The Apprentice 2017 Week 11

14956646-low-Interviews weeks is always interesting in the Apprentice as this is when the candidates and their business plans are placed under close scruitiny and there is literally no place to hide.

Lord Sugar’s four inquisitors pick apart and dismantle each candidated business plans and take no smart talk from them, which happens a lot in the Apprentice. It is always nice seeing them bought down a peg or two by people who take no prisoners and you can see them palpably begin to doubt themselves, but only for a split second.

The businees plans were a scaling up of her own confectionary business for Sarah, an online gift delivery service from Elizabeth as part of her current floristry business, an online IT Recruitment business for James, a portal for construction businesses from Michaela and a fashion based concern for Joanna.

They had worked all of their costings and what they expected to make over the next couple of years, which was always massive profit, and they were all convinced that their business was the best one on the table and were all convinced that they were going to walk the interviews until they met the interviewers that is, with their plans and their very characters put under a microscop by people who know their onions and quickly showing them who was boss and that they did not know their onions as much as they thought they did.

It was great to watch all of these people squirm as they were asked questions that they really didn’t want to answer or admit to in public as they felt affronted that they were being questioned in such a way.

This task will always show the blaggers up and highlight who is really credible when it comes down to them and their business plan. Out of this crop I would have put money on Micheala to get to the final and also either James or Sarah. I have never been convinced that either Joanna or Elizabeth has got what it takes to be Lord Sugar’s business partner and didn’t expect either of them to get this far in the process so perhaps they have something that I am not aware of.

Therefore I was not surprised when Joanna was the first to be fired at the end of the interviews mostly because the business she was offering didn’t seem to push any of Lord Sugar’s buttons and also it wasn’t really as profitable as the others were likely to but she did give a good account of herself and showed that despite her age she was credible candidate.

As for Elizabeth well her business was also just an upgrade of her current floristy empire which again didn’t scream major profits for Lord Sugar due to the other people who offer this sort of thing and also I don’t think that they would have worked as a partnership either as Elizabeth wants to be in charge of everything and would not cede any part of the business to anyone else and would drive Lord Sugar to distraction. If she won the show then she would want to host it next year and that would not do at all.

Then there was three: James, Michaela and Sarah. Now if I was a betting man I would have said that Michaela would have been a dead cert for the final but in this episode we found out that she runs half a dozen businesses and is doing rather well for herself and as a result of this she was rather suprisingly fired from the process, not because of her capablity but because of her other businesses.

Now to be honest I have never been sure of James but he might do quite well against Sarah and if he can make Lord Sugar believe that he can make the amount of money that he claims he can then he will win for sure, as it is doubtful that Sarah can make that sort of money from confectionary, but then again you never know.

Both of the finalist are very credible candidates and either of them could win this as there its little to choose between them when it comes down to it. It will all depend on how they perform in the final task as to who will get the investment and who will be send packing.

 

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The Apprentice 2017 week 10

apprentice-modelThis week was all about fashion with the teams trying to persuade a designer to let them represent them and then do a fashion show and a magazine cover to promote their wears.

Joanna took the helm for Graphene as her business is clothing related and she had to work with Michaela, Elizabeth and James. Jade was project manager for Vitality with Harrison and Sarah. Graphene chose male clothing with Vitality taking on women’s fashion.

They each had some designers who they had to persuade to be able to show of their wares at a fashion shoot. Graphene went for more affordable clothing which had a ecological bent with Vitality going for a much more high ticket item which was described as post-apocalyptic regal rock and roll by the designer herself.

Elizabeth and Michaela enjoyed themselves rather too much choosing male models for their fashion shoot whereas Joanna decided that James should also be a model despite their being plenty of other models being ogled (sorry picked) by Elizabeth and Michaela.  Apparent this was because he was their target audience despite having absolutely no modelling experience. Harrison delegated to the woman on the basis that they know more about women’s fashion than he had, which is a fair point considering he is a bloke and not a drag act.

