<EM>The Apprentice: Martha Stewart</EM>'s Bethenny Frankel The Apprentice: Martha Stewart's Bethenny Frankel

Despite pulling together a fun circus-themed event for the final task, outspoken Bethenny Frankel found herself playing second banana to The Apprentice: Martha Stewart winner Dawna Stone. The 34-year-old natural-foods chef was just a little too much of a wild card for Martha Stewart's liking, so instead Miss Good Thing chose the person with a bit more of a corporate attitude. TVGuide.com spoke with Bethenny the day after her dismissal to find out what she thinks of coming in second place.

TVGuide.com: Were you expecting Martha to choose Dawna, or were you still optimistic going into the finale?
Bethenny Frankel:
It depended on if somebody wanted someone predictable or not. Dawna's a great competitor, a very quiet and solid person. But if Martha wanted someone who is charismatic and fun and edgy and into taking chances and... I'm my own person and I don't necessarily adhere to rules. I don't know if that is Martha's style.

TVGuide.com: Second place isn't so bad. She must have liked you at least a little.
At least a little, absolutely. The rumor is that Alexis [Stewart's daughter and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia consultant] really liked me.

TVGuide.com: Do you think there is a place for you at MSLO at some point down the road?
I don't think so. And I don't think it is what I really want. The truth is that if I was going to get this job, it was meant to be, but I have my own major brand, Bethenny Bakes, which is all healthy baked goods. If I won, it [would have been] a problem because I was going to have to figure out what to do with Bethenny Bakes.

TVGuide.com: Do you think this will give more exposure to your brand?
Absolutely. It has been crazy. It has only been 24 hours and I've already been offered a million dollars a year to move down to Florida and manage real-estate projects! I turned that down.

TVGuide.com: You developed this great friendship with Jim, who was not really everyone else's favorite. Why'd you two hit it off?
He works really hard. He's really funny. He doesn't necessarily adhere to the rules, and I'm very similar. When I got there and realized he was a strong personality, and I was a strong personality, [I decided that] we could choose to fight each other the whole way or we could choose to ride each other to the top. It was very fitting that I was [No.] 2 and he was 3.

TVGuide.com: Were you happy with the people whom you chose for your final task?
I absolutely made the right decisions. My best friends in the cast were Marcela, Chuck and Dawn, but those people were not going to get this job done for me. I made an executive decision and my event went off much better than Dawna's. My event was actually perfect.

TVGuide.com: It did seem that if they were in fact basing the winner on that one event, it would have been you in the winner's seat.
Martha did say [on her website], "Whoever does better on this task will win this job," so that's interesting. I've gotten hundreds of e-mails already from people saying, "You did much better on this task, so I'm confused by the outcome."

TVGuide.com: What was your favorite task?
I came up with two campaigns, for Buick and Song, that were completely my ideas and designs and are being used by the corporate sponsors, so those for sure. From inception to completion they were my concepts and I was really proud and excited that the companies wanted to use them. I was very excited.

TVGuide.com: Overall, were you happy with your experience on the show?
The truth of the matter is that for me, everything is a positive experience, I don't really regret anything. Martha asked me on her daytime show if I had any regrets, and I said, "Martha, you know my personality. That is not the way that I operate. There is no such thing as regret."

TVGuide.com: You seem like you really were a big fan of hers and were one of the few who seemed interested in working specifically for her.
Well, I don't know Martha, and I can't say that I really got to know her through the process, but I am a fan of the Martha Stewart brand. I'm a fan of what she has done and the quality of the products, the standards and the integrity.

TVGuide.com: Do you hope to someday be able to be "the next Martha"?
Yes. I want to be the modern Martha Stewart. I think there needs to be a younger deliverer of the lifestyle message. From how to live a healthy life to how to eat, how to date, how to be single and how to be a Renaissance woman.

TVGuide.com: Watching the show, was there anything you were embarrassed by?
 Again, that is not my personality and I don't regret anything. I'm sure that I was edited poorly in some spots and I'm sure that I was edited in a glorified way in some spots, but that is the nature of the game. You've got to take your lumps with the good stuff.

TVGuide.com: Would you ever do anything like this again?
I can't say I wouldn't; it depends. When opportunity knocks, you've got to look through the peephole and decide if you want to open the door.