Talk about bad karma. Last week on The Apprentice, 21-year-old Jessie Connors got the ax days after back-stabbing teammate Kristi in front of Donald Trump and America. TV Guide Online caught up with the young entrepreneur, who defends her bad behavior in the boardroom, explains her irksome negotiation style and rationalizes her exile.
TV Guide Online: You were the youngest contestant. Were you intimidated by the others? Jessie Connors: I don't think intimidated is the right word. I admire some of the players very much. It was awesome just to meet them and to see their resumes and what they've accomplished.
TVGO: Whom did you admire the most? Jessie: I loved Heidi. She's so feisty and honest and blunt. Sam, because he thinks outside of the box. Kristi, because working with her was so much fun. She's a great girl.
TVGO: That said, why did you stab Kristi in the back in the boardroom? Jessie: I actually didn't. When I was in the park with her, which wasn't shown, I said, "Kristi, if Trump addresses me, I am going to have to be honest with him." And she was disappointed, but if I had said that Heidi had done a bad job, that would have made me look like a liar, too.
TVGO: What happened when you and Kristi were reunited? Was there tension? Jessie: We're good friends and I know that she was disappointed, but the truth hurts sometimes. We were playing a game.
TVGO: Why did you feel you had to talk to Isaac Mizrahi as if he were a 4-year-old with ADD? Jessie: Basically, there was a misunderstanding with some of the other celebrities and there wasn't a lot of clarity as to what was actually going to happen at the auction. I just wanted to lay everything out there [about the foundation] and let him know about our sincerity in raising money and creating a value on the experience [being auctioned].
TVGO: When he pointed out your demeanor toward him, why didn't you change your approach? Jessie: I just wanted to tell him about the foundation and explain our purpose for being there. And if you look at Kwame and Omarosa's negotiations with Russell Simmons, they didn't do that great of a job, either.
TVGO: Were you surprised to end up in the boardroom? Jessie: No, because I anticipated Omarosa's strategy and she wasn't going to choose a guy [to go with her].
TVGO: Do you think Omarosa had it in for you from the beginning? Jessie: Not necessarily; I think she maybe had it in for everybody. But I was the pinpoint of this task.
TVGO: Do you think The Donald tried to provoke a catfight in the boardroom among you, Heidi and Omarosa? Jessie: That's a possibility. I have a different communication style and Trump asked me, "Why didn't you stand up to Omarosa?" But I'm not going to create a conflict within the task while we were trying to accomplish something. I'm a big enough person that I can leave some of those feelings aside and finish something.
TVGO: Why do you think you were fired instead of Omarosa? Jessie: I have questions about it to this day, but mainly what it came down to was that I didn't stand up for myself in the boardroom.
TVGO: Do you believe that's true? Jessie: No, I don't. But I'm not going to create conflict. I'm not going to just start arguing with her and laying out her faults.
TVGO: Why didn't you stick up for yourself more aggressively? Did you think that pleading with Trump was going to save you? Jessie: After watching the show, no. But at the time, yes, I did think that maybe it would help.
TVGO: We saw a little flirting between Amy and Nick. Did you develop a crush on any of the guys? Jessie: [Laughs] Um, no.
TVGO: Did anyone hit on you? Jessie: [Laughing] Um, no.
TVGO: Have you kept in touch with anyone from the show? Jessie: I've kept in touch with Sam, Bowie, Heidi and David.
TVGO: What are you up to professionally these days? Jessie: I own a marketing firm and a real estate company, and I just started my management company for my investments.
TVGO: Can you tell us any tidbits about what happens next? Jessie: It's going to be exciting. Stay tuned!