Did anyone warn the candidates on this season's The Apprentice that the British were coming? Because at the end of the day meaning the 15-week job interview 33-year-old London transplant Sean Yazbeck was the one hired, presumably by a large margin over runner-up Lee Bienstock. The morning after his crowning, Sean gave TVGuide.com a ring to rehash his winning run as well as answer some burning questions about the show's rather slapdash live finale.
TVGuide.com: Congratulations on your hiring!
Sean Yazbeck: Thank you very much!
TVGuide.com: You did an excellent job of putting together your final-task team, which we all saw was very important. I mean, what the hell was Lee thinking?
Sean: Yeah, and I say that with great respect to Pepi, who is actually a good friend of mine now. He's from Miami, so we've actually hung out quite a bit. But he understood where I was coming from I mean, I hardly knew him, so there was no way that Lee knew him. Lenny picked Pepi in the absence of being able to pick anyone else.
TVGuide.com: You also aced the part of waiting for Trump at your event, something finalists all too often screw up on.
Sean: [Laughs] I actually went over past episodes before going on the show, and I analyzed everything I could possibly take notes on, and that was something that was very, very key. I don't think they showed it, but Trump, when he asked Lee why he didn't show up, said, "Sean was so close to the helicopter I thought his head was going to chop off!"
TVGuide.com: I want to thank you and Tammy for bringing a hint of romance to what to date has been a surprisingly asexual reality series.
Sean: I have to say... I cringe every time I see myself go on about Tammy. [Laughs] I'm dying for me to shut up. I get on my own nerves, like, "Please, not again. Please."
TVGuide.com: Yeah, but it's all good, man. She seems like the whole package.
Sean: Yeah, she does. We've been dating since the show finished filming, so now I can look back on it and laugh.
TVGuide.com: Did Tammy freak out at all when Trump asked if you hoped to marry her and you said yes?
Sean: I'll be honest with you I don't remember saying that! I remember him talking about her and I dating, and I said, "Yeah," but I guess at some point during that questioning he mentioned marriage and I didn't hear it. I was all charged up by the battle in the boardroom and I said yes at the wrong time. We actually have no plans to get married, but we are dating and we're having a good time.
TVGuide.com: Were you at all tempted to take the Hawaii job?
Sean: No, I chose New York because the whole reason I'm on this show is to learn as much as I can from Donald Trump and the Trump organization, to take my own business acumen up to the next level, and to do that I need be in the heart of the organization. Plus, I'm from London, so I like cosmopolitan cities. SoHo, New York? You can't get any sexier than that.
TVGuide.com: Plus, it's only an hour drive from Tammy in Jersey!
Sean: There you go!
TVGuide.com: As you watched the final tasks on TV, did you practically expect FEMA to show up and rope off Lee's Chelsea Piers event?
Sean: I was watching it downstairs on the monitor [during the live finale], and as it went on I was like, "Oh, wow." I had no idea how many problems he had. I knew that my task went pretty flawlessly, so the whole drama thing for me was like, "Wow, he lost a CD."
TVGuide.com: I actually thought your only real curveball was Andrea's medical crisis.
Sean: That actually did shake me up big time. If you're heaving up tons of blood, just go and get well. Don't worry about me. The most important thing is your health.
TVGuide.com: The editing made it seem like she was away for all of 10 minutes. How long was she really out of the mix?
Sean: Four hours? She went off to the hospital, they found out immediately what it was, and then she came back.
TVGuide.com: Here's another burning question: How much money did your Pontiac/SLS/Barenaked Ladies charity concert raise for World Wildlife Fund?
Sean: To be honest, I don't know, but I think it must have been $70,000-plus. It was a lot more than Lee's. We auctioned off the G6 hardtop convertible for, like, $40 [thousand] like 25 percent more than Lee's went for. And the Solstice we auctioned off for like $27. And what wasn't mentioned was we got a bit cheeky and asked the speaker company if they would auction off a lunch with [SLS spokesperson] Quincy Jones, and they said, "Absolutely." So we got $3,000 for that. And then we auctioned off little things.... We kept pushing it and pushing it.
TVGuide.com: Did you ever find out the percentage results from the online voting?
Sean: Trump did, and he didn't want to share it with the public, out of respect for Lee. I guess he felt it was going to upset him.
TVGuide.com: At the very end of the finale, when you were driving the car in L.A., was that broadcast live?
Sean: That was recorded previously; it was actually the night Madonna was playing at the Staples Center. People coming out must have thought that I had just won because they had me acting like I had!
TVGuide.com: Who would you have been most worried to go up against in the finale?
Sean: Andrea. She is so, so talented. She just executes with sheer precision. She sometimes ends up rubbing people the wrong way, which is probably why she was maybe fired a bit prematurely, but the other girls were a bit like the touchy-feely, lovey-dovey types when they were trying to be project managers. One of the keys to managing people is having the ability to adapt different styles of management to different personalities. You just have to, otherwise people are not going to like you. The biggest threat on The Apprentice is not losing the task; it comes from within your own team.
TVGuide.com: Did you ever apologize to Michael for repeatedly calling him a "wanker"?
Sean: Yes, I talked to him the day after [he was fired] and said, "Sorry." He's all right with it.
TVGuide.com: Will we see you subbing for George at all in future seasons, or will you pull a disappearing act like Kelly and Kendra?
Sean: I'll be in Season 6, which is filming right now in Los Angeles. I'll be coming back in a couple of weeks for that.
TVGuide.com: Lastly, can you discuss Aristotle's concept of "eudaimonia," which you reference in your NBC bio?
Sean: Eudaimonia is making the most out of life, whether it's with your friends or with your family... anything you do. It's enriching your life in all aspects, and enriching those of your friends and family around you.
TVGuide.com: Well, Sean, you appear to be on a good path for doing that!
Sean: Thank you!