Hard as it may be to believe, something actually left a worse taste in Nikki McKibbin's mouth than the worms she drank on Reality Stars Fear Factor: the tumultuous time she spent in the company of The Apprentice's preening prima donna, Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth.

"She's pathetic, really," the feisty, redheaded American Idol 1 finalist tells TVGuide.com. "She's this beauty-pageant princess who's got no actual talent, so the only way she can extend her 15 minutes of fame is by being as thoughtless and spiteful a human being as she possibly can.

"Frankly," she adds, "I'd sooner hang out with the snakes that kept biting me in the second challenge than with that [viper]!"

At least McKibbin gives The Donald's flunky wannabe props for honing her bitchcraft to a fine art. "The high-maintenance aspect of her personality comes very naturally," the fired-up redhead suggests, "but the villainy is something I think she's had to develop."

Of course, she would be hard-pressed not to concede that the big O has made a science of nastiness: At one point during Monday's catfight, Omatrocious even reduced the tough Texan to tears. "What can I say?" McKibbin replies wryly. "Anger-management classes teach you to cry, not yell, and thanks to her, I did both."

Despite the sour note McKibbin hit with her Fear-some rival, these days the vivacious vocalist is walking around with a song in her heart — plenty of songs, in fact. "I'm in talks with a major label to finally get my album out there," she reveals, coyly declining to name the conglomerate lest the deal be jinxed. "I've waited a long time to find just the right situation for me, and this feels like it. If everything goes according to plan, the first single could be released as early as this spring." In other words, Omarosa is once again about to get, ahem, trumped.

For a preview of McKibbin's upcoming album, including "Save What's Left of Me," the song given to her by Lester Mendez of Santana, click here.