For this week's blog, I decided to change things up a bit and answer the questions people have asked me after seeing this episode.
Let's start at the beginning. What was the feeling in the room after Gary was fired?
The feeling was definitely one of competitors going into the next battle round. Even though we hadn't had a day off in over a week (because of Hurricane Sandy) and would now be facing two more days and an impending blizzard, we were fired up! Trace, Lil Jon and I were definitely flying high after our LG win, but, believe me, that feeling is always short lived when you know there's another task the very next morning. At this point of the game I'd been on Team Plan B for the first 5 out of 6 wins and on Team Power for the last 2 out of 3 wins, so I had the best record (7 of 9) of being on the winning team. I was feeling my oats, for sure, but you know how that goes!
How did you like the task you were given? (Decorating a Foxwoods suite at the Barclay Center.)
Although you are never sure until a task is delivered, you hear little rumors along the way about what the next one or two tasks might be. You're always listening extra hard to things people say when they think you're not paying attention. This is especially true when you know you're up next to be Project Manager. The rumor I'd heard for this task was definitely not what it turned out to be. I thought it was going to be something about cooking with kids, so you can imagine my shock when the van pulled up in front of the Barclay Center. But it didn't matter. I love playing this game so much that whatever the task turns out to be, the personal challenge of seeing what I can do with it always excites me.
You and Lisa are buddies and now dueling Project Managers; what was that like?
I absolutely adore Lisa, and she and I really bonded during this whole process. I knew it was our turns to be PM and that we'd would going head-to-head. I vacillated between feeling exhilarated in a fun, competitive way and feeling sad in a "there's a good chance we both might not make final four," which was something she and I had talked about when we were on the same team. You could tell from the way she and I "negotiated" our theme cards that we really like each other. I was thrilled we were the final two females, if for no other reason than now neither of us has to explain to the other what happened on all the tasks; we were both there!
Speaking of that negotiation, you got flack for not at least trying to take the Joker card away from Plan B because of Penn. Why didn't you? And why did you pick the King card instead?
What people don't know (unless they've been to Foxwoods or on their website) is that, although there are five cards (Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Joker) with adjectives describing each type, the Joker and Jack cards are so similar that even if we had flipped for the Joker card and won, Penn would have still pulled out the same heavy guns from Foxwoods. He still would have called on Teller, Lisa Lampanelli, brought in the furniture and hired Chef David Burke. Burke may not have turned calamari into Joker heads, but I'm sure he would have come up with something just as special for Jack! I also feel that the people who win, let's say, a swimming race are not the ones looking over their shoulders losing time, but rather the ones who are swimming the hardest and fastest to hit the wall first. Besides, every time there has been a flip of the coin and my team has won the toss, it has come back to haunt us! The ladder cart from the QVC challenge in Season 1 and choosing 'Adventure' in the South African challenge come to mind. I picked King because purple is the Alzheimers' color. I took that as a sign from God that we could really rock this task. Little did I know the obstacles ahead at that point and how hard it would be to find what I really wanted in terms of décor and entertainment. I originally wanted a James Bond inspired vibe, and it just didn't come together for many reasons.
Did you feel Trace and Lil Jon let you down?
I love these guys, so I wasn't so much let down as surprised at how tired they both seemed to be for this one. They were both spent and a little punchy, especially Trace, and I'm sorry that the audience didn't get to hear how hysterically funny his impromptu songs actually were. I've had many favorite moments throughout "Celebrity Apprentice," and two of them were in this episode, one of which you didn't see. Trace, in his attempt to find wow performers, called Blake Shelton and he was outrageous as ever! And so much fun to talk to! And I have to say John Rich grabbing me to dance during Hunter Hayes' brilliant performance was such a wonderful moment. Little did I know that later on John would be giving me a hard time in the Boardroom for me not making sure Lil Jon stepped up as the King of Crunk. Trust me, if I were the Queen of Crunk, I would have been all over Lil Jon to "put me in coach!"
And finally, are you sorry you picked chess?
When I looked at the adjectives for King, four of them were distinguished, gentlemanly, intelligent and mature, and I thought what activity says these four words better than chess? That said, I guess judging from the reaction, it was not the best idea! But if I had to go down in flames, better because of chess than a mechanical dog! I fought hard in the boardroom, not only because right before the final, final Boardroom Trump literally said, "Fight like hell, because I don't know what I'm going to do yet," but also because I wanted to keep going! I've had an amazing time on the show, and I wouldn't have traded the experience for anything!
Please feel free to make comments or ask questions. And please follow me on Twitter @TheRealMarilu and at marilu.com.