updated 4/20/2004 10:37:39 AM ET 2004-04-20T14:37:39

Guests: Bill Rancic, Kwame Jackson, George Ross, Carolyn Kepcher, Karen Soenen, Gail Rancic, Katie Pardue(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER:  DEBORAH NORVILLE TONIGHT.

DONALD TRUMP, REAL ESTATE MOGUL:  Bill, you‘re hired. 

ANNOUNCER:  He trumped them all to become the Donald‘s top apprentice. 

BILL RANCIC, “THE APPRENTICE” WINNER:  This is a great place in the world to be right now. 

ANNOUNCER:  Tonight, Bill Rancic shares the secret of his success, how he outmaneuvered the competition. 

B. RANCIC:  It‘s all about timing.  When are you going to break from the pack?

ANNOUNCER:  Sidestep the conniving. 

EREKA VETRINI, “THE APPRENTICE” CONTESTANT:  We weren‘t wearing bikinis. 

KATRINA CAMPINS, “THE APPRENTICE” CONTESTANT:  Omarosa, shut up.

ANNOUNCER:  And ultimately, climbed to the top of reality TV‘s corporate ladder. 

B. RANCIC:  Entrepreneurs aren‘t created.  They‘re born. 

ANNOUNCER:  Now, see how Bill is enjoying the fringe benefits of a job well done. 

Plus, No. 2 man Kwame Jackson.  When this Billionaire passed him over, another Billionaire came courting.  But this former apprentice has his own ideas of how to succeed in business. 

KWAME JACKSON, “THE APPRENTICE” CONTESTANT:  What I want to do is I want to create my own empire. 

ANNOUNCER:  And Trump lieutenants George and Carolyn. 

Along with the Donald, they parlayed their business savvy into a top rated television show. 

SAM SOLOVEY, “THE APPRENTICE” CONTESTANT:  Another brilliant achievement. 

ANNOUNCER:  What will they do for an encore?

TRUMP:  It‘s decision time. 

From Studio 3-K in Rockefeller Center, Deborah Norville.

DEBORAH NORVILLE, HOST:  Hi, everybody.  Good evening. 

Tonight it is all about the “The Apprentice.”  The Donald‘ key advisers, George and Carolyn, will be with us in just a little bit, as will the family of the man who won it all, Bill Rancic.  His mom and his three sisters are back in the green room watching the show now.  We‘ll be hearing from them in a little bit. 

But first I am joined by the winner of the “The Apprentice,” Bill Rancic, and the man who finished second, Kwame Jackson. 

Congratulations, both of you. 

B. RANCIC:  Thank you.

NORVILLE:  Do you feel like you‘ve been on a cloud ever since the finale?

B. RANCIC:  I‘m still in the clouds.  I don‘t know about you. 

JACKSON:  I get more and more excited each day. 

NORVILLE:  Is it really?  It‘s building, even more than going up to the finale. 

JACKSON:  Totally.

NORVILLE:  That‘s cool.

B. RANCIC:  Yes. 

NORVILLE:  Let‘s get right into the show.  I mean, the—the program captivated America.  And people were turning down dinner invitations on Thursday night to be sure to stay home and see what happened. 

And you guys both had very interesting challenges.  Kwame, you had the whole Jessica Simpson concert for charity.  And Bill, you had the golf outing.

B. RANCIC:  I did.

NORVILLE:  Up at the Trump golf course. 

Compared to the other challenges that you guys had, Bill, how would you say yours compared to some of the other stuff you had to do leading into the show?

B. RANCIC:  Well, I think for both of us, the final challenge was a little more difficult, because we were no longer operating as a team. 

And for me, you know, I kind of took the approach—I was dealing with recently terminated employees.  Nick and Amy were fired day before.  So for me, I had to bring a different approach to it.  So it was very difficult.  Because, you know, these people who—we were teammates.  They‘re now technically your employees.  So it‘s kind of a unique transition period that you had to, you know, overcome quickly. 

NORVILLE:  You had to do it really fast.  And they‘re still smarting from Donald having said to both of them...

B. RANCIC:  You‘re fired.

NORVILLE:  ... you‘re out of here. 

How did you know that these guys would be the right people to bring on board to help you?  Because I gather you had your pick of contestants to bring back. 

B. RANCIC:  Right.  We got to pick.  We got to pick from the last six that were terminated.  And for me, I picked the team that was undefeated.  I mean, those three, you know, Amy, Katrina and Nick and myself, we were undefeated as a team.  So for me that was a logical choice.  Because we had won together in the past and we‘d won big. 

NORVILLE:  And you knew you would be able to work as well as possible. 

B. RANCIC:  Yes, we could work well together.  And I know everyone could put their differences aside and finish this last task. 

NORVILLE:  Now, were you looking at Kwame‘s challenge of running the Jessica Simpson concert, saying, “I wish I would have had that one”? 

B. RANCIC:  No.  Actually I welcomed the golf outing.  I mean, to me that was a way I could really showcase my abilities.  And it just seemed like there was, you know, for me it seemed like there were more things that were in my expertise. 

NORVILLE:  And what about you, Kwame?  When Mr. Trump said, “OK.  This is what your team is going to be charged with doing.  Organize this concert in Atlantic City.” 

JACKSON:  The behind the scenes is that we flipped a coin.  And Bill won the coin toss to pick a project.  And then, you know, actually, do you remember you won the coin toss to pick the project, and then they also gave you the first pick.  It was supposed to be two separate coin tosses. 

NORVILLE:  So you ended up with the concert. 

JACKSON:  Ended up with the concert.

NORVILLE:  How did that compare with what the other things were that you had to do?

JACKSON:  I think that it was probably the most difficult thing. 

Because No. 1, we were operating at peak fatigue. 

I mean, we had gotten to the point where it was almost like, can you just fire us already?  Because we were doing fire drill after fire drill after fire drill, week after week on limited sleep. 

And then finally when Bill and I got to the finals, we thought OK.  We‘re going to wait awhile.  And then when we come back to film in four or five months, we‘re going to have a final challenge. 

