In yet another Apprentice first, a contestant on last Thursday's episode used sex to sell and Donald Trump did not stand up and cheer. On the contrary, the millionaire chick-magnet — who never met an inappropriate sexual advance he didn't like — banished 28-year-old venture capitalist Ivana Stripalot from the boardroom after she dropped her skirt in the middle of Wall Street in a desperate attempt to sell candy bars. Then she tried to justify the whole thing to TV Guide Online's Michael Ausiello.TV Guide Online: You had to know you were getting fired after you dropped skirt.
Ivana: But DT had criticized me for not using sex to sell in the ice cream episode. I was trying to prove that I learned my lesson. ( Laughs) TVGO: Do you regret it?
Ivana: I don't know if I regret it, because at the time it was the best idea I could come up with. And honestly, I looked at the women on the other team and I didn't realize how what I did was any different. We were both revealing parts of our body, just different parts. To me, it was just a creative spin on using sex appeal to sell. TVGO: Come on. You were frustrated and reacting emotionally after seeing Jen and Sandy prancing around like the Barbie twins. That had nothing to do with creativity.
Ivana: That's a fair statement. At the time I was definitely riled up. But also, I was there with two guys that were cheering me on, yelling, "Do it! You go girl!" They also knew that we had to do something, we had to pull something out of our hat in order to [win]. TVGO: Why didn't you try and come up with a gimmick beforehand like Jen and Sandy? Did you seriously think you'd be able to sell candy bars on the streets of New York for $5 a pop?
Ivana: We really underestimated our competition. We should have [realized] that they were going to command a really high price. TVGO: How much did you dread watching that episode, knowing that scene was coming up?
Ivana: (Sighs) It's been four months. It's been four months of being nervous about what it was going to look like, because I knew it was easy to sensationalize. Proof of that is in the promo: They showed the incident and they had a blue cloud over my bottom. It makes it look more provocative than what it was. It makes it look like I was wearing a thong or underpants and that's not what I was wearing at all. They were short-shorts. I think I definitely would have crossed a line if I was revealing my bottom, but I wasn't. TVGO: So what was it like watching the episode?
Ivana: My fiancé and I have been dealing with this since I was finished taping the show, and at first we were concerned. But last [Thursday] night we just sort of laughed at it. He even said, "Damn Ivana — you look good!" (Laughs) TVGO: What exactly was your beef with Jen? You really let her get under your skin.
Ivana: (Hesitates) Jen is an excellent defensive player. And I went into the game with the mind-set that "I'm here to promote my team, to do the best job for my team." And no matter how many times I was in that boardroom, I never let it impact my performance as a team member. I always gave it my all. And some people have an opposite reaction to that; When they start losing they think, "OK, I want to shy away from as much responsibility as possible in order to not be accountable for anything." And I just think that's the wrong attitude to have in life. TVGO: So this isn't about you secretly wanting to be a sexy blond like her?
Ivana: (Laughs) Are you serious? TVGO: It crossed my mind.
Ivana: Let's just put it this way: They were selling candy bars for $5 apiece. I was able to sell my candy bars for $20 apiece. TVGO: What would you have done for $100?
Ivana: (Annoyed) No comment. TVGO: Not to beat this panties thing to death but...
Ivana: They weren't panties! TVGO: No?
Ivana: They were swimming trunks. TVGO: Really?
Ivana: Yes. I've worn them in public. TVGO: Where'd you get them?
Ivana: H&M. TVGO: OK, enough about the panties, er, swimming trunks. In the boardroom, you said Kelly should be fired, but later you called Kelly a stronger player than Kevin. Why the contradiction?
Ivana: I was trying to divert and distract, because [Trump] was trying to get me to go after one of them and I just couldn't do it. They're two of my closest friends and I was having a really difficult time trying to take either of them down. TVGO: Why do you think more of your teammates didn't catch on to Donald's boardroom tricks?
Ivana: There are people that do pick up on it. TVGO: You're the only one! Everyone else plays right into it. He's obviously just trying to get you to fight for the drama of it all.
Ivana: I think the primary reason they're let go is because they don't read his signals in the boardroom. TVGO: What's next for you?
Ivana: I'm planning my wedding. It's this summer in the Bahamas. TVGO: Will Jen be invited?
Ivana: Um, I'm... I'm not really... I'm only, uh... It's going to be a small wedding.