone there's a lot of things that you don't want to do that I find that I don't want to do in life, but sometimes you just need to show up and it really changes your life.

Donald J. Trump:
I will say this. I wish Paul put my bike, the one he made for me up into that competition that he did recently, because I think it would have blown the competition away. I think that bike is so genius. It's in the lobby of Trump Tower. And Paul, if you would have used my bike in that competition you would have blown the competition away.

Paul Teutul, Sr.:
I do.

Donald J. Trump:
I've been meaning to tell you that. I didn't know we'd have thousands of press people on the phone, all right, but that's okay. But, I think it's just a real masterpiece and people are going crazy over it down in the Trump Tower Atrium.

Paul Teutul, Sr.:
Great.

Question:
I was just thinking about what you were saying that the success of The Apprentice. Would you ever consider doing a college version so people can win an internship with you, Mr. Trump?

Donald J. Trump:
We've thought of it and we've actually thought of doing a Senior Citizens against young; very, very successful people that ran companies, even Fortune 500 companies that retired. You know, Chairman and Presidents of these major companies against young college students that just came out and their full of vim and vigor.

So, we have a lot of different concepts and I'm in a world where it's sort of interesting, because every network wants me to be on a show. They all want me to do a show because, I guess, because of the success of The Apprentice. But, I'm just enjoying what I'm doing on The Apprentice. I have so many people throwing shows at me I feel like a movie start, but that's okay. But, I love what I'm doing with The Apprentice and I like making people happy, and I really love the Celebrity version of The Apprentice because so many people that I've known a little bit or don't know at all, but you get to meet so many great people.

Question:
I wanted to ask both Donald and Paul about their take on Lou, because it seems to me like he's really trying. Maybe he has limited talents, but it seems like he really tries. And yet it seems, Donald, you have a soft spot for him and it seems that the guys just really are gunning for him. So I just wanted to is there something behind the scenes that's going on?

Paul Teutul, Sr.:
Lou's a lovable guy, you know what I mean, and who could not like him. Everybody has a great deal of respect for him. And thus far maybe he's just having a hard time with the tasks that we've been doing and it may show up later.

Donald J. Trump:
From my standpoint I can tell you this. Lou has been wanting to get on this show for three seasons. He has called me incessantly, ???Please put me on the show.??? And for a lot of different reasons, including the fact that we turned down so many people, we just couldn't put him on the show yet. It just didn't work out.

But he's wanted to be on so badly and he's so intense and he tries so hard, and I think that actually hurts him, because he tries so hard that it actually turns off Paul and other people. It's like they're not liking it. But from my standpoint I know how hard he worked to be on this, he just wanted to be on so badly. And I remember that and we are humans and it is hard to forget that, but I think he's doing a great job. I think he's a real character, but his intensity and his wanting to win is so intense that I think it actually hurts him.

Question:
Donald, did you think long and hard about firing two people last week?

Donald J. Trump:
I did, but as you know this is the largest cast we've ever had. We have 18 people and we have 15 shows. So, at some point we had to fire two people and this just seemed like the appropriate time. So, you know it's just one of those things and they're both good people, but I really had to do it at some point, because again it's the largest Apprentice we've had because we have 18 in the cast, which is the largest, and because of the ratings we have 15 episodes. We've never had 15. I think the largest we've ever had was 12 or 13, and this season we have 15, so it's the biggest one we've done and at some point I had to fire two just logistically.

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