Shark Tank has had a set cast for a number of seasons now, but every now and then show producers shake things up with a guest judge. This season alone, Troy Carter, Chris Sacca, and Ashton Kutcher have all taken turns sitting in the leather chairs. So when Yahoo! Finance asked Barbara Corcoran if Donald Trump would be a good choice as a temporary shark, she said yes — because it would increase Shark Tank‘s already high ratings.
“He has a huge ego—everybody on the set has a huge ego—he adores attention. We have a large viewership, and it would bring in a whole group of people that normally wouldn’t watch the show, so it would increase our ratings.”
Trump is no stranger to reality television. CBS reported in August that the New York businessman was fired by NBC from his long-running gig as host of Celebrity Apprentice following “derogatory statements… regarding immigrants,” as the network said in a press release. Mark Burnett, producer of Celebrity Apprentice, also produces Shark Tank. He announced in September that actor Arnold Schwarzenegger will take over from Trump on Apprentice.
It is unclear on what date Corcoran’s interview with Yahoo! Finance was taped, although it was uploaded in an article dated December 15, 2015. Trump has continued to make controversial statements as part of his presidential campaign, and he has been criticized by prominent human rights leaders, as The Independent reported.
Corcoran and Trump are tangentially related, business-wise, as he is known as a New York property developer and she made her fortune in Manhattan real estate. Although it seems that may be all they have in common. While Trump’s father was a business person, Corcoran started her business at age 22 with a $1,000 loan. She told Entrepreneur in September that, in business, opportunities are fleeting.
“Building a business is little more than a series of quick opportunities followed by a big a series of big obstacles. The opportunities arrive and leave so quickly that they’re way too easy to miss. If I hadn’t quit my job on a stranger’s suggestion the moment I heard it, I would have probably thought about it and not done it. Every great decision I’ve made in business since was made exactly that way — quickly without any thought. I’ve learned that thought gets in the way.”
An example of grabbing opportunities — and some trademark tenacity — is Corcoran’s reaction to discovering she was not given the role on Shark Tank. As Enterpreneur described, despite having a contract in-hand, producers wanted to pass Corcoran over in favor of someone else. She pursued the job despite the initial rejection and ended up being part of the original cast.
As a Shark Tank judge, she has demonstrated both kindness and toughness. Kevin O’Leary said in a July 2014 Fast Company interview that Corcoran encourages bad ideas in order to be kind to people — a strategy he disliked. Corcoran, nonetheless, never fails to say her peace, good or bad. Earlier this season, she admonished eyelash company proprietor Mikki Bey against using emotion in business.
As for how those Shark Tank deals end up at the end of the day, Corcoran told Yahoo! Finance that about 55 percent of her deals on-air actually close after the program. She described what happens on the show as a sales pitch and often the details don’t hold up under the scrutiny of due diligence. About one-third of completed Shark Tank deals, according to Corcoran, end up being profitable.
“Two-thirds of them, of course, go off into the sunset after they have enormous sales on ‘Shark Tank.'”
Shark Tank airs Fridays on ABC.
[Feature photos by Janette Pellegrini (left); Justin Sullivan (right)/Getty Images]