We had the pleasure of speaking with Bill Goldberg, former contestant on Celebrity Apprentice. We got to speak to him about who he thinks will be the next Apprentice, what he thought of the challenges, and more about his charity, Sons of the Fallen.
A lot of the contestants felt intimidated to invite you into the board room; how did that make you feel?
Bill Goldberg: You know, it made me feel good and bad. Well that’s kind of weird. It made me feel good and bad. In that setting I don’t want to be intimidating but then again if I intimidated them in that they wouldn’t bring me into the board room then it further ensured my standing in the game a little bit longer I would imagine so.
I’m thinking about the very first challenge when Bret was project manager. He gave a lot of responsibility to Curtis. Obviously, you know, it was more of a food-based challenge. When it was your turn you gave a lot of the music responsibility to Bret which to me seemed very logical. Why do you think he gave you such a hard time about delegating?
Bill Goldberg: I really don’t know; I truly don’t know. I mean, like you stated that was the – that was what was done in the past challenges and that from a project manger’s standpoint the most important part of the task is to properly delegate.
I do believe that if I didn’t step up then I would have been singled out in that, you know, what are you hiding from Goldberg. And the reality is I wanted to raise some money for my charity, number one, first and foremost, and then second of all I had the responsibility to the team; everybody had stepped up and no matter what the challenge I had it, you know, solidified in my mind that I was going to step up and try to properly delegate and we were going to win the thing.
And I truly believed that the fact that Luke Bryan won at the CMT Awards last night for Best New Artist, I think that kind of solidified the fact that we kicked their butt in the challenge. But that’s all good.
Unfortunately we didn’t get to hear a lot about your charity. Can you tell us a little bit about who you were playing for and sort of why you were playing for that organization?
Bill Goldberg: Yeah, that was one of the problems that I had with the television show unfortunately. I was playing for the One Good Turn Ranch – Sons of the Fallen. It is a charity that we put together. Last year we did a camp for 25 boys who lost their fathers in the war. And we obviously know that there are more than 25 children who have lost a loved one in the war.
And we’re just trying to put together a fun time for these kids over a week, a week’s period of time in Divide, Colorado, at the One Good Turn Ranch. And between myself and Joey Truscelli and Ryan Merriman we just try to provide them with some experiences that unfortunately they’re not able to share with their fathers.
We know that it’s just not little boys who have lost their fathers, it’s little girls, and we want to raise as much money as humanly possible so that we can cater to everybody who’s lost a loved one in the war.
And is there any piece of advice Donald Trump gave you that is going to linger with you?
Bill Goldberg: Nothing. Maybe from Donald Trump the person, but not Donald Trump the character on television.
Do you plan on keeping in touch with any of the other contestants?
Bill Goldberg: Oh yeah absolutely, absolutely. I mean, let’s be perfectly honest I never had a riff with any of the contestants. In a situation to where you have a camera and a microphone on your from 10-14 hours a day it becomes quite a difficult task to not blow a fuse and to not take it out on your teammates or your competitors.
But the reality is there were some great people on that show. And what I can take from that show are some wonderful relationships that I’ve struck up with some wonderful people. And at the end of the day they were all fighting for very worthy causes and I was just honored to be in the same room and on the same show with them.
Who are those individuals you plan on keeping in close touch with?
Bill Goldberg: Oh Bret Michaels, Curtis Stone, Holly Robinson Peete, Summer Sanders, you know, those are the main ones.
How did you end up on the Celebrity Apprentice this season?
Bill Goldberg: A lot of coaxing. You know, I host reality shows; the last thing I ever wanted to do was be a contestant on one. But between Joey Truscelli and myself and the One Good Turn Ranch, I mean, we thought it was a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness for such a worthy cause.
And, you know, unfortunately at the end of the day I wasn’t able to raise money for them. But let’s be honest, I mean, we were able to open a number of people’s eyes to the charity. And, I mean, May 18th we’re having a two hour simulcast in 500 theaters across the country, Clint Black and myself and Joey Truscelli and Ryan Merriman. So even though I didn’t win the show, even though I didn’t raise a penny for the show what I was able to do was raise awareness. And that leads into the May 18th event which is going to be just a spectacular event. So I’m very grateful for that opportunity.
Back on that Harry Potter challenge how much did you want to fear the Governor after he told you you were going to get stuck in the tree the whole time?
