my debrief on the apprentice…

An Introduction
I want to start by thanking my friends and family. I couldn’t ask for better. Frankly, you’re all better than I deserve. Your kind words of support (and your anger at your TV’s!) have helped me escape this bizarre experience relatively sane (or as sane as before anyway).

I write this for a broader audience, and so I start with an explanation of who I am and how I approached this. I’ll start with some of what you already know: I can be a pretty serious guy. Based on my portrayal on the show, not exactly shocking. So, fair enough. I’m not ashamed or embarrassed that I took the show seriously, because I approached it as a job interview. That every minute we were there, we were going to be judged. Judged not only by Donald Trump, but also by our parents, our best friends, loved ones, ex-teachers, everyone.  So I made certain promises to myself: I wouldn’t talk behind people’s backs or resort to petty personal attacks, I would attempt to be intelligent in how I approached all situations, and I would try to not get caught up in the intenseness of the experience. I boiled it down into 3 words that I repeated when the experience got especially intense: Integrity, Intelligence and Grace. All in all, I’m proud of how I stuck to this.

Going back to my “seriousness”– that all stemmed from a responsibility I felt. Generally in life, I feel obligated to make the most of all the opportunities afforded to me. The Apprentice felt like a once in a lifetime opportunity. I vowed that I would tear myself to shreds, and work as hard as humanly possible to do the best I could. And I felt a responsibility to all the people who had sacrificed so much for me to get to where I was: My family (especially my mom), teachers, friends, etc. I’ve been blessed with so many amazing people in my life who care for me deeply and without who’s help, I would not be anywhere in my life today. So I’ve always felt pushed by a deep desire to never look in the mirror and feel like I’ve let them down. And that fed my seriousness in certain situations. For those of you who know me, the fact that I’m explaining why I’m “so serious” is pretty entertaining in the face of my constant group hugs, terrible nick-name giving, and my general stupidity. OK…this ends the long introduction to me.

Clarifications
In the interest of not writing a book, which this could easily turn into, I’m going to focus on one or two points from each of the last four horrifying episodes. Consider it your sneak-peak behind reality TV:

Ep 5: Honey
On the craaazy marketing jargon: from the emails I’ve gotten it’s clear that everyone gets that my comments from an hours-long brainstorming were spliced into a 15 second rant. All of the words I used probably made sense. Here’s a marketing 101 in 30 seconds–  of all the crazy stuff I said and why:
“Who buys honey/Household (HH) penetration”: the reason I asked about HH penetration is because it’s helpful to know if the people coming through the door of that supermarket already have a jar of honey in their homes. So if HH penetration is high (which it was), our marketing job was to convince them that they need a second jar (not to buy a first).

“Barriers to Purchase”: The basic job of marketing is to make you want something. Often to get close the deal, you need to first overcome the reasons people are resistant to buying it. One barrier we knew about because of the above question was “I already have honey”. So I start talking to them about “versatility”, and showing the shopper all the uses of honey. In marketing, this could be considered a “benefit”. And if you talk about benefits, you need to give people a reason to believe those. And that’s where our sales talking points of “freshly harvested”, etc came from. Basically, convince them that they should be doing all kinds of great things with this honey so that they’d buy a second jar.

Channels that honey is sold in/Unique Selling Proposition: I got as much of a kick out of hearing this on TV as you did. And it actually took me a second to figure out why in the world I would ever say this (even I was convinced I was a robot!). But then I remembered, I wanted to use “sold exclusively here; you can’t get this anywhere else” (by phone, by Internet, catalog, etc) as a marketing selling point.

But, my teammates were not convinced, and Aaron listened to his friend James who he trusted more in making packaging and marketing decisions. I can understand wanting to listen to your best friend in the process, but naturally I was frustrated because I do this for a living. Later, I was also pissed because after ignoring most of what I had suggested, the two of them would say “I was in-charge” of marketing.

