The Apprentice – The Final

We have made it to the final week and the final two are Alana and Courtney.  Do I think these two deserve to be in the final?  Absolutely not.  However these are the two that we have so lets see what they got up to in the final week.

There’s a quick rehash of the previous week and then it’s 6am at Lord Sugar wants to meet the candidates at City Hall.  Quick question – why is Alana brushing her teeth after applying her full make-up including dark as evil lipstick?  Who does that?  Surely the lippie is going to go everywhere and end up all over the handle of your brush.

The final task is for the candidates to launch their businesses.  As usual some of the fired candidates are brought back to assist them.

Alana picks Grainne, Courtney picks Jessica, Alana picks Francis, Courtney picks Karthik(?! really), Alana picks Becca, Courtney picks Sofiane.  The final two picked are Oliver by Alana and Paul by Courtney.  I can’t believe Paul was the last pick – he was the best one in the process!

Alana tells her team about the business.  The goods are produced in a bakery in west Wales – is it just me or did anyone else think that Alana actually made the cakes??

Courtney is giving some brand names to his business and they are all rubbish – the only one that tells him that they’re rubbish is Paul.

Alana has a couple of names including Ridiculously Rich and Oh My Bake.

Courtney picks a sub-team, led by Jessica, of Paul and Sofiane.  Karren reminds us that the last time they worked together it was a complete disaster.  They are in a photo studio with weird fancy dress costumes.  Sofiane is trying to take over but Jessica is actually not doing a bad job in keeping them in check.

Becca is trying to convince Alana to go with the name Ridiculously Rich.  She achieves her goal and that’s the name that Alana picks.  Claude is concerned that the name is not very distinctive and won’t be a brand that Sugar can invest in.

Courtney is totally obsessed with a name.  Karren thinks he’s concentrating too much on that and not thinking about the rest of the task and all he needs to achieve.  Still stuck for a name Karthik asks him what his favourite animal is – he answers a whale.  Karthik then asks what his favourite colour is – he answers purple.  The company is therefore Purple Whale.  Isn’t that like using one of those Facebook posts to tell you your stripper name, villain name or whatever else you can make up from referring to a chart and comparing your eye colour, underwear colour and initials.

Courtney has made a very sensible decision and he’s at RADA to get a bit of coaching to help him with his pitch.  This is exactly what Courtney needs because he’s terrible at pitching.  Some weird things are happening while Courtney is training and Karren even cracks a smile.

Grainne and Francis phone Alana to ask her what she thinks about her logo.  Alana asks what do they mean as she designed it.  She tells them not to start bringing up problems with something that’s already agreed.

Sofiane starts going on about how the advert is boring and he starts to bicker with Jessica but Paul tells them to stop.  Paul admits that he doesn’t think they’ve helped Courtney at all and he’s pissed off.

It’s the following day and it’s the day that the teams must make TV adverts.  Paul asks if he can move away from the sub-team so Paul’s out and Karthik is in.  Courtney says that’s fine.  Courtney asks Jessica to lead the advert but Sofiane says it’s his day and he’s basically going to take over.  Oh dear!

Francis seems to think she’s Steven Spielberg on the other team and is shouting at them and asking for personality.

The concept of the other advert is that a husband has forgotten their wedding anniversary but he’s ordered some ice cream scoops and everything’s fine.  Well, who wouldn’t want ice cream scoops for their anniversary?  It’s a really terrible concept and a terrible advert!

Oliver tells Alana that there is currently no USP and she needs to bring out what’s unique.  Alana decides to redesign the logo and have it say Ridiculously Rich by Alana.  It is much better.

Courtney and Paul seem to be getting along quite well.  Courtney has come up with a prototype for a sippy cup which is a football cup shape.

