Faster than you can say "raging lothario," 28-year-old real-estate developer Raj Bhakta got the kiss-off from Donald Trump on last Thursday's Apprentice. His fatal slipup? Converting a four-bedroom house to a three-bedroom house during a, um, real-estate task. His next blunder? Agreeing to talk to TV Guide Online's Michael Ausiello.
TV Guide Online: Who'd you vote for last week?
Raj Bhakta: I'm a very disgruntled Republican. Let's leave it at that.
Raj: I think I might be having dinner with her tonight. I spoke to her a couple of times today. TVGO: Is this a date?
Raj: (Laughs) We shall see, sir. I'm working on it. TVGO: You have major horndog issues. What's the deal?
Raj: I cannot say that I agree with that characterization. I mean, I was standing outside an elevator bank with nothing really to do, so I talked to Robin. I'm not trying to get out of anything, but I think it's normal, polite activity for a 28-year-old single man. TVGO: So, you have the same sex drive as the other guys on the show?
Raj: I probably did what the other guys were thinking. TVGO: Is Raj short for Roger?
Raj: No, no. It's R-A-J. My father's from India so I ended up with an Indian name. TVGO: Do people assume you're a Roger?
Raj: Yes. I generally introduce myself as Raj, R-A-J, to avoid that. TVGO: What's with the bow tie?
Raj: My junior year in high school I decided I was going to wear different neck gear than other people. It worked and I went with it. TVGO: You ever bump into Tucker Carlson at the bow-tie counter?
Raj: I haven't bumped into him, but hopefully I will. We can go head-to-head and talk politics. TVGO: You wear your pants too high.
Raj: (Laughs) The pants are where they feel right on me. TVGO: Do you get that a lot?
Raj: I've heard that before, but I'm defiant. TVGO: You walked around the suite in your boxers a lot. Ever fear that your little buddy might pop out?
Raj: (Laughs) When the phone rings and no one else is getting it, you don't have much of an option. TVGO: What brand of boxers do you prefer to wear when Anna Kournikova is pelting you with tennis balls?
Raj: (Laughs) Actually, I was wearing John McEnroe's boxers. I had tighty-whities on and I refused to run around in them, so John ponied up his Calvin Klein boxer briefs and I ran around in them. That's a scoop. TVGO: That's a big scoop. Did you give them back?
Raj: I'll give them back to him when I'm on his talk show. TVGO: You think he wants them?
Raj: He can burn 'em if he doesn't. TVGO: What was up with Donald kissing up to Stacie J. in the boardroom? Was he trying to make up for letting the girls call her crazy last time?
Raj: It did appear that way, right? TVGO: Ivana said one little negative thing about her and Donald silenced her like some kind of dictator. Did Stacie J. threaten him with a lawsuit or something?
Raj: I think they all felt the women overreacted when they were in the boardroom saying, "It's the scariest thing we've ever seen!" By the way, they haven't lived much if that's the scariest thing they've ever seen. TVGO: Hello.
Raj: That it's weird is surely undeniable, but scary and psychotic it was not. So there was a little redemption for her in that regard. TVGO: Were you really surprised to get fired? It seemed pretty open-and-shut given your decision to eliminate one of those bedrooms.
Raj: Michael, if you saw this bedroom, you'd understand. It was a pygmy bedroom. On paper, it looks like an extremely stupid decision. If you looked at the actual living space of the house, it improved that bedroom substantially. But in terms of what killed us, that wasn't the issue. The issue from a value standpoint was that the house just wasn't ready. It was a disaster. TVGO: But as the project manager, didn't you deserve to take the fall for that?
Raj: The reason we didn't get it finished was that we had a bad contractor. It's my fault that I didn't stand up to Kevin and didn't nix a contractor that I had a bad gut feeling about. That was the mistake I made. TVGO: So, looking back, do you think Trump made the right decision?
Raj: Look, Trump is a billionaire. He obviously knows what he's doing in business. It's his show — he can fire anyone he wants. TVGO: Were you told you couldn't swim in Denise Rich's pool?
Raj: (Long silence) TVGO: It seemed sort of odd that you just walked past her pool and didn't go in.
Raj: I lost that task. I wasn't there. TVGO: D'oh! I'm sorry. Look at me rubbing it in. Answer me this: Aren't the rewards on this show kinda lame? The folks on Survivor get better prizes.
Raj: (Laughs) You know, uh... We lost the past couple of times, so I lost out on the rewards. I did enjoy the Queen Mary. TVGO: Is it true you want to run for office?
Raj: I think at some point in the future I will surely seek political office. TVGO: You'd have to curtail your sexual appetite, otherwise a scandal is just waiting to happen.
Raj: Scandals are always waiting to happen whether you're doing anything or not. Surely, at the very least, I'm not doing anything wrong by boosting the confidence of these young ladies.