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The e-mail Barbara Corcoran sent that reversed Shark Tank’s rejection

Barbara Corcoran

Barbara Corcoran (Photo by Bob D’Amico/ABC)

Shark Tank star Barbara Corcoran was initially hired and then rejected as a shark, but convinced executive producer Mark Burnett to hire her by sending an e-mail message.

As part of a blog post on LinkedIn about how the way “[t]he best entrepreneurs faced challenges and risen above them,” Barbara writes that after signing the contract to be on the ABC reality show, “I got a call from Mark Burnett’s assistant explaining they had some ‘bad news.’ They’d decided to hire a different Shark.”

She then wrote him this e-mail message, which ultimately had the effect of getting her re-hired:

Dear Mark,

I understand you’ve asked another girl to dance instead of me. Although I appreciate being reserved as a fallback, I’m much more accustomed to coming in first.

I think you should consider inviting both of us to LA for your try-outs. Here are my reasons why:

  • I do my best when my back’s against the wall. I love the heat of the competition as I’ve learned it brings out my best. I’ve had all my big successes on the heels of rejection and frankly, it’s right up my alley. There was Sister Stella Marie in 5th grade who said I’d always be stupid just because I couldn’t read. Then there was the New York old boy network trying to lock me out of their real estate fortunes, until I became their largest competitor. Then there was The Donald himself who wrongly swore in court I’d never see a penny of the $4m commission he owed me for saving his ass and making the largest land deal in the city’s history. And of course there was my ex-partner Ramoné Simoné who parted with the words, “You know you’ll never succeed without me!” I consider your rejection a lucky charm.
  • If you have both ladies in LA, you can mix it up a bit and see which personalities make the best combination for your show. I’ve found in building teams myself that the combination of personalities is always more important than the expertise or strengths of single individuals. You may even drop a man for me because, believe it or not, I’m just as smart and mean as the next guy.
  • Last, I’ve known from the get-go the Shark role is a perfect fit for me. Everything I’ve done so far in the business and TV worlds has made me ready. My style is different than the other Sharks’ and your audience would fall in love with me. I’ve watched thirty-seven Dragon episodes so far and know I could rival the best Shark on each show in shrewdness and personality. It seems to me that the same two Sharks steal most of the shows and I know I’d be one of them.

The reputation you have in your field is equal to the reputation I have in mine, Mark. I know you’re the best at what you do and I trust you’ll reach the right decision. I’ve booked my flight for the 6th and hope to be on that plane.
Thanks, Barbara

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means. Learn more about Andy.

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