Former MAFS star turned beauty influencer Martha Kalifatidis has made it to the final rounds of Celebrity Apprentice Australia, but eliminated contestant Michelle Bridges isn't convinced she'd make it in the real word of business.
Speaking to Yahoo Lifestyle about her time on the show, the personal trainer revealed although she didn't work directly with Martha she thought her personality "could rub people the wrong way".
"She was different and I think she knows how to play the camera," Michelle tells us.
"I think she knows how to give the one liners. And I think she enjoys being sassy and a little bit controversial, which is great for television, but if you really want to talk about real life business, it could rub people the wrong way."
Michelle added that whether it was on camera or off camera, Martha wasn't shy to speak her mind, which was something she respected.
"Like when we were all sitting together talking, maybe in that room when everybody's won and comes back, and I remember [imitates picking her jaw up], like my jaw had dropped from some of the stuff she was saying, and I thought 'Dude, wow.' Well, that's just what you call no filter right there."
As a personal trainer, entrepreneur, business owner, and author, Michelle knows a thing or two about longevity, having published her first book 15 years ago, and first hitting Aussie TV screens on The Biggest Loser nearly 14 years ago.
"I've been around a long time you know, I've been doing this kind of thing for a really long time and I think that potentially the reason why I have, is that I've kind of walked a fine line and made sure that, yes, I've been controversial, yes, I've also shown that I've got the chops," says Michelle, who is now also gearing up for the next round of her famous 12WBT challenge starting July 5.
"I've been around and done this for as long as I have, I've worked at grass roots with regards to my businesses and fitness industry, and so in my world I am the real deal and I think people know that.
"That's what's given me a sense of being able to still be doing this 25 plus years later.... Come out too hot and too fast, and your flame might go out quick."
Losing her Biggest Loser persona
The Biggest Loser Australia first aired in 2006, with Michelle joining the team of coaches the following season, and she quickly became known as, what she calls herself, a "tough a**" trainer.
But the mum hopes her time on Celebrity Apprentice showed viewers that there was more to her than that, particularly given she was the one in the firing line with Lord Sugar running the show.
"When you're on this side it's all about I don't want to get fired, I've never been fired in my life," she tells us.
"I wanted to go on this show because I feel like – now it's faded a lot – but I still feel that there's a little bit of a hangover from the days of [The Biggest Loser], of me being a tough a**, kick a***, MoFo trainer that was constantly shouting 'Ra, Ra, Ra' and that's not me.
"There's parts of me there like that, of course, but I wanted to try to show that there's a lot more to me than just that. And I think the Australian public still see me as that person, so I wanted to come in and kind of show hey I'm a businesswoman, I'm an entrepreneur. I'm a creative thinker, I'm a mum, I have a heart. I cry. I'm a giver. I'm a team player.
"I wanted to show those aspects, just to kind of break that hangover a bit, that people still think that I'm some crazy person, you know, crack the whip and makes people run on a treadmill until they throw up."
Though she does admit, she probably needed to use a little more of that fire in the boardroom in the end to avoid getting eliminated from the show.
"They don't want people in the boardroom singing Kumbaya, they want people to bring out the noise and the machine guns, throwing hand grenades, they want to see people crying, want to see people up and hurling abuse at each other," she says.
"And if I look back at my time on Celebrity Apprentice, maybe I should have fired up a bit more, put me in a gym, different scenario, but not in business. The reality of business is you can't do that. You can't be that person, otherwise you might, pardon the pun, but start burning bridges. Word gets around."
The hardest challenge
Despite winning the Boost Juice theatre show challenge, Michelle says that was actually one of the most difficult for her on the show, particularly having to deal with clashes between the hugely creative Lisa and Jess of The Veronicas and comedian Ross Noble.
"[All the challenges were] pretty tough. They will all trip you up and they were all very complicated and complex," Michelle explains.
"But I think for me personally, the one that we won, where I was the project manager for the play, just trying to bring two creative forces with The Veronicas, and Ross Noble together. That was... hours of my life I won't get back."
Alongside fashion designer Camilla Franks, Michelle says they were the most creative on the show, but she found it the most difficult to harness Ross' ideas.
"It was so left of centre that it was very hard to try and then extract the idea to make it something real," she muses.
Ross has also made it to the final episodes of the show, alongside Martha, Wippa, Josh and Shaynna, an inclusion Michelle is definitely surprised by.
"You never really know what's going to happen in the boardroom, it depends on Lord Sugar and the mood that he's in and also what he gets told, and what he doesn't get told, what he sees and what he doesn't see. So it's not always sometimes the fairest of decisions, I think, and I think he does have his favourites," she says.
"There are a couple I was absolutely sure would still be there. And there are a couple that I'm a little bit surprised that they're still there.
"I'm a bit surprised that Ross Noble is there and no offence to Ross, love him, had to work with him. But it was like working with someone who was living inside of a Monty Python skit 24/7. Crazy creative, very hard to harness it and make it a reality, into an actual tangible value. He's going to be in all sorts."
Celebrity Apprentice continues on Channel Nine Sunday night at 7pm.
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