Twenty-two-year-old Adam Israelov fell just short of The Apprentice's Final Four when his performance as project manager on last week's Shania Twain fragrance task left him smelling not like a rose but like someone who's been fired. Was Donald Trump's decision all a bunch of carriage-horse poop? TVGuide.com chatted with Adam about that, his turn as a Jedi knight and, yes, s-e-x.
TVGuide.com: Of course no one likes to be fired, but you really seemed to be shocked when Trump Cobra'd you.
Adam Israelov: I loved that facial expression, by the way. [Laughs] I have to be quite honest, I was not expecting to be fired as I felt that I added a great deal of value on this task. I was probably one of the strongest players on this task, and Alla said Felisha was the weaker player, but overall Felisha's performance has been stronger, so at the very end it took a different turn in the boardroom. I truly thought it was going to be a fight between the two girls.
TVGuide.com: As someone who once worked across the street from Central Park, I don't associate carriage horses with perfume.
Adam: Right. Well the reason I came up with that idea is, being on this show, you want to think big and you want to think of something different. Wrapping people [in an advertisement]? I see that in New York all the time and yeah, it's somewhat effective, so we threw some people out there. But this was a country music star, and what's associated with country music? I thought [horse-drawn] carriages. Alla, to this day, says it was a great idea. What you didn't see was one of our carriages got hit by a car or a bus — I can't remember, but it made the New York Post — so we lost that advertisement. Business is about innovation, analytical skills and sometimes luck, and we were lacking it that day. At the end of the day, I truly think that Mr. Trump thought that Alla and Felisha were a better team. I disagreed with that, but I think great things of both of them. Alla is a true star, and she's got raw business talent.
TVGuide.com: What was your take on Randall and Rebecca intercepting your team's Radio Shack megaphone delivery?
Adam: They didn't share the same integrity that I would have had. In the business environment that we live in today, you always want to err toward the conservative side.
TVGuide.com: Bill Rancic applauded their move, however.
Adam: Perhaps that's Trump's style. It's not my style.
TVGuide.com: If, as we often are told, The Apprentice is a "job interview," wouldn't Trump's inquiry as to your being a virgin invite some sort of lawsuit?
Adam: There would have been legal ramifications. I still to this day feel that was highly inappropriate. Not only was that inappropriate for a job interview, but that was someone of my father's age asking someone of his son's age a question like that. Highly inappropriate — and a little bit disgusting.
TVGuide.com: Speaking of the "Sex at Work" seminar, did you and Clay make peace before he left?
Adam: Uh, no. No. I don't think he wanted to make peace with anybody on the show, to be quite honest with you. It's unfortunate that someone takes that route in business.
TVGuide.com: Regarding your Star Wars-task costume, you made the least convincing Jedi I have ever seen.
Adam: Oh my goodness, don't remind me of that costume! I definitely wasn't thrilled to put that on but Clay and Felisha were adamant about it, and sometimes you have to be a team player. But still, in the back of my mind I thought, "I'm a businessman providing solutions for Fortune 500 companies and what I'm doing right now is a bit bizarre."
TVGuide.com: Lord knows, Toral wouldn't have worn it!
Adam: Toral wouldn't have done it, and I highly respect Toral. She's probably one of my closest friends from the show.
TVGuide.com: What was your favorite reward?
Adam: There were two. One was the [Trump-guided] helicopter [tour] where I got to see the Statue of Liberty, and the other was producing the song with Wyclef Jean. And, I have to admit, I loved finally seeing Markus get his champagne [on the Montauk fishing reward]. We were all so happy that he received that reward prior to being axed the next week.
TVGuide.com: Almost whoever wins this thing now, it will be a sort of milestone. Randall would be the first African-American Apprentice, Alla would be the first former stripper....
Adam: She'd also be the first without a college degree, correct? Rebecca would be the youngest....
TVGuide.com: What's next for you?
Adam: I'm going to continue to provide solutions for Fortune 500 companies; I do consulting, a hybrid of investment banking and insurance services, and I work for a very elite firm. I still do real estate with my family, and I'm also going to be working with The Learning Annex — but I will be talking about insurance, something a little bit less colorful than sex! [Laughs]