Roughly 28 million people watched Donald Trump hire Bill Rancic over Kwame Jackson on Thursday night's finale of NBC's The Apprentice. In addition to a $250,000-a-year job overseeing a skyscraper project in his native Chicago, the 32-year-old cigar entrepreneur won a shiny new Chrysler Crossfire and, if the past few weeks are any indication, a lifetime of tabloid headlines. Just hours after his boardroom rout, Rancic sat down with TV Guide Online to dish about his big win, those romance rumors and the scheming saboteur who led him to victory.
TV Guide Online: Congratulations.
Thank you, thank you.
TVGO: Did you get any sleep last night?
About 45 minutes. Somehow, I don't think I'll be getting much more in the next couple of days.
TVGO: So, did you give Omarosa a big hug and kiss for leading you to victory?
(Chuckles) She certainly was a factor, but I don't know if that was the main reason why [I won].
TVGO: How would you have handled Omarosa had she been on your team?
I would have put her on the bench, there's no question.
TVGO: What kind of boss do you think Donald is going to be?
Fair but tough.
TVGO: Are you really excited about going to work for him? Wouldn't you rather just take the $250,000 and run?
I'm excited. This is an opportunity for me to enter the major leagues.
TVGO: Are you relieved that he didn't task you with turning around his troubled casino empire in Atlantic City?
(Laughs) That's just a very small fraction of his empire.
TVGO: Could this go beyond a one-year gig?
I don't know, we'll see. I'm going to take it one step at a time.
TVGO: When is your first day?
We're still working out the details. I've got a couple of long weeks ahead of me doing PR.
TVGO: How many vacation days do you get?
(Laughs) Probably not many. But I can do anything for a year. I'm going to do whatever I need to do to be successful.
TVGO: How is this new job going to impact your other responsibilities, like your cigar business?
I've always been one to hope for the best and prepare for the worst, so I've already gotten things lined up. There's going to be some transition that's involved but nothing that I can't handle.
TVGO: Lots of rumors floating around about you, so here's your opportunity to set the record straight. Is it true that you once auditioned for The Bachelor?
No, and I'll give you the real story. A friend of mine that I went to college with works for The Bachelor and had asked me to meet some people who were trying to do a show that was similar to The Bachelor. I met with them, they put me on camera and it wasn't for me. I'm not a guy who can go on camera and make out with girls.
TVGO: Speaking of The Bachelor, there's a rumor that you're dating Andrew Firestone's ex, Jen Schefft.
Jen's a good girl. She lives about three minutes from my house. We've been out a few times. I wouldn't plan the wedding just yet. But she's a great girl and I have a lot of respect for her.
TVGO: I also read that you just got engaged to someone other than Jen Schefft.
No. That is a manufactured story. Sam got engaged. Katrina got engaged. Kristy got engaged. So, there are a lot of people who got engaged from the show, but I'm not one of them.
TVGO: What about you and Amy? Katrina has hinted that something went on between the two of you.
No. Again, that's manufactured information.
TVGO: Are you at all peeved that Sam stole some of your thunder last night with his big stunt?
Not at all. That was vintage Sam. I love Sam. I hosted a fund-raiser in Chicago a couple months ago and Sam actually came in and was the auctioneer. Sam and I have a great relationship.
TVGO: Was that real cash?
That was real cash.
TVGO: Where the heck did he get $250,000 in cash?
I don't know how he did it, but that was cold, hard currency.