It was jingle all the way... off of NBC's The Apprentice (airing double episodes tonight, starting at 9 pm/ET) for Bryce Gahagan last week, when the 28-year-old custom-home builder got deconstructed by the Donald for, among other things, blaming the wrong teammates for Gold Rush's flunking the Arby's Chicken Naturals task. Does Bryce feel he made a bad call? And does he, like anyone, really believe Trump goes wild for fast-food roast beef? Here's what he had to tell TVGuide.com:
TVGuide.com: The dominant theme for this season more so than in other seasons is, "Dude! You're bringing the wrong people into the boardroom."
Bryce Gahagan: No, it's called integrity, and not playing into TV. I brought the right people [Lenny and Lee] into the boardroom, it just wasn't the arguments and the cheesy Jerry Springer crap that [producers] prefer. And considering that reality TV is almost dead, America, in my opinion, is tired of seeing this kind of common behavior. This is my 15 minutes and I've got to live the rest of my life with whatever I say on the show. I know who I am and I'll do what I want. I'm not a yes-man like [Season 1 champ/occasional George sub] Bill [Rancic]. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: You had to know you'd take some heat for bringing in Lee [who again took time off from the task to observe a Jewish holiday.]
Bryce: I didn't really think I took that much heat; I think they were just looking for something to talk about. I don't feel like [Trump, Bill and Carolyn] were overly aggressive [criticizing that decision].
TVGuide.com: During your boardroom spiel, did you hear Carolyn say, "Just say, 'Fire me, Mr. Trump'?"
Bryce: Yeah. If I were like Carolyn, I probably would [say that], but I don't need to work for anybody else. I work for myself. I'm the brains behind my business. I'm not the kind of guy everybody else walks on.
TVGuide.com: Who's a more divisive presence on Gold Rush: Tarek or Lenny?
Bryce: Tarek is much harder to get along with. The girls just couldn't get along with him at all, and that's an issue. The only person Lenny got along with was Lee, who's kind of like Lenny's father figure.
TVGuide.com: What do you think of Bill's suggestion that Lenny's putting on some sort of "confused foreigner" act?
Bryce: I don't know if it's entirely true. Lenny just doesn't get it, he's not good at jingles. Quite frankly, I'm not good at jingles. My honest opinion is that sometimes Bill makes comments just for the sake of making comments.
TVGuide.com: Why was your team so late for their meeting with the Arby's execs?
Bryce: To be 100 percent honest, it's because production held back our van.
TVGuide.com: I always wonder about that. I'm sure union cameramen aren't all 160 pounds and lithe.
Bryce: We had to do some interviews and stuff before we could actually leave the suite, which was quite frustrating. It's tough always waiting for the cameramen. It's not "real." But production did a great job overall. The editing, quite frankly, is accurate. They can only use what you give them, so that's reality, but in terms of how the actual projects go down, it would never happen that way in the real world. They have to get approval wherever we go and get the cameras inside the vans before we even get in the vans.
TVGuide.com: But it's an even playing field, since the other team has to deal with the same obstacles.
Bryce: That's exactly right.
TVGuide.com: What do you think about Trump professing himself to be the world's biggest Arby's fan?
Bryce: He's not. I don't know how he could be, because there's not a single Arby's on the entire island of Manhattan, which is absolutely ironic. I also think that to claim they're the only restaurant to sell natural chicken is, quite frankly, dishonest.
TVGuide.com: That's what advertising folks call "puffery."
Bryce: It's called puffery. They might be the only fast-food chain to offer natural chicken, but they're certainly not the only restaurant to carry it.
TVGuide.com: When they showed a building and flashed "Arby's" on the screen, I was like, "What the... ? There's an Arby's in New York City? I've never seen one." Then I realized it was their corporate address.
Bryce: You've never seen one and I think you never will. Another ironic thing is that our jingle is actually very good.
TVGuide.com: I suppose it had a "classic" jingle feel.
Bryce: The Arby's executives were supposed to be picking the winner, but what actually happened is [producers] pulled a bunch of random people off the streets "to listen to these two songs." A jingle is not a song.
TVGuide.com: What about the reward you missed out on? You probably don't like truffles anyway, right?
TVGuide.com: I'd have been like, "Um, can I get a roast-beef sandwich"?
Bryce: That's the part of the experience I think is crazy. It's just TV and you have to take it for what it is. That said, I think Donald Trump is a great guy. He cheeses it up a little too much for TV, but he likes to have his name out there like that. Me, I don't want to be known for being ridiculous. I'd rather be known for having integrity. Overall, I think it was a great experience and I'd do it again.
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