RC: How did you end up getting on “The Apprentice”? Did you go to an open call or submit a tape?
TU: I did go to an open casting. I was a big fan, I was addicted to “The Apprentice”. I was watching the first episode of season 5, and an ad came on the tv asking people to come to an open call at Universal City. There were a couple thousand people there and I waited 8 hours. For me, it was a big, fun game and the next thing I knew, I was on national tv.
RC: Was being on the show how you imagined it would be or did it take you by surprise?
TU: Because I watched, I knew what to expect. It was definitely harder than I thought. It was surreal watching it for so long and then suddenly it was like I was inside the tv!
RC: What was your favorite task to work on?
TU: Well, we lost, but I loved the GNC challenge where we were boxing. Before they revealed the results, I was sure we had won! We had lots of fun, running around on the soccer field at halftime. We had fun at the Universal challenge, too.
RC: Yeah, except you guys took a lot of heat for that challenge. Angela was pretty upset with you guys.
TU: She was bitter about that. But it wasn’t as bad as it looked. We were not lying. We offered their customers free water and they came to us. Look, you wouldn’t tell a baseball team stealing bases is immoral!
RC: Right. It seemed on last night’s episode that Arrow was disjointed & it’s the first time I’ve seen that in a while. Looking back on it, did you feel that you were being a distraction as your teammates said or did you feel there were other reasons for the loss?
TU: I completely acknowledge what the team is saying but because it was an easy attack. Any good player is going to jump on that. It’s actually quite silly to call people a distraction. I never mentioned Nicole, her name never came up during challenges. Ok … saying that I forced my ideas upon people. I get very into my own ideas however, every time we would brainstorm, I would throw out mine & they would say: “We love it, let’s do it.”
RC: What’s it like when you’re watching the episode when you see people talking about you in their confessionals? Does it bother you or do you take what is said with a grain of sand?
TU: I know how the show works, and it happened big time in episode 11 and a little in episode 10. James was saying “I don’t know what he’s doing” and Frank was saying, “I’m here for a job interview” … they said nothing to my face. They kept saying things like, “You two are great together”. Frank apologized when Nicole switched teams. THEY kept bringing it up.
RC: Looking back on it, do you think the decision to get involved with Nicole during the interview process was a good one?
TU: Um, well, the fact is … I don’t think you can wait. Waiting would’ve meant … I mean … turning things off & not getting involved in the first place. It wasn’t a matter of “let’s do it later”. Realistically, I could’ve waited but it wasn’t going to happen if I didn’t do it then. We’re still dating 10 months later.
RC: You took my next question. I figured you guys would wait ‘til the live finale to reveal your status.
TU: I’m allowed to say that.
RC: You joked during your car ride out about being “grayed out” on NBC’s website. How do you maintain a sense of humor in the middle of such a stressful situation?
TU: I’ve never liked being grayed out, I don’t enjoy it. I hope to be grayed out as little as possible in my life. We got into that fight … 3 against me … about Nikki a couple days earlier. I know the show – a concensus attack cannot be overcome. I’m looking at it saying, “This is a concensus attack in the making. If the 3 of them can attack me they’re safe. So we either win & I’m still in it OR we lose & I’m going home”. When we lost, I was thinking, “That’s not so good”. I was going to go in there, fight my little heart out, and probably go home. I wanted to survive or go down swinging & I went down swinging. I lost & as expected, ended up in the limo. I had accepted it. I had a good run, there was no task the next day. I felt fine about it.
RC: You recently completed an album, Turning Home, with Glen Ballard producing. Tell us a little bit about the album & what it was like to work with someone who’s got Michael Jackson & Aretha Franklin on his resume.
TU: It’s a little silly that I was on “The Apprentice” because I was doing it more as a fun game. Real estate is not my thing, music is. I want to be a composer. I’m a piano player, I write a lot of different kinds of music. I met someone who was Glen’s assistant and they said maybe I can play one day for him. I got a meeting, and I was incredibly lucky since he is a hero of mine. I played 5 minutes, he kept asking for more Then he said, “Let’s do an album together”. I couldn’t believe it, it was the most exciting thing. I came in a week later. He said, “OK, I want you to sit at the piano & play”. I sat for 3 hours and improvised. We picked out the really good moments and expanded our 8 favorite ones into tracks. You can buy the album on www.timburban.com or ITunes.
RC: So what are you up to now that the show is over?
TU: I still have my tutoring company in LA. My long-term goal out there is to make another CD & get music to people & make that my thing.
Thanks to Tim for taking the time to talk to us here at RealityCheck.
You can also see this blog on RealityWanted!