I did not realise how close we are to the final five. I feel like I’ve been watching the competition for the past few weeks now, and it’s only just dawned on me how few there are left.
Winner of 2016’s The Apprentice, Alana Spencer, gives a
round-up of the top five candidates battling it out to become Lord Sugar’s
business partner – and believes Scarlett, who owns her own recruitment company,
could beat the competition
I did not realise how close we are to the final five. I feel like I’ve been watching the competition for the past few weeks now, and it’s only just dawned on me how few there are left. We only have six left and the teams are very small. This is the point in the process when it gets quite weird when you’re on task. When I was among the last six candidates, we underwent a gin task and it was a very similar concept to this episode’s branding challenge. We had to design a bottle brand of gin and pitch it to retailers. I then formulated the gin itself and the other two of my teammates went off to make the brand. It's also quite challenging to have to provide entertainment value on The Apprentice, because it is a TV show after all. And because there’s no one there with you, you have to constantly narrate what you’re doing. Not only are you actually in a really high-pressure environment and creating a product in a day, you also have to weirdly narrate the whole thing so it’s watchable or else you’re silently doing stuff.
I thought this week was a great last task. I loved when we did our gin task, it was the most “real to business” task there was and it was the closest to what I do now I suppose. You really get to see what the candidates are made off because they’re not just selling stuff on the market - they are genuinely creating a product, brand, concept and everything. And not only that, they’re also showing if they can pitch and sell the thing that they’ve created. I think that’s often quite hard in The Apprentice because sometimes you don’t quite believe in it. Unless you believe in something, it’s really hard to sell it.
I am really pleased with the final five. It was 100 percent the right time for Dean to go. I think he woke up on last week’s task, but other than, that we’ve just seen very little from him. He reminds me of a teenager that’s not been allowed to do what he wants. A lot of the time, he has a sort of sulky face, and it didn’t seem like the other candidates had much good to say about him. All in all, I’m definitely glad with the final five that are left. I think Dean should have gone weeks and weeks ago. But he was definitely the right person to go this week.
With that being said, Lewis also had a real stinker of a week. Like he said, it’s better to be someone who tries and fails than someone that doesn’t try at all. Lewis is definitely someone who has thrown himself into every single task. In this week’s task, teams were told to design a perfume product. His didn’t do as well as I’d hoped. The box the perfume came in did look like a deodorant box. Actually, it reminded me of a sort of book cover. It was awful. It was probably the worst product I’ve ever seen designed on The Apprentice. I think even a gin product designed during my time on the show was pretty bad – but it was better than that.
The bottle itself was so plain and non-inventive, just everything about it was wrong. And I feel for Lewis because I know how he’ll be feeling now. He’ll probably a bit worried because he’s a branding guy and that’s what he does for a living, and something came out on television showing that he didn’t do a very good job at that. But luckily for him, he’s had other weeks where he’s really excelled in that area. So, I don’t think he has too much to worry about really.
As for Pamela, you can tell she’s a very astute and very smart lady. I’ve looked into her business and she’s already got a good head start. But it’s just been a shame that she hasn’t really ceased this whole process and really pushed herself at every opportunity. I think she has slightly shied away from decision making. I think a big part of her team losing this task was because she didn’t put herself in the right place but also, she didn’t clearly spell out her vision. She left a lot of it open to interpretation. To be fair to Lewis asked her to tell him what his vision was, and he would go and create it. She very widely explained her vision, so he ended up taking what she said and created his own way with it. I think she needed to be much clearer and potentially draw what she wanted. I think that whole team had a really tough time this week.
As for the winning team, Scarlett really stood out this week. She’s a recruiter, and to come up with a product all on her own was really impressive. She’s not really been at the forefront in this competition, but she has been consistently good throughout the whole process. Lord Sugar has two recruitment businesses now and they’re making him a lot of money. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s got an eye on her especially if she’s done well throughout the process as well. She comes across as someone who’s a very good, solid and reliable person.
As for Carina and Lottie, Carina obviously put herself up as project manager so Lottie wouldn’t be picked. I think that was a very good move. It’s important not to have bad feelings in a group. Everyone’s voices need to be heard and they wouldn’t have been with Lottie as project manager. I think Carina is a good leader. We’ve seen a lot of her throughout this process and especially towards the end, to the last four or five tasks she’s been consistently great. She’s good with ideas, she’s very creative, she’s a good leader. I'm really impressed with her.
I think Lottie is pretty good actually. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen he progress in her journey. I was sort of expecting her to be a tough cookie at the beginning, misunderstood by her teammates and in the end learn to kind of get along with people and listen to other ideas more. Unfortunately that hasn’t happened. And I think there’s no friendships between her and any of the candidates by the looks of it. But she knows her own mind and you can’t fault her for that. They were a great team. When I saw their marketing campaign, I thought it was quite good. However, it was very dated. It was like something you would see 20 years ago. In a way, that was good because they created something that would pass as a real marketing campaign but unfortunately, they were 20 years too late for it.
I’m not sure who is going to win, but I’m inclined to say that my top two would be Scarlett and Carina. But I also think Lottie could be the dark horse and surprise everyone. This is where it all falls down to it now. I’m really excited to hear about their business plans. What might happen now is that the strong two candidates might end up having terrible business plans, and it could all fall apart. So let’s see what happens next week.