Ep 6: Priceline Mall Task
I said I’d pick one thing to focus on so it would have to be “walking the mall aimlessly.” In the beginning of the task, traffic was super-light. We already had 5 high-octane sales people pouncing on everyone who walked by. The toughest job would be to move away from the spectacle of the booth (shockingly, everyone was drawn to the cluster of cameras and people) to the far corners of the mall, and attempt to drive people downstairs. While walking the mall I’d drop into the stores and give the other stores flyers to spread the word. I even told Tim and Nicole that if we lost, that whoever did this job would be seen as contributing the least directly to the task. Since you should lead by example, I assigned myself the hardest job. Once upon a time, the show was about leadership lessons like this (when you won)– today it’s about making fun of them. A little strange, but even I agree: It’s funnier this way.

Ep 7: Lexus
The whiteboard? I actually didn’t write anything that complicated on the board. Just the vision for the task. We had been told the criteria that our “guests” would be judging us on. So I listed these things out and wrote in big letters– “this is all we’re judged on.” I then listed all of the things that we were doing, and made sure that they were somehow linked back to one of these three things the guests rated us on. Doing this kept us away from hiring go-carts and magicians for the task. For any of us who work in business, this is basics. And, oh, I don’t apologize for my love of the whiteboard. If I could make the walls of all my offices, just consist of whiteboards — I would. I’m kidding…sort of.

Random other stuff: We only had 2 phones. Of course Frank and Stefani were the only 2 making phone calls. They also repeatedly said they didn’t need help. Despite their “words” about me, I think they did a great job on the actual event logistics and I told Trump this during the boardroom. I gave a great few minute introduction to the event, complete with corny jokes. One such joke: “Before you all got here, we got a chance to learn about this car and drive it. And let me tell you, I was quite shocked when I learned that the car parks itself. It was kind of scary, because I realized the car was actually smarter than I was!” And yes, people actually laughed at that. And, yes, I realize you’re not laughing.

Oh. And the “Snoop Edit” went waaay too far. I can handle people thinking I’m a marketing-jargon-spewing-whiteboard-writing-robot but not that I would stand against the wall the entire time instead of talking/singing with Snoop. I played the drums with Snoop (one word: ridiculous!), talked to Snoop about how “Gin and Juice” used to be my favorite song when I was in 8th grade, and James, Frank and I recorded the chorus to our song w/him. Not talking/rapping with Snoop would be like not shooting jumpers with MJ. That contestants would say whatever they’re told just for a few seconds of airtime has been a constant disappointment to me throughout.

Ep 8: Half-Time Vitamins
There’s a lot to say here, but it’s no big deal. I’ll leave you with something hilarious. Read about what people who were actually at the game thought: Link 1. And Link 2. Insane.

My Final Thoughts
This was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I can say that and also say that it was also incredibly disappointing, can’t I? I thought I was going on a job interview with The Apprentice and instead I found myself on a cross between Real World and Survivor. When I watched Real World growing up, I remember that they had to get jobs working somewhere. What’s crazy is those 18 and 20 year-olds seemed to take that job more seriously than business professionals on a purported job-interview. But as I’ll post more next time, I’m not a victim. My mistakes were my own and were what caused my end result. I literally have explanations for about a 1000 things they showed on the show…but I’m not going to sit here and explain everything. Because no one cares and it totally doesn’t matter. I’ve tried to explain only those things that I’ve gotten the most emails about above.

And to clarify, I’m not upset at my “teammates” for some of the pretty wretched stuff they said about me. To each, their own. I’m proud of the fact that I never personally attacked any of them, even when they were disrespectful and aggressive to my face. That’s not who I am. But the experience of rapping with Snoop, hearing Bocelli on the beach, having dinner with Trump, putting on amazing tasks (which are actually a lot of fun– inter-personal dynamics aside) were the kinds of things that most people never get the chance to do. For that, I’m blessed and thankful. I have a lifetime of stories from a short period, and I’ve grown as a person (mostly through the process of having to watch the episodes!). I’ve received hundreds of emails from people I didn’t know offering me encouragement, respect, etc. That alone made this experience worthwhile. I’ll be posting a few more entries about my thoughts– specifically answering the other most commonly asked questions I get in my inbox. Until then, be well, thanks for everything, and feel free to email. Even you guys who are oh so harsh on the message boards/blogs (I still love you guys too.)

best,
surya

P.S. Tim from the show chimes in some very kind words here in the comments.

