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Want to stand a chance to win The Apprentice? Be a team player first

Written by Alana Spencer on Friday, 07 January 2022. Posted in Reviews

Winner of The Apprentice 2016, Alana Spencer, has revealed the contestants that stood out to her – and why Lord Sugar made the right decision to let Harry go

Want to stand a chance to win The Apprentice? Be a team player first

Winner of The Apprentice 2016, Alana Spencer, has revealed the contestants that stood out to her – and why Lord Sugar made the right decision to let Harry go

I was really excited to see The Apprentice back on our screens tonight after two years of not seeing that firing finger. I was ready to watch my now ex business partner, Lord Sugar, put the new candidates to the test. My first thought was, how on earth are they going to do The Apprentice and film with the pandemic and places shutting down and opening back up continuously? It must have been a really challenging time to be filming The Apprentice, so hats off to the whole team that actually managed to put the show on, as well as the candidates who put themselves forward during a time when nothing is very certain.

We see 16 new candidates for this year’s show and they seem to be talking the talk in their introductory clips, but potentially may not walk the walk. When I was in the show, they were probing me to be bolder with how I portrayed myself, and I'm sure I did say a few things but I tried to be as modest as possible. When you go into the premises you get put straight into the waiting room so before you meet any of the other contestants, so it can be quite a daunting time and you can see the anticipation in their faces. 

When I saw Tim Campbell taking part in this year’s show, I was very excited. I was sad to hear that Claude wasn't involved and I am hoping he will be back in future. But I think Tim is a great fit because he knows exactly what Lord Sugar is looking for in the next Apprentice. I'm really excited to sort of see him kind of grow throughout the process, as a televised show, people often become a bit nervous but I'm sure his personality will shine through more in the oncoming weeks.

We meet Naveed Sole who owns a pharmacy and Shama Amin who owns a children's nursery and has five kids. I absolutely take my hat off to anyone who goes into the show with children because you are leaving your family for potentially a very long period of time. Then we meet Aaron who has been in the RAF and throughout this whole episode he stood out to me. I think he's full of wise words, very headstrong but not at all forceful, so I think he potentially could do really well. 

The first challenge was an advertising challenge. I know Lord Sugar's obsessed with the advertising challenges, his son actually owns an advertising space so I know this is right up his street. I wonder how long it will be until the contestants will face people, if they’ve been able to do any challenges outside with the public, or whether this year’s season will be very much online and advertising-based tasks. The contestants were told to come up with an advert for a cruise line and I was a little bit concerned that they were going to make them actually try and run a cruise, because there would not be very many people on one of those at the moment.

We later meet Akshay who has just hit a £1,000,000 pound turnover with his marketing company at home, which is very impressive – I know Lord Sugar is definitely keeping a close eye on him. And on the girls' team we have Catherine who has been on cruises, so we have two people with very different experiences but both relevant in some way. With Akshay’s experience with marketing the boys appear to have had the challenge in the bag. But as things progress, we realise this wasn’t the case. The girls decided to go with a younger target market of 20-year-olds while the guys targeted an older age range. Personally, I would have gone for an older audience because it’s a cliché that older people do prefer cruises. That would have been the only thing I’d praise from the boys. 

The girls decided to call their cruise line ‘Bougie Cruises’. Now, I know what the term bougie means but I understand that is quite new word and not everyone does understand it. However, a younger audience would likely get it. I think if you’re going for something a little bit different it is not always a bad thing because it gets people talking. The boys went for ‘Never Ending Nautical’ which was the worst name of ever heard of.  They tried to link their brand name to mindfulness, and said that mindfulness was never ending and honestly but I just thought it was nonsensical.

With the girls' team, Catherine was talking over her team mates and not letting particularly Amy get a word in. And then Amy started getting talked over by the two other girls which was quite sad. The girls’ logo was pretty bland. For their what they were trying to sell and their target market, I would have gone for something a bit more fun. The boys decided to go for a ‘Sea Quality Cruises’ as their sole tagline which in my opinion, was a better name than ‘Never Ending Nautical’. Not that that mattered because neither of those names were on the actual logo. It was just a green turd. I wasn't really sure why they went for green as a colour. They were saying that it represented trees but I didn't like it anyway, it was awful. They didn’t even put the company name on the logo. I understand that big brands like McDonalds and Nike don’t have their names in the logo, but they are established brands. You have to have a brand before you can make that bold decision to move away the wording. It was just a terrible decision to not put any words on that logo. 

I thought both teams’ logos didn’t stand out. The boys TikTok promo was so bizarre. All in all, everyone needs to remember that you're working together and if you win as a team, no one goes home. I think at the beginning particularly people are trying to talk over each other and get themselves heard. It's okay for the boys to admit they made a mistake with the logo; it wouldn’t have made them win the task but it would have made them look a whole lot better than just trying to blag that that's how they wanted it to look. The girls didn't do exceptionally well but they did much better when the boys. 

Lord Sugar made the right decision to send Harry home. He was so disruptive and yes, he potentially had a better idea but ultimately if your whole team has gone against your idea, you need to get on board with it. If he had used his energy to try and improve their brand, the boys would have potentially had a better logo than the girls. So, if he had used his time to help his team rather than going completely the other way, they could have been in a better situation. All in all, I’m glad the girls won because... girl power!

Watch The Apprentice on BBC iPlayer.

About the Author

Alana Spencer

Alana Spencer

Since securing a business partnership with Alan Sugar in The Apprentice 2016, Alana Spencer's cake company Ridiculously Rich has been doing ridiculously well. As a winner of the series, she's writing a weekly round-up detailing the performance of The Apprentice candidates exclusively for Elite Business.

Follow Alana Spencer on Twitter @alana_spencer_, Instagram @ridicrichbyalana and her Facebook page Ridiculously Rich by Alana.

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