The Apprentice – Final Preview

After 11 weeks of selling, buying, grafting and bickering the final of series seven of The Apprentice is with us on Sunday.

A two-hour special featuring the infamous Interviews will air at 8pm on BBC1 as Lord Sugar decides on his Business Partner.  That being the main difference to other series is that Lord Sugar isn’t employing someone but going into business with the winner.  They receive £250,000 investment and Lord Sugar’s guidance through the murky waters of UK Business.

This series has been a success, not only it’s new concept but with ratings Thursday’s the most recent episode was watched by 8.31 million viewers and 9m for the Boardroom part towards the end of the episode.

This year has been a good one for contestants as well, from Northern Ellie, Evil Edna, Jedi Jim and Dull Zoe the nicknames have been easy to give out that is for sure.

I’ll preview the final four a bit later but some honourable mentions are due to:

Week 1 – Edward had quite the weirdest Boardroom style ever, when asked questions by Lord Sugar he replied in Text Speak.  The best of which was “Don’t fit the Mould” Lord Sugars’ face was a picture.

Week 5 – Vincent Disneur was almost as his name suggests a big show off.  He had long flowing hair and an ego the size of New York.  Some of his quotes stood out like a skyscraper as well, such as “My positive approach and very good looks make me stand out from the crowd” and “I’m just going to go in there with my usual charismatic attitude.”  He made a dog’s dinner of the Pet Food task in week 5 and had to be put down.

Week 6 – Evil Edna was a very domineering character, in week 2’s Mobile Phone App’s task she not only chose herself as Project Manager but also as the team Presenter at the E3 game show, she famously told the assembled team “I have assessed your skills and decided the best person to do the presentation is me”.  She also showed a darker side to her by wearing Elbow length gloves and pointing to members of the audience whilst doing the presentation.  She was fired for standing around during the task which involved clearing rubbish for money.  Turns out she was garbage!

Week 10 – Melody claimed to have been taught by the Dali Lama, Desmond Tutu and Al Gore, three people I now want to see brought to justice for this crime to teaching.  She was the most annoying throughout the series, Lord Sugar seemed to like her bulldog attitude but he was the only one.  Her ability to lie in English and French during the Paris Selling task in Week 8 was the last straw for me.  She was fired in week 10 when she failed to grasp the easy concept of buying and selling what sold the most.

Before I go through the four finalists I should point out two excellent Apprentice Parodies on You Tube, one is the excellent BolegBros channel who each week parody the most recent episode using Lego animation, you can find them here http://www.youtube.com/user/BolegBros

The other is a truly delightful clip called “The Poke Autotune The Apprentice”, it has to be seen and heard to be believed.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUSCkeL35wM&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Back the finalists:

Jim – aka Jedi Jim was best described by Nick Hewer “Jim didn’t just kiss the Blarney Stone, he swallowed it whole”.  The smooth talking Irishman has been a strong contender since week 1, and despite being a loser a number of times has only been in the boardroom twice.

Best Moment – In any selling task Jim showed he could sell Ice to Eskimos, he shone in the Biscuit task when his persistence in selling his brand to Asda forced them to make a huge initial order.

Worst Moment – Anytime Jim was forced to do costings or detail he showed to be poor, he also had a bad time leading as Project Manager.  He was too hands on both times he was PM, the worst being the Magazine tasks where he took Zoe’s Hip Replacement idea and ruined it.

Susan – aka Young Susan.  She is the youngest contestant this year (and maybe ever) but despite her years has started and run her own beauty business, and her backstory is incredible as she only came to the UK in her teens and did not speak English when she arrived.  She has had 3 boardroom appearances, where she actually fought her corner quite well.

Best Moment – In week 3 she was Project Manager of some very strong characters and shone, the task was to buy stuff for a major London Hotel and though she didn’t do too well herself she led the team effectively.

Worst Moment – Take your pick!!  Susan had managed to offend or annoy almost everyone on the teams but her constant bickering and sniping.  They blamed her age but I just think she is annoying.  She was very quote worthy, the best of which is “Do the French like their children?”

Tom – aka Brains from Thunderbirds is the inventor and most popular person on the show for some time.  Tom is a nice person, almost Hugh Grant like (the old one not the new Political one!).  He has invented, patented and marketed his own product before, something which has saved him.  Tom has been on the losing team so many times I lost count, but only ended up in the Boardroom 3 times, which should say something about how his colleagues viewed him.

Best Moment – In week 1 when the Boys team got beaten badly by the better organised girls team, Tom took the gentleman’s view and when asked in the Boardroom why they lost, Tom apologised!  Yes, you read right he apologised, an Apprentice first in my opinion.

Worst Moment – Again there were quite a few, but to be expected being on the losing side so many times, in my mind the one that sticks out was on the Biscuit task when his half and half idea bombed with industry people.  He was left high and dry by Melody and Zoe in the boardroom but somehow survived.  Being the ideas man did make him an easy target if his ideas failed.

Helen – aka Winner, if this was last year Helen would have won by now, she is the perfect person for Lord Sugar to hire, but this year is different.  Helen’s most recent post was as a PA for CEO, and despite only losing one task, which led to her one Boardroom appearance, she hasn’t really hit Lord Sugar’s favourite list.  She has never run her own business to date.

Best Moment – Pick one, Helen has had so many, from storming the most recent Restaurant task and single-handed saving Team Venture (who had lost every task) in the Paris task, her presentation to France’s major buyer won 214,000 euros of product the biggest single order of the series.

Worst Moment – In week 10 she tried to overthrow PM Melody when the project wasn’t going well, but she didn’t have a better strategy ready and came across as controlling and desperate.

Who wins?  You decide….well no sorry Lord Sugar decides actually.  Watch him Hire one and Fire three on BBC1 at 8pm on Sunday.

Gary – Listen to my Apprentice Podcast www.tinyurl.com\thegaryshow

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