Ask Donald Trump how the third season of The Apprentice is going and he'll cry, "People love it!" He'll also point out that it won its time slot a few episodes back with a mere clip show. Yet while it's true that millions are still tuning in, many of those fans have issues with the show (see, we do read your e-mails). So we presented your questions to Trump, face-to-face. Here's what he had to say.
Why are we seeing less of the tasks this season?
They are more complex. Remember, we started off selling lemonade and things like that. But suddenly, because of the success of the show, we've had Burger King, Pepsi, Crest. Pontiac is coming in shortly. They're launching a car on the show. We like that, because it's corporate America, which is great. [Also], people love the boardroom interaction better than the tasks. So we've shortened the tasks and lengthened the boardroom.

Do you watch footage of the tasks, or do you make your decisions strictly in the boardroom?I watch as much footage of the tasks as I can; and of course I rely very much on George and Carolyn, since they've seen it all.

Do you take into account a person's overall performance or just how they performed that week?When we started out, it was supposed to be week to week. But as we went through the season, I felt like it was unfair to go, "Gee, you're a star, and then you have a bad week, so you're fired." Bren had a couple of great weeks, and then he had that horrible week with the Dove commercial, but I didn't get rid of him. The past now has a much greater influence than it did at the beginning.

It also seems that people are more intent on sabotaging their own teams rather than beating the other group. Why aren't they reprimanded for that?They're pretty strongly reprimanded. You see some of that in the boardroom, and [it happens] beyond the boardroom, with George and Carolyn.

You fired several project managers in a row. Don't you think that's been making the show too predictable?If a project fails, generally speaking, the team leader is responsible. The project manager has a huge advantage, too — if they win, they're exempt the next week. But if they lose, as in life, they'll always be the most likely candidate to be fired.

And finally, on a recent episode, someone paid $1500 to spend a week with Lil' Kim. Now with her potentially going to jail, does that change anything?Not really. They'll just have to spend some time with her in prison.

For more of The Donald's answers to your nagging questions, pick up the April 10 issue of TV Guide magazine.