NORVILLE:  You‘re thinking this is “Survivor.”

JACKSON:  We were celebrating. 

NORVILLE:  Is that when we saw you up on the rooftops?

B. RANCIC:  We thought we were going to go the next day on vacation.

JACKSON:  Relax, spa, you know.  And it turned out to be, you know, a big challenge.  And probably a challenge with the most moving parts. 

NORVILLE:  And in your case, the moving parts also involved players that you had the option of selecting. 

JACKSON:  Correct. 

JACKSON:  Why did you pick Omarosa?

JACKSON:  Very easy.  Once again, it was sequence, so basically, Omarosa was going to wind up on my team either way.  He picked Amy first, then I picked Troy.  And my next pick would actually be Katrina, but he picked Katrina. 

B. RANCIC:  How did you know I wasn‘t going to pick Omarosa?

JACKSON:  Come on, my friend. 

NORVILLE:  So somebody was going to get, shall I say, stuck with Omarosa?

JACKSON:  What I was trying to do was, because of her fragile psyche, I was trying to not give her the last kid left on the playground effect.  So I want to pick her before I picked Heidi to say, “Omarosa, I believe in you.  You‘re one of my higher picks.  Hopefully this will give you confidence” and she‘ll do well. 

NORVILLE:  Thinking that she‘d come around for you. 

JACKSON:  Yes.  You know, I mean, I hadn‘t really bumped heads with Omarosa.  I knew that she was a volatile, you know, being or whatever.  But I didn‘t think, you know, the degree of duplicity that was shown in the subsequent film would be the case. 

NORVILLE:  Let us once again look at that degree of duplicity...

JACKSON:  Yes, you like that, huh?

NORVILLE:  ... as we watch Omarosa in action. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OMAROSA MANIGAULT-STALLWORTH, “THE APPRENTICE” CONTESTANT:  Hi. 

TROY MCCLAIN, “THE APPRENTICE” CONTESTANT:  Omarosa got a phone call. 

We‘re under the assumption that it has to be task oriented. 

JACKSON:  I think one of the employees has to be loyal to, if you don‘t have any enterprise. 

HEIDI BRESSLER, “THE APPRENTICE” CONTESTANT:  What was the phone call?

MANIGAULT-STALLWORTH:  I‘m not going to have that conversation. 

MCCLAIN:  Then you ask.  What was the phone call, because I want to know.  If there‘s something to do with the task I want to know about it.  And she‘s like, well, we can‘t talk about it. 

And I asked her again.  I said, “Tell me what the phone call was about.”  And she just wouldn‘t tell me.  She refused to tell us. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NORVILLE:  We know what Troy was thinking.  What were you thinking?

JACKSON:  The same thing.  The same thing.

NORVILLE:  What gives?

JACKSON:  Troy got the interview.  That‘s all.  That‘s the only difference.

But I was thinking the same thing.  She said the phone call was nothing to do with the task.  I thought it was a personal phone call from, like, her husband, et cetera.  I let it go. 

Because I mean, like I said, there were 600 loose ends to tie up.  So a phone call at a table was the least of my concern. 

NORVILLE:  When did you find out that she had let you down big time?

JACKSON:  The next day when I got on the phone and they showed the filming with, I think it was Deborah.  And she said I talked to Omarosa yesterday.  She dropped the ball on Jessica Simpson. 

And my first reaction wasn‘t oh, my God.  What did Omarosa do?  My first reaction was OK.  We are where we are.  How do you rectify the situation? 

NORVILLE:  Fix it.  And find Jessica Simpson.

JACKSON:  Exactly.  Because I had another 590 things to do after that. 

NORVILLE:  Now Bill, you don‘t know that this enormous ball has been dropped while you‘re up working on your challenge? 

B. RANCIC:  No. 

NORVILLE:  When did you find out about it?  Was it when you watched the show on Thursday night?

B. RANCIC:  I found out about it when the rest of America found out about it.  I mean, I had no idea that the evidence was that damning towards Omarosa.  I mean, that‘s pretty—that‘s pretty harsh, what happened there, I mean... 

JACKSON:  No, I don‘t think anyone would suspect as a project manager on your final task for someone to do something to that degree to really put you behind the eight ball. 

NORVILLE:  What do you wish you would have done when you found out how she had let you down?

JACKSON:  I probably should have reprimand her stronger, but I definitely don‘t think I could have fired her.  I think this whole concept of firing was something that was generated in the final episode. 

I said—I told people, I never got the reality TV memo that said I was Mark Burnett and I know could remove and add people to the show.  So I probably should have been more stern with her. 

But you know, the chips fell where they did, and I‘m happy with my decision.  And life‘s going to go on. 

NORVILLE:  And Bill, as you‘re sitting there in the studio here at NBC watching Kwame‘s life go to pieces there on this task, what are you thinking?  Are you thinking, “That‘s it”?

B. RANCIC:  No, no.  I mean, because it wasn‘t about just that final task.  It was the culmination of 13 weeks.  And to give Omarosa the credit for my victory, I think, is selling me short.

NORVILLE:  No, I didn‘t mean that it way.  Just watching Kwame play this out.

B. RANCIC:  Kwame had—he had, you know, a great run.  And he was a tough competitor.  And I don‘t, you know—To me, it was a shame that it had to come down to, you know, Omarosa being deceptive on that last task.  But I think, you know, it was ultimately—you know, it was a 13-week job interview. 

NORVILLE:  Omarosa said to me in an interview that she ended up twice in the boardroom because you put her there.  Do you think it was sabotage on her part?  Looking back?

JACKSON:  You know, I never thought about it that deep, really, to tell you the truth.  I made all of my decisions on who to pull into the boardroom, as you can see from the footage, in a very professional manner. 

I never was catty.  I said here are the reasons.  Here‘s why we‘ve got to go in.  It‘s not personal.  It‘s business.  Someone must advance.

NORVILLE:  Yes.

JACKSON:  And if you took that personal, then maybe, you know, you weren‘t the strong businessperson you thought you were. 