Bill Goldberg: You know, I mean, hey, I think that I showed throughout the show that I am more than a team player. You know, I really – I had no background whatsoever on Harry Potter, maybe it was something that we all – each and every one of us should have looked up a little bit more. But, you know, we kind of relied on the Governor and the fact that weeping whopper wasn’t in the – what was it – I can’t even remember the name of it now. [Whomping Willow]
That wasn’t – that really wasn’t my decision. I kind of took direction and went with it. I wanted to kill Blagojevich because he kept pumping smoke in that room. The tree outfit was bad enough but being asphyxiated by that oil-based smoke was pretty tough.
So, you know, you do what you do to try to help the team and that’s what I did from the first task to the last task and, you know, I’m fairly proud of that.
Now in the board room last night it was kind of strange almost because Donald Trump for some reason seemed really hung up on like what percentage of delegation you gave to Bret Michaels. And it seemed at first you were just kind of exaggerating almost as a joke and he really hung onto that for the rest of the time. Were you surprised by that?
Bill Goldberg: No, I mean, if you – you guys saw the edited version. If you see the real time version and that it was – for me it was kind of a joke. I try to bring levity in as much as humanly possible. The fact that he delved on it, you know, he had to point something out and was he right? I don’t think so by any stretch of the imagination but at the end of the day it’s Donald Trump’s show and he can do whatever he darn well pleases.
And, you know, I’m fine with his decision even though it wasn’t the one that I would have made but like I said he’s the king of the court.
I thought that Donald Trump Jr. was a little bit unfair with you – a lot unfair. And I was amazed that you didn’t pop him one. But getting back to you wrestling career do you think that Donald Trump Sr. was a bit like Vince McMahon in their personality types?
Bill Goldberg: Those two are best friends, how could they not be alike? I mean, I’ve know that for years. And I know Donald off camera and he’s a totally different person. I know Donald, Jr. off camera, totally different person. Did I want to jump across the table and rip their heads off? Absolutely, but they are what they are on television and that’s why the show is successful.
Will I stoop to that level? Absolutely not. I’m myself wherever I go. The fact that I did hold my cool throughout that show was a huge victory in and of itself. There were a number of times where I was going to implode. And at the end of the day I think it was a success for me to have made it that long.
You know, were they fair to me? Hey, that’s up to interpretation and at the end of the day their decision matters. And, you know, life’s not fair unfortunately.
Are you still continuing your relationship with the World Wrestling – WWE – with McMahon? I read somewhere that you’re going to be – your image and your likeness is going to be used in video games.
Bill Goldberg: Well that’s if we can come to a contractual agreement. But what they’ve put forth right now is something that I will not accept. So is it something that I’m striving for? Absolutely not. Is it something that I would like to happen because I’ve got a little boy and it would wonderful for him to walk in the toy store and to be able to pick up a, like he says, a baby-daddy figure. That would be awesome.
But that is not going to cloud my business judgment by any stretch of the imagination. It’s been a while since I’ve been involved in the business. And I know there are a number of manufacturers out there that would love to get their hands on Goldberg products. And it’s, you know, I’m not like anybody else; I’m going to stand my ground and a deal will be done if it’s to my liking and to my liking only.
Did you have a hard time with Sharon Osbourne at all or Cyndi Lauper? I noticed you didn’t mention their names when you were telling us who you were going to keep in touch with. And I was wondering if those two ladies made an impression on you?
Bill Goldberg: Oh absolutely. I mean, I’d love to keep in touch with both of them. Sharon is an extremely busy woman as is Cyndi. And I just didn’t get as close to them as I did the other two. You know, Holly I’ve known her husband for years. Summer, she’s just a wonderful person. I mean, everybody on the show was wonderful but those two really stick out in my mind on the female team. And I have respect for everybody on that show, I really do. And what Sharon Osbourne and what Cyndi Lauper have accomplished is absolutely unbelievable in the world of entertainment.
And, you know, was their preferential treatment towards Sharon Osbourne in that she was sick 90% of the time? I think so, no question about it. But like I said at the end of the day it’s not my decision. My decision and my opinion doesn’t matter a bit.
April MacIntyre: Right. Best of luck to you.
Now how much did Luke not stepping out of his comfort zone contribute to you guys losing you think?
Bill Goldberg: I don’t think it contributed to it at all. I think we kicked their ass, let’s be perfectly honest here. Trace knew we kicked their butt. The Country Music Awards signified that we kicked their butt.
