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The Apprentice (UK Series Five)

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The Apprentice (UK Series Five)

The Apprentice UK
 
 
Series Five
180px

Series Five of The Apprentice (UK) was a British reality television series which was won by Yasmina Siadatan. The series began airing on BBC One on 25 March 2009[1] and ran for twelve weekly hour-long episodes, as in all previous years. Auditions and interviews took place during July 2008 in London, Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham.[2] There were fifteen participants; one more dropped out prior to the first boardroom briefing.[3]

Sir Alan Sugar, Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford made appearances, as in all previous series. Spin-off show The Apprentice: You're Fired! also returned, airing on BBC Two immediately after the main show.

Candidates

Sixteen candidates were selected however only fifteen candidates were announced for the start of the series.[4] The sixteenth candidate, Adam Freeman, withdrew from the show the night before recording of the series was due to begin, and could not be replaced in time. As a result, the series went ahead with only fifteen candidates.[5] In the first episode, Sir Alan Sugar described Freeman (whom he did not name) as having "bottled it". Two candidates - Anita and Majid - never got the chance to be project manager (not including Adam.)

The team names for this series are Empire (initially the men's team) and Ignite (initially the women's team).[6]

Candidate Background Original team Age Result
Yasmina Siadatan Restaurateur Ignite 27 Hired by Sugar
(07-06-2009)
Kate Walsh Licensing Development Manager Ignite 27 Runner-up in the Final
(07-06-2009)
Debra Barr Senior Sales Consultant Ignite 23 Fired in week 11
(03-06-2009)
Lorraine Tighe National Accounts Manager Ignite 36 Fired in week 11
(03-06-2009)
James McQuillan Senior Commercial Manager Empire 32 Fired in week 11
(03-06-2009)
Howard Ebison Retail Business Manager Empire 24 Fired in week 10
(27-05-2009)
Ben Clarke Trainee Stockbroker Empire 22 Fired in week 9
(20-05-2009)
Mona Lewis Senior Financial Manager Ignite 28 Fired in week 8
(13-05-2009)
Philip Taylor Estate Agent Empire 29 Fired in week 7
(06-05-2009)
Noorul Choudhury Science Teacher Empire 33 Fired in week 6
(29-04-2009)
Kimberly Davis Marketing Consultant Ignite 33 Fired in week 5
(22-04-2009)
Paula Jones Human Resources Consultant Ignite 29 Fired in week 4
(15-04-2009)
Majid Nagra Business Development Manager Empire 28 Fired in week 3
(08-04-2009)
Rocky Andrews Sandwich Chain Owner Empire 21 Fired in week 2
(01-04-2009)
Anita Shah Business Strategist Ignite 35 Fired in week 1
(25-03-2009)

Weekly results

Elimination chart
Candidate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Yasmina IN WIN IN BR IN IN IN WIN IN WIN IN HIRED
Kate IN IN IN IN WIN IN BR IN IN BR IN RUNNER-UP
Debra BR IN WIN IN IN BR IN LOSE BR IN FIRED
Lorraine IN IN IN IN BR IN LOSE IN WIN BR FIRED
James IN BR LOSE IN IN IN IN BR LOSE IN FIRED
Howard WIN BR IN IN IN IN IN IN IN FIRED
Ben IN IN BR BR IN LOSE IN IN FIRED
Mona LOSE IN IN IN IN IN WIN FIRED
Philip IN IN IN IN BR WIN FIRED
Noorul IN IN IN WIN IN FIRED
Kimberly IN IN IN IN FIRED
Paula IN IN IN FIRED
Majid IN IN FIRED
Rocky IN FIRED
Anita FIRED
Adam LEFT
     The candidate was on the winning team (or, in Week 11, managed to avoid being fired.)
     The candidate was on the losing team.
     The candidate was hired and won The Apprentice.
     The candidate was the runner-up.
     The candidate won as project manager on his/her team.
     The candidate lost as project manager on his/her team.
     The candidate was brought to the final boardroom.
     The candidate was fired.
     The candidate lost as project manager and was fired.
     The candidate left the competition before it started.

