Not to be completely overshadowed by the Donald's quadruple ouster, Martha Stewart served up a double-elimination last week on her own version of The Apprentice when she sent home project manager Sarah Brennan and her second-in-command, Carrie Gugger. Sarah, an event planner, and Carrie, a financial-analyst-turned-glassblower, headed up Primarius' effort to promote the new Tide to Go stain remover. Alas, their disorganized and themeless float seemed more likely to discourage people from purchasing the product. TVGuide.com talked to the terrible twosome about the task and about Martha in general.
TVGuide.com: Why did you go on Martha's Apprentice in the first place?
Sarah Brennan: I'm a huge Martha fan. I was at this place in my life where I didn't know what I wanted to do, so when this opportunity was put in front of me, I thought, "What a great way to figure it out and get to work with a national icon." It was a really great experience.
Carrie Gugger: Actually, I had applied for a production job with Martha in 2003. I had come from a background in finance — I was a stockbroker for seven years — just like Martha. I'm a glassblower now, so I wanted to balance my skills in business and finance with my interest in glass and the country's craft-studio movement.
TVGuide.com: OK. So how did it go from that to actually being on the show?
Carrie: I had applied to the Trump show on a dare from a friend of mine. I sent in a tape and got pretty far in the process — I was in the semifinals but was not selected. They called to ask me to reapply to the Martha [version]. In all my applications and all my paperwork for the Trump show, I had talked about Martha, so it was just a very strange turn of events.
TVGuide.com: Was it hard to watch anything on the show?
Sarah: Yeah, it's hard to watch when you get cut off, because the editing is so tough, but it is what it is. You just take it with a grain of salt and shrug your shoulders. You did the best you could in the moment with no sleep and while starving. That's the way it goes.
TVGuide.com: Sarah, you seemed to surprise yourself in the boardroom when you said that Jim was the person who did the best job on your team. Was that due to all your previous dealings with him?
Sarah: I had only worked with Jim a couple of times. Yeah, he's loud and he's obnoxious and he's a distraction, but he worked. He put his two cents in and the kid worked for me. He and Carrie were the only two people on this particular task who didn't give up. Howie and Bethenny said we were going to lose before we had even started with the billboard. I had to give Jim props for [his performance] — he worked really hard and deserved to go back.
TVGuide.com: Based on how he acted the rest of the time, I couldn't believe you helped keep him around!
Sarah: I know. I'm sure America hates me right now! He did a good job, I had to send him back.
TVGuide.com: Carrie, why'd you sign up for the accounting task instead of something more creative?
Carrie: Bethenny and Jim are proclaimed financial disasters, so straight out, they have absolutely no sense with money. You give Bethenny $2 for a cup of coffee and she can't bring you the correct change. When you're on a team with that type of people, accounting is a big part of the task. It's not a big deal unless you lost a task on accounting, so that job came to me regularly because I could do it with so little work. The day of the Tide task was my wedding day — I had to postpone my wedding to go on the show — so that day I wasn't [feeling] as creative, I'll admit, as I normally am, because my mind was "wandering down the aisle" a bit. My fiancé knew why I had postponed the wedding, but several of my friends and family did not. I had about 50 phone calls that day and evening from people asking if I was OK and saying that they were worried about me. That preoccupied my mind a little on this particular task.
TVGuide.com: Have you rescheduled the wedding?
Carrie: We have not. We didn't realize at the time that it's as expensive to postpone a wedding as it is to have one. [My fiancé] is so busy [pursuing his master's degree], which he finishes in a month, that we haven't had the chance to reschedule. Trust me, he's the love of my life — it will happen!
TVGuide.com: So now your family understands?
Carrie: Now everyone understands, but that day was extremely difficult and I really believe that I was one of the only one or two people on this cast who had a legitimate interest in working for this company and had a proven track record in business and in art. I was an incredibly viable threat. People were plotting to get rid of me as early as day two. People knew that it was my wedding day, so they took advantage — when I had ideas, they shot them down, and in the conference room, they saw their opportunity to take me out. Believe me, it was very vindictive. I'm not that kind of person.
TVGuide.com: You both shot down Howie's boxing idea, but then you saw what the other team did with the same idea. Was that hard to see?
Sarah: No. I've got to be honest: While our idea sucked, I didn't think their idea was that great, and we dismissed it because it has been used. We're talking Peter Arnell here. Have you seen his commercials? They're unbelievable. The man does wonderful PR. Really, we were just trying to be innovative and new, and we really missed the boat. But no, I don't think passing up the boxing was a bad idea. [Laughs]
Carrie: It is what you see, for [the producers]. There are 16 stories here, everyone has their own perspective. What you didn't see was that I came up with an incredibly viable idea earlier that day and Howie and Bethenny shot it down.
TVGuide.com: What was your idea?
Carrie: It was like Desperate Housewives or Sex and the City, where one couple — Jim and I — would be a 1950s couple on the float and actually have a washing machine with a clothesline that went all the way around. Jim and I were going to take the clothes and show how people used to get stains out, and have a vintage Tide logo on the back. Then there was going to be a Sex and the City-type couple — Howie and Bethenny — and she was going to spill a latte and he would say, "Don't worry, honey! We've got Tide to Go."
TVGuide.com: Is there anyone in the house who you just couldn't get along with?
Sarah: No. It's interesting because, back to Jim — a lot of people had a hard time dealing with Jim — I'm one of 10 children, I have five brothers, so I know how to take obnoxious boys. I know how to shrug it off and that's what I did. I didn't have a problem with anybody.
TVGuide.com: What did your big family think about seeing their Sarah on TV?
Sarah: Everyone was in complete shock. Unfortunately, I could only tell my mother [that I was going on the show], because I have a proud Irish father and he would have told the entire world before it even aired. They were completely shocked. I told them all the day before the premiere, and their mouths were hanging open for a while.