The Directors View: The Apprentice – episode 11

Stuart Haining Blog, Business News 0 Comments

Having seen the final five in more detail in a recent programme imaginatively called ‘the final five’ we can see that they all look potential winners and excellent at everything, so either Lord Sugar was right all along or do they make “final” videos for everyone just in case?…..we’d love to have seen the video for social worker Steven from Canada.

Right back to episode one we hot–tipped Roisin as one to watch, and did you notice how she sets herself slightly apart when with the group and makes the effort to wear different coloured clothes at the start of this week’s process, so maybe she’s playing subtle mind games on us all and will be the final stand out candidate? Roisin has certainly been a strong contender throughout with only a few minor glitches and of course for every lawyer Sugar hates, he seems to love an accountant or anyone good with numbers.

From that first episode none of the male candidates through to this stage stood out; they kept their light under a bushel or some such and let less strategic candidates go by the wayside. Out of our final ten top tips we’ve correctly predicted all five, losing our favourite James with Soloman coming up a hot second….so it’ll be interesting to see if this tech entrepreneurs business plan passes muster – if it does, this could be a winning strategy as Sugar is bound to like anything IT related.

Roisin was originally our next hot tip followed by the normally cool Mark. Daniel – who now seems out-classed by more well-rounded candidates was next and after watching the final five we predict he will crumble at interview much like Stuart (The Brand) Bags – who never did return our emails.

And then Bianca, who was initially a 10:1 outsider but whom impresses us more each week and seems a good overall package and reminds us of many past female winners. So it’s all to play for, let the interview battles commence……

Bianca gets off to a good rapport with Claude the Terror, but he doesn’t like the business plan (two simultaneous launches), Soloman falls short when his phone of ideas comes up dead. Ricky Martin, a past winner working in recruitment, gives Mark a hard time pitching his digital ideas, and Soloman trips himself up with an eight paper plan full of pretty pitches not policies.

Roisin’s trump card of course is that she’s given up her job to do this, and has had researched her idea on six people, its more than most entrepreneurs would do but is it enough?

Claude tears into Daniel’s plan with his usual aggression but Daniel, unlike most candidates, sticks to his guns (nice one!) However Roisin doesn’t do so well with Claude, who pulls apart her cash-flow forecast, and she doesn’t back it up.

Mark has an interesting approach with Sugar’s media lady, he tells the truth and she seems to warm to him – there is a lot to like. He even says he hopes Soloman performs better upstairs…..he certainly does, Claude LOVES this boys CV! It just shows honesty can be the best policy…..but he then literally kicks him out for a sh*t plan. Sugar should be ashamed for employing such a rude idiot, there’s no need for this in British business where manners and ethics matter.
Daniel also tries the humble approach with the media team, and again it wins through. It is not so good for Bianca though who has a tough interview and looks truly shocked at unfair questions, ending in tears which surprisingly last from one interview to another.

Roisin comes a cropper again when her interviewer presents her with the very product she wants to launch – she’s truly shocked and this may be the nail in a great candidate’s coffin.

Bianca cries her way through an interview with Ricky in a similar industry but her warmth came through, if they don’t rule her out for softness, which would be unfair, it could be a winning bit of emotion for Bianca.

So before the interviews with the interviewers our money is on Bianca and Mark. But are we right?
Claude and Ricky pitch for Bianca, they all liked Mark, Roisin’s product is dissed out of the carton even though they all love her. That leaves Daniel, praised for his spirit and likely hard work and Soloman, deemed too young and immature.

In the boardroom Mark gives a spirited defence, Soloman is fired quickly, mainly due to his lack of age and pages but he makes up for it with a lovely exit speech. Roisin fails on the strength of her plan and numbers, she’s sadly next out the door.

In the final 3, Bianca shines, Daniel shines and talks sense for once making good arguments but Sugar likes the plan and fact that it’s an existing proven business – we think he’ll get through but he doesn’t, so its Bianca and Mark into the final, our 10:1 and 5:1 choices.

So all in all a very surprising episode proving that the written plan and face to face meeting wins though over sustained performance over the weeks….our favourites have gone by the wayside but we have two strong candidates in the final.

Our money is on Bianca, the world needs more tights but certainly not another SEO competitor!


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