NORVILLE:  Good point.  Well, Donald Trump, of course, was watching both of you guys in action.  And you‘re sitting there in the studio at 8-H.  And Donald Trump is about to about to speak. 

Kwame, what‘s going through your head?  And Bill, the same question.

JACKSON:  About 45 seconds before he made his decision was when I realized I wasn‘t going to get the pick.  I just had this... 

NORVILLE:  How did you know?

JACKSON:  Premonition.  Total premonition.  And you know, I had kind of watched—I had the most time in the boardroom of anyone.  So I could read the tea leaves and the mojo of the boardroom. 

I just had this feeling that, you know, he—the way he normally did in terms of his cadence and the order, the way he said things.  I was, like, this isn‘t it.  This isn‘t it.

B. RANCIC:  And that‘s where I kind of was on the other side of the coin.  Because a lot of times, he tries to throw the audience off and say, you know, you did this, you did that.  And he goes negative on you.  But then he‘ll say, but X, Y, Z, you‘re fired.  He turns the page. 

So I thought as soon as you started kind of, you know, constructively criticizing him, I‘m thinking, I‘m a dead man walking.  And then I thought it was all over.  And then all of a sudden, he said, “Bill, you‘re hired.”  And I was totally shocked. 

JACKSON:  I also took into account how much he had butted heads with Omarosa.  So when he started to say, “Kwame, why did you do this with Omarosa?”  I was just like...

NORVILLE:  Well, let‘s watch it.  Donald Trump making the big pick. 

All of America was watching as he picked the person who was hired. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP:  Kwame, I think you have an amazing future.  You‘re a brilliant guy, a great education.  And I have no doubt that you‘re going to be a big success.  But for right now, Bill, you‘re hired. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NORVILLE:  There‘s a happy guy. 

Did you really—did you realize it?  I mean, you hear your name.  It‘s sort of like Miss America.  The crown is on your head, and you‘re making your victory walk. 

B. RANCIC:  A tiara.

JACKSON:  Yes.

B. RANCIC:  You know what?  For me, it was surreal.  And it‘s still kind of surreal.  Because I haven‘t stopped running. 

I mean, from when I won, you know, Thursday night to today, I‘ve been on the road.  I mean, I haven‘t had a moment to savor the victory yet.  And I‘m looking forward to getting back to Chicago and celebrating with my friends and family. 

NORVILLE:  Well, we want to talk more about the celebration, about the futures with both of you.  We‘re going to be back more with Bill and Kwame. 

And when we come back, two of your favorites from the show, the bosses, George and Carolyn will be here, as well.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

ANNOUNCER:  Coming up, they‘re two of the Donald‘s most trusted advisers.  But what do they really think of the boss‘s decision to go with this man?

GEORGE ROSS, “THE APPRENTICE”:  My vote would go with Kwame. 

ANNOUNCER:  A meeting with George and Carolyn, when DEBORAH NORVILLE TONIGHT returns.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NORVILLE:  Those are numbers that warm the cockles of television executives‘ hearts and probably Donald Trump‘s, as well.  Because one thing‘s for sure, the Donald delivered.  He‘s got a TV hit on his hands. 

I‘m back with the winner of the “The Apprentice,” Bill Rancic, the runner-up, Kwame Jackson.  And we‘re joined by two of the judges on the show, Carolyn Kepcher, who is, when she‘s not on television, an executive vice president for the Trump organization.  Also George Ross, another executive vice president. 

Nice to see you both.  Did you have fun Thursday night?

ROSS:  We had a ball. 

NORVILLE:  Were you nervous?

CAROLYN KEPCHER, “THE APPRENTICE”:  No.

ROSS:  No.

KEPCHER:  No.  It wasn‘t our decision. 

NORVILLE:  But you guys had disagreed going into this. 

KEPCHER:  We did.  We did. 

NORVILLE:  How did you resolve the disagreement?

ROSS:  We didn‘t.  Donald resolved it.  We did not.  We were at opposite ends for different reasons, and we both respected each other‘s opinion.  But Donald made the final—the final choice. 

NORVILLE:  You know, watching the whole show go down, I constantly felt myself reminded by the question, this isn‘t really how people get hired in real life. 

Carolyn, as you all were going through the process, what about this extremely nontraditional job interview didn‘t allow you to know something about these candidates that you would have gotten in your typical come in, talk, come back for a follow-up?

KEPCHER:  We were unable to just kind of ask regular interview questions.  We saw the boardroom, basically.  We were—we watched them throughout the day.  We were not allowed to give them any advice or question them whatsoever. 

So it was the boardroom that we really got to see them.  And certainly, we pointed things out.  But we weren‘t asking—George and I were not asking questions that perhaps I would have typically asked in an interview process. 

NORVILLE:  And George, watching this process go through, were there times when you would have liked the opportunity to have gone to, if not the two gentlemen here, then some of the other contestants and said, “Hey.  Wait a second.” Or “What about” or “come on.  If you want to work, here.” 

ROSS:  No question.  I would have liked it on numerous occasions, absolutely.  I would have liked to have do it.  But the interesting thing about this, it‘s not the typical job interview, but it‘s still an interview. 

It was up to Carolyn and to Donald and myself to determine which of these candidates had the prerequisites to be a really good executive, even though they didn‘t know what job they were applying for.  And we didn‘t know what job they were applying for. 

NORVILLE:  You didn‘t know either?

ROSS:  No. 

NORVILLE:  When did you find out what the job was going to be?

KEPCHER:  When they found out about it. 

NORVILLE:  So none of you had any idea what the stakes were really for? 

B. RANCIC:  No. 

NORVILLE:  And when Mr. Trump said, we‘ve got a building in Chicago, being a Chicago guy...

B. RANCIC:  Sure.  It was a no brainer for me. 

I always use the analogy, I compare it to sports.  It‘s like a sports team going into the playoffs and turning down the home court advantage.  You always play better on your home court.  For me, you know, I need a quick ramp-up process.  And just by going to Chicago, it‘s my home court and I knew I would do better in Chicago than anywhere else. 

