What was my favorite memory from The Apprentice? There were actually quite a few moments where I caught myself thinking: Is this really happening? I was just asked this question on a radio interview a few weeks ago. Once I spoke the answer, I knew that it wasn’t just for the radio audience, it was true.
A few days after I switched teams, it began dawning on me that this wasn’t all that I had hoped for. After the honey task, I realized I was going to be blamed in the boardroom no matter what because I was the outsider. Combined with the fact that I was a first-time project manager during the Priceline.com task, I knew that a loss certainly sent me home. I packed my bags. Literally. We had a couple of hours between the conclusion of that task and when we went to the boardroom to hear the result. I actually packed my bags ahead of time realizing that one of two things would happen: 1) if we won, we would move back in the house or 2) we lost and I was pretty much going home. Once I packed my bag and put it by the door, I spent the next hour or so cleaning the camp so my friends on Kinetic wouldn’t once again come to a filthy camp (the previous week there was zero time to clean).
However, I took a very important break between packing and cleaning. I went to ask permission. Permission to call my mother. You see, it was her birthday and I have talked to my mom on every one of her birthdays for as long as I can remember. But if you live in the backyard, you’re out of luck – there’s no phone. The producers had zero sympathy for me. I was told something to the effect of “if you had won last week you wouldn’t be out here. Sorry.” So I’m in the backyard thinking that I might not talk to my mom on her bday for the first time, wondering if I was going to go home because I had take the stupid (and audacious) risk to switch teams, and all that other stuff swirling around. A weird thing happened – a zen calm feeling of stillness ran over me. So I went around to every member of team Arrow and told them that I thought they did an awesome job and there was nothing more I could have asked of them or that they could have done. I did this before we found out if we won or lost, to ensure that I didn’t wuss out. By telling them this (captured on camera), it made it almost impossible for me to say they didn’t perform on the task in the boardroom. So if we lost, I was sending myself home the next day and I wasn’t going to get to talk to my mom on my birthday. (For background, my mom is my favorite person ever. that’s why this was important)
Those of you who watched the show might remember that we won the task. I exhaled and didn’t go crazy when we learned of this. All I felt was relief.Once we got inside that house, and I called my mom (by this point it was late and I had to wake her up because she works nights), I just had this feeling of utter satisfaction and peace. The feeling was familiar: it was the feeling that I’d get as a kid after spending the entire day shoveling driveways, pulling a pocketful of 5 and 10 dollar bills onto the table exhausted. Anyway, that moment to me was the best. I got to call my mom on her birthday. I had led the team to victory (editing be damned !) when the deck was totally stacked against me. It was great. Meeting Snoop, Bocelli, Hefner/Playboy mansion, Wolgang Puck, all of that stuff was cool. But it’s funny, being able to call my mom on that day in June was my favorite memory.
5/11/13 – When I first started reading this, I didn’t really remember. Then it rushed back to me. This was really awesome.
…and that is as it should be Surya. Good for you!
Good to know that even under such a stress, you remembered mom and tried calling her on her birthday.
Famiy really is the most important. They will be with you for all the good and the bad. ;O)
that is a phony answer 🙂
heya man. you did a great job on the apprentice and i think you should have got to the finals. the editing of course made sure you didn't look your best but you were clearly one of the best contestants the show has ever had. out of the ones that were left james and stef were the best but you could clearly blow them out of the water. i think trump didnt want to fire you but felt he had to… he has made some big mistakes in the show… has trump gotten in touch with you since, or anyone else in the trump organisation? would you take a job if he offere one? good luck in the future
This is a great blog. I think you were a great competitor.
Stefani said you're a self-proclaimed fan of snoop but did not show enthusiasm while at the studio. What's the deal?