It was girls' night out literally on NBC's The Apprentice last week when Synergy's dressing of Embassy Suites staffers drew a sour reception from employees, leading the Donald to dispatch Allie Jablon and Roxanne Wilson, Season 5's remaining ladies. Did their culottes campaign get short shrift? Which of the guys has their votes to win this thing? And what was up with that lingering hug? TVGuide.com chatted up the runners-up.
TVGuide.com: Allie, were you sad to see your single-handed effort to resurrect culottes get thwarted?
Allie Jablon: I thought they were really cute! This is the thing: We really took a lot of time to interview about 30 different housekeepers, and it was split down the center half of them wanted pants, and half wanted to keep the skirt. The executives had said they wanted us to innovate, so we thought the culottes would be functional and pleasing to all parties. It flopped a little bit, but I didn't want to regret not having taken a risk.
TVGuide.com: I said to my wife it's a shame hotel maids can't wear, like, Juicy sweat suits. But they probably wouldn't be as flattering on the ladies made of "heartier stock."
Allie: I guess not. But I would be a big fan of Juicy sweats for the housekeepers.
TVGuide.com: Did you get a chuckle out of the editing the show did on that pre-boardroom embrace you two shared in bed? They so overplayed it as some sort of Personal Best moment.
Roxanne: [Laughs] I didn't see it that way myself, but I have heard that since!
Allie: I was watching with some friends and they were laughing. But we're both very hetero! [Laughs] We were both a little teary and Roxanne didn't want the cameras to zoom in on us in that kind of state. Mr. Trump doesn't like crying.
TVGuide.com: Tammy told me you turned on her after you learned the guys had been talking her up to Trump...?
Allie: It's funny that you would say that, because I had no idea [what Sean, Michael and Lee had said] until I saw an edited scene online. I knew nothing about it. Tammy's firing, while unfortunate, was clear-cut and defined because it was her idea. When you say something like, "I want this [task] to be about me," and you end up losing, it's going to be about you. But I adore her; we're great friends.
Roxanne: I didn't even know the boys had talked her up. The first I had heard of that was when we were sitting at dinner after the boardroom when she went home. Everyone has their own interpretation of how things go, I guess!
TVGuide.com: As much as neither of you are president of the Sean Fan Club, do you really think Lee has what it takes to win?
Roxanne: I really do. I got to know Lee well, and I am very impressed with his ability to bounce back. He has come back from the boardroom more than anyone else, ever. He takes his licks, learns from them, comes back and does even better. His 3-1 record [as project manager] is quite impressive.
Allie: I truly feel that Lee has what it takes to beat Sean. Yeah, Sean has more work experience, but to me Lee would be a perfect Apprentice, because he's hungry to grow and learn. The fact that he stepped up as project manager four times to Sean's two? That guy's ambitious.
TVGuide.com: But wouldn't it have been more fun to see the "lovebirds," Sean and Tammy, pitted against each other?
Allie: [Laughs] Ohhhh.... Um, I think it would have been more fun to see me in the finals. I didn't go into this at all with a strategy. The only thing I kept in mind was I'm going to work my ass off and have a fun time doing it. My mantra is "Work hard, play hard," and that's what I did on the show. I smiled and I was silly here and there, and no one can say they worked harder.
TVGuide.com: Allie, you did seem to get a lot of camera time this season.
Allie: Donald Trump was quoted in a TV Guide interview before the season started, saying... I think his quote about me was to the effect of...
TVGuide.com: "I think." As if you don't have it committed to memory!
Allie: [Laughs] It was something like, "She's brilliant, very energetic and a great television character." I have a big personality that the editors seemed to like. As a viewer, you either loved me or hated me.
TVGuide.com: Roxanne, what do you think of your own portrayal, as the "quiet" one?
Roxanne: Compared to how a lot of other people came off, I came off pretty well. Maybe what I said or did wasn't the most entertaining thing out there, but I think it showed my serious and intellectual side, and my ability to be a well-spoken person. The part they didn't show was the fun side of me. We were all bored one night and I created "Club De Suite," a dance club. Things like that, they didn't show.
TVGuide.com: Maybe this show needs to evolve into an Apprentice/Big Brother hybrid, play up the suite life more.
Roxanne: That would be interesting, definitely!
TVGuide.com: If only could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be: 7-Eleven's P'EatZZa, Arby's Chicken Naturals, Outback's Bloomin' Onion, or Grape-Nuts Trail Mix Crunch cereal?
Allie: Oh, gosh, that's tough. I'm going to have to pass on the P'EatZZa; I don't eat cheese. The Trail Mix Crunch is a little too tough on the teeth. I'll also pass on the Arby's. The Bloomin' Onion is the clear front runner there.
Roxanne: Bloomin' Onions! They are so good!
TVGuide.com: What was your favorite reward?
Allie: Going out to the vineyard was a great bonding experience for the three of us after coming off a great win [Rutgers/Outback]. And I love the fact that I now have a case of our own wine blends with our names on the bottles.
Roxanne: My favorite, hands down, was granting Dasheaira's wish at Toys R Us. You can't even describe the feeling. Since then, I've been able to get in touch with Dasheaira as well as Make-A-Wish on a national and local level. I recently taught a charity jazzercise class to raise money for Make-A-Wish Foundation of central and south Texas.
TVGuide.com: And which reward were you most bummed to miss out on?
Allie: Vijay Singh. I've taken a couple golf lessons in the past and a reward like that would have inspired me to get out on the course more. Plus, to spend that quality time with Donald Trump totally in his element would have been great.
Roxanne: I wanted to be a cartoon character in Over the Hedge! That would have been so cool!
TVGuide.com: Do you have any advice for the contestants in The Apprentice's next, L.A.-based season?
Allie: Work hard and play hard, just like I did! It's such a memorable experience, to not be able to look back and say you had fun would be a real shame.
TVGuide.com: Roxanne, what was the strategy in being the only candidate to use an emoticon in your official NBC bio?
Roxanne: [Laughs] There was no strategy. That's just me!
[Roxanne points out that she is "very honored" to be the first African-American woman to make it to The Apprentice's final four.]
TVGuide.com: Is that feat extra-meaningful because you did it without being a polarizing Omarosa-type personality?
Roxanne: It's important to show that there are African-American women who are strong and can get along in the business world. I'm proud of that. At my website, RoxanneWilson.com, I've been doing some writing and I'll be doing some motivational speaking about that and more.