3/6/13 – Wow, what a blast from the past. It’s so easy to forget how seriously I took all this then. It was a super-intense period to watch myself on TV and feel the weight of others’ eyes constantly on me. Thinking about it now, I find it all a little hard to believe. Of course, just the experience it self and almost that I was ever on the show. It’s a bit surreal. But also how acutely I reacted to others’ opinions of me. Between The Apprentice and running for Congress, I’ve definitely thickened my skin a bit. But when this all hit, I was pretty unprepared and way too sensitive. Oh well 🙂

38 thoughts on “my debrief on the apprentice…

  1. I was pulling for you man, and I didn't even know you were from my home town until the news said so after the show.

    IMO, Trump made a big mistake, and he should of fired the nay-sayers instead of those who actually did work! Overall you came off very intelligent, professional, and very solid player. I think the team just ganged up on you because they saw you as the only threat on that team.

    The only solace I find with that show is that most everyone in the interview are already successful people who will definitly do well. In many ways, just making the show and not looking like a total idiot (which some do) is reward enough and will lead to bigger and better things.

  2. Surya, glad to hear your still have perspective after that last episode. Watching that last episode and knowing you, I was really worried you'd take it all very personally. I am quite surprised that a smart guy like you though would be fooled that any reality show actually shows reality. The charicature of you on that show is nothing like the real Surya and frankly that's fine; it makes knowing the real you more special.

    BTW, thanks for finally getting fired so I can remove that show from my DVR. The survivor-like tent city and Trump parading around his stupid family and previous apprentices was getting really ridiculous. The show used to be about the game, the tasks, and the apprentices–now it's just one long Donald Trump commercial.

  3. You put up one hell of a fight in the boardroom. I was rooting for you as a fellow Cincinnatian and it was obvious that you were being picked on for being better than the rest. This seems to happen every season.

    Mr Trump and even your contestants had nothing but praise for you as you left the show. I'm sure we'll see you on the Apprentice All-stars (if they ever make one).

  4. I've been rooting for you, but it was obvious from the show's editing that they were trying to make you look like a doofus. The way they play the goofy music when you are doing something they consider dopey, like talking too much, would drive me mad if it were me watching myself on TV. I don't know how you do it. I also think they were playing off the nerdy Asian stereotype, and felt that they could do it because they had another Asian who does not fit the stereotype–James, who just seems like an absolute jerk.

    I hope you get a great job–you've gotta get out of Cincinnati–you're far too creaative for Procter & Gamble.

    I read your earlier post about The Namesake not getting enough publicity. I"ve found it inescapable–public radio announces "The Namesake" every 15 minutes or so. So I ran out to see it on the first day it was open, and it was a great move. I had read the book, and I went to India for 5 weeks just a couple of months ago, so I was primed. Nevertheless, I couldn't have asked for more in a film

    Best regards–aj

  5. Surya – You did a very good job. I am sure Trump has lost one of the top candidates. Best wishes on your future endeavors!!

  6. Dude, first things first … the half time shows were gawd-awful. I mean half time shows usually aren't high art (Hooters girl, frisbee catching dogs, 5 year olds kicking field goals) but yikes. But I guess that's what you get from wanna-be sales types masquerading as marketing guys w/ a clue. Trump should stick to the WWE. Yeah, I said it what?

    Hurry up and do and a play-by-play of the debacle, I mean the latest episode. Because honestly? The remaining cast (few exceptions) are the most unlikeable douches since the old school Univ. of Miami football teams — but at least they had talent. I have a few thoughts on the show but I'll wait to hear yours.

  7. Surya,

    In some ways I think you were mis-represented and mistreated but in other ways I believe the discerning customer will fully understand what a gem they have with you from what they can see on NBC. I can’t wait to talk to you on Armchair Apprentice.

