This is certainly a memorable season to say the least.
The candidates this season are an assorted bunch, so I shall share my say.
Related to singer Simon Webbe from the band Blue (they're brothers), Duane is a dependable adept business man and certainly a hard worker. He came up with an innovative compressor bin in the household gadget task and could spot stuff that could sell well in the second hand items task. He is able to decide and act by his personal instinct. He could've supported his colleagues more and listened to them more though, his inability to listen to his colleagues was unluckily his downfall in the fitness regime task. I thought Duane would stay for 6 weeks at least, but I think he shall succeed in where his chosen route takes him.
As a market trader, Adam knows how to run a stall and sell stuff to customers. He has had numerous cringeworthy moments and he isn't a choreographer as he thinks, his leadership skills are crude and unpolished and he doesn't have the creative flare that inventor types have, but he is a competant sales man and his motivation and willingness to learn are assets, where some people shy away, Adam would launch himself at a challenge and step up to the plate, although he is known to become too confident and that has lead to mistakes. Adam was lucky to have lasted as long as he did, he has had funny moments though, particularly when he was drunk.
Refridgeration company director.
Azhar has shown his business skills, as he started his refridgeration company from scratch. I thought Azhar had a decent shot at the final, so I was disappointed that he didn't reach it, since he was great and I think he is a good strategist and he could see when things go wrong, but as his team mates said he didn't put forward any solutions and I think that's what let him down, but he is a team player and has good leadership skill and he is a real nice guy, so here's hope he would do bigger things and achieve huge success.
Furniture assembly line manager.
Michael is certainly a nice chap and manages a furniture factory. He helped with production in week 1 the blank products task and was dependable, but he was hardly shown after that and he was unluckily upstaged when next to stronger characters amongst the guys. Also for a factory chief, Michael didn't show much leadership when in the condiment task, his team split into two sub-teams to sell to the public and to trade customers and he was appointed to head up the sub-team that sold to trade buyers, the few sales they raked in were down to his colleagues and when his team lost, as nice as he was, Michael's dismissal was the right decision. Nonetheless, I think Michael could do well at his factory.
Nicholas (Nick) Holzherr.
Nick is a technical fellow, he knows how to create Internet sites and to do Internet related business. He also set up a cafe. He has the most wins among this season's candidates, 8 tasks. He lead 2 tasks and won both. He was consistant throughout. He is level headed and so clever and has impressive leadership capability. He is also a decent nice guy and funny. I really like Nick and it felt great to see him reach the final, I think that his business idea was somewhat too complicated, it didn't reflect his consistancy. I still think Nick has the drive and would find serious success.
Health club sales manager.
While I have to say Idon't dislike anybody, I didn't like Stephen much, I just couldn't take to him. Stephen is a health club sales manager, but his sales methods weren't always appropriate and while he spoke sense at some moments such as in the blank products task when he stated the teddy bears that his team sold cost too much, but they were frequently upstaged by his approaches to the tasks as well as his many cringeworthy moments. Also in the fitness regime task he came