I truly believe that there was some ulterior motives going on but like I said, man, at the end of the day the decision was made and we had to stick with it. I believe that through editing the general public believes what they see, but there was a lot that went on that didn’t make it in the final edit.
And, you know, he did step out of his comfort zone eventually. I mean, when I sat down with him and went over some interview points which they didn’t show, he took direction very, very well. As far as, the aesthetic, as far as the visual was concerned, yeah, he didn’t want to be the Bret Michaels rocker that Bret was trying to kind of turn him into.
But, you know, he did jump out of his comfort zone a little bit. It would have been wonderful if we would have had two artists that weren’t as successful as they were because they’ve already solidified an audience and they don’t want to turn their audience away because they’ve worked so hard to gain their trust over the years. So I totally understand with that, I totally understand that.
Do you think it was fair that you were fired or should it have been Bret?
Bill Goldberg: I really can’t answer that. I mean, I think it was fair that I was fired because another thing that didn’t make the edit was Donald Sr. asked me who I thought should be fired and I said, “Well did we win the task?” He says, “No.” I said, “Then fire the project manager.” I mean, that’s what’s done; that’s what should be done.
And, you know, the fact that I stepped up in a task where I had no business doing it should show everybody that I did it for a reason. I didn’t do it because I thought I could win it. I did it because I needed to step up on the man’s team. I hadn’t been project manager.
Let’s be perfectly honest, I wasn’t a big fan of the show prior in that I had seen past episodes. And so I was under the assumption that I had to step up. So as opposed to not stepping up and being given the task by Donald and Trace I’m not going to do that; I’m going to step up.
And another thing you didn’t see was that they tried to talk me out of it. And I’m not going to change my mind because Donald Sr. or anybody else thinks that it’s a good idea. I’m a man who makes his own decisions and sticks with them; I think there’s a lot of integrity in that.
And I unfortunately failed; my team failed. And the decision was made to fire me and I, you know, hey, I stuck with it. And at the end of the day for me it kind of couldn’t have happened at a better time personally because my wife and my little boy, you know, back home were both sick and I had been away from them shooting a TV show for a month prior to that.
You never want to be fired but I guess at that time God was telling me that I needed to go home so.
Now Trump mixes up the teams next week. Who do you think would work best with Curtis and Brett?
Bill Goldberg: I think – I think Summer and Holly, I really do. I think that creatively he and Sharon and Cyndi would probably clash. I don’t know though, I mean, I really don’t. We never had an interaction to where we were mixed up as a team when I was there so I don’t really know how the dynamic would play out.
I do know that those three are three of the most creative people you’re ever going to meet; three of the most passionate people you’re ever going to meet. I think personally they’re three totally different people but they’ve all been successful in the music business and they’re all very creative. So that may be a good thing at times and that may be a very bad thing at times.
Was the experience what you thought it would be? Were there any surprises, anything you thought might be different?
Bill Goldberg: You know, it was pretty much what I thought it was going to be. I mean, I had done my due diligence in that I spoke to Clint Black at length about the show. Being a – not being a novice in Hollywood I pretty much knew what to expect.
Did I realize that the hours were going to be actually as long as they were? Did I realize that they were going to try to stir things up as much as they did? No. But, you know, was it a surprise to me? No, absolutely not. It’s a very successful show and there’s a reason for it.
And they have a wonderful formula, they continue to pump the shows out, you know, year after year and they’ve all been a success. And, you know, what does my opinion mean at the end of the day so. I don’t think there were many surprises.
You said earlier that it took you a bit of coaxing to appear on this show. Do you think we’re going to see you again as a contestant on a reality show in the future?
Bill Goldberg: I can honestly say – and you can write this down in indelible ink, never. Never. I’m sticking to the hosting gig; I’m not going to – my days of working for people are over with.
Editing has a lot to do with what we see out here because it sounds like it’s a whole different story that went on on your end than what we saw here. Could you honestly say that it’s like two different stories?
Bill Goldberg: You know, it’s not two different stories it’s just that they mold the show how they want for the viewers. And you have to do that with a successful reality show. I mean, you get a plethora of audio and video on us over a long period of time. And, you know, it’s tough to put these shows together, it really is. At the end of the day they have to carve it out to where it’s a very compelling story. And, hey, the first task they’re not going to tell everybody that I raised $28,000.
They’re not going to tell everybody that I had four people who came in that donated twice as much as the women’s largest donor. They’re not going to tell everybody that I had a guy that come and give me $10,000 for a hamburger because it would have – it wouldn’t have played out in the story; it would have made it obvious that we kicked their butt.
