TVGuide.com: What were your first thoughts when Martha announced the team shake-up?
Dawn Silva: My first thought was that I'd have a clean slate. The project manager will not be using me as the scapegoat the rest of the team had marked me as, so maybe I'll have a chance.
TVGuide.com: The Westin task really seemed to show the stress both teams were under. How long did you actually have to renovate those suites?
Dawn: It was brutal. We didn't have as much time as we needed. [Laughs] We did get a little more time, but because of the magnitude of the project, it didn't make a difference.
TVGuide.com: Was the missing furniture the only major problem you faced?
Dawn: The missing furniture is the only reason we didn't win the task. The biggest problem was that our project manager used six hours of brainstorming time when we could have been using those six hours to get the couches in the door.
TVGuide.com: You made a decent argument for Leslie's poor time-management skills. Alongside her and Bethenny in the conference room, who were you expecting to see sent home?
Dawn: If you look at the tasks from the previous three weeks, you see that Martha makes a point of saying that the person who was responsible for the loss of the task is the person who should go. She then did not follow her own rule when she sent me home, because clearly I was not the one responsible for the loss; Leslie was responsible from a project-management perspective.
TVGuide.com: Would you call Leslie the most difficult person to work with on the team?
Dawn: I wouldn't call her the most difficult. I wouldn't give her any credit, really. I think that I had a tough time dealing with the gang mentality of my team. I've never been in a situation like where I had a bad reputation that wasn't deserved.
TVGuide.com: Is there anyone on Matchstick that you'll keep up with?
Dawn: Chuck and I are lifetime friends, as are Bethenny and I. Bethenny and I shared a lot of time in this Westin task — I was the accountant — so we really worked hand in hand. People saw that she was very nasty to me in the beginning, but what they don't realize was that through this Westin task, we were able to grow our relationship and get to know each other on a different level.
TVGuide.com: So you think when you hang out at her house, she'll have a couch for you to sit on, since she'll have the furniture delivered on time?
Dawn: [Sarcastically] Ha, ha. I've been over to her house several times, and she did a good job decorating her own place, too.
TVGuide.com: Being from Boston, too, I heard the interview you did on [radio station] KISS 108 a while back, where you said Martha could be — at times — a "bitch in powder blue." Can you expand on that and offer a few more of your reactions to her?
Dawn: I think that pretty much says it all, doesn't it? Martha is exactly who you expect her to be, then she's exactly who you don't expect her to be. She was warm sometimes, and sometimes she was impatient and frustrated. But she always looked good!
TVGuide.com: Did you follow her career beforehand?
Dawn: No way! I can't cook, I would never frost a cake.... That's not who I am. I don't aspire to be a domestic goddess like she is. I can certainly appreciate those things and figure out a way to delegate that if that's something I need done.
TVGuide.com: How do you think you would have fared on Donald's version of The Apprentice?
Dawn: I think I would have kicked butt! I identify more with corporate people and people with a plan.
TVGuide.com: What did being on the show teach you about the business world that you perhaps weren't aware of beforehand?
Dawn: I went into this show thinking it was going to be good enough just being myself and having fun, then I realized it was a game and it was cutthroat. I fought the fight for three weeks before I decided I wasn't going to be everybody's bitch anymore. It's not about the destination, it's about the journey. If the journey is taking me somewhere that seems different than what I set out for, I know when to pump the brakes.
TVGuide.com: That's a very level-headed approach.
Dawn: People have criticized me for being whiny and complaining, but... it's called managing your resources and not letting your resources manage you. The greatest part about this whole experience has been people [thinking] I'm the underdog and [rooting for me]. Getting fired was the best moment of my life at that time. Martha should know, it's difficult to escape a bad reputation, whether you deserve it or not.
TVGuide.com: What did you do with your letter from Martha?
Dawn: It's something I think I'll keep for a long time, unless I auction it off for charity.
TVGuide.com: We won't see it on eBay anytime soon?
Dawn: Probably not. I wouldn't try to profit from things I've gotten from the show, unless it's to go to charity. If I can use this experience to help the causes I was already involved in — Make-a-Wish Foundation and the Arthritis Foundation — then I'm going to do that. I don't expect people to be banging down my doors throwing cars and jewelry at me. Harry Winston hasn't come a-callin' just yet. Here I am, Harry!