    Mike

  8. Surya,

    I think you carried yourself tremendously well throughout your time on the show. I am still shocked at how Trump did not fire James, who clearly only cared about covering his ass and never really seemed to contribute anything valuable during the competitions. Both the halftime show "skits" looked appaulling and I cannot see how the brand mgmt. dude from GNC could distinguish which one was more beneficial for his company. You honestly made the most compelling defense of self I've ever seen in the boardroom and I'm very surprised and disappointed that Trump was not wise enough to see you should have stayed while James should have been canned. (For starters, your team never won until you came on board!) I'd like to see how your former team handles itself in the coming episodes. None of them (save the female atty) has really impressed me to date and they all are too laid back and unfocused to stay around in the final rounds. I look forward to seeing them make fools of themselves until their eventual firings…

  9. Surya,

    You did great. You were the best of Arrow team.

    Mr.Trump should have fired James by all possible means.

    Tim came up with an idea. As a PM you put your heart and soul to execute it. What did James do? Any real work? Any contribution? Nope! Backstab, create chaos and try to bring down the idea at nth minute. Yet I can't beleive Mr.Trump felt the need to fire you instead of James!

  10. Surya — you are the man for being one of the few to actually make it to the show let alone through 8 episodes. You are a class act and I was rooting for you the whole way. I was indeed bummed for you. The silver lining — I can stop watching the show! Without you, what's the point?!

  11. Greetings from across the Atlantic, old chap. I agree with you (and just about everyone else who read this blog, it seems) that you were unfairly dropped. You're right, in a job interview you would've stood out, but The Apprentice has stopped being about that and become about entertainment.

    I'm a Trump fan (despite not being American), but here it's easy to see he's going for the ratings.

    You were great, mate. Stay that way.

  12. Surya,

    Nice job on getting as far as you did on the show. I think it was a matter of ill luck to be fired when you were more than anything else. Who could have forseen that this team would have a connectedness and organizational culture that would be hard for a newcomer to pierce, and thus subject you to being made a scapegoat when things went sour. It's hard to tell exactly what transpires as the course of about 1 week or several days is boiled down into a 40 minute episode.

    It seems that they were averse to a more formal planning process which you seemed to be interested in instituting. I don't feel like they ever really let you demonstrate the efficacy of your methods. I felt if we had seen that and you had won, you would have clearly received the credit for it, but they fought you from day one and guaranteed that if your team won the task, that they'd find some way to say that they did well in spite of you, and that if your team lost, that it was your inability to manage them that caused the loss. It seems that you were held out by them as a sacrificial lamb from the very beginning. What can you do under the circumstances?

    I wondered if you shouldn't have mentioned that the team was unsupportive of your idea to generate more ideas in the brainstorming process in the last task, specifically mentioning frank's derision of your methodology in front of the team (although it seems like messing with frank may have been a poor tactical move as trump seems to afford him some favoritism) as obstructing the realization of what you intended to do. It seems that in the absence of any competing ideas, brought about on account of frank's stifling of your creative process, you approved the only idea on the table, the boxing match.

    I also had the feeling that Trump was undecided until that comment about the non-managerial role was made, and it seemed like he got out of you what seemed to be an admission of what tim had said on the issue (probably unintended of course). I think at that point he fired you rather than James. Perhaps he also fired you over james, because , although james was more deserving of being fired, what tim said had some truth. If james was fired, after all the tension was out in the boardroom between you and the others on the team, it seemed like there would be continuing discord, and they'd still actively rally against you. If they fired you, then those four (other than a potential tim james issue, after his statements, though Tim phrased his statement well to not antagonize James) don't have any tension with each other. The firing doesn't seem to then reflect on your abilities as a businessperson but rather that you weren't so well connected to the team, which is a given considering that you were with the other team for the first four weeks. Again, who knew that switching teams was going to bring on all of these troubles. If only hindsight was 20/20.

    Good work anyway on getting so far. I hope that the exposure from the show will be benificial for you.

