'Celebrity Apprentice' Star Dayana Mendoza On Lisa Lampanelli: 'I've Never Worked With Someone So Volatile' (EXCLUSIVE)

After weeks of battling comedian Lisa Lampanelli in (and out of) the boardroom, former Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza was eliminated on last night's episode.

We called up the Venezuelan beauty to get her thoughts on her final episode of "The Celebrity Apprentice," her highly publicized feud with the irreverent comedian, and the very awkward hug she shared with Lisa at the very end of the episode.

Now that you’ve had a chance to watch your final episode of “The Celebrity Apprentice," what did you think?
I’m very happy. I’m on my couch right now hanging out with my friend who’s here from Venezuela and we’re celebrating! I’m happy I did {the show}. I’m very proud of my work and most important, I did what I went to the show to do—to raise money for my charity. It was a great opportunity!

Were you surprised when "The Donald" fired you?
To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to go so long. I was {competing} against people who have been working in their career for as long as I’ve been alive. I think it was just my time…

At the very end of last night’s episode, it was a bit shocking to see you and Lisa Lampanelli hug it out, especially after all of the drama you had with her on the show.
{Laughs}. It was a weird thing to do.

When she leaned in and hugged you, did it surprise you that she said: “You're a good person.”
Well, she has been someone who expresses how much her mood changes and how quickly. So I think that was just another mood change she had. Being on {"The Celebrity Apprentice"} was an interesting job for me—I’ve never worked with somebody that was so volatile. And you know, she could be my mom! Like, I was actually surprised that she behaved that way.

Why do you think she acted that way towards you?
You know, I think it’s going to remain a mystery. I would like her to answer that question. I treated her with as much respect as other people and probably with the respect that she never gave me as well.

Would you say you were portrayed accurately on the show?
Yes, completely. There was no behavior of mine that I did that wasn’t shown the way it was on TV. I understand that at the end of the day, I’m Miss Universe 2008 and people will always stereotype me that way. And I need to fight harder because of it.

After Lisa said racist things about you a few weeks ago, you released a statement to the press. Why was that something you felt you had to do?
It was mean and insulting. And racial slurs have been used for so long to hold people down. The United States is so full of diversity that at this point we should celebrate it, instead of using it to put people down. At that point, she wasn’t talking about me, she was talking about thousands of people: my mom, my dad, my sister, my family.


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