Double firings be damned, I'm keeping my original title for Charmaine's kiss-off, albeit with a minor tweak. After all, it's gotta be better than some nonsense like, I dunno, "Salon Task Clips Apprentice Pair," right? (Actually, that one isn't so bad....) Whatever the case, here's what Charmaine Hunt and Tarek Saab had to share about their tandem tanking on last week's The Apprentice (Mondays at 9 pm/ET on NBC).
TVGuide:com: Your double firing ruined the perfect title I had reserved for Charmaine's exit "The Apprentice Squeezes the Charmaine."
Charmaine Hunt: I remember reading that in your interview with Theresa! [Laughs] That's funny.
Tarek Saab: That's pretty witty, man. I like it.
TVGuide.com: Small solace. So, Charmaine, you got to touch Donald Trump's hair. How was it?
Charmaine: It's real!
TVGuide.com: Any $100 bills hiding in there?
Charmaine: No, but I'm sure it's that gold color for a reason. He's really into the gold.
TVGuide.com: You said in the boardroom, Charmaine, that you needed to have your hair done during the task to "experience what made the Hair Cuttery different." So... what makes the Hair Cuttery different?
Charmaine: They were trying to separate themselves from your average hair-salon chain, so we really felt like one of us should go through the process.... Also, the wind was whipping around, and it's hard to convince people to come into a salon if your own hair looks like garbage.
TVGuide.com: Tarek, you look like you enjoy a good hair product. Did you pinch any before leaving the Hair Cuttery?
Tarek: [Laughs] This is funny because [teammate] Dan was giving me so much crap the whole season because I put so much junk in my hair. My hair is so freaking wild, dude. It's a mop top, and you have to control it with some serious product. But no, I didn't steal anything from Hair Cuttery, though I actually did get a haircut after the task was over.
TVGuide.com: Dude, how many people say you look like Orlando Bloom?
Tarek: Oh, man, it's ridiculous. I was actually in a magazine as a "celebrity look-alike of the week." My mom was totally psyched, because I was on the same page as Tom Cruise!
Charmaine: He called himself Orlando Bloom more than anybody else needed to! [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: Tarek, you dodged a bullet in the very first week. Donald was about to fire you when Summer got stupid and started talking.
Tarek: Unbelievable, huh? That first episode was the roughest for me personally, because they portrayed me as this cocky egomaniac who only talks about Mensa. My friends and family were like, "I didn't even know you were in Mensa!" It's not something I wear on my sleeve. Summer's a sweetheart, god love her, but I think Trump was building up [to fire her anyway]. When she interjected, it gave him an easy way out.
TVGuide.com: What was your favorite reward?
Charmaine: We only had three! But definitely the Vijay Singh reward. I'm awful at golf, but it was still a very neat experience. And it was fun to hang out with Donald in a casual setting.
Tarek: Yeah, golfing with Vijay and Donald. To get lessons from one of the best in the world was a great experience. Plus, I got to hit a couple of good shots in front of the Donald.
TVGuide.com: And what reward were you devastated to miss out on?
Charmaine: The shark one. That would have been fun.
Tarek: I was bummed about missing out on the diamonds, when they all went out and got their $5,000 diamonds.
TVGuide.com: That's right, you have a fiancée to worry about.
Tarek: That's exactly it, man. I wasn't engaged at that point, and I was planning to propose after the show was done. I figured maybe I could get something bigger or different.... It would have been a nice surprise!
TVGuide.com: I've always wondered, just how much interaction is there in the suite between the two teams?
Charmaine: We would see each other for maybe an hour or two at the end of a task. We kind of had a ritual where the winning team would cook for the losing team. That was pretty much the extent of our interactions.
Tarek: Most of the tasks are a couple of days, and during that third day is when we spend the most time with each other. I was really close with Andrea, believe it or not. She was made to look pretty bad, but she's just a straight shooter. I got to know Sean pretty well, too. There are others I didn't spend a whole lot of time with, like Brent except I saw him eating a lot of bagels. I was telling him, "Bro, you can't eat just bagels and margarine all day long!"
TVGuide.com: So you didn't pick up on whatever seemed to be "percolating" between Gold Rush's Sean and Tammy?
Charmaine: No, we didn't really see that. So as I'm watching it, I'm like, "Wow, I had no idea!"
Tarek: I actually never picked up on that. It was interesting to watch, especially because of the dynamic going on on that team.
TVGuide.com: In retrospect, who from Synergy would you have liked to have on Gold Rush?
Charmaine: Sean, absolutely. We actually thought we were going to have the opportunity to pick in the eighth episode, when we were down one team member. We made a group decision that it would be Sean. But we didn't get a say Michael came over to us.
Tarek: And we were all bummed because we were all like, "Anybody but Michael." I'd have picked Sean, or Andrea, definitely. I'll let you in on a little secret Andrea and I were kind of each other's confidants. My team didn't particularly like that too much, and neither did hers.
TVGuide.com: Is it true that you, like Andrea, didn't own a TV pre-Apprentice?
Tarek: I still don't have a TV.
TVGuide.com: Is there some correlation between that and being in Mensa?
Tarek: Maybe. [Laughs] The true answer is no. I just travel a ton for my job, and I didn't want to spend money on a cable bill. But my best man just moved down to Dallas, where I live now, and he has a big TV. So I've been watching The Apprentice on his set. But after we get married, we're going to be sans TV!
TVGuide.com: Both of you list The Shawshank Redemption as one of your favorite movies. What do you think that means?
Tarek: We must be meant for each other. You didn't see the hot and sweaty jungle sex in the back of the cab. [Laughs]
Charmaine: In all honesty, if Tarek and I had met under different circumstances, we would probably be good buds. We have a lot in common not the way we work obviously, but as far as our hobbies and interests.
TVGuide.com: What's next for each of you?
Charmaine: I actually got a call last night the Hair Cuttery didn't agree with Donald's decision to fire me, so they offered me a position with them out in L.A. I'm interested in hearing what they have to say. Outside of that, I work for First America Home Buyers Protection here [in Nashville] and I'm still loving that. I also have a website that I'm launching to put buyers and sellers in touch with agents.
Tarek: I'm writing a book called Gut Check: Confronting Love, Work and Manhood in Your 20s. I've been getting so many e-mails from people saying "You seem like a stand-up guy, a religious dude, and we're curious what advice you have for us." For most guys, right after college is a rough period, when you don't know your ass from your elbow and are trying to figure out what life is about. So I'm putting my two cents in a book. I also started an apparel line called LionHeart Apparel LionHeartApparel.com.
TVGuide.com: Um, I'm loading the page right now and "apparel" is misspelled in the title bar.
Tarek: You're like the fifth person that's noticed that. I contacted the Web guy. "I'm in Mensa, I can't afford to have spelling errors on my site!" [It has since been corrected.]
TVGuide.com: On a scale of 1 to 10, how do you rate your Apprentice experience?
Charmaine: Oh, 10, 10, 10. It was as great as it could be. A real blast!
Tarek: Nine, definitely. I met some great people, but there were times when I felt like I looked really stupid, so I can't give it a perfect 10. Plus, I didn't win!
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