Challenges

Week 1

  • Empire: Howard (Project Manager), Noorul, Philip, Rocky, James, Ben and Majid.
  • Ignite: Mona (Project Manager), Kate, Anita, Debra, Yasmina, Paula, Lorraine and Kimberly.
  • Task: To start up a cleaning company, with a starting budget of £200. The team that makes the most profit wins.[7][8]
  • Result: Empire decided to try car cleaning mainly, with half the boys focusing on one big minicab contract. The other 3 boys also tried shoe-shining in St Pancras railway station and made between £60 and £70 in an hour, but then went to help the other boys with the contract; together, they cleaned half the minicab fleet and made altogether £347, spending just over £107 and made a profit of £239. Ignite, meanwhile, focused on just car-cleaning. Half the girls made £120 from cleaning 3 Hummer limos, but the other half had their classic car contract cut short after 4 cars (out of 14), due to unsatisfactory cleaning. Instead, all the girls focused on on-the-kerb cleaning, which they had more success with. Ignite took £357, £10 more than the boys: however, they overspent on equipment, spending almost their entire budget (£196) and made £160.55.
  • Winner: Empire, by £79
  • Reward: Taught how to make cocktails by The Bar Wizards.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Mona, Debra, and Anita
  • Fired: Anita, for failing to recognise the overspend on cleaning materials and for not demonstrating any business acumen.
  • Notes:
    • Despite not feeling that Howard had been an especially good project manager, Sir Alan gave him credit for identifying the need to keep costs down, which ultimately proved vital in Empire's victory. Conversely, Kate and Lorraine had voiced their concerns early in the task that Ignite were spending too much, but Mona overruled them, feeling that it was important to have as many cleaning products as they could afford.
    • Sir Alan seriously considered firing Debra, who was deemed responsible for the sub-team's poor work on cleaning the classic cars, which cut short what otherwise would have been a lucrative deal. She was also strongly criticised for repeatedly insulting and belittling the members of her sub-team, then trying to deny having done so in the boardroom. In the end though, Sugar admired her (and Mona's) fighting spirit, and felt that Anita was too passive and had shown no skills that would be of any use.
    • This was the first time since Series 1 that the woman's team lost the first task (unless Series 3, where 7 girls led by a boy had lost is counted). It did not happen again until Series 8.

Week 2

  • Empire: Rocky (Project Manager), Noorul, Howard, Philip, James, Ben and Majid.
  • Ignite: Yasmina (Project Manager), Kate, Mona, Debra, Paula, Lorraine and Kimberly.
  • Task: Providing corporate catering services for top business professionals. The team that makes the most profit wins.[9]
  • Result: Empire decided on a 2012 Olympics theme, with a different sandwich representing each of the five Olympic rings, spending a whopping £820 on supplies. Ignite went with a Mediterranean theme and spent under half, spending just £354. Ignite won two lunchtime contracts and one to hold an evening function. The girls, however, were accused of skimping on food and making mistakes in preparation (such as a chicken wrap not having chicken in it), which resulted in their £750 evening contract being reduced to £500, but still made a profit of £651.43. Empire's execution of the task on the other hand, was a total shambles. They failed to get any lunchtime contracts and had to resort to selling their sandwiches to tourists on the streets of London, in which they had some success. It all went down-hill at the evening event, however, when they made the badly received decision to dress in Ancient Greek togas for the evening function, and only provided small portions of food; as a result, they had their evening contract halved from £750 to £375 and ended up making a loss of £160.76, giving Empire the first of 3 big losses in a row.
  • Winner: Ignite, by £812.19
  • Reward: Lesson in learning to play polo.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Rocky, Howard and James
  • Fired: Rocky, for making a series of "immature mistakes", losing money on a task that he should have been well-suited to, and not clearly explaining his decision to bring Howard and James back into the boardroom.
  • Notes:
    • Nick Hewer singled out Majid (who came up with Empire's doomed Olympic theme) and Noorul (for acting as a bystander for most of the task) for criticism in the boardroom, and Rocky's failure to bring either of them back played a major part in his firing. Despite not believing that James was directly at fault for the loss, Sir Alan nonetheless called him a "plonker" for the ridiculous claims in his CV and his behaviour toward Rocky during the task.
    • When Sir Alan enquired about the contract halving, Nick commented that halving it was "more than generous".
    • Rocky was not shown to be fired with regret in the main episode, but it was revealed on You're Fired that he was, with Sir Alan adding that he felt Rocky had appeared on the show a little too early in his career. The panel and the majority of the studio audience disagreed with Sir Alan's decision, and near-unanimously agreed that James should have been fired.

