Exclusive Interview: Donald Trump On Celebrity Apprentice 2012
What do you know now in business and even in life that you didn’t know when you were first starting out, when you were young, when you were like in your 20s?
Donald Trump: Wow, that’s a good question. I think that experience is a great thing, Cindy. I mean, you learn so much through experience, and it’s trial and error, but ultimately it becomes really trial because you see what goes on and you learn things. And I’ve actually learned many things from just doing Celebrity Apprentice.
One thing I learned is that you never really know who’s going to be great and who’s not going – we’re run with two great people. I have to tell you that. But sometimes you’re so amazed and so disappointed in some people that you have them and you see them and you meet them, and they look great and they’re dressed sharp.
Everything’s great, and you say, “Oh, wow, they’re going to be fantastic.” And they turn out to be a total dud. And then you’ll have some that you don’t really predict will do that well, and they turn out to be superstars. So you really see that. But you know, that’s – and that’s the thing I learned the most, Cindy, about the show itself, is that it’s very hard to predict who’s going to be the star, early on.
In what ways did Arsenio and Debbie surprise you this season as far as what you didn’t know about them?
Well, I didn’t know Debbie as well as Arsenio, other than I watched her on Broadway in Les Mis, and she was fantastic. So I mean, the thing I knew about Debbie is she’s a very, very talented singer and actress. And I was actually there at opening night when she opened in Les Mis, and she was great. I mean, I still remember it, the way she sang.
Arsenio I knew for a long time, but I really knew him through the show. And his show is the hottest show. I mean, he was the best at what he did, and he was sort of killing everybody, and it became the buzz show, and then all of a sudden, Arsenio was gone, and nobody quite understood it. I – in fact, I’m going to have to talk to you, Arsenio, to figure it out, because he had this hot show.
And I think Arsenio sort of went into hiding, and I can tell you a lot of people, when they heard Arsenio was on our show, they said, “Wow. That’s a great get,” because he sort of became almost reclusive, and people wanted him for different things and he wouldn’t do it.
And I view this as Arsenio’s coming out party, and Debbie, if you remember, I said, “I think Arsenio – wait until you see what happens. He really does a great job.” And I think that Arsenio will have a very major show after Celebrity Apprentice, because he’s smart. He’s tough.