One-on-one with the Apprentice’s Michelle
By Amber Dowling
Resigned Apprentice candidate Michelle Sorro dishes on the show’s editing, why she quit, and the show’s good old days.
Michelle walks out on Trump on The Apprentice
TV Guide: At what point did you know you wanted to resign?
Michelle Sorro: The morning of the task when I realized that I couldn’t sleep. You get sabotaged left and right on things that seem like they were on purpose from production, which I could never say live, and suddenly it just dawned on me. I had a really good friend who coached me before I went on, and he said, ‘No matter what, Michelle, it is always just a television show.’ I just heard that so loud in my head. Unfortunately it made me sort of resign a little too early, so I ended up showing up like an idiot in the task, but there are a whole thousand other reasons for that too. You get so tired you don’t even know where you are. People underestimate sleep deprivation and what you will do in it.
TVG: What in the task would you have done differently?
MS: At the end, the editing is so brilliant in where they make me look like I cannot make a decision for three hours. That was really about an eight-minute process. They like to tabulate their case, which is that I’ve got to be pretty bad. And so of course they have to defend their sale.
TVG: What was your favourite experience?
MS: In that moment when I realized that I get to choose. In reality TV everything that you do is contrived. They tell you where you can go, where you can stand, when you can walk, where to use the bathroom, and the cameras are always there. So when it occurred to me that I had an independent thought of ‘I can quit, I can leave, I can be powerful and choose.’ That was a huge, cool moment for me.
TVG: Was Donald Trump’s speech longer than we saw?
MS: He was stunned, as were my teammates and Ivanka and Don Jr. I think he was probably thinking, “What do I do, what do I do, what do I do?” They showed it out of sequence, but in the beginning I think he was trying to talk me out of it. I just thought, ‘I could, of course I could.’ But I thought, ‘What for?’ Sleeping one more night in the tent? Dealing with the social dynamics that were already so intense and uncomfortable?’ Why come back and fight for it?
TVG: Do you think you were gone if you didn't resign?
MS: There was a high probability, I mean my God! The way that they edited that, it made me look just dismal. It was a hard task and it’s hard to split your team into four people that early in the process. You don’t have enough experience yet. Usually you’re nine or 10 weeks in and you’ve had so much experience. So we were down and out times 10, and it was so hard-core.
TVG: During Arrow’s split, why do you think that no one really seemed to want to step into a leadership role and become project manager?
MS: Camping for three weeks in a five-star job interview in front of America is so incredibly hard on you after a while. We were all just too scared and too tired and not necessarily feeling triumphant. It wasn’t like a natural instinct to say, ‘I’ll do it.’ We didn’t know what to expect. There were so many twists and turns so early in the process. And so all of us, otherwise ‘Type A, go get ‘em, I’ll do anything and I’ll show you’ people, we were kind of timid.
TVG: What do you think of the tasks involved thus far in L.A. compared to the tasks in New York?
MS: The bathing suit task for Tina Turek was brilliant. I know the tasks that are coming up, and some of them are quite interesting and complex, and some of them seem a little bit silly, like the car wash. What happened to the good old Apprentice days? Where they sat around as a team and ironed out themes and strategies, a game plan. My team, Arrow, doesn’t even believe in talking. They like to just put it on the wall and see what sticks. They got much smarter as they got along, but that was the real frustrating thing. Kinetic on the other hand, they love to talk, discuss, ask questions and be devil’s advocate. I think I would have done really well on that team. I don’t know if I would have lasted any longer or made the same decision. So I don’t know if the tasks are any more different, but I think that the teams are certainly more different.
TVG: What kind of reactions did you see after leaving the show?
MS: Everyone was stunned. Some who know all about reality TV and could care less and couldn’t believe that I went on it to begin with, they were just like ‘Girl, you told him!’ which was never my intention. For me, it was less about quitting and more about standing up for what I wanted.
TVG: Anyone in particular you’d like to see win?
MS: Stephanie, the defence attorney from Arrow, she’s actually a friend of mine. So despite what some of my team members said that no one liked me, that’s not true. Stephanie and I are very dear friends, and I think she’s amazing and I would love to see her go all the way. But there’s a whole other nine candidates that we haven’t seen a lot of yet because Arrow’s been the focus, but I think that you’ll see in the coming weeks that there are some pretty interesting people on the Kinetic side.
TVG: So what’s next for you?
MS: I started working recently as a television host for Al Gore’s network, and I continue my real estate partnership, and writing more books, and doing events with my non-profits for the children that I work with, and just recently I met someone special. So just been doing time, and life, and moving on.