Reality Raver Interviews Carmen Parnos From The Apprentice
Carmen Parnos was probably the most polarising personality on The Apprentice Australia this season. Without her The Apprentice may not have been as entertaining, as she definitely gave good reality TV.
She graciously agreed to an interview with me, and we discussed editing of the show, her fight with Gavin, as well as who she thought would win.
Reality Ravings (RR): Why did you decide to go on The Apprentice?
Carmen Parnos (CP): Late last year, as you probably already know, I went through a really bad time in business and lost everything. I was seeing what my options were going to be. A couple of girlfriends said to me you have got to go on this. So I auditioned and got on. I thought it would be good to see where I fit into corporate Australia. You often wonder when you work on your own [she did work with sub-contractors], where you stack up. What are my strengths and weaknesses? What areas do I need to develop?
RR: Was being on the show like you expected it to be?
CP: Yes it was. It was a whole lot harder, I have never worked so hard in my life. The hours were gruelling, and the physical labor was hard. I was a bit surprised how physical some of the challenges were.
RR: Speaking of that first challenge, where it was the gardening challenge I thought it was unfair that the teams were segregated by sex and basically the women were set up to lose that one.
CP: Your think? (Carmen laughs). Well you know it was the only challenge where they did not tell you what it was prior to announcing what the project was. And I thought gardening? I don’t know anything about gardening. I thought here’s an all male team and here is an all female team we have got to give it everything we’ve got. Did I think we were going to win that one? I was secretly hoping that we would, but given the brawn behind the men’s team I knew we were up against some stiff competition.
RR: With editing of the show, I thought you were shown quite mixed. I thought in the first episode you were shown in a very negative light, then in the next few episodes I thought you came across quite well, you showed yourself to be a really hard worker. How did you feel about the editing when you saw the episodes and how you were portrayed?
CP: They have to shove two days of filming into an hour and a half, so it is a difficult one. I actually enjoyed watching it, and I started to laugh remembering everything that happened on that day[episode one], and so I was not as upset as I thought I was going to be. People around me were more upset then I was. With the other challenges what you saw was what you get.
I really believe the characters they have portrayed are who we are at the extreme level. At the end of the day they have got to make a great television show as well, and push you to see if you do sink or swim in situations. My mother said “See how you can be?” It is not the only part of you, and that is what is difficult to see on television.
RR: The challenge [the Microsoft challenge] you were eliminated in you and Gavin were clashing, the editing made you look like you had a brain explosion and decided to sack him from the team. What actually happened there?
CP: That was the most mentally challenging challenge, Gavin was trying to find holes that I could fall in for the whole challenge. You had to have eyes in the back of your head, wondering what was going on, and where he was at. It was just ridiculous that I had to spend my time on that as well as try and to get a really good product out to market. What you saw was the tip of the iceberg of the whole day. It was an absolute nightmare. I was kind of disappointed, as Gavin has a lot more talent, and I don’t think he had enough confidence in himself to just do a great job on its own, rather than sabotage someone. I tried to work it out with him. I said ‘We are two really strong personalities, lets get this sorted out.’, One day I would be on his team and he would be project manager, and I am sure he would have liked the same respect.
He would not have a bar of it. It was pretty much what you got. By the end of it I was so exhausted, he pretty much wore me down.
RR: So have you two kissed and made up?
CP: After the competition, he apologised profusely. He was very gracious in apologising and so was Sam. You just have to not take these things personally.
RR: We have never seen much footage from the house where we could see the dynamics between the contestants. Were there cliques and factions or did everyone generally get on well?
CP: You did the challenge, you did the boardroom, then you would come back and sit around the table and have glasses of red wine. The next day we would find out what the challenge was and the war faces would go on. You are talking about twelve people with big ego’s and personalities who are competative. When you were in your teams all that red wine drinking was pushed to the side.
RR: Who do you think will win?
CP: I want Morello to win. I just think what you see is what you get. He touched everyone in a sincere and wonderful way.
RR: I think Gavin and Heather are getting some pretty harsh editing in the last few weeks, which makes me wonder if they are setting it up for a Morello win, which would make the viewers happy. [Apparently there are two endings filmed]
CP: Heather is fantastic, I don’t think they showed enough of the positive side of her and her quick business sense. They showed her as a bit controlling. There was a side of her that you truly came to respect and understand. She is self taught. She worked hard to get through the ranks of her career, and I think she has done extraordinarily well in her work life. From a business point of view she probably has more dimensions than Morello, but it just depends what Mark Bouris is looking for.
RR: What next for Carmen Parnos?
CP: I started a couple of online businesses (Superbiz and Super Leaders ) before I started the show and really loved them. I need to be absorbed in the things that I do. I also really loved out of all this going through the media is the radio. That was so much fun. On my website I am also doing podcast. I will probably look a bit deeper into that area.
RR: If you didn’t go on The Apprentice, what other reality show would you go on?
CP: Masterchef Australia.
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