The Apprentice Semi-Final: Interviews and Individual Screw Ups
It’s been ten weeks since twenty bright-eyed and eager to learn (read: egotistical monsters) walked into Alan Sugar’s boardroom with the hope of winning a £250k investment in their start-ups. The weeks of joke candidates, incompetent project managers and brainless boasts are over, but last night proved we’re not yet past monumental screw ups – and watching Solomon get it so terribly wrong brightened what could have been dull-as-ditchwater television.
From now on The Apprentice screw-ups and Solomon might always have to be mentioned in the same sentence. After a series of proving himself competent, creative and enthusiastic, Solomon decided this week that four pages of writing and a couple of doodles constituted a viable five-year business plan. He told us everything we needed to know was “in his head” and he didn’t need numbers written down in his business plan. Surprisingly, that didn’t work on Lord Sugar’s advisers. I can sympathise – it never worked on my school teachers either.
Roisin, who before this week stood out as the most well-rounded candidate, was the next to leave. Lord Sugar didn’t have faith in a ready meal business run by an accountant with no experience in the food industry.
Daniel and Mark barely had any time to throw insults and football analogies at each other this week, and the show sorely missed it. Daniel’s plan is an online all-in-one event organising company. Mark’s plan is to set up his own marketing company which is to be exactly the same as the one he currently works for. These were both really riveting ideas and worth about as much time as the show spent discussing them (hardly any).
On a serious note, the biggest surprise of the night was Bianca. I wouldn’t have billed her as a front-runner at any point during The Apprentice, but after last night that must surely be what she is. Her business plan is to introduce tights to suit all skin tones. It’s a unique product in a multibillion pound industry and one which top fashion editors have agreed would be an excellent idea. Lord Sugar couldn’t really argue with anything she put across, especially after she confirmed she already knew which manufacturers she would be using in her project.
Daniel fought tooth and nail to stay in the process, but alas, lost out to Mark – who greeted this information with almost delirious smugness. The Apprentice final on Sunday now looks wildly lopsided. Bianca is there for an excellent idea whilst Mark is there because everyone else was so awful. Is it actually one-sided? Probably not, Mark is one of the best salespeople the series has ever seen and his powers of persuasion could see him steal the funding from Bianca – if he doesn’t choke. On to the final task!
The Apprentice: The Final will air this Sunday at 9pm on BBC One.