  13. Excellent job. I think that if you have focussed on Jame's lack of Strategic thinking, we would have been able to see more on Apprentice. You should have gone for kill.

  14. Surya,

    I was really surprised that the show (and even some of your team) downplayed your superior marketing intellect. Based on my experience working with you at P&G – you are truly a superstar.

  15. Well, dangit…

    Donald Trump missed out on a great leader and thinker. You're so passionate, analytical, thorough, and detail-oriented. You are the kind of person I aspire to be.

    I hope Arrow never wins again; that'll show Trump!

  16. With one of the crappy rules this season–that every PM remains PM until they lose–I believe it is very tough for someone to step up and be PM too early and keep winning. The team will eventually gang up on them because that’s human nature.

    Perhaps you should have waited a little longer? I think James or Stefani will make it very far: I think one of them may make Top 2, both of them Top 5. And notice how they haven’t been PM’s yet. (Yes, my credibility may be screwed in this post if they don’t get much farther than the most recent episode! But we’ll see.)

  17. Nice job Surya:

    Given how we know the editing can be on the show and based on what I saw in the extended footage and webisodes, I can say you are much better than how you were sometimes portrayed on the show.

  18. I learned an important lesson by watching yesterday's episode. "Keep fighting, the worst thing could happen is that you will be losing".
    I really liked your fighting qualities. Good Job Surya!

  19. You did a great job Surya. There are probably thousands of guys who would like to be in your shows. You fought and also showed great integrity all through the show. I think its Mr. Trump's loss not to have you as his top guy.

    My best wishes to you in your future endeavours.

    Best
    -P

  20. Surya, I stopped watching the Apprentice as I began to realize how far downhill it was going, so I missed your firing – that's probably not bad news.

    I commend you for keeping your integrity – in the end that is what is really important, and you and Michelle have impressed me by that. There is nobody else on the show that I can really say that about.

    I hope people realize how media can be so edited to portray what they want and how reality is so different. I fear that many take what they see at face value.

    If nothing else – it was an experience for you and for some of us viewers – a learning experience for us too – if we did our due diligence.

    Hope to keep in touch with you as I like your ideas and thoughts.

    Doug

  21. I'm still trying to figure out why the hell anybody would want to work for The Walking Toupee??

    Trump is an idiot. A media whore. Philistine trash.

    Anyway, you're the only reason I watched that lame ass show.

    Nice to see dark-complected Indians on TV. You sure as hell can't find us on Indian TV.

  22. It's Tim Urban from the show.

    Though I'm sure Surya is in no mood to hear from any member of Arrow at the moment, I feel obligated to share a few Surya-related memories in this space.

    –At some point I noticed it there on his wrist. The rubber band. "Why do you have a rubber band around your wrist?" I had to ask. Surya explained that he never took the rubber band off, and that it was a metaphor for his integrity– "you're always wearing your integrity and if you bend your integrity (and he stretched the rubber band out when he said this, and then let it snap back onto his wrist) it will always snap back at you, and you're left with the welt." I'm positive that I butchered that, but you get the point.

    –It was the middle of the night during task 4. Surya and I had a discussion about the crucial "levers" (as he put it) that would win or lose us this task. He kept stressing point of purchase as something to focus on– our ability to convince someone coming in the restaurant for their normal burrito to switch and buy our stupid chicken bowl. Looking back on it, as much as I'd like to take credit for our win with my bulk sale, that's not why we won. We won because Surya, James, and Nicole were so effective on the cash registers at convincing people to buy something out of the ordinary– we won because of point of purchase.

    (and because of my bulk sale)

    –Same episode– everyone takes a nap in the van or in the restaurant. Except one fellow. Surya pulled the team's only all-nighter. And he didn't show any fatigue the next day. The man is a machine (and this from a guy who prides himself on being able to pull all-nighters and function the next day).

    –Task 4 reward– Surya is the first person to say out loud anything about the fact that something was going on between me and Nicole (which had been an "emperor has no clothes" thing until then). Then the floodgates opened and everyone teased me about her for the rest of the night, like 5th graders. Thanks Surya. Then again, I suppose I wasn't exactly discreet about this whole thing in future episodes, so I can't really complain. When the hell did this become the topic– this is supposed to be about Surya. Back to Surya.

    –Task 5– we find out we lost, and since I had spent the whole time trying to make a bulk sale that never happened, I figured I was in big trouble. After returning to the campsite after learning we had lost, Surya sat down next to me. I told him my fear, and he said he thought it was ridiculous that I could be attacked for going out on a long-shot bulk mission and failing. He told me he would have my back in the boardroom. He knew he was in danger himself, and a lot of people would have been relieved to hear of other people in danger as well. But Surya's first thought was that in fairness, I should not be attacked. There's that rubber band.

    –Task 6: Surya comes back from the boardroom incredibly fired up to be project manager– so fired up, in fact, that he accidentally threw his ring across the yard into the grass, and I had to look for it with him for like 20 minutes until we found it. Warrants mentioning.

    –Task 8: It's late, and we decide to create music for our halftime show, so I leave the group to go to a guy's house and write and record a theme for Boxing Joe (which, by the way, was a much better skit than the editing showed. I swear, I'm not bitter about this). We need someone to accompany me, and Nicole offers to go. Surya says to me privately that leaving the group with Nicole for hours on end was just asking for trouble later– a very good point, and I ended up going with Stephanie, heeding his warning. Now Surya knew that if we lost, he'd have a lot of people attacking him, and again, many people would have welcomed the Tim-Nicole potential criticisms in his position. There's that damn rubber band again.

    –And that rubber band never left his wrist. 90% of PM's would have attacked me ruthlessly in that boardroom, since the boxing idea was mine, and since that was realistically his best shot of surviving. But in his heart, he knew that the whole team approved my idea, and so then to turn around and attack me would have been sneaky and disloyal. So he didn't– and he took the fall.

    As I read Surya's above notes on Episodes 5-8, I can tell you that everything he said is right on. And I'm seriously impressed at the lack of venom in his words– if I were in his place, I can't say I'd be as big a man. It must have been MIGHTY frustrating for him to watch.

    He worked his ass off, always played intelligently, was never ever petty, and held on dearly to his integrity.

    So why did it go wrong for him?

    Quite simply, Surya and Team Arrow were not a good match. Well, at least Surya and Frank weren't. See, Frank cannot relate to a guy like Surya. He just can't. And Frank reacted by being unnecessarily dickish. Then I believe that some of the other team members jumped on that boat, as a strategy (if the whole team is against Surya, everyone else is safe). In a real world professional situation, most of the people on Arrow would click quite well with Surya. What happened was not fair, but the fact is, The Apprentice is not remotely fair.

    I'm happy to say that Nicole and I didn't jump on that boat. We could both have been more vocal to defend Surya, no doubt. But neither of us disrespected him to his face, or behind his back. After episode 5, when much of the team decided to attack Surya, I remember Nicole saying to me, "people are just ganging up on Surya because he's new and he's an easy target– I'm not joining in that." I agreed, and neither of us attacked him
    (in episode 6, they showed me poking fun at Surya in a couple of my interviews, but it was with a lighthearted tone, never one of disdain or disrespect).

    The sad fact is, The Apprentice is a show that rewards trash-talking. So when members of the team trash-talk Surya, it makes the air. Surya refused to trash-talk his teammates behind their back, and as a result, his side of the story was rarely told. Unfortunately, that's the nature of the beast (after all, it's not great TV to hear a project manager saying they're enjoying working with a group of strong teammates).

    As I watched Surya get torn apart by the editing the past few weeks, I wrote him an email and said that as frustrating as this must be now, I had no doubt that in a year, he'd be shaking his head and laughing about the whole thing. And it seems like he's already near that point.

    Okay, I'll wrap up this book I've written (and I think I'll go grab a rubber band for my wrist).

  23. Surya! Thankyou for saying what us fans figured out after Ep.1 of this season. The Apprentice has jumped the shark and gone Surviver and that is the least of its problems.
    I so wish you had been on earlier seasons where your talent would have actually counted.

    See, this show used to be about the tasks–yes it was a reality show and some nonsense was expected but still the over all theme was business. (I have been a fan since day one, not so much anymore).

    I remember when my 5th grade granddaughter used tools she learned from Kendra/Apprentice for her 5th grade Million Dollar project. Yes, at one time this show actually taught some valuable lessons–not any more.

    I cheered when Michelle left! Tents? I actually have to ask why any of you guys would allow yourselves to be demeaned in such away?
    I remember a time when Trump would not fire someone simply because the "team" didnt like them–on the contrary—he would fire the trouble makers. At one time he would not have tolerated this whole "Alliance Gang" mentality! But I am afraid DT has become a ratings whor which is sad because I actually like the man.

    Personally I see Burnett behind the Surviver cross over. Surviver borrowed the Apprentice luxury which is why you guys have tents and one Surviver team has beds and china lol.
    Both shows are done–if they squeak through another season I will be amazed.

    Surya, know this, most viewers know how contrived the editing is and those that take the show at face value and trash you are not the brightest amoung us.
    Because of this–I will take Tim at his word regarding his own participation in these grade school antics. (however Tim–why are you and Nicole bringing up Michelle at this point?)

    I would warn all the contestants of this season–you have put your professional lives at risk with this season of The Apprentice as it seems they(TPTB) are out to make you ALL look like fools.
    Surya–trust me when i say this–you are better off! This show has lost all its credability.
    Debbie

  24. Asieya says, "Thank God you got off the show before you had to spend another night in that tent." This was the most horrifying part of the show for my queen. She would have quit before spending even one night in that tent!

    Anyway, we thought you did really well in the boardroom. You fought hard and convincingly, and you had Bill on your side. We always liked Bill, and now we respect him even more. (After reading Tim's comments, we also have a newfound respect for him. Nice guy and the only guy left – in Apprentice time – that we would support.)

    Ultimately, you had it right. An undisciplined gaggle like that was not going to like the disciplined, organized guy who came in to set things straight. The soldier in me feels this way about it: They needed a boot in the ass; too bad if they didn't like it!

    Unfortunately, this is Survivor in a corporate setting (getting closer to Survivor itself with those tents!) – not the military or a real corporation.

    I hope you got to point out how absurd the claims of poor leadership were. That team was on a losing streak. Then you go over there, and they win the very next task! Following that, they enjoy a nice winning streak. What is that: a coincidence?

    Oh, I also wanted to mention two things we remembered/noticed:

    1. In the episode where you were selected to join Arrow, those guys were shown hoping (out loud) that they would get you. It appears that if they were asked to vote, they would have picked you. Then, suddenly, you're no good?

    2. The half-time show task was the first task where the criterion for a win was one guy's opinion. Who knows? The crowd may have voted a different way. The links you posted seem to indicate you could have won if they did a survey, like the Lexus task. Or maybe you both would have lost!

    Anyway, you acquitted yourself well and should be proud. It will be fun to see jokers like James and Frank get fired in future episodes. We'll call it Surya's revenge! Maybe Trump will even give you props during the next firing! I can hear it now: "So maybe Surya was the only winner on your team after all …" (cue ominous music, cut to Arrow sitting in stunned silence on the other side of the boardroom table)

  25. Tim, Thanks for posting. Your thoughts drive the point home even more and I for one, appreciate the fact that you took the time to post them. I love the rubber band reminder. I may just borrow that idea if Surya doesn't mind. I think sometimes we could all use a tangible reminder, especially in the heat of the moment.

  26. I have to admit, Surya, aside from Donald and Ivanka themselves, I watched the show for you. To me, you were the guy that most closely resembled the way I myself thought, and that was from an analytical standpoint, rather than something off the fly. At first I thought it was right to fire you for the loss of the halftime task, but when I came back to think on it, was it a freak coincidence that arrow before Surya was a mess, and Arrow after Surya was responsible for the destruction of four kinetic members?