NORVILLE:  Right.  And we‘ll get more into what you‘re going to be doing in just a moment. 

I want to talk about the whole process.  There were probably in each of your minds defining moments when it went your way or when it went another way in term of the contestants. 

Bill, what would you say was an important turning point for you as you were going through this?

B. RANCIC:  Well, you know, I mean, along the way, you kind of build momentum.  I think Kwame and I paced ourselves in the race. 

And for me I think my first home run was probably the rickshaw episode, where it was either a make or break situation for me.  And I thought outside the box.  We decided to advertise on the rickshaws instead of the traditional way of generating revenue. 

I knew if I did not produce a victory, I was going home.  I mean, there was no question about it.  It was all over for me.  So that was—I knew I had to put myself on the map at that point in game. 

NORVILLE:  And—And advertising was one way of upping the ante and making sure that you had a lot of dollars? 

B. RANCIC:  It was thinking outside the box.  We generated, I think, about $4,000, I think which was a substantial victory for us.  I mean, I was the project manager on the team.  So...

NORVILLE:  You got credit for it. 

B. RANCIC:  I got the credit.  Well, on the other side at the end of the day, I would have been the guy going home with my suitcase. 

NORVILLE:  George, what was your moment?

ROSS:  My moment was basically the same moment.  After we—When I first saw and understood the rickshaw, I said there‘s no way that you‘re going to make money with the rickshaws. 

NORVILLE:  Hold on one second.  Let‘s watch that little bit of the show.  And then we‘ll hear why this was so meaningful for you.  Here‘s the rickshaw episode.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCLAIN:  We see the other team‘s rickshaw go by.  And I said, my God, they might have sold advertising on the back of their rickshaws.  That‘s a great idea.  I didn‘t think of it. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NORVILLE:  Troy was really like, eureka.  That was brilliant.  And as you thought, too.

ROSS:  And I also liked it, it was a tremendous insight into Troy.  He spotted it right away.  He says, “We might as well have fun, because this is over.” 

And to me, that was very incisive on his part. 

NORVILLE:  And what did that tell but Troy as an individual?

ROSS:  Troy is great.  Troy is great.  I think that of all of the contestants, he‘s right up at the top with street smarts.  He can size up people and analyze, and he thinks very quick on his feet.  He‘s great. 

And that told me that he can really understand, because he said, “Fine, let‘s go out and have fun, because we‘re through now.” 

NORVILLE:  Kwame, your moment was different.  Your moment is one that took place in Atlantic City.  I want to just roll the part of the episode that you told us about.  And then we‘ll hear why this one stands out in your own mind.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Protege only had 776 patrons.  But because they went after the VIP‘s that gambled a lot more money, Protege actually pulled in more money for the casino, $123,159. 

TRUMP:  Amy, you finally lost.  And you guys finally won one. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NORVILLE:  I thought Amy was going to give birth the way she looked at that moment.

JACKSON:  Exactly.

NORVILLE:  You just couldn‘t have been more tickled. 

JACKSON:  That was probably the defining moment, because one, Amy had been on this, you know, crazy run of victories.  And it was just finally good to slay the dragon and to say, you know, as project manager, I was the person who, you know, really led us to that victory. 

I had a great team, you know, Bill and Troy.  Came with some great ideas, had great energy. 

But you know, I had a long run of losses.  And it was the first time I tasted victory as project manager.  And so it just really felt good. 

NORVILLE:  You, young lady, had something to say about that particular episode. 

KEPCHER:  Actually, I did.  And that was kind of a turning point for me.  Although I had a feeling that these two  would be in the end.  Maybe three or four.  But definitely towards the very end. 

And it was maybe about three tasks prior that I guess I was swaying more toward Bill.  And the Taj Mahal kind of put me on that direction. 

I think there was one point in time, I know Troy had negotiated the tigers and getting this tiger and this little boy, which I‘ve never seen before.  That was the first I saw it.  He said you have to come to the show, and you have to see the show.  So Troy of course, had to go see the show. 

And I was surprised, and there was even an interview that Kwame said, “I didn‘t really have to go.  I just wanted to go and have a good time with Troy and see the tiger.” 

Meanwhile, this one was probably printing up signs or running around. 

B. RANCIC:  Going to Kinko‘s. 

KEPCHER:  Going bananas. 

B. RANCIC:  I was mad as could be.

KEPCHER:  My jaw just dropped. 

JACKSON:  He was.  And I have to offer some color on that.  Essentially, Troy told me that it was very important for both of us to go and meet the owner or general manager. 

NORVILLE:  Do you mean the little kid. 

JACKSON:  The little kid and his mom, you know, who‘s kind of the figure behind him.

Because she said, “I want you both to come to the event and pick out the animals and the magicians, or whatever, the things you liked about the show.  Pick them out and, you know, we‘ll bring them to your event that day.” 

And so I had assigned Bill the task of going to Kinko‘s and actually getting the items on the wheel printed off.  And so I asked, “Do you need help on that?”  And I felt like one person could do that at Kinko‘s.  But I felt like it was better for me to go and build a rapport with the owner of the circus event. 

NORVILLE:  Yes, like the tiger‘s going to feel the love as you‘re sitting in the audience. 

JACKSON:  Actually—to actually meet the owner.  I had never met the owner.  I had met the boy and I hadn‘t met his mom. 

NORVILLE:  But naturally, picking the VIP was the golden ticket, right?

JACKSON:  I‘m going to totally disagree with that.  And I‘m going to tell you, it‘s the golden ticket. 

B. RANCIC:  No, no. 

NORVILLE:  All right.  It‘s apprentice smack down here on DEBORAH

NORVILLE TONIGHT. 

JACKSON:  I specifically remember that Bill went and got the numbers for the hotel. 

NORVILLE:  Right.

JACKSON:  And he was going over the numbers.  You‘re going over the numbers.  You‘re saying, OK, here‘s what they do in every business line.  And we‘re going to either focus on the buses that come in—you had, like, the bus turns, VIP numbers and something else. 

