TVGuide.com: How do you feel about getting fired by Donald. You don't sound too upset.
Dan Brody: You know what, as you saw after I got fired, I'm not really a downer personality. I'm not really bitter. It was a fantastic experience and I really enjoyed it I'm very grateful for it. I've made some great connections and see a lot of opportunity that has, and continues to, come out of it. I can't complain.
TVGuide.com: What made you want to go on the show?
I'll be honest with you. I never saw the show before I found out I was going to be one of the semifinalists. I had heard of the show and knew what it was all about, but I just didn't have time to watch a lot of television. [Pauses] But television is great, I know we're talking to TV Guide! [Laughs] You should talk to my son he's 6 years old and TV is far more important than I am.
TVGuide.com: I'm sure we'd have a delightful conversation, with all the great kid shows out there.
Dan: In any event, I was driving home from work, and I liked the idea of the show, and my wife mentioned the interviews they were having [the next day]. I heard about it on the radio, too, and figured it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to try out. If you get on, you meet so many like-minded people, and there's truly a value in developing relationships with people who have an interest in being successful.
TVGuide.com: I know you haven't watched much in the past, but this season it seems like there is a lot of people with similar interests, so much so that it leads to conflict.
Dan: There's a lot of conflict.
TVGuide.com: Too many bosses around, perhaps.
Dan: Conflict makes good television, there's no question about that.
TVGuide.com: But does it make a good living environment?
It can make for a very interesting living environment, and here it certainly made it challenging. A lot of people have said the tasks are difficult, but far more challenging is negotiating the relationships. That is absolutely true.
TVGuide.com: You said you made some good contacts, but there must have been some where you were like "nope, not such a good contact."
Dan: Yes. I will tell you whom I'm happy with. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: I'm trying to be nice about it....
Dan: You can be very straightforward with me! Listen, I'm not going to be having a tea party with Lenny or Lee anytime in the near future. I'm not one necessarily to bear a grudge, but I'm also not an idiot, letting them stab me in the back and then inviting them to go out for drinks. Lenny I didn't get along with because and I don't think he has nothing to offer I just think he didn't really offer a great deal. He made his one or two contributions and he would try to sit back on those. He would not try to push the envelope with his abilities. I started to question whether or not he had anything to contribute.
TVGuide.com: He did come up with that fantastic castaway idea.
Dan: I don't think the castaway idea was horrible, and if you listen closely to Colin Veitch, he didn't say the castaway idea was bad, but what they said specifically was that there were some confusing parts in the beginning, and then Colin said "other than that, it's a good commercial." I took that for what it was, especially since he identified the seaweed-on-the-face thing as ridiculous that was a poor execution of Lee's. Lee was very good about harping on the negative things in tasks when he was not the project manager, and not doing anything about them. In this case, I decided to empower him, giving him a scene to take power over, which was that scene. That was the scene Colin identified as confusing and he should be held accountable. Obviously Mr. Trump didn't see that.
TVGuide.com: You make a very good point, but we didn't get to see you argue that in the boardroom.
Dan: Right. That wasn't for a lack of mentioning it, I'll put it that way.
Dan: All in all, editing has been very good. I was very impressed when it came to Mark Burnett Productions at how important it is to them to get the true story. To make sure everything is as close to reality as possible. You don't get the impression when you're on there that they're staging anything. At least I didn't. You're in there giving a true account, and if there's ever anything upsetting to production, it's that something that might affect the reality of the show. That's pretty impressive.
TVGuide.com: A lot of people say, "I'm not like that! I was taken out of context." It sounds like it wasn't that way for you.
Dan: Yes. All the lunatic things I did, I would do those. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: What did you think of Synergy's commercial?
I think the fact that they had voice-over made the difference. The truth is, we didn't come up with the voice-over. It's silly. Embarrassing, almost. I'm a pretty creative guy, and was my mind someplace far away trying to organize and manage so that all the little schemes and plots that were in front of me weren't going to blow up in my face? Absolutely. With all that journalism experience Leslie was touting, she never mentioned any of it. If you listen closely, Lenny doesn't recommend voice-overs. He recommends that we not only not have voice-overs, but that we eliminate any of the text.
TVGuide.com: That's a quiet commercial.
Dan: That's what I said to Tarek. Tarek is portrayed like an ogre not letting anyone do anything, but thank god he took that standpoint, because he was saying "no, it was ridiculous!" What are people going to think if it doesn't describe anything? I think that he got a bum rap.
TVGuide.com: I saw his comment to you that you didn't have any friends with you in the boardroom, but you seemed pretty buddy-buddy.
Dan: Many times in past boardrooms, there was no potential threat for me, but I would put my neck out there and stick up for him, since he's been in the boardroom several times. We did have a business friendship, as well as a genuine friendship that developed on the show. What happened was that there were a couple times leading up to going into the boardroom when I was questioning his allegiance. When he had meetings with some of the ladies when I wasn't around, they would make comments to me about how odd it was that he was having private meetings with them. It just sounded like maybe he was positioning himself and I can't blame him for doing that to save himself while throwing me out there a little bit. I wasn't going to implicate him in this venemous way and portray him as this terrible person, because I don't feel that way and he's a friend of mine. I'm not going to let his accountability slide by completely unnoticed, because he's obviously playing by different rules.
TVGuide.com: Being that this is one of your first experiences with the show, were you aware of the game-playing aspect of it?
I was familiar with the game-play aspect of it because when I found out I was on the semifinals, I rented as much of the past episodes as I could. However, I'm not naturally inclined to game-play. I'm more inclined to try to accomplish and get things done. Sometimes that doesn't work the best. In politics, there are politicians who are excellent achievers and there are politicians who are slippery. There were definitely some personalities who fell into that second description.
TVGuide.com: Lastly, was your wife upset that you didn't win this task, since the reward was really nice diamonds?
That just meant I had to spend money to make it up!