    A little bit after watching that episode, I came to think that James was the one to be fired, as he really didn't put anything on the table that James Sun could have. Sure, James Grunt got into that GNC pill suit, but anyone could have done that. IMO, a better argument may have been that as he brought it up in the eleventh hour, either he thinks slowly, or is simply plotting his own agenda by thinking to the boardroom. If the former, he is slow on his feet and incapable of being decisive when it counts, if the latter, then he is a snake and may very well doom the team with his dissension in the eleventh hour, if only for self-gain.

    Sadly, it seems this season is about who is more self-servient rather than about using your business know-how.

    I heard you graduated from Rutgers University. I actually was accepted there but am currently pursing an Information and Systems Engineering degree at Lehigh University, so I could find analytical solutions to business problems.

    Anyhow, I wish you luck in all your future endeavors…you made the show worth watching, terrible editing, or not.

  27. Tim:

    Thanks for posting that.

    I actually think unlike what Debbie said there were two cases of poor planning that necessitated in the tents:

    First, I think this season was planned to be filmed in New York as were the other five seasons, however, Mr. Trump and company didn't want to be filming in April and May as was the case for "Apprentice 4", especially after I believe that season had to be shortened by two weeks (three on NBC's schedule as there was both a clip show and new episode on Thanksgiving Night in '05) at the last minute before filming started after NBC had originally planned a September 1, 2005 premiere for "Apprentice 4" only to have to move it back to September 22 because of NBC-Owned stations in New York (Giants) and Chicago (Bears) and other NBC affiliates covering a total of 35% of the country having to pre-empt the network schedule that September 1 for local coverage of NFL pre-season football (and on top of that, it would have aired opposite NFL pre-season games in another 30% of the country had it premiered that night). What leads me to say that is the last two team tasks on Martha's version that season (Buick Lucerne and Song Airlines) looked like they really belonged on Trump's and were possibly moved to Martha's at the last minute to compensate for having to shorten Trump's season four.

    That to me led to planning to film season six in June and July (remember, when season six was planned, it was done so based on a September-December season and it was too late to change that by the time NBC announced the premiere would be after the NFL season), only I believe after June 30 in New York you have to get special filming permits beyond what normally is required (until around August 10 as I believe that is considered to be summer tourist season in NYC) plus there is the risk of filming during a prolonged heat wave that could have presented health hazards to both cast and crew once you get into June and July as well. That likely necessitated the move to LA.

    2. Once in LA, they likely found the mansion was too small to house all 18 candidates, so the tents and that set-up were likely done out of necessity as otherwise there would have been problems with 18 people in the house at the beginning, it by then being too late to look for another location.

    That to me likely explains why we have had the tents this season, though not for the reasons most people think they were put there for.

  28. Trump and company could not afford housing? The mansions were to small? Does this mean that who ever was in charge of location was fired?

    It really does not matter what the reason for the tents was, it remains appalling.
    I keep wondering where the L.A. Health Dept is?????
    Debbie

  29. Dear Surya,

    The show has lost its credibility. You are better off not working for DT. You did good. Made Indians all over the world proud of you.

    Regards, Hannah (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

  30. Mr. Yalamanchili,

    I have to commend you on staying true to yourself while on the Apprentice. Despite the intensity, the nerves, and the constant competitiveness, you put your best foot forward with the utmost integrity. As Trump pointed out, I have no doubt you will hugely successful.

    I want to wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors!

    Best,
    Calvin

  31. Surya,

    I think it is unfortunate that the group chose to go against you in such an undeserved way and it was plain for anyone to see that you pulled them out of their rut for those two wins…What goes around comes around though. And now that you're gone they have each other to eat away at… Only one person can win and they will be clawing and scratching at each other now… I admire your passionate and respect your integrity most of all. I truly believe in integrity…

  32. Hey Surya,

    Head up high, you have lots of talent….you got the short end of that episode, but I predict the best future of any of those cats. We'll run into each other I am sure…and maybe hook up on a deal or two.

    Keep it real,

    Kwame

Comments are closed.