Week 3

  • Empire: James (Project Manager), Kate, Howard, Ben, Kimberly and Majid.
  • Ignite: Debra (Project Manager), Noorul, Philip, Mona, Yasmina, Paula and Lorraine.
  • Task: To create an original piece of portable home fitness equipment, promote it by creating a poster campaign and pitch it to retailers.[10]
  • Result: After doing some market research, James decided that most products at the £29.99 price point tended to be simple in design terms, and instructed his to design a similar product. However, Ben, who was heading the design team, ignored James's directive and instead produced a small multi-gym kit that was badly received by the potential retailers and felt to be a poor alternative to higher-end home gym systems. Ignite went for a simpler product, designed by Philip, that consisted of an exercise ball with a built-in plastic attachment that could be used for aerobics. Empire received a total of 500 orders for their product from only one retailer, John Lewis, whilst Ignite secured 10,180 orders from the three retailers the teams pitched to (they used an exclusivity agreement in their deal with John Lewis, who bought 10,000 units, meaning that Ignite would have won whether or not the 180 units they sold to the other two retailers were counted in the total), giving Empire another thumping loss.
  • Winner: Ignite, by 9,680 orders
  • Reward: A private performance by Katherine Jenkins
  • Brought into the boardroom: James, Ben and Majid
  • Fired: Majid, for being a peripheral figure who made little contribution to the task, admitting that he didn't see the need to ask James for a bigger role in the task, and for having suggested the theme which in part caused Empire to lose the previous task.
  • Notes:
    • Despite leading his team to the worst defeat in the show's history (a 20:1 margin in Ignite's favour) up until that point, James was not fired, largely down to Margaret telling Sir Alan that aside from not properly supervising Ben in the product design, his leadership had otherwise been competent. Likewise, despite the extremely negative feedback about the product design and his ignoring James's instructions, Ben survived due to no-one else making a significant contribution to the design phase.
    • The BBC Apprentice homepage leaked the news of Majid's firing several hours before the episode had actually been aired.
    • For the second week in a row, the You're Fired panel and audience disagreed with Sir Alan's decision, feeling that James should have been fired, and that even firing Ben would have been more justifiable than firing Majid. Despite indicating that he too disagreed with Sir Alan's decision, Nick Hewer said that Majid probably wouldn't have lasted long in the competition either way.

Week 4

  • Empire: Paula (Project Manager), Kate, Debra, Yasmina, James and Ben.
  • Ignite: Noorul (Project Manager), Howard, Philip, Mona, Lorraine and Kimberly.
  • Task: To produce and sell two bath and beauty products made from natural ingredients, that stand out from the competition.[11]
  • Result: Ignite produced soap bars and bath foam based on honeycomb. Their products were felt to be unattractive, particularly the soap bar, and the team suffered from a lack of direction from Noorul, meaning that while their Camden Town market sales were quite successful, their face-to-face sales teams had less success and they resorted to selling their products as cheaply as 30p each by the end of the day. Empire's seaweed-based products were felt to be better, and they were able to actually increase their sales price during the day due to good custom. Unfortunately they massively overspent on essential oils due to thinking that 3% of the formula meant 3g of oil would be required (rather than 450g), and mixing up cedarwood oil with the much more expensive sandalwood oil, a mistake they only realised after Nick Hewer pointed it out. They therefore spent over £700 on ingredients and had total costs of around £1,100, meaning that despite their best efforts they were unable to recoup costs. Ignite made a profit of £493.97, and Empire lost £68.04, giving them another thumping loss.
  • Winner: Ignite, by £562.01
  • Reward: Dinner at a luxury sushi and sake restaurant, and learnt how to make sushi.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Paula, Yasmina and Ben
  • Fired: Paula; although Sir Alan felt that Empire had been better-run than Ignite and that all three candidates in the final boardroom were equally culpable for the loss, he deemed Paula ultimately responsible as project manager and fired her. A majority of the You're Fired! audience combined with the panel disagreed with Sir Alan's decision.
  • Notes:
    • Phil had a fierce argument with Kimberly while the two were creating the packaging and promotional material for the team's products, foreshadowing the troubles between Phil and the other candidates (particularly Lorraine) in the weeks ahead.
    • Nick commented in the boardroom that if Empire had used cedarwood and not sandalwood in their products, they would have won the task with a profit of £590.
    • Sir Alan commented that he felt Empire had produced better products than Ignite, and that in that aspect of the task, they had done well. In The Apprentice: Why I Fired Them Sir Alan stated Noorul should have been fired but because of the pricing mistake make by Empire, his team won by default. Sir Alan had also commented that Paula had managed her team well, but added that it was irrelevant since she had lost money.

Week 5

  • Empire: Kate (Project Manager), Debra, Yasmina, James and Ben.
  • Ignite: Kimberly (Project Manager), Noorul, Howard, Philip, Mona and Lorraine.[12]
  • Task: To produce a brand identity for a new breakfast cereal, including a television advert and original character, and pitch it to a panel of advertising experts.[13]
  • Result: Empire decided on a pirate theme, and branded their cereal "Treasure Flakes," also creating a pirate parrot character called Captain Squawk to go along with it. On team Ignite, Philip suggested theming their cereal around pants, and this eventually evolved into a cereal called "Wake Up Call," with a character called "Pants Man" who was supposed to point out that only superheroes are allowed to wear their pants outside their other clothing, and that eating Wake Up Call could prevent people making that mistake. The Treasure Flakes box was felt to be somewhat overcrowded by the advertising experts, though Sir Alan was impressed by it. The experts also questioned whether Empire had considered just who their target audience were. Ignite were criticised for having an incomplete box due to not briefing their graphics designer in time, and Mona's presentation style annoyed the audience. The "Pantsman" idea was generally considered to be muddled, though the technical quality of the accompanying TV ad was praised. In the boardroom Sir Alan branded Ignite's campaign "total, absolute garbage" and declared Empire to be the clear winners.
  • Winner: Empire
  • Reward: Yoga and laughter therapy session.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Kimberly, Philip and Lorraine
  • Fired: Kimberly, for her poor leadership, refusing to do the pitch despite her advertising background, and bringing Lorraine (who Sir Alan did not consider responsible for the loss despite her disruptive behaviour) back into the boardroom instead of Noorul.

Week 6

  • Empire: Ben (Project Manager), Noorul, Debra, Yasmina and James.
  • Ignite: Philip (Project Manager), Kate, Howard, Mona and Lorraine.
  • Task: To sell a miscellaneous assortment of items, including a "hidden gem", on the streets of London.[14]
  • Result: Both teams were given ten items which they had to value and sell, including a skeleton, a deceptively valuable Indian rug, a bicycle, a box of second-hand books and a commode. Both teams got stuck into selling without spending a great deal of time trying to identify the higher-value items. Towards the end of the day, with time running out, Ben sold several valuable items at a loss. In particular, Empire lost over £150 on the bicycle and the skeleton, both of which were sold by Noorul. Ignite managed a modest profit on most of their sales, but committed a serious error by selling the rug for virtually nothing, cancelling out all their profits and taking them into a deficit. Both teams made a net loss (relative to the items' nominal values), but Ignite made the smaller loss and therefore were declared the winners. In the boardroom, tensions were high and Debra became angry with Nick Hewer when he suggested that she hadn't closed a deal to sell a second-hand book. Sir Alan responded by warning Debra about her mouth. Ben initially chose to bring James and Noorul back to the boardroom but then changed his selection to Debra and Noorul, after Debra actually demanded to be bought back. Debra was warned about her snappy and argumentative manner, and Ben was told he was on a last warning, but eventually Noorul was singled out and fired.
  • Winner: Ignite
  • Reward: Dinner, featuring beef and truffles, at a luxury restaurant.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Ben, Noorul and Debra.
  • Fired: Noorul, for not contributing to the task, for being ineffective throughout the competition and for selling two of the items well below their value
  • Notes:
    • A number of Apprentice firsts happened during this week, as it was the first time that both teams had lost money, the first time that a project manager was not fired after losing money, and the first time that a candidate demanded to be brought back into the boardroom (something that usually results in an automatic firing in the show's original U.S. incarnation, although Sir Alan thought that Debra should have been brought back anyway, saving her from this fate).
    • One of the factors that contributed to Sir Alan's decision to fire Noorul was James, Philip and Lorraine stating (though never referring to him directly) that they were outraged that he had not been brought back to the boardroom when they had been in previous tasks, due to his consistent habit of going under the radar; James expressing the view in Week 2, and Philip and Lorraine in Week 5.
    • Kate was at this point the only candidate who had not appeared in the final boardroom.

Week 7

  • Empire: Mona (Project Manager), Howard, Debra and James.
  • Ignite: Lorraine (Project Manager), Kate, Philip, Yasmina and Ben.
  • Task: To travel to North West England where the candidates must select two new innovative products to sell to trade.[15]
  • Result: From the 12 available items, neither team selected products that were ideally suited to the two retailers that Sir Alan had laid on for the teams to pitch to; Empire selected a "Selk Bag" (sleeping bag suit)[16][17] and the "Lovers' Lead" – a dog lead for two people to share – while Ignite selected a bag-carrying attachment for bicycles, and a set of cat playhouses. Empire failed to secure any sales from the main two potential customers, and Ignite had success with only one of them, and so both relied on sales made on the second day of the task, when the teams themselves sought out companies to pitch the products to. Empire sold over £4,500 worth of goods, including Mona's large contribution of £2,447 while Ignite sold just over £1,000 worth. Within Ignite, only Lorraine and Yasmina sold any items; Ben, Kate and Philip sold nothing between them.
  • Winner: Empire by over £3,500
  • Reward: A luxurious helicopter ride over London at sunset.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Lorraine, Kate and Philip.
  • Fired: Philip, for his poor behaviour and constant negativity towards other candidates, which Sir Alan saw no place for in his organisation.
  • Notes:
    • The three cities that the teams operated in were Liverpool, Manchester and Chester.
    • Despite failing to sell anything himself, Ben managed to set up an appointment at the head offices of pet superstore chain Pets at Home for Lorraine and Yasmina, which accounted for most of Ignite's sales income on the second day.
    • In the boardroom, Lorraine revealed that Philip and Kate were in a relationship and accused them of conspiring against her. The two denied this was the case however, and Kate even criticised Philip's performance in the task. Although after the show it was revealed that Kate and Phillip are in a relationship but that it didn't truly start to after the show had finished.

Week 8

  • Empire: Debra (Project Manager), Howard, Mona and James.
  • Ignite: Yasmina (Project Manager), Kate, Ben and Lorraine.
  • Task: To rebrand the seaside resort of Margate, Kent, by producing a series of posters and leaflets.[18]
  • Result: Empire decided to promote Margate as a gay resort, playing on the town's existing gay scene, while Ignite decided to market it as a family resort. The locals and industry experts felt that while Ignite's idea wasn't hugely inventive and didn't take any risks, it was well executed. Empire's by comparison was felt to be a more daring idea, but very badly executed due to the incomplete leaflet (which Empire falsely claimed was due to them leaving space for local businesses to advertise) and poorly designed, over-crowded posters. Ignite received a score of 7/10 from both the board of local residents and industry experts for their pitch, whereas Empire only received 4/10.
  • Winner: Ignite
  • Reward: Lotus Exige Driving Day at Thruxton Circuit.[19]
  • Brought into the boardroom: Debra, Mona and James.
  • Fired: Mona, with regret, for not making a full effort in the task because she thought the gay theme was a bad idea, and for failing to demonstrate any skills other than selling.
  • Notes:
    • The Times published the result prematurely online.[20]
    • This was the second week in a row that a candidate went from winning PM to fired in one week.
    • Sir Alan indirectly praised Howard's work ethic this task, while heavily criticising James's.

Week 9

  • Empire: James (Project Manager), Debra, Yasmina and Ben.
  • Ignite: Lorraine (Project Manager), Kate and Howard.
  • Task: To interview suppliers of baby equipment, select two products, and sell them on to a potential 10,000 customers at the country's biggest baby show.[21]
  • Result: Ignite chose a padded toddler helmet and a travel pushchair, while Empire selected a home birthing pool and an expensive hand-made rocking horse. Ignite came out firmly on top with sales of more than £1,600, compared to Empire's £722.
  • Winner: Ignite by £878
  • Reward: A caricature of themselves drawn by cartoonist Gerald Scarfe.
  • Brought into the boardroom: James, Ben and Debra
  • Fired: Ben, for being too sure of himself; Sir Alan believed he had no future in the competition.
  • Notes:
    • James' defeat in this task meant that he had lost two tasks as Project Manager, making him the least successful Project Manager this series.
    • This was the fourth time that James, Ben and Debra each appeared in the final three.

Week 10

  • Empire: Yasmina (Project Manager), Debra and James.
  • Ignite: Howard (Project Manager), Kate and Lorraine.
  • Task: To select a range of products and sell them live on a TV shopping channel[22]
  • Result: Empire chose a range of low-price products ranging from £14.99 to £29.99, including a remote control car, a gardening tool, hair clips and a head-wrap. They sold a large volume of goods, and Debra's selling of the head-wraps in particular was praised. Ignite went for more of a mixture, including a lower-priced craft set and infra-red "air guitar", and a shallow fryer and leather jacket priced at £139.99 and £149.99 respectively. Despite their inclusion of higher value items, Ignite's sales figures were poor: they sold only £1376.73 worth of products versus Empire's £1541.88.
  • Winner: Empire by £165.15
  • Reward: A private flight with an aerobatics team.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Howard, Lorraine, Kate (the remaining three in the team)
  • Fired: Howard, for not taking enough risks and lacking any truly exceptional qualities. He was not shown to be fired with regret on the main episode, but it was revealed on You're Fired that he was.
  • Notes:
    • After Empire's win, Yasmina became the first Apprentice candidate to hold a 3-0 win record as an individual Project Manager (Claire Young and Lee McQueen from the previous series also had three victories as Project Manager, but held the position jointly on the third occasion). This made her not only the most successful Project Manager in this series, but also of all time. In Series 7, Helen Milligan equalled this record, but it has not been exceeded as yet.
    • On You're Fired, the decision of firing Howard was not supported by both the panel (including Margaret Mountford) and the mass majority of the audience, with the panel all agreeing Lorraine should have been fired instead.

Week 11: Interviews — Semi-Finals

  • Semi-Finalists: Kate, Lorraine, James, Yasmina, Debra
  • Task: The five remaining candidates must undergo a series of interviews by four of Sir Alan's business colleagues.[23]
  • Result: Kate was felt to be the best all-round candidate, but there were questions about her being "too perfect" and she was also accused of being too controlled and robotic. Yasmina also received praise from the interviewers, but her motives for wanting to work for Sir Alan were called into question, and she was criticised for not knowing the turnover of her own restaurant, and also for getting her mother to remortgage her home to finance the restaurant's start-up costs. James was accused of not being serious enough, and for having a CV that was incomprehensible to anyone outside the communications industry. Debra earned fierce criticism, ironically enough from her own referees, for being difficult to work with and being extremely aggressive and bad-tempered. But Sir Alan realised that she had great potential and that she was only 23 and that he needed a fiery person in his business as she was extremely skilled and other candidates claimed she was a "business expert." Lorraine fared the worst, as her relatively sparse CV came in for criticism and she also stood accused of being hard to work with; she was also found to have overstated her previous employment term for a year, which she claimed was a typographical error, but the interviewer accused her of lying and attempting to pad out her CV. In the boardroom, Sir Alan came to the conclusion that James's corporate background and failure to take things seriously made him completely unsuitable for the job, and he was the first to be fired. Lorraine went second, after Sir Alan decided that despite whatever intuition she had displayed, he couldn't overlook the poor reports from the interviewers and her former team-mates. Of the remaining candidates, Sir Alan had serious issues with Debra's attitude and Yasmina's motives, but found no such major faults with Kate and so made her the first finalist. He found choice of the second difficult, but reluctantly fired Debra in what he said was virtually a split-decision, making Yasmina the other finalist.
  • Fired:
    • James, with regret, for being a "corporate" person, which Sir Alan said such an environment doesn't exist in his organisation. (The remaining four candidates had tears in their eyes upon firing of James, resulting in Sir Alan sending them out of the Boardroom to cool down.)
    • Lorraine for unable to communicate clearly to the executives, as well as being too aggressive.
    • Debra for too aggressive and being difficult to work with. However, Sir Alan's parting remark to Debra was to "Keep in touch".
  • Notes:
    • This was technically the first treble firing in the show's history; three candidates also left in the interview stage of the third series, but Katie Hopkins resigned rather than being fired. Sir Alan also said that deciding on a final two from Debra, Kate, and Yasmina was very hard. He had given serious consideration to just firing James and letting the other four candidates all proceed to the final (in a repeat of the previous year), but decided not to after discussing Lorraine's performances in the previous tasks with Nick and Margaret during the intermission after James's firing. Nick and Margaret agreed that Lorraine was a far weaker candidate than any of the other three, and that she would disadvantage whoever she was paired up with in the final.
    • James being the first to be fired meant that the final four was all-female, the only time so far in Apprentice history that all of the final four were of one gender. Series 1 and 8 both had three men and a woman in the final four, while Series 9 had three women and a man, and every other series has had two men and two women (not counting Young Apprentice, which went directly from a final six to a final three).

Week 12: The Final

  • Finalists: Kate and Yasmina
  • Task: The two remaining finalists have to create, brand and market a new box of chocolates from scratch before presenting them in front of a panel of over 100 business and chocolate experts. They will also each create a 30 second television commercial. 8 previously fired contestants (Ben, Debra, Howard, James, Kimberly, Lorraine, Philip, and Rocky) return to the series to once again form teams in order to help push their final project manager to victory.
  • Teams:
    • Kate's team: Kate (Project Manager), Debra, Rocky, Ben and Kimberly. (Watched by Nick)
    • Yasmina's team: Yasmina (Project Manager), Howard, Philip, James and Lorraine. (Watched by Margaret)
  • Results:
    • Ignite: Kate and her team quickly chose a romantic theme 'for him, for her, to share..." for their chocolates, which they named 'Intimate' before Debra criticized the name, saying it sounded like feminine sanitary products. Kate changed it to 'Choc d'amour'. They worked with Master Chocolatier Paul A Young of Paul A Young Fine Chocolates to develop a high quality product with flavours including Strawberry & Champagne, Sea-salted Caramel, Passionfruit, and Honey & Lemongrass. Kate's presentation and flavours were praised, but her product was felt to be too expensive for the mass market at £13.
    • Empire: Yasmina initially chose to theme her chocolates towards males, but after negative feedback, they decided on an unconventionally flavoured budget priced box called 'Coco Electric' which they developed with Gerard Coleman of L'Artisan du Chocolat. The design of Yasmina's box, the low price of £6, and the commercial were praised, but the low quality of the product and poor flavours, which included strawberry & basil and chili & popping candy, were strongly criticized.
  • Final Decision: In the end, Sir Alan decided that Yasmina was the better candidate as she was not too perfect, robotic, or controlled and thought that she was more of a risk taker and that she would suit his business best. However, Sir Alan had claimed this to be the hardest decision he had ever made on the programme and if compared to another Apprentice winner, Kate would have won the job. But since Yasmina was more willing to take risks, he chose to hire her.
  • Runner-Up: Kate, for being "too perfect and robotic", and for pricing the chocolates at a high retail price
  • Hired: Yasmina, for being more of a risk taker, and for promoting her chocolates well business-wise, despite the bad quality of the taste of the chocolates
  • Notes:
    • The broadcast was moved from its original slot on a Wednesday to the earlier Sunday. This was to avoid competing with a football match due to be shown live on ITV between England & Andorra.
    • Kate was the first person to get as far as the final having only been project manager once during the series. Not including Young Apprentice, the other occasions that this has happened is with Tom Pellereau in Series 7, and Leah Totton in Series 9, who both went on to win the series.
  • Response: Response to the final decision was mixed: The Mirror stated that "the wrong candidate won." [24] The Times merely noted that "the final, much like this series, was brisk, efficient and quite boring",[25] and in the blogosphere Edwin's Raisin declared it "all a bit much of a muchness in the end: both contestants impeccably competent in their performance of the final task and both fully accepting of the hype that Sir Alan is the fiercest, most successful businessman the world has ever known." [26]

Ratings

Episode Viewing figures from BARB.[27]

Episode No. Airdate Total Viewers BBC One Weekly Ranking
1 25 March 2009 8,710,000 4
2 1 April 2009 7,160,000 5
3 8 April 2009 8,040,000 5
4 15 April 2009 7,860,000 4
5 22 April 2009 8,320,000 2
6 29 April 2009 8,290,000 2
7 6 May 2009 8,450,000 2
8 13 May 2009 8,500,000 2
9 20 May 2009 8,900,000 2
10 27 May 2009 7,140,000 3
11 3 June 2009 9,760,000 1
12 7 June 2009 9,310,000 2

References

External links

  • BBC Online
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