Ereka Vetrini (search) says she's not bitter about losing her job as sidekick-turned-correspondent on "The Tony Danza Show." (search)

"I saw it coming, but I don't understand the reasoning behind it," Vetrini, 28, says of being axed along with "Danza" executive producer John Redmann (search).

"They never really thought about my role and what it could be," she says.

"Tony [Danza] called me [with the news] and was very sweet and was very upset about the whole changeover. We had a very close relationship, and to let me and John Redmann go was hard for him."

Show producer Buena Vista raised some eyebrows when it hired Vetrini, a former "Apprentice" contestant without any TV experience, as Danza's sidekick on his new talk show.

As "Danza" progressed and generated solid numbers, Vetrini's sidekick role, including her banter with Danza, was phased out.

Vetrini says she was never told why that was happening — but that it wasn't a decision made by either Danza or Redmann.

"Once they decided to diminish my role, they promised me feature pieces as a correspondent of sorts telling stories from a female perspective," she says of show officials.

"But that never really happened and I was upset because I was ready to jump into that role . . . they never gave me the opportunity to let viewers get to know me.

"I was surprised to see them diminish my role, but not surprised to be let go."

Vetrini says she and Danza developed a genuine rapport. "The upsetting part for me is that when I went out there [on the show] those were authentic moments which were never produced or scripted," she says of her banter with Danza.

"It's a shame they didn't take the time to think about my role and how I could be utilized.

"But I was really happy to be a part of this show and I'm not bitter," Vetrini says. "I learned so much, and it was a phenomenal experience."