Supermodel Cheryl Tiegs was in the metro shooting photos and making appearances on behalf of Cambria, the Eden Prairie maker of countertops she calls "my family here in Minnesota."

We talked about her being the first to depart on the latest installment of NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice," which ended with Arsenio Hall being named the winner.

After Donald Trump fired Tiegs from the show, I had no reason to continue watching. So when we talked, I didn't have some of the questions later supplied by e-mailer Scott Simon: "Of the 18 contestants on this season's show, Cheryl Tiegs was the only one NOT mentioned on tonight's final episode. I found this a little bit strange. Anyone know why? I wonder if she had a falling out with Trump? There might be a national story there."

Not the case, according to Tieg's assistant in California. Cheryl had other appearances that kept her from being at the finale and it may be normal for those absent not to be mentioned.

"Is she still with that local world traveler/biker rider," Simon wrote, adding, "sorry forgot his name?"

Tiegs and Dan Buettner broke up in 2009. During the shooting of my we were taking about someone else when she made the comment to me that she doesn't believe in having lingering bad feelings for people who've touched her life. I thought about asking her if she'd heard from Dan; but before I could, she asked me if I'd seen him lately. I told her our paths recently crossed at Spoonriver and she said she might call him if she got a moment while she was here.

In more exciting news, we may not have seen the last of Cheryl Tiegs on the pages of Sports Illustrated. Read on ...

Q What the hell were you doing on "Celebrity Apprentice"?

A I was not there long. I said, 'With all due respect, Mr. Trump, this is not the right environment for me.' When I said that he had no [option but] to say, 'You're fired.' Thank you very much.

Q Now do you fully realize there are some things you should not reduce yourself to, not even in the name of charity?

A [Laughter] I have always taken a step out of my box. I've built up nine companies, in my day. I wanted to say to America, 'You can be a nice person, good character, honest, sweet, kind and succeed.' I didn't want America to think you had to be mean-spirited. Well, it didn't last long.

Q You and supermodel Niki Taylor, who was on a previous installment of 'Celebrity Apprentice,' are just NOT like the garden-variety celebrity viper who would do well on that show.

A Niki Taylor also took responsibility and therefore she was fired.

Q With apologies to David Letterman, while looking at Donald Trump's hair, were you tempted to say, Here, kitty, kitty?

A I've known Donald for 25 years. Donald has always been far-out, a character, interesting. I like Donald Trump. I didn't like the 'Celebrity Apprentice' but I like Donald Trump. His hair, I've sat next to him at lunches and dinners. It's kind of wild with that style, but that's Donald.

Q If there is a role or photo shoot you wish you could take back, which would it be and why?

A There are certainly photographs. I didn't like the bathing suit shot [in] Sports Illustrated. But it has stood the test of time. It's still landing on my doorstep, fans wanting me to sign it. So, I don't know if I would take that back [although] it's not my favorite shot.

Q You didn't know that 1978 photo was going to reveal as much as it was revealing at the time?

A Corrrrrect.

Q When you view the SI swimsuit issue from year to year do you see it getting better or is it less classy than when you were modeling swimwear?

A I think there was a time when it was less classy. I liked this issue. Not so much the cover as much as some of the shots inside were beautiful. I was in Las Vegas with the Sports Illustrated convention, all the bigwigs and with Kate Upton and 17 other Sports Illustrated models. Really nice girls. It was exciting and these girls were beautiful. I liked the issue. What did you think?


Q I think Kate Upton is a good little dancer. Did you see her doing "The Dougie"?

A The Cat Daddy. [That's the correct name of the dance in Upton's current video sensation but her previous one was The Dougie.] She's cute. She is young.

Q Do you ever run into someone in Hollywood and think: I know that voice but I don't recognize the face because of too much plastic surgery?

A Awww, yes. I think there's the big question of aging gracefully. Do you go down this path or do you go down this path? A lot of women are just obsessed with it. I have a lot of girlfriends my age who've done it quite well, not plastic surgery but aging gracefully.

Q Did you see the quote from Donna Summer, from some time back, asking her fans to please let her grow old gracefully because she wasn't planning to have 900 facelifts for them?

A I like that. Of course, God bless Donna Summer. She aged gracefully in the sense, she looked so beautiful, always.

Q I know being a supermodel is not exactly digging ditches, but surely a girl from Minnesota never complained about it being cold on a beach shoot?

A [Laughter] Oh, C.J. I've been cold on many a shoot, even in the islands; 5 in the morning is chilly. I've talked to Sports Illustrated and they've said they were thinking about using me again: 'How do you feel about the Antarctic?' I thought, Oh God.

Q When can we look for this?

A I don't know.

Q Did you know that someone who said he was a son of your buddy Ryan O'Neal called Minnesota to complain on FM107.1 when show host Jason Matheson was making fun of O'Neal?

A The children of Ryan O'Neal's are so complicated. It's just so sad. I wish him well.

Q Is there something unSupermodely that you can do, like fix a running toilet, repair a leaky faucet?

A I'm the most organized person. A leads to B leads to C. Give me a task, and I'll get it done. My son e-mails me or texts me or asks me for something, it's done that day. That's what I do. Maybe that's why I've succeeded this far.

C.J. can be reached at and seen on FOX 9.