Young Apprentice Week 7 Shock – Nobody Fired

Carnage in the Boardroom - who would survive?

Young Apprentice Week 7 Shock – Nobody Fired.

It was a brave attempt at a new approach to a tried and tested formula, but it failed to grab the imagination and is not likely to be repeated. I’m not talking about how teams Atomic and Kinetic approached designing and marketing a new brand of popcorn in this week’s task, but rather the producer’s idea to fire the whole losing team . Did I say fire? Well that’s more than Lord Sugar said. Possibly revealing his lack of comfort with the new format, Sugar described each of the 4 candidates who did not make it to the final as “leaving the process”.

With 6 candidates left this was a big “semi-final”, and the need to get down to 2 for next week’s final something new had to be tried. Was this the first evidence of cutbacks in the BBC? Did the producers suddenly find themselves with 3 fewer weeks than they had planned for? You can imagine the conversation the producers had;

“Sorry, Guys, the budget’s been cut. We only have 2 episodes left. Let’s brainstorm ideas for how we can make this look like innovation”

With hindsight, it would have been better to have had double firings over a couple of weeks, as this format left the viewer knowing in advance that several of their preferred candidates were likely to go.

The teams were (yet again) re-booted;

Atomic – Lizzie, and the Harry twins, with Harry H getting the nod to be PM.

Kinetic – Zara, Haya, and James, with James as PM.

Notice that each team had a mix of male and female. It was my belief from the outset that whichever team won, the final 2 candidates would prove to be one male and one female. And so it proved to be. Sugar spread his bets by keeping James and Harry M apart, either to avoid civil war, or because they have been 2 of the best performers this season. Similarly Zara and Lizzie, the 2 strongest girls left.

Sugar made it clear that to win the popcorn task  would require “teamwork”. Is that irony in the choice of product, as the task was popcorn compared to the real issue? This was particularly challenging for some of the candidates, who have had to learn what a team is (Harry M, James and Haya come to mind). Not only that, but being a good team was not enough to secure a final slot, as having won the task, one of the successful team would be fired (sorry, leave the process). In summary, you have to be a good team to win, then a complete b**tard in the boardroom and stab your team mates in the back to get promoted. Sounds just like the corporate world I used to work in, but does it help us to find an outstanding Entrepreneur? At last, the true formula for success in (Young) Apprentice was stated for all future candidates.

The mechanics of the task involved opportunities for individuals to shine, as apart from the PM, there were tasks around designing new flavours of popcorn and ot’s packaging, as well as pitching to would-be buyers.

Kinetic won, beating Atomic with more orders from; a Cinema chain, a Lo-cost airline and a Supermarket chain by 115K to 90K. It wasn’t that Atomic bombed, but rather that Kinetic moved (geddit?) more stock, despite the airline not ordering any from them.

So, goodbye the Harry Twins and Lizzie. They didn’t even get an epitaph to camera as they presumably shared a taxi to the station. Harry M left without a single win to his name.

We still needed to lose one more from the process, and if my theory was correct, James was safe as he was the only boy (as well as the successful PM). That left a straight choice between Haya and Zara. Zara did all of the 3 pitches, and was excellent, persuading 2 outlets to buy their poorly branded La Popcorn. She must have been good, as even James the PM hated the flavours (a forgettable mix of mediterranean veg and Feta cheese). Haya contributed least to this task and couldn’t give a good enough reason why she should stay in the process, focusing on what she had learned, rather than what she had achieved. Haya left the building and, the process.

So, next week’s final is between James and Haya. At least the format is back to the traditional series finale, with the ghosts of  candidates past returning to the process.  It’s too close to call, but as there is pitching involved, maybe Zara just has the edge.

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One Response to Young Apprentice Week 7 Shock – Nobody Fired

  1. Pingback: Why Young Apprentice Needs To Be Fired « markdecosemo

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