The Apprentice 2012 – Mid Series Review of Candidates

0The Apprentice 2012 – Mid Series Review of Candidates

  As we enter Week 9 of this year’s BBC Aprentice, half of the candidates have already been fired, so now is a good time to review those who are left.

General Review

So far we have had 8 tasks, with each team (Phoenix and Sterling) winning 4. However, originally, Phoenix was the boys team and Sterling the girls. Phoenix won the first 2 tasks, but from Week 3, Lord Sugar has been mixing up the teams. Of the sixteen opportunities to be PM, there have been 9 males and 7 female. The boys have won 6/8 and the girls 2/8. Three candidates havebeen PM twice (Nick, Tom and Gabrielle). All three are still in the competition,  but only Nick won 2/2.

The Candidates

The remaining candidates consist of 5 boys (Nick, Stephen, Ricky, Adam and Tom) and 3 girls (Gabrielle, Jade and Jenna). Each has had a go at being PM, but Jade, Adam, and  Ricky failed to lead tasks to success.

Nick Holzherr

25 years old. Technology Entrepreneur.

Quote “I’ve got lots of ideas, I know how to whittle them down into ideas that will work and I’ve got what it takes to make them actually happen”.

On performance as PM, Nick is the most successful candidate so far, having won 2/2 tasks  (Week 1 “souveniers” and Week 7 “market trading”). He is one of the quieter candidates, comes across as a bit posh, which is always a danger because Sugar seems to have an issue with posh or corporate types.Nick’s style could be described subtle. He never quite disappears, but he manages to avoid standing out for the wrong reasons. He has shown good leadership in his tasks and is popular with the other candidates.

Verdict – One of the favourites

Adam Corbally

32 year old Market Trader.

Quote “ I get too excited, but that shows my passion, it shows my drive and it shows my ability.”

I have to confess to being surprised that Adam is still here. Through a combination of luck and occasional brilliance in the right environment, he has had few boardroom visits. Adam is great in any selling environment incolving commodities – he deals on price. He has looked less sure when selling complex ideas (Week 8 “urban art” for instance). He is driven, sexist and stuck in a time warp (1950s) in terms of his attitudes. His stint as PM (Week 6 “gourmet food”) was poor as he followed his instinct and went cheap and cheerful. His one saving grace is that Sugar sees something of himself in Adam, but I can’t see him lasting.

Verdict – Will be lucky to survive past this week

Jade Nash

She of the annoying Southern accent

29 year old Business Development Manager

Quote ““ What I want is to be able to retire when I’m 45, but I’m such a workaholic that I’ll probably carry on until I’m 80”

Not in this show. Apart form the fact that she has the (al)most grating voice, Jade has failed to make much of an impression. She lost her task as PM (Week 7 “market trading”) through indecision and poor judgement in choice of products. Jade is one of those candidates who seems to disappear for whole episodes. Jade has been in the fianl three boardroom a couple of times, and is on a “final” warning. Sugar does not seem convinced and neither am I.

Verdict – won’t get into the final 4

Gabrielle Omar

29 year old Architect

Quote “ When it comes to business I can be like an animal and I will roar my way to the top”.

That must be a misquote! Gabrielle is a strong contender, having won 1/2 tasks as PM (Week 8 “urban art”), but her strength lies in her creativity, not her business skills. Gabrielle has shown a good, relaxed leadership style. Her business sense has been called into question, especially when she lost in week 1 (“souveniers”) due to poor organisation.

Verdict – should stay the course, but will not win.

Ricky Martin

26 year old Recruitment Team Leader

Quote “ I truly am the reflection of perfection”

Not that one

Ricky is a candidate who could be a surprise winner. On the surface he is brash, self assured bordering on arrogant and his judgement is questionable. He failed in a task that he should have won because of poor leadership, direction and delegation. He had a vision but failed to communicate it . He is also prone to getting frustrated. But for all of that he appears to have avoided Sugar’s radar, so may stay longerthan many predict.

Verdict – will get found out eventually.

Stephen Brady

33 year old National Sales Manager

Quote “ Enthusiasm is a huge asset of mine and I believe it’s caught and not taught ”

Stephen is another dead man walking. I have seen nothing to suggest he can win. He is full of corporate speak (see quote above) but has shown neither style or substance. He did win his task as pm (week 5 “fitness”) but that was in his own business environement. However, he was lucky to win, due to a customer seeing something in the product that wasn’t intended (a different market) and he should have lost because of pricing and equipment storage mistakes in the product.

Verdict – Will fight with Adam to be the next fired


Jenna Whittingham

25 years old Beauty Salon Owner

Quote “ My personality and character is ‘once seen never forgotten'”

the one with the annoying Northerne accent

What an unfortunate quote! It’s true but for the wrong reasons. Jenna did win her task as PM (week 6 “gourmet food”) and was reasonably competent as a leader. However, she is another who regularly disappears from tasks and questions have been asked about her contribution. I’ve not seen anything of substance here.

Verdict – not a chance

Tom Gearing

23 years old Director of Fine Wine Investment Company

Quote “ I’m confident, charismatic and some people say I’m quite good looking, so that adds to the bill.”

Tom may be the youngest candidate, but on contribution he is probably the most competent. Much more mature and assured than his age would suggest, Tom has shown good insight on tasks that play to his strengths (even week 8 “urban art” which he lost as PM and week 4 “antiques” which he won as PM). In both of his stints as PM he was clear decisive and had a winning strategy. He even managed to convince sceptical team mates and observers (week 4 “antiques”). He lost the “urban art” task because he had no plan B, but nearly rescused it with a bold rescue plan. In this he is the one candidte to show entrepreneurial flair and for this reason, he is my favourite to win.

Verdict – Should win it

So, I see Tom as favourite, with Gabrielle and Nick not far behind. If anyone else emerges I’ll be surprised. However, don’t forget, this is also about x the unknown – their business ideas.

About markdecosemo
Consulting Trainer and Coach to healthcare and pharmaceutical professionals

4 Responses to The Apprentice 2012 – Mid Series Review of Candidates

  1. Pingback: The Apprentice 2012 – Sterling lose again as wine video fails to sparkle «

  2. chocbutton says:

    I agree with your review! I cannot believe that ADAM is still in the show though, I thought he would have been a goner weeks ago but recently, he seems to performing ok! I do wonder that the winner is picked on the business plan, so how much do the tasks actually contribute to finding the actual winner. The person who has the best business plan may be worst at performing the tasks, like Tom last year, who lost pretty much all the tasks but came out on top with his business background…

    • markdecosemo says:

      You make a good point. We don’t know that Sugar has seen their business and but it seems likely. The show’s format has not evolved with the change in purpose. The tasks are great for an Apprentice, but Dragon’s Den shows how to assess for investment.

    • markdecosemo says:

      You are quite correct, of course! We haven’t seen the business plans, but I bet Sugar has!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: