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Donald Trump may have fired Brande Roderick on Sunday’s All-Star Celebrity Apprentice, but he still sent her home with $20,000 for her charity.
Roderick, who was playing for Promises 2 Kids, was the project manager of a task that called for the teams to create an interactive experience that promoted South Africa tourism.
Her team chose “adventure” over “romance” and was required to include such activities as ziplining and shark-cage diving, but the execs found the exhibit “juvenile.” While Trump felt that Roderick should have brought Lil Jon back for choosing the “adventure” angle, she declined, citing her loyalty toward her fellow competitor.
In the end, she was sent packing, but at the suggestion of teammate Trace Adkins, Trump decided not to send her home empty-handed considering how much she had raised throughout the competition for other players’ charities. On Monday, Roderick — who also runs two businesses: Pantofola d’Oro, a designer shoe company whose partners include Tommy Hilfiger and Adam Levine, and FantaZ.com, an online fantasy sports site where users can play against their favorite athlete — talked to The Hollywood Reporter about her second time on the show and whether she has any regrets.
The Hollywood Reporter: Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
Brande Roderick: I have thought about that, and the only thing that I could have done differently is maybe step up in the challenge before that, because South Africa was a beast of a challenge to take on. That being said, I was at a disadvantage because we were doing an interactive experience. How do you do that with sports and recreational things? They had “romance,” so it was a little big easier to bring in food and wine and music. It was much easier than doing ziplining. I thought we were going to be selling safaris. Even if we had gotten romance over safaris, I don’t know if that would have helped. The reason Penn [Jillette] won is he’s friends with Paul Simon. He had him in his back pocket. There was nothing more we could have done, to be honest.
THR: Do you regret not bringing Lil Jon back into the boardroom?
Roderick: Not at all. It wouldn’t have made a difference at all, so what’s the point of bringing a friend back if I didn’t have to? There was no reason to fire him, and unfortunately it was my turn to take that task, and it wasn’t an easy task. Both times I was PM, I went up against the two best players [Jillette and Trace Adkins], which maybe if I’d gone against Gary Busey or Stephen Baldwin I’d have done a little better.
THR: So you suspected going back into the boardroom that you were the one who was going to be fired?
Roderick: Absolutely. I was PM and they did nothing wrong, but had they done something wrong, you better believe I would have fought for myself. If you saw me on the first season I was on, you know for sure I’m a fighter. No one did anything wrong. There was no reason to bring anyone back. Because nobody did anything wrong, Mr. Trump had to fire the PM.
THR: Was it a surprise when Trace Adkins suggested that Trump give your charity a donation?
Roderick: It was complete surprise. I was so touched by [Adkins] for bringing that up. It was possibly because I raised $132,000 for his charity [in the premiere episode], he thought, you gotta give this little girl some money. I ended up raising over $150,000 for charity and [none for her own]. It was a tough pill to swallow. I am thankful to Trace and I am thankful to Mr. Trump.
THR: It seemed like you were getting emotional in the limo.
Roderick: Oh yeah, I was really touched by what he did, and the thought of me going home without raising anything for my charity when I did raise so much [for other players’ charities] would have been really hard. I was really touched.
THR: Is that the main reason you went back on Celebrity Apprentice a second time? For charity?
Roderick: Yes, and I’m a hugely competitive person, so give me a challenge and I’m ready for it.
THR: Who are you rooting for to win now?
Roderick: Anyone from Team Power, to be honest. I love them all; they are all my friends.
THR: How did your experience on the show compare the second time around?
Roderick: It was definitely harder the second time around because everybody knew what they were getting into. The first time we didn’t know. But this time, everybody was in it to win it. There were no weak players.
All-Star Celebrity Apprentice airs at 9 p.m. Sundays on NBC.
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