Bethenny Frankel just missed the cut for Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice,” revealing on Monday that she was the first alternate for the sophomore season of the popular NBC reality TV competition that aired in the early to mid-2000s.
A natural foods chef at the time, Frankel auditioned for Season 2 of “The Apprentice” (2004) and advanced through multiple rounds of casting before being being informed by producers that she would not make the final 18 contestants. Kelly Perdew ultimately won that season and a position within the Trump organization.
“I was on the normal person’s ‘Apprentice,’ meaning not ‘The Celebrity Apprentice,'” Frankel recalled. “I was selling these Bethenny Bakes cookies at a trade show at a booth. And I asked my partner at the time if he could get me the cheapest, smallest video camera — I didn’t know how to use one — and I asked him to record me selling cookies… and that was the video we sent in. And that was when [the show] was at it’s peak because it was the original Trump season and it was going to the next season. And I got a call back. Apparently they had thousands of thousands of applicants.”
“I made it to the finals where you go to the Doubletree Hotel in Santa Monica for a week,” she continued. “I was so broke, I needed the job. I didn’t want the job. I needed the job… It got down to where I could only count 20 people and I thought, ‘I think I got this.’ They came to my room on the last day and they said, ‘You didn’t make it; you’re first alternate. And no one ever backed out.'”
Frankel says she kept in touch with producers and was cast one year later on “The Apprentice Martha Stewart” a spin-off of Trump’s show that only aired for one season. Frankel finished as the runner-up, placing second to Dawna Stone. “The Apprentice Martha Stewart” marked Frankel’s first foray into reality TV.
In 2008, Frankel debuted on “The Real Housewives of New York City” despite being the only unmarried cast member at the time. She appeared on “RHONY” for Seasons 1-3 before departing to expand her SkinnyGirl business. She returned for Seasons 7-11 before exiting the show a second time.
In addition to “Real Housewives,” Frankel appeared in her own series “Bethenny Ever After” (focusing on her marriage to Jason Hoppy), “Skating with the Stars” (a “Dancing With the Stars” spin-off), and later “Bethenny and Frederik” (a real estate series). She hosted her own eponymous talk show from 2013-14 and later “The Big Shot with Bethenny” in 2021.
Since then, Frankel has focused on her podcast and social media channels. In July, she led a “reality reckoning,” calling for unscripted TV talent to follow in the footsteps of WGA and SAG and strike until they are paid better wages and receive streaming residuals.
The first season of “The Apprentice” was a ratings juggernaut and helped Trump re-enter the public discourse. Season 2 was not as successful, but still delivered solid ratings.
Check out Frankel talking about her “Apprentice” experience below:
The post Skinnygirl vs. Trump in the Boardroom? Bethenny Frankel Reveals She Was Nearly Cast on ‘The Apprentice’ appeared first on TheWrap.