Just hours after Donald Trump fired Kwame Jackson in front of 28 million people on Thursday's Apprentice finale, opportunity knocked big-time for the 30-year-old Wall Street wiz. Dallas Mavericks' billionaire owner Marc Cuban tracked Jackson down at the show's after-party and offered him a job. "He laid out a great offer to work with some of his investment-portfolio companies," marvels the Apprentice runner-up, who says he's "strongly considering" taking the plum gig. "It's not every day that you have billionaires waiting for you in clubs." Translation: Despite a certain saboteur's best efforts, Jackson is destined to become the most successful loser since Clay Aiken. Still, Troy's right-hand man deserves a big "L" to the forehead for not dropping a bucket of cement on Omarosa after she lied to him not once, but twice during his final make-or-break assignment. Why did he let her off the hook so easy? Good question. Let's ask him.
TV Guide Online: Did you lose because of Omarosa ?
I'm not going to sit here and say, "Oh, Omarosa cost me the competition." I did not get selected because [Trump] thought that Bill was the best man for the job. Period. I think Omarosa provided a great excuse. And like I said, I did not get the reality-TV memo that said you can fire contestants from a show. When that came out I was out of the office. (Laughs)
TVGO: But why didn't you take a harder line with her?
I had a massive amount of work to do and I needed all hands on deck. And even if one hand was only operating at 50 percent, I needed that hand. And I really could not get all that stuff done if I had dropped somebody and just put two other people on the job.
TVGO: Looking back, are you able to make sense of what she did?
I don't think that's possible. (Laughs) I seriously don't think that's possible. My theory is that some folks are still living in what I call the "Reality-TV Matrix" and they refuse to unplug. I think that for her, [it's all about] the spectacle value and this kind of eccentricity.
TVGO: Why is it that Bill got to choose his teammates first?
We flipped a coin and they didn't show that.
TVGO: So, you would have been stuck with Omarosa anyway.
That's exactly right, and a lot of people don't get that. I tried to take into account her fragile psyche and say, "Look, if you leave her as the last kid on the playground, she's really gonna feel slighted."
TVGO: It would appear that she falsely accused Ereka of calling her the N-word. Does that disturb you, particularly as an African-American?
Here's my stance on that: I wasn't there, so, if it's true, I'm highly disappointed in Ereka. And if it is false, I am highly disappointed in Omarosa.
TVGO: According to the New York tabs, you've been quite a man about town since the show wrapped last fall.
I say more power to folks like George Clooney. There are role models out there.
TVGO: Are you single?
I am separated from my wife in lieu of divorce, and I am single and dating.
TVGO: Are you going to accept KFC's job offer?
At a higher number, yeah. It's a week. I'd do almost anything for a week. I'd be a yoga instructor for a week.
TVGO: You don't think that $25,000 is fair for a week's work?
I didn't say it wasn't fair. But business is not about being fair — it's about making money.
TVGO: PETA sent you a letter urging you not to take the job.
The problem is, I'm from North Carolina and we eat pork and Krispy Kreme and chicken. That's just the way it is.
TVGO: Any final thoughts?
Thanks to everyone for all the support. I didn't realize how many people I had touched. Go to KwameJackson.com to stay in touch with me. And just dream big and go for it. Wait for your pitch in life and swing. And when it comes along, don't be afraid.
For our exclusive interview with Apprentice champ Bill Rancic, click here.