It was down to Harrison and Sarah to organise the fashion show with Jade choosing the designer and shooting the magazine cover. Michaela despite doing marketing for a living didn’t manage to do a decent cover which was considered boring by the experts thus lost their endorsement. James’s modelling didn’t get the thumbs up either but at least Jade didn’t put herself on the cover of their magazine which was a bit more acceptable for a magazine cover.

Due to the high ticket price of their clothing range Vitality were not able to make enough money and they ended up losing the task despite managing to get the endorsement which could have been a deal breaker for them.

When it came down to the boardroom there was nowhere to hide and Jade and Sarah gave as good they could get to Lord Sugar with Harrison basically not putting up a fight leading to him being fired, closely followed by Jade, despite her at least trying to fight her corner.

So somehow Elizabeth is in the final five. Who would have thunk it? Elizabeth! Now, that, I did not see coming at all.

 

Share Your World – December 4, 2017

What household chore do you absolutely hate doing?
I hate doing all household chores but they have to be done so I just bite my lip and get on with it. I don’t mind washing up though, that is bearable.

At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?
Any time I’ve been able to help people, which is quite often in my job, although a bit less nowadays due to role change.

How many times have you moved in the last ten years?
I have actually been in my current home for the past 13 years so not once. But before that numerous times.

The Apprentice 2017 Week 9

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The candidates took on the food industry in this task and had to create and market a new product and pitch it to industry experts to see which one would work best in a rather crowded market. Harrison was chosen as the project manager of Vitality along with Sarah for Graphene.

Although Harrison was ostensibly the project manager Michaela railroaded him into picking her to create the dish with Joanne and Jade doing the marketing even though Joanna said that she could cook, probably as Michaela didn’t want to work with either Jade or Joanna, who also can’t stand the other so that was going to work well.

Sarah chose James and Elizabeth to come up with a dish and test it out with herself and Bushra on the marketing team. Naturally neither Bushra nor Sarah nor James wanted to work with Elizabeth, but poor old James drew the short straw in this instance.

Joanne and Jade spent most of them when they should have been coming up with name arguing amongst themselves with Joanne offering suggestions which Jade did not like, and then Jade getting pissed off with Joanne, and then Joanne getting pissed of with Jade.

It was amazing that they came up with a name in the end after all of that, even if it wasn’t on they could agree on, which would never have happened even if they had had one thousand years to come up with a name. Natrofuel was what they came up with in the end, which is sounds about as appetising as cold sick.

Bushra and Sarah on the other hand very quickly came to a name both of them agreeing with the word gourmet with Sarah preferring Crusaders which she ended up choosing despite Bushra’s misgivings.

When it came down to choosing the dish Harrison and Michaela (or rather Michaela) decided to do a chicken curry, or at least a healthy version of a curry, as you cannot help but love a curry.

Meanwhile Elizabeth and James went for the far healthier salmon option. James wanted to do the cooking, Elizabeth wanted to do the cooking, and in the end James let Elizabeth do this cooking as it was easier to let her do it as she would have done it anyway.

As it turns out neither Michaela nor Harrison had the first idea about cooking curries, or anything for that matter, and they muddled through in a rather haphazard fashion. Elizabeth and James turned out something that looked half decent with the minimum of fuss that it as soon as James let Elizbeth do exactly what she wanted. With the packaging Joanne and Jade continued to argue with Bushra and Sarah once again working as a team, like they were supposed to.

Next step was the pitches which would make or break the task for either team. The pitches really did make or break the task for both teams with Vitality doing a half decent pitch and Grephene do a godawaful job at the pitch and and as as result of this Vitality eventually won the day, which was rather ironic, considering that their product was inferior to that of Graphene but not as shodily presented which was the straw that broke the camel’s back for this task.

After last week one might have expected a double or even triple firing. Sarah bought Bushra and Elizabeth back into the boardroom. Now you can understand why she bought Elizabeth back as it was her fault that the product was so badly made on the day of the pitch, despite doing a good job of it the previous day.

It was not clear why Bushra was bought back as they seemed to work well together on the task, unlike Vitality whose members would argue with their own shadow. Somehow Elizabeth survived as did Sarah, leave Bushra to being fired, which was quite surprising as I would have put money on Elizabeth being fired when she was bought back into the boardroom.

How wrong was I?