Below, I Want To Work for Diddy 2‘s Ivory talks about being the show’s villain, her feud with Poprah and why she still thinks she was the best candidate for the job.
How was your time on the show?
I don’t want to say, “interesting,” but I looked at it like I went on the show to see if I could do it. You know how men sit at home on Mondays and say, “If I was the quarterback, I woulda done this, I woulda done that”? There were always three shows I said I’d go on if I got the opportunity: I Want To Work for Diddy, The Apprentice and The Amazing Race. So, when I got the opportunity, I figured I’d try out and see if could make it.
What did you think about your portrayal?
In every series, there has to be someone who’s portrayed as the villain or the bitch. I knew going in that’s what was going to happen to me. I’m fine with it, ‘cause at the end of the day, my resume and rolodex speaks for itself and my work was impeccable. You can say whatever you want about my attitude, you can say anything you want about the way I got it done, but you can never say that it didn’t get done.
Were you surprised that the ball-pumping incident from the beginning of the season came back to bite you on the ass?
I don’t look at as coming back to biting me in the ass. At that point, I’m looking at it like you really want someone who you are going to be able to tell what to do. The very first thing they said when we walked into elimination was, “The furniture was horrible, and the fashion show didn’t go as planned.” I didn’t have anything to do with either of those two things. Everything I had something to do with – the celebrity DJ I got, the free liquor I put together, the problems with catering that I fixed – got done right. I look at it like, sometimes your best candidate is over-qualified. What then can I do?
Did you discover, then, that you aren’t assistant material?
I’m not gonna say that. I’m not walk dogs, get copies, “Go down to Starbucks and get me these teas.” I’m not that assistant. I’ve already been there, I’ve already done that, I’ve already paid my dues in that aspect. If someone is calling Mr. Combs because they need him to be in an advertisement or endorse a product, how can we make that happen? I’m that assistant.
You must have expected some menial work just from watching the first season.
Going in, having been there and done that, the question was: can you do it again because of what’s going to be greater later? You work with him for a year, six months, you can write your ticket anywhere. Just being there for the amount of time that I was, working with Mr. Combs, it’s changed my outlook on a lot of things.
What are your thoughts on Poprah now?
Me and her are kind of going back and forth on Twitter. It’s just like, why are you mad at me for doing what you did last season, but making it further? He let you go the first day he worked with you because your attitude was bad. I was let go because, what did I say in the beginning of the last episode? “If this doesn’t go well, send me home.” None of your castmates liked you, Poprah. Nobody wanted to do anything with you. Even Mr. Combs said, “I wouldn’t want to live with you.” He brought her back on this show to play a snitch, to be a hypocrite, to swindle, lie and manipulate because that’s who she is and that’s what she does.
You don’t think your attitude had anything to do with your elimination?
I want to say yes and I want to say no. Yes, because it’s TV, so you’ve gotta do something to get ratings. But my attitude really wasn’t that bad. I’m using the experience I know how to get things done. It’s not, “Do it my way or no way,” it’s, “Do it my way, because I’ve already done it and I know what works.”
What did you think of Ebony’s comments about your attitude at your final panel? It seemed like she was throwing you under the bus.
It was fight or flight at that point. She was gonna say whatever she could to get me out of there, because at the end of the day, who can you beat? Not me, not by yourself. One thing that they didn’t show was the judges said to her, “You’re siding with Ivory, because you think this is going to be a good Ebony and Ivory thing, so you need to say whatever you can for us to think otherwise.” As soon as they gave her that direction, I knew it was going to turn into an attack on me, instead of acknowledging the truth: nothing would have happened the day before if it weren’t for me.
Do you regret crying at all at the retreat or when you were eliminated?
My mom always told me I should be in Hollywood because I can turn on tears at any point. At the retreat, I didn’t know why we were there, so I thought, “Ivory shed these tears to make that man think you’re listening because he could very well go back to Mr. Combs and say, ‘Ivory benefitted the most.’” When I was eliminated, those were tears of mad. I was so mad that they were actually standing here and eliminating me when everything that just happened only happened basically because of me. Realistically, with the budget that we had, the time that we had and the constraints we had to do that event, it was designed for us to fail. If we were in Dallas where I lived and I had to do put this event together, I’m making a phone call and all hands on deck are coming in to help me.
When I talked to Jen, she said she felt like you can Ebony were racist.
When you interview with Daniel, you ask him if he thinks I’m racist. It’s like, Jen, you’re going to call me racist, because I don’t put up with your stupidity? You called Martin Luther King Jr.’s wife “Martha.” You said the Underground Railroad was run by Rosa Parks. Honey, she sat on the bus, and that was 100 years later. It wasn’t about getting the white people off the show. It was about getting the people off who weren’t qualified.
Do you have any regrets?
In the end, I didn’t take control of the whole entire event and give them direct directions. They needed to be told, “This is what you need to be doing.”
What do you think about Diddy today?
By just being on that show for that little bit of time, there are several things I learned from him. Making a way out of no way was something I already had in me. When someone tells you, “No,” if there’s a way around it, go around it. Anything that I am going to do, there’s a way to make it happen and get it done. That’s an attitude. That’s a swagger. That’s something you have in you that someone has to pull out. It’s a confidence.