The Apprentice: Mahsa Saeidi-Azcuy After the Boardroom
Few people will take a billionaire head on, but that's just what Mahsa Saeidi-Azcuy did after her firing on this week's "The Apprentice." While Mahsa was cast as a liar in the edited version of the show, she took to YouTube in order to clear her name (see video below).
On the show this week
The lights of New York City's Broadway theaters seemed dim compared to the sparks in Donald Trump's boardroom on this week's 'The Apprentice.' In the end, this week's task barely mattered because a dispute over last week's task led to firing of a contestant.
This week, teams created presentations with a goal of convincing investors to back new Broadway shows. Among the judges were Tony Award-winning singer and actress Kristin Chenoweth, and Daryl Roth, producer of six Pulitzer Prize-winning plays.
The men staged a new musical called, 'Little Miss Fix It,' about an 11-year-old girl. The overall presentation was well received, but project manager Steuart Martens was rocky as the emcee, and criticized for lack of enthusiasm. In a turn of events, loose cannon David Johnson was praised for his creative vision.
The women tried to prove 'Darling,' a show based on Peter Pan, was worth the backing of Broadway producers. Liza Mucheru-Wisner took on the project manager role, but did not dominate. The team's marketing materials had no contact information for potential investors, a huge oversight. Were it not for the issue with Mahsa, Liza may have gotten fired.
The men squeaked out a win with their strong marketing materials and well-produced event.
Excused from the boardroom, the men watched the women on closed-circuit TV. Cliff Robertson saw Mahsa allegedly lie about his actions and sought to defend his honor, marching the men back to the boardroom. Funny thing is, the fireworks concerned last week's task when Mahsa supposedly revealed her team's profits to the men's team. She said that Cliff revealed his team's take. Trump and her own teammates were visibly growing tired of her brusque approach every time she opened her mouth.
Trump's take-aways this week sounded like things learned in kindergarten: don't lie, be nice, and be a team player.
He stressed flaws that can be tempered for better results. His target: Mahsa, a former prosecutor, who is used to literally pointing her finger at people. That method may work in a courtroom, but not so much in business.
"You really are abrasive," said Trump.
"Mr. Trump, that's my personality," replied Mahsa.
The key is to be a team player, and Mahsa showed she was focused only on Mahsa. To do that, she allegedly lied and that lie earned her a pink slip. In the taxi ride after her firing, Mahsa expressed surprise at being off the show so early in the season. Clearly, she does not see what others did. To long-time devotees of the show, Mahsa evoked memories of Omarosa, from Season 1. Omarosa was a strong woman who had many of the same shortcomings as Mahsa.
Behind the Scenes
In an interview with AOL Jobs, Mahsa agreed that sometimes she felt like she was on "Survivor." "There was a lot of cattiness behind the scenes," she said. "And a lot of alliances."
Mahsa's Message to Donald
Mahsa says she thought long and hard before recording her two minute and 28 second statement the night the show aired.
"It wasn't about being fired. 15 out of 16 of us get fired," she told AOL Jobs. "It was about being branded a liar. What I had to say was the truth. I just couldn't stop myself. It's not my character to stay quiet."
She doesn't know for sure if Trump has seen the video, but she suspects that he has. She holds Trump, as opposed to the show's producers responsible, knowing that producers have to make the show fit an hour.
She thinks the video has had two results. "There's the 'We love Mahsa' camp and the 'We hate Mahsa' camp," says Mahsa. "But it's something you only do if you're telling the truth."
Where's Mahsa today?
"I was hoping that Mr. Trump would see who I was," said Mahsa. "I think I would be an incredible apprentice. Going into the first boardroom, I said to myself, 'Don't talk too much.' Oh well, it looks like I'm going to be staying true to myself."
Since the show, Mahsa left her role in the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office, after a causing a local controversy because she had not asked permission to be on the show. She first took a less visible role outside the courtroom, but later stepped down entirely. She's already set some new goals.
"I think 'The Apprentice' has changed my life," she said. "My goal is to be an on-camera correspondent."
Rebecca Jarvis, from Season 4, made that jump, reporting for CNBC and now CBS News. However, Rebecca not only had a background in journalism, she also made it to the finals of 'The Apprentice' that year.
Mahsa says she always maps things out. "I think I'd be an incredible defense attorney. Or I could do something like 'The View'," she said.
-- Check out the previously fired Season 10 apprentices
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Carol Berman, an award-winning journalist, writes the blog, The Scribble Lounge, a unique take on current events and pop culture. She's New York bred and now lives outside Philadelphia.
Over more than 15 years, she spent many years in broadcast journalism as a producer, followed by a short award-winning stint in public relations and now makes a happy return to journalism. An avid news junkie, Carol is also a runner, a recovering triathlete, and dog lover. She loves to bake for friends and family and volunteer with different non-profits.