He has an MBA from the Wharton School of Business. He almost has a law degree, too. But the one thing The Apprentice's Kevin Allen didn't get properly schooled on was his quirky, formidable guest judges. Last week, the 29-year-old Chicagoan was humbled by four grueling corporate interviews, then got axed along with Sandy Ferreira. After that boardroom bloodbath, this sit-down with TV Guide Online should be a piece of cake for Kev, right?TV Guide Online: Did you ever predict, as many did, that the final two would be you and Kelly?
Kevin Allen: (Laughs) That was my thought, but something along the way went wrong. I may have a degree or two too many, I don't know! That was the last reason I would have expected not to make it, but I was definitely thinking it'd come down to Kelly and I. TVGO: For the NYPD recruitment campaign task, you and Elizabeth pulled an all-nighter to dream up an idea on which she then flip-flopped the next morning, prompting you to say she "flat-out sucks" as a project manager. Harsh words!
Kevin: You know what, I was just kind of going with the emotion I was feeling at that point in time. I was pretty frustrated with the situation. TVGO: Elizabeth told us the video footage simply wasn't there to fulfill your new idea.
Kevin: The truth of the matter is she went back to the group [and] said we changed the idea, but Raj put up a big fight and she didn't want to deal with it. That's what I was frustrated with. I was all about, "Hey, let's get this done" and we weren't getting it done. TVGO: Regarding the real estate challenge: How does a guy from Chicago cough up a contractor recommendation in Long Island?
Kevin: Raj wanted to put in a bathroom upstairs and downstairs, redo all the carpets upstairs, put in hardwood floors downstairs... He wanted to do things that were impossible to get done in the time period, and none of the contractors would take the job. So I said I'd go out and find a contractor that would at least give it a shot, and I did. Now the dumb thing was making the four-bedroom house [into] a three-bedroom house! But before I could stop Raj, he had already put a hole in the wall! TVGO: In the Levi's task, you gave new meaning to the term "sweating out" a victory. What's with all the presentation-time perspiration, dude?
Kevin: (Laughs) Everybody sweats. C'mon, I was on the show the entire time, and that was the only time where anybody saw me sweat where it might be out of place. I was running around beforehand, all excited, then I got there and had all the lights glaring at me... TVGO: But could you sense you were making like a lawn sprinkler?
Kevin: I had an idea, but what can you do? You gotta keep it moving and get the job done. TVGO: When you undercut your team's M&M candy-bar selling price without securing an OK first, did you sense that may've been the beginning of your end?
Kevin: No, absolutely not. In fact, I went to Ivana and said, "I don't think these candy bars will sell for this price. Do you mind if I try another price?" And she said, "Fine, do what you've got to do," and I did. But let's be serious. I've never heard of anybody paying $5 for a candy bar. Kelly, Ivana and I had formulated this matrix going into the task [predicting Sandy and Jennifer M.'s performance]. The numbers that they actually sold [weren't] even in our wildest estimates. It was just a matter of us getting beat. TVGO: Would you have paid $20 to see Ivana drop her skirt?
Kevin: Ivana is a competitor, and is such a bright and talented individual. She made a bad decision in the heat of battle. But I'll take partial credit for that [mistake] because Kelly and I should have jumped in earlier. But when you see $20 coming in, it's tough to be vocal. She did what she thought she had to do, and I respect her for that. TVGO: Who conducted the toughest corporate interview during your final task?
Kevin: Alan Jope [COO of Unilever HPC] came at me. I walked in the door and he just jumped on me with great and thought-provoking questions. "Why is a manhole cover round?" "How many tires are there in the state of Illinois?" My gosh, it was pretty bad. The one saving grace was that I actually knew some of the players on [New England Patriots owner] Mr. [Robert] Kraft's team! (Laughs) TVGO: The consensus among those four top execs was that they felt you had too many degrees and no actual career game plan. Was that a fair assessment?
Kevin: Absolutely not; my game plan was very apparent and I laid it out for Mr. Trump with no rebut from him, but that [was edited out]. At the end of the day, it was an interview for a job with Mr. Trump, and he wants what he wants. You could have an IQ that's off the charts and still not get hired by somebody because you simply don't have "it." TVGO: Nothing a little doughnut-flavored ice cream can't smooth over, right?
Kevin: I tell you what, if you're going to go out, I'd like to go out for being too educated. TVGO: Lastly — bearing in mind you have no idea how Kelly and Jennifer M. fared on their final task — what is your prediction for Thursday night's finale?
Kevin: My prediction would be that Kelly comes out on top, and that's because he's just a better player. He's smarter, he's more together, and has proved himself time and time again. I don't see why this time would be any different. But a strong point of Jen's is her ability to articulate a great defense in the boardroom, and she may use that to her advantage, as well she should.