So, you know, I totally understand why they do what they do it’s just at the end of the day you wish that you had a little control over the edit.
Are you surprised at how badly the women got along or were they playing characters?
Bill Goldberg: No I don’t think they were playing characters, they were playing their own characters. I’m not surprised at all. They were a group of extremely confident women in their own right, extremely successful women in their own right. And, you know, sometimes that, you know, with women it’s a totally different dynamic than with men. I believe, I mean, hey, the guys, we never really had a fight, we really didn’t, at least when I was there. And so they try to drum up as much controversy as possible. They may set it up to where, you know, you’re behind the 8-ball and one thing and you’re told one thing and all reality that’s not the case just to get you, you know, on edge and then increase the chance of you having a confrontation with one of your teammates.
But at the end of the day every guy that we had was a team player; every single person.
Even Rod? Even the Governor?
Bill Goldberg: He was a team player, absolutely. It’s just the Governor unfortunately was there to try to prove his innocence 99.9% of the time as opposed to, you know, being an integral part of the team. But he was a good team player. I mean, everybody was.
Hey Darryl left, he was a good team player while he was there but he had things to do. He thought that, you know, to him there were more important things in his life to do at that point. Do I look down upon him for that? Absolutely not. Do I respect him as much as I did if not more? Absolutely. So, I mean, at the end of the day we’re very – we’re grown individuals, we’ve been around the block each and every one of us. And we are smart enough to take into consideration what’s going on around us and make decisions based upon that so.
You said that Trace knew that you kicked their butt and that you thought that there were some ulterior motives going on. Can you describe or tell us what these other motives?
Bill Goldberg: I have no idea what they are. I mean, it’s just a guess of mine. I truly believe that once you put their performance against our performance I think we destroyed them. I think the fact that Trace couldn’t look me in the eye when he told us who won, you know, kind of showed his true feeling about it.
I really – I really am at a loss as to how we lost that task. I really don’t know. It doesn’t add up to me. I mean, like I said look at Luke Bryan winning the award last night at the CMTs. So somebody thinks he was reinvented and somebody thinks that he’s worthy of being the breakout artist of the year. So that for me is validation.
Who do you think is – if you had to pick a guy and a girl – the strongest left standing who would you say would be the Celebrity Apprentice – or the new Apprentice?
Bill Goldberg: I think Sharon’s probably going to go as far as humanly possible and I think that – I think it’s a real toss up between Curtis and Bret. I mean, once you take all the dynamics into consideration on the guy’s team those are two guys who are fighting to the end for their charity, they’ll do whatever it takes. You know, I’d probably give the edge to Curtis. I’d say Curtis and Sharon, you know.
And I was just wondering do you find it more challenging being in the world of wrestling or being on the Apprentice?
Bill Goldberg: You know, I’ll tell you what they mirror each other because the bosses that I had in each endeavor are exactly alike. I mean, Trump and Vince are kind of tied at the hip. There’s something to say about that because both of them are extremely successful. So it’s just happens to be that one is kind of the mirror image of the other.
And could you tell us a little more about the event you are doing for your charity?
Bill Goldberg: This simulcast that we have on May the 18th is going to really raise a lot of money or the charities. I mean, it’s going to be a two-hour special produced by Conrad Ricketts from Extreme Makeover and like I said Clint Black and myself will be there. And it will be simulcast in 500 movie theaters throughout the country. So I think we were successful in raising awareness a bit. And, you know, I also have a Ford Drive One – Operation Drive One military tour that I’m doing to kind of coincide with the Sons of the Fallen.
I try to do as much as I can for the military. The fact that I did not win the Apprentice does not hinder my chance, my ability or my desire to work hard for my charity. If nothing else it makes me work even harder for it.
I made this statement many a time on the show but the Celebrity Apprentice as far as charity-wise does not define a person. It’s a wonderful opportunity but it is not the only outlet we have to raise money. Last year – or two years ago I was able to raise, you know, with the help of Richard Petty and another friend of mine who owns a company called Year One in Atlanta, we were able to raise $681,000 off the sale of one automobile for the Darrell Glenn Foundation. So it’s all about finding a way to – different ways to raise money. And, you know, it’s – my time on the show like I said will make me work even harder to raise money for these worthy causes.
Official Celebrity Apprentice Site: nbc.com/the-apprentice/
Official Sons of the Fallen Charity Site: communities4kids.org