Oliver and Alana go and do the packaging.  Alana leaves Oliver to do the packaging but he decides to put the Welsh dragon on the front of the pack after Alana explicitly said that she doesn’t  want that…

Jessica’s sub team is asked by Karren why Karthik is phoning to order his products when the business is only online.  The sub team speak to Courtney and Paul and need to edit the advert to remove the actual call.  Karren says that she feels sorry for Courtney as he’s put so much trust in his sub team and they’ve let him down.  I feel sorry for him too but I think he picked some terrible people and he was just lucky that he got Paul on his team in the end as he’s the only one who’s actually been quite helpful.  Karren sits at the back of the room and shakes her head at the sub team.

Alana goes to her sub team to give them the new logo and to do a little piece to camera.  Francis thinks she changed the logo because of what she said to her.  Little does Francis know it had absolutely nothing to do with that.

Oliver is left alone to pick the packaging and he’s just panicking.  Leaving Oliver alone to do anything seems like a bit of a mistake to me.  When the packaging is brought in the next day though, the packaging that Oliver has picked is actually really good.

The candidates are on their way to do their pitches.  The room that they must pitch too looks daunting, it looks like an amphitheatre.

Alana presents first, she starts off very well but then starts to um and err a bit.  It’s not a very good pitch but she gets a laugh from the audience.  Alana does fall into her stride a little more and gets a little bit better.  Alana does say something that’s a bit worrying in that she’s going to outsource her production.  This means that it’s yet another factory produced product.  Lord Sugar asks if the manufacturing plant will be in Wales and she says that she would propose to keep the manufacturing in Wales.  Lord Sugar speaks to some industry experts and they all say that if she outsources the production and it’s no longer made in Wales then it loses two very important unique selling points.  Exactly what I said, might as well buy Mr Kipling that won’t cost you £3 a slice.  I wouldn’t be able to buy those cakes any more than I can buy Mr Kipling as I’m sure as soon as they are produced in a factory they’ll be slapping nut allergy warnings on them!

It’s now time for Courtney’s pitch.  He starts by looking down, shuffling through cards and saying wow a lot.  He then gets going and shows the room his advert – they laugh because it’s pretty terrible rather than them enjoying it Courtney!  Courtney shows the room his baby beaker.  A member of the audience asks Courtney how he will stop people from stealing his ideas: Courtney says that this is a problem but he needs to design and build them quickly and at a reasonable price.  Lord Sugar has concerns about how many £10 items Courtney has to sell to make a profit.  The advisors do also say that he’s talented and needs a guiding hand.

I don’t see Lord Sugar’s problem with how many products Courtney has to sell as Alana has to sell even more of her £3 cakes.  How many people really buy a £3 slice of cake on a regular basis?  It sounds like a rip off to me.

The teams are back in the boardroom and Lord Sugar is going through everything with them that has happened over the previous few days.  Karren does congratulate Courtney on how much better his pitch was compared to his previous pitches.  Oliver looks like a dog with two tails when Lord Sugar tells him that he did a good job with the packaging and using the Welsh Dragon.  Lord Sugar then thanks the fired candidates and they file out.

Lord Sugar asks what Alana is doing on day one with his money.  She says that she would be out of the kitchen and visiting the owners of cafes and getting them to buy her brand.

Lord Sugar talks to Courtney about his ideas.  Lord Sugar says that he likes the trophy cup but he hasn’t thought about licencing with football clubs if that’s what he wants to do as they would want a lot of money.

Lord Sugar sends them out and talks to Claude and Karren about which one to pick.  Karren says that Alana knows her product but she doesn’t know how to run a business.  Claude says that Courtney is a great designer.

They come back in and Sugar asks them to tell him why they should be his partner.  They argue a bit and go down the route of telling each other why their products are rubbish rather than why their own business is great.

I think Sugar has left himself in the situation of have to pick the best of a bad pair and I think he should go for Courtney but he makes the weird decision to partner with Alana.  I for one will not be buying anything by Ridiculously Rich and I hope she stops being so greedy.  To have such a large profit margin on a cake is obscene.

The best thing about the end of the show is the car with the self closing door.  It’s the first time we’ve seen the miserable Alana smile throughout the whole process and I just don’t know what Lord Sugar was thinking – 2016 really has been a weird year!

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