And you were like, we should—I said it‘s basically 80-20 rule.  It‘s a basic rule that, you know, these guys are going to do 80 percent of the business.  And so you brought up the idea and I said it was great.  But it wasn‘t like—it wasn‘t like...

B. RANCIC:  You guys were—Well, wait a minute. 

JACKSON:  I never thought that the VIP‘s—like I‘m not an idiot. 

(CROSSTALK)

NORVILLE:  Defend yourself briefly.  We have to go to a commercial. 

B. RANCIC:  When you guys were at the circus watching the tiger, I was having a meeting with the VIP manager. 

JACKSON:  No.  You were at Kinko‘s. 

B. RANCIC:  No, I wasn‘t.  Then I left the VIP manager, and I asked her to give me a ride to Kinko‘s. 

JACKSON:  OK.

B. RANCIC:  So that was when you guys were, you know...

JACKSON:  But the whole time—the whole time... 

B. RANCIC:  So you‘re going to take that idea away from me? 

JACKSON:  No, no.  I said it was your idea on national television. 

B. RANCIC:  OK, OK.

JACKSON:  What I‘m saying is don‘t act like I don‘t have the basic sense to know that VIP‘s run the revenue within a casino and I didn‘t recognize it that evening. 

NORVILLE:  Emotions are high even after “The Apprentice.”

(CROSSTALK)

ROSS:  What I‘m hearing now, I‘m surprised either of them won. 

NORVILLE:  We‘re going to take a break.  We‘ll be back with the boys who are fighting and Carolyn and George in just a second.  More of their take on the Donald.  Stick around.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP:  It‘s very simple.  The losing team will see me in the boardroom.  Somebody is getting fired. 

Have fun.  Good luck. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NORVILLE:  Somebody is getting fired.  Have fun. 

When Donald talks, at least on “The Apprentice,” lots of people are listening.  Some memorable words from the star of the show. 

Let‘s talk about the Donald.  Back now with the winner of “The Apprentice,” Bill Rancic, runner-up Kwame Jackson, and the two judges on the show.  The dynamic duo, as we referred to you the other day, Carol Kepcher and George Ross. 

Donald has certainly become famous for, “You‘re fired.”  What other Trumpisms kind of stick in your mind when you think about how he‘s been featured along the way on this?

ROSS:  I think as far as I‘m concern, it showed the human side of him. 

When one of them, I think it was Katrina, said, “I‘ve never been duped.” 

And Donald said, “I‘ve been duped lots of times.”  That‘s human. 

That‘s something for somebody of his stature to admit.

And the number of responses he made were so spontaneous, that they were just great.

NORVILLE:  Anything that stands out in your mind?

JACKSON:  I found a new spelling for the word “huge.”  It‘s Y-U-G-E. 

“Yuge.”

NORVILLE:  It‘s “yuge.”

What about you, Bill?

B. RANCIC:  I think I learned lessons along the way, not necessarily Trumpisms.  But, every week, we learned something new.  And I think we carried it forward to the next task.  And to me that was beneficial.  That‘s what helped us, I think.

NORVILLE:  How are you different having gone through this process?  And I don‘t mean the job and the celebrity and the publicity.  How are you different from having gone through this episode? 

B. RANCIC:  Well, I think all 16 of us are better people as a result of doing the show.  I mean, I think we learned a lot, not only from Carolyn and George and Mr. Trump, but from each other. 

We got different people‘s perspective on business and life.  And when you live with 15 other people under the same roof as a grown adult, it is a unique environment.  And it takes little getting used to.  I think it made all of us, we got to kind of see from the outside looking in.  And you watch yourself on television.  You can‘t believe some of the things that you do and your mannerisms.  I know I bite a my cheek a lot now.  And I‘m trying to—but, more importantly, other things you learn about yourself as a result of living with 15 other diverse, dynamic people. 

NORVILLE:  What about you, Kwame? 

JACKSON:  I think it is a very unique hot seat.  I think that you basically put yourself in a position.  If you think of any field, whether you‘re a painter or an on-air correspondent and you sit in front of the mogul of that field for 15, 16 weeks, and then that person basically gives you constructive feedback every week, some positive, some negative, it really basically forms and molds you to really think about, OK, who really am I?  What do I do well?  What do I do wrong?  What can I change? 

And that hot seat is not for everybody.  And so I learned a lot from that experience.  And when you broadcast that to America, everybody has good days and bad days at their job.  They‘re never broadcast. 

B. RANCIC:  Yes. 

JACKSON:  And that‘s the part that was just really a crucible. 

NORVILLE:  What did you learn about business specifically from Donald Trump watching him operate and watching him critique? 

JACKSON:  One, go with your gut.  And I had never really done that enough.  And it costs me a couple of things in the task.

Two, always be straightforward.  I was always straightforward, but I really respected the way he gave honest and open criticism to us.  And so I just really appreciated those two things. 

NORVILLE:  Let‘s give a listen to some of the things that Donald Trump had to share along the way on “The Apprentice.”

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, DEVELOPER/BUSINESSMAN:  It‘s always been easier for me to think big.  It was always easier to attract the money and the capital than it would be if I did a small job some place that nobody cared about.  Many times, you hear the expression that God is in the details.  When people come in to buy something, especially very rich people, they see details.  If something is wrong, they see it and it reflects in the price. 

I think we‘re going to have a very, very substantial portion of this building leased before we start construction. 

Thinking outside of the box is something that is very much of a cliche.  But if you really want to be successful, that‘s how you‘re going to have to do it. 

People love the beauty of the building.  They love the location of the building.  And I think they like Trump. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NORVILLE:  People certainly like Trump on Thursday night. 

Carolyn, how is the Trump organization different, having gone through this experience and having so many aspects of the business broadcast on nationwide television for everybody to see? 

KEPCHER:  I think—it‘s a small organization, especially organization at Trump Tower on the particular floor.  I think it has just brought a happiness and a better work environment.  A lot of people are enjoying it.  They‘re following it.  They, too, watch the episodes on Thursday night and they all come in and they talk about it. 

And I think it is a better mood.  It‘s not that it was bad, but I think it just brought some people into it, because a lot of the people have been shown on TV. 

NORVILLE:  Right. 

KEPCHER:  And I think they‘ve enjoyed it.  It has been a lot of fun. 

NORVILLE:  And how is Donald different, George? 

ROSS:  Well, Donald 

(CROSSTALK)

NORVILLE:  Yes, you answer that one, George.

ROSS:  The amount of time that was spent interrupting what his regular practice is was very trying on him. 

But as far as he‘s concerned, as far as treating the people he worked with, there was no real difference.  And I think also, he relaxed a little bit.  I think—a side of him that you never really saw.  He has tremendous respect for all his executives.  They‘ve been with him a long time and he lets them run with the ball.  And he does not micromanage. 

And so there was really no change as a result of this.  There are areas he will micromanage, but those are in the construction area, which is where he has his tremendous amount of expertise and he‘s really a perfectionist.  But the other ones, no, he lets Carolyn do her thing and he certainly lets me do my thing, whatever that may be. 

NORVILLE:  I want to ask both of you, with your experience in business, what do you think it is about this phenomenon in America today where people who have great jobs, as Bill and Kwame did before this started, putting those jobs aside, rolling the dice on the chance that a TV show can take them to somewhere different?  It‘s kind of odd, isn‘t it? 

KEPCHER:  It‘s odd.  But if you want to compare it to other reality shows, I think this is much better.  I think it stands out much bigger and broader than the others.  This is real business.  I think more people can relate to something like this than opposed to a “Bachelor” or a “Survivor” or something to that effect.  It is just a different setting, a different environment where I think more people can relate. 

DOBBS:  Well, one family that related a lot is the family of Bill Rancic.  We‘ve got them over in the green room.  We‘re going to take a break.  When we come back, there‘s a very proud mom.  There she is.  Hi, mom.  And some very happy sisters.  We‘re going to be visiting with them in just a second. 

So don‘t go away.

ANNOUNCER:  Up next:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I think you should choose me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I can do it.

B. RANCIC:  I‘m going to give it 110 percent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER:  Is this what you‘ve got to do to get a meeting with Mr.

Trump?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Oh, life is good.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER:  Or this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SAM SOLOVEY, CONTESTANT:  What‘s he looking at me like I‘m crazy for? 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER:  How about this?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JACKSON:  I now transform into corporate black man. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER:  “Apprentice” auditions when DEBORAH NORVILLE TONIGHT returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NORVILLE:  Before they were contestants on “The Apprentice,” they had to submit audition tapes and we‘ve got them.  You‘ll hear from the mother of the winner as well. 

That‘s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

B. RANCIC:  It‘s a company that I started eight or nine years ago. 

These are high-end town homes.  They start at $500,000. 

I‘m a competitor.  I‘m an athlete.  I run marathons.  I do triathlons. 

So I think my competitive spirit is going to be there for this show. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NORVILLE:  An accurate prediction.  That was Bill Rancic‘s audition tape for “The Apprentice.”  It was shot by his sister, Karen Soenen, who helped put it together. 

And Karen joins us now from our green room, along with Bill‘s other sisters, Katie Pardue, Beth Shannon (ph), and their mom, Gail Rancic.

Congratulations.  I‘m sure you all are the women behind the man. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  That‘s right. 

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Absolutely. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We take full credit. 

NORVILLE:  You should.

Karen, tell me, how hard it was to get your brother to do this tape for you? 

KAREN SOENEN, SISTER OF BILL:  It wasn‘t very hard.  He‘s a natural.  And we did do several takes, but we had a lot of fun with it.  And it was great. 

NORVILLE:  Did you have any inkling when you were putting that tape together that this was going to be the launch of something like this for him? 

SOENEN:  Yes, I did.  And I think everyone who was there that day said, you know, this is it.  He was such a natural.  He has so much charisma that comes across. 

B. RANCIC:  I‘m pay her well to say that. 

(LAUGHTER)

SOENEN:  It comes across on camera, that.  He did a great job. 

NORVILLE:  Gail, as you were watching your son compete in all of this, how nerve-racking was it for you as the competition went along?  And I know he is really good at keeping a secret.  You didn‘t know whether he was going to survive or not. 

GAIL RANCIC, MOTHER OF BILL:  No, I didn‘t.  I had no idea.  And each week, I would try so hard to get him just to give me a little hint about a little something.  And he was always very, very good about keeping the secret, never divulged anything.  So I was usually on the edge of my seat just waiting until he went into the boardroom and if he ever would hear those horrible words, you‘re fired. 

NORVILLE:  Bill, how hard was it to keep the secret from your family? 

B. RANCIC:  Well, it was tough.  But I didn‘t want them to put them in a position—I know how people can chat it up. 

(LAUGHTER)

NORVILLE:  What, those ladies in there?  I don‘t think so. 

(CROSSTALK)

NORVILLE:  And, Katie, what was it like having this guy growing up in a house full of girls?  Did he respond well to the female influence?  How did he deal with that, being the only guy in the house? 

KATE PARDUE, SISTER OF BILL:  Oh, boy.  He pretty much had to kind of venture out on his own, because growing up with three sisters was hard. 

B. RANCIC:  Oh, my God. 

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER) 

PARDUE:  Especially three older sisters. 

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Those are great, some of my favorites. 

NORVILLE:  Saw the great pictures.

And I know one picture we‘ve also got is the picture of your dad.  You lost your dad four years ago.  What do you think his reaction right now would be? 

(CROSSTALK)

B. RANCIC:  He‘s laughing.  He

would come to my office when I first started Cigars Around the World. 

And he would sit there in my office, because he was an educator.  And he didn‘t have the ability to call and negotiate and get tough when you need to be tough.  So he would come in there and he would just sit in my office and listen to me on the phone for hours and hours and just enjoy it.  So he is looking down laughing and definitely giving me a thumbs up. 

NORVILLE:  And what kind of advice did your dad give you as you were beginning your business? 

B. RANCIC:  Well, he knew that you had to work hard, you had to be honest and be balanced.  And that was the one thing that he really shared with me, was, make sure your life is balanced.  And that‘s something that I‘ll take with me forever. 

NORVILLE:  And, Ms. Rancic, balance going to be even harder for Bill now that he‘s going to be on the fast track with so much going on in his life.  What advice do you want your son to be mindful of as he starts this incredible new chapter in his life? 

G. RANCIC:  Well, I think just to continue to be as authentic as he always has been.  And I‘m sure he will continue to be.  And I know, not too long ago, I repeated a quote to him that I had read or heard somewhere.  And it said that achieving what you go after is success.  But enjoying it while you‘re getting it is happiness. 

And I told him, I really want him to be happy. 

NORVILLE:  Oh, that‘s beautiful.  Gail, Karen, Katie, Beth, thank you so much.  We know this is an exciting time for your whole family and we appreciate you all spending some of it with us. 

(CROSSTALK)

NORVILLE:  And we saw just a smidge of that audition tape that Bill‘s sister made.  Well, we have got some of the other audition tapes.  Let‘s give a little look and a listen to the other contestants from “The Apprentice”. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SOLOVEY, CONTESTANT:  I promise I won‘t get us killed. 

Just deliver.  Just get it done. 

I‘m going.  I got to go.

You have a hole in the wall right here as you walk in. 

What‘s he looking at me like I‘m crazy for? 

Hello.  I don‘t know if you recognize me. 

And he‘s in the middle of the street.  You don‘t go down the middle of the street.

I‘m the hustler. 

AMY HENRY, CONTESTANT:  As a pre-IPO employee of one of fastest high-tech startups in history, you would think I have millions to show for it, but the only three things I‘ve got left are this house, this lousy bike—oh, and a divorce decree. 

Come spend a day with me. 

It‘s never working.

OMAROSA MANIGAULT-STALLWORTH, CONTESTANT:  I‘m Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth.  And I‘m going to tell you why I should be a contestant. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Troy is like a pit bull and a raw steak.  He‘ll sink his teeth into it until he gets what he wants out of the deal. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  If I don‘t look good, I don‘t feel good. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Welcome to (UNINTELLIGIBLE) my home. 

Hello.  This is my father.

JACKSON:  I do think I‘m handsome.  I‘m not Taye Diggs or anybody else.  But 6‘2“.  And I think play well on camera.

I now transform into corporate black man. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(LAUGHTER)

NORVILLE:  How embarrassed are you to see that on television, Kwame? 

JACKSON:  That was my cape.  I basically wanted to tell a day in the life of Kwame Jackson and why I aspired to be on the program and how it would change my life.  And so I just stuck a little camera in my little studio apartment, flipped back the screen so I could see it and just started talking.  So...

NORVILLE:  That is so cool.

What were you all looking for, George, Carolyn, when those audition tapes came into the producers?  What about the people we‘ve just seen grabbed the attention and ended up, George, getting them on TV? 

ROSS:  Well, we had very little to do with who was picked, actually, at this point.  So we just saw them for the first time as they were 16.  That decision was made basically by the producers, not by me.  And I don‘t think Carolyn was part of it either. 

NORVILLE:  What do you think they were looking for, Carolyn?

KEPCHER:  I think they were pretty much looking for the whole package. 

I think Mark Burnett said it best.  You could have 500,000 people, they‘re all qualified.  But what is good entertainment?  Who can really bring something to the table?  Who has the smarts?  So there was a lot involved. 

(CROSSTALK)

NORVILLE:  We‘re going to be talking about the future of these two gentlemen in just a second.  But what advice do you give the contestants for the next round of “Apprentice,” because they‘re getting those tapes ready right now. 

KEPCHER:  Yes, they are.

I would most definitely say, one, be yourself and, two, don‘t assume you know what Donald Trump wants or is looking for. 

NORVILLE:  George?

ROSS:  I would say they have to be much more creative and they have to do a lot more planning. 

I think that what I found was very unusual and surprising was that they went about the tasks without really thinking it out as to what they were going to do and how they were going to be successful.  So I think more planning is important, as well as, as Carolyn says, be themselves and understand the characteristics of each of their team players, their strengths and their weaknesses, and put the right player in the right slot. 

NORVILLE:  The bar has been raised very high. 

George Ross, Carolyn Kepcher, thank you so much for talking about “The Apprentice.” 

We‘re going to take a break.  When we come back, the future.  What up is next for Bill, who has won the apprenticeship with Donald Trump?  Some say that may have been the easy part.  We‘ll explain why next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP:  Don‘t worry, you‘re going to have plenty of supervision in that building. I don‘t care if you‘re president or not.  There‘s going to be a lot of supervision. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NORVILLE:  That‘s Donald Trump talking about the new job Bill Rancic will have as the apprentice to Mr. Trump.  And the job will be what? 

B. RANCIC:  I will be running the Trump Tower in Chicago.  But let me back that up.  I‘m going to be, like Mr. Trump said, very supervised and really going to be learning is my goal.  You know, by definition, apprentice, it‘s to learn.

And my goal is to come out there and learn and contribute what I can contribute, but really to see what, you know, the next 12 months can bring and then one day do it on my own. 

NORVILLE:  That‘s the building and as we see it‘s a little bitty model right now because it doesn‘t exactly exist.  You‘ve got to tear down the “Chicago Sun-Times” first and then build a new one.  That‘s not going to happen in a year, so what‘s going to happen over the next year? 

B. RANCIC:  Well, I had a meeting with Mr. Trump today and Donald Jr.  and Charlie.  And we had a great meeting.  We kind of talked about the future.  And it‘s open. 

If things work out, you know, for me and they like what they see and I like what I see, this will be a long-term relationship.  So we‘re going to just you know take it one year at a time and go from there. 

NORVILLE:  So it‘s kind of a new apprenticeship.  You‘ve got a year to prove yourself. 

(CROSSTALK)

B. RANCIC:  You know what?  It could be another TV show.

NORVILLE:  And then you got to prove yourself again.

