Surya Speaks Back


Surya Yalamanchili, the earnest brand manager from Cincinnati who was fired by Donald Trump from The Apprentice on Sunday, recently blogged about his time on the show. He offered an insider’s perspective of the reality series that has candidates vie for the chance to work for Trump. Former teammate Tim Urban has also shared his memories of Surya on the show, and it seems that Surya is not a “phony,” but just a sincere guy who puts a premium on integrity and loves whiteboards. Read on for more from Surya himself!

Whose hair took longer to style? Yours or James’?
Mine only took minutes! I would style it by hanging upside down every morning. You know, like Michael Keaton did in the 1989 Batman?

What did you think of life in the mansion? Was camping out as rough as it looked?
I actually thought that the mansion and the tents were both just OK. The mansion wasn’t that great and fancy in side. It just looked that way. In fact, during the first few days, the air conditioning leaked everywhere and soaked all my personal belongings! And the tents were not that bad. Picture camping out as a kid and that’s it. Or so I hear– my family wasn’t big on camp-outs!

What do you take away from the Apprentice experience?
That all that glitters is not gold!
But a once-in-a-lifetime experience all the same!

What are the Trumps like in person—Donald, Ivanka, Jr.?
Donald really impressed me as a nice, compassionate guy. I think he was trapped within the confines of a game show and had to fire me, but it was good to see him struggle with the decision and seemingly not want to fire me. I never really talked to his kids enough to know about them. I did talk to Don Jr in the boardroom when I got to serve as an “advisor” and he seemed like a really cool guy.

If you could only have one other person from this season’s show with you on a deserted island, who would it be?
I’d probably take Derek [Arteta] with me. Because he’s hilarious. And I think within short order we’d drive each other crazy. And then Derek would likely murder me. And since I wouldn’t want to be stuck on a deserted island, that solves that problem.

What are you up to right now? What’s next for you?
A lot!
-I’m back at P&G where I’m a brand manager.
-A partner and I have launched— which is going to be a network of college blogs all across the country. Basically an alternative to the Campus newspaper but filled with news that students actually care about (gossip, parties, rumors, breaking news, etc) And, yes, we’re looking for bloggers…
-I’m writing a book, that’s due out later this year. It’s called “Forsaken” and it’s about how my generation (20-30 somethings) have beens screwed over by politicians who are doing and saying anything to get elected, while leaving us a massive legacy of problems of which we’re going to have live with the consequences of.
-And finally, I’m doing the Speaking circuit. I’ve developed a talk aimed at the college market and am speaking a few times this month and have started booking up the 07/08 year!

You can learn more about the book, the Speaking or read my blog at

Exclusive! Surya’s Playboy Mansion adventure
Surya’s final Apprentice episode

Surya, You’re Fired!
Surya Suits Up On The Apprentice
Surya On Season 6 of The Apprentice

March 16, 2007
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