In last week's Season 4 premiere of The Apprentice, motormouth Melissa Holovach — who is Hispanic, as you may have heard her declare a dozen or so times during one frenetic filibuster — didn't pass the Bally Fitness test given by Donald Trump and summarily got sent packing. Is the real-estate whiz fit to be Tae-Bo'd over her fate? TVGuide.com pumped her up with a rigorous Q&A.
TVGuide.com: Were you a fan of past seasons of The Apprentice?
Melissa Holovach: Oh, yeah, I love the show. I like it better when I'm watching it, though! [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: So you'll understand if I say that your "I'm Hispanic" rant was a bit of a "Stacie J. moment."
Melissa: Yeah, well, I think it was clear I had pretty much lost my cool. I was done.
TVGuide.com: So much for the "fly under the radar" strategy listed in your NBC.com bio.
Melissa: No, that wasn't the strategy I was going to use; that's the strategy I think makes you most likely to win. I do believe strongly that if you really, really want to win, you need to fly under the radar and be very quiet and try hard not to p--- anyone off. But I could never do that.
TVGuide.com: Were you therefore flying against conventional wisdom, or not trying to win?
Melissa: Neither. How do I say this? I'm just too real of a person. If I were to give somebody advice on how to win, I would say, "Hey, if you can do it, go on the show, fly under the radar and keep your mouth shut, but be honest and be fair." That's what I would say, and I myself would follow all of that except for flying under the radar because, unfortunately, one of my biggest downfalls is that I can't keep my mouth shut if I have a strong opinion about something.
TVGuide.com: I think we saw that when, knowing full well that the teams get split by gender, you went into the boardroom and proclaimed, "I don't work well with women" — right there in front of Carolyn.
Melissa: I'm just an honest person and that is the truth. If you asked me, "Melissa, would you like to be on an all-girls team?" I'd say, "Please, no" — I would not lie to you. If I said anything different I'd be more embarrassed because anybody who knows me would be like "What?!" I love working with guys or mixed groups, but to work with all women? Please god, no! There's cattiness and BS.... It's annoying.
TVGuide.com: While you watched the broadcast, what did you think of project manager Kristi saying, "This isn't about Kristi vs. Melissa; this is about..."
Melissa: "Melissa sucks!" [Laughs] Let me be kind, because I don't want to be mean. I think that is a great example of why she was so intimidated by me. There was no articulation there, it was just, "She sucks." That's childish to me.
TVGuide.com: Are you sure you don't just have a problem with Kristi's celebrity look-alike, Reese Witherspoon?
Melissa: No, I love Reese! But yeah, I never even thought that — Kristi really does look like her. She's a little shorter, but...
TVGuide.com: You lobbied for a lower price point for the fitness class, which totally could have been thrown in your face when your Capital Edge team lost to Excel by only a few dollars.
Melissa: We're supposed to stick to what actually aired but, long story short, there was a long dialogue on the pricing and at the end of the day, I had said we should stick to $15-18 and [my teammates] were up to around $45-50. In economics there is a bell curve, and if you price it too high, you're not going to sell enough. I truly believe if we had priced it $16-18 [instead of $20] — and even Toral, an economist, agreed with me — we would have kicked their ass by about $100.
TVGuide.com: Do you ever cross paths with fellow Florida real-estate player Kendra Todd, last season's Apprentice winner?
Melissa: No, she's in West Palm Beach, which is about three hours from me.
TVGuide.com: Lastly, much has been made of how Trump handpicked this season's candidates. Why do you think he selected you?
Melissa: I think that he was impressed with the fact that I was very honest, very vocal and a pretty woman. He likes pretty girls who speak their mind.