B. RANCIC:  That‘s right. 

NORVILLE:  I want to share with you—I‘m sure you saw this in “The New York Times.”  It was talking about this project and said—quote—

“It‘s a large and sophisticated project and the job is like being the conductor of an orchestra.  I don‘t how somebody can conduct the Chicago Symphony Orchestra if they‘ve never gone to a concert before and if they‘ve never played any of the instruments.”

You know what people are saying.  Yes, this guy has got no experience. 

He could really wreck this. 

B. RANCIC:  Well, I‘m going into this with my eyes wide open.  And let‘s not kid each other.  I know I‘m not going to come out here and start quarterbacking the team.  It‘s $1 billion on the line, almost.

So it‘s going to be a great learning opportunity.  And I‘m going to go out there and get my hands dirty and do what I need to do.  But more than anything else, I‘m going to just soak in as much information as I can. 

NORVILLE:  On the other hand, for Donald Trump, this is really again a great marketing move and Donald has been so good at that.  He‘s got a Chicago guy who is now the toast of your hometown.

B. RANCIC:  Right. 

NORVILLE:  Who is going to be leading a project that will be a very large monument, assuming the financing and everything else comes through. 

B. RANCIC:  Right. 

NORVILLE:  That‘s pretty smart.

B. RANCIC:  Well, we‘re going to be altering the Chicago skyline.  It‘s a great location.  It‘s going to be probably the premier building in Chicago.  It‘s actually not going to be.  It is the premier...

NORVILLE:  No, no, you can‘t—let me teach you how to talk Trump.  It‘s going to be the biggest, the most huge building.  It‘s going to transform the city.  That‘s the way you‘ve got to be.

(CROSSTALK)

B. RANCIC:  And it truly is.  Obviously, you said it a little bit better than I could.  But it‘s going to be an amazing edition to Chicago.  And all the jobs we‘re going to bring to the city.  Just truly, Chicago is going to welcome it with open arms. 

NORVILLE:  And, Kwame, what about you?  As runner-up, it‘s certainly not like there‘s a consolation prize.  There‘s some great opportunities I know that you‘ve got in front of you. 

JACKSON:  Yes, some great opportunities have opened up.  And I really feel like the floodgates are just rushing right now.  I have a great offer on the table from Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks to work with some of his investment portfolio companies, as well as be part of the Dallas Mavericks organization.

(CROSSTALK)

NORVILLE:  Do you think you‘re going to do that?

JACKSON:  I‘m heavily considering it.  It‘s not every day that billionaires come along and say, hey, I‘d like to work with you. 

(CROSSTALK)

NORVILLE:  Two in one week, that‘s pretty good. 

JACKSON:  Yes.  And when you like someone and trust someone, I think you figure out ways to work with them and that benefits both parties.  And so I‘m looking at that.

I‘m also starting my own company called Legacy Communications Group, a small entertainment firm that‘s going to focus on film production and video game production, etcetera.  And then third, I‘d like to stay on air for a little while, maybe doing some correspondent work.  So we‘ll see.

NORVILLE:  Oh, no kidding?  For whom? 

JACKSON:  Possibly for your network, MSNBC or CNBC. 

NORVILLE:  Oh, isn‘t that neat?  Yes. 

In a million years, would either one of you have imagined that this “Apprentice” fluke could have turned into what I suspect is truly a life-changing situation? 

B. RANCIC:  It exceeded my expectations beyond belief. 

(CROSSTALK)

NORVILLE:  And how do you make sense of that? 

B. RANCIC:  Well, no one ever thought it was going to take over America like it did.  You think about last Thursday‘s show.  The only other two shows to beat us this year were the Super Bowl and the Oscars.  And that‘s it.  That‘s saying a lot. 

America really got behind this.  And it‘s a show that everyone could identify with, because most people I know need to work for a living.  And they can relate to the problems that we had out in the field and living together.  So it was really—it was day-to-day living that people said you know I can relate, because that happened to me in the office last week. 

NORVILLE:  We mentioned that your dad passed away and how proud he would be. 

And, Kwame, I know you lost your mom when you were 15.  I‘m sure you‘ve thought about her in the last several weeks. 

JACKSON:  Definitely.  Definitely.  Obviously, that‘s someone who has inspired me to kind of do some great things today. 

NORVILLE:  Well, I think that both of you have inspired a lot of people, certainly to apply for “The Apprentice.”  And I hope great things continue and that you‘ll come back and visit and share it with us, OK?

B. RANCIC:  Definitely. 

NORVILLE:  So let us know about the commercial gig, the correspondent gig, working for Cuban.  You come and sell us some apartments. 

B. RANCIC:  I hope so. 

NORVILLE:  We look forward to seeing you both.

B. RANCIC:  Great.  Thank you. 

NORVILLE:  Bill Rancic, Kwame Jackson, continued good luck to both of you. 

Well, neither of these guys never heard the words you‘re fired, but the FCC has said it to one radio host.  When we come back, news about a Florida radio show host who had nothing to do with “The Apprentice” but everything to do with offending the Federal Communications Commission.  We‘ll find out why in a moment. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NORVILLE:  We love to hear from you, so send us your e-mails, your ideas, your comments to us at NORVILLE@MSNBC.com.

And that‘s our program for tonight.  I‘m Deborah Norville.  Thanks for watching. 

Tomorrow night, a radio shock jock, the FCC says he is raunchier than Howard Stern and he was fired for it.  In his first news interview, Bubba the Love Sponge tells me why the FCC threatened his former bosses with the largest fine against a broadcaster in U.S. history, $755,000. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUBBA THE LOVE SPONGE, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  It‘s the same political witch-hunt they‘re on now.  These congressmen and these senators want to be able to go back and say, I got Bubba the Love Sponge Fired. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NORVILLE:  What could anyone say that would cost that much?  Tomorrow, Bubba the Love Sponge. 

And now, coming up next, Joe Scarborough.  Look out.  “The

Apprentice”‘s Omarosa will be joining Joe on “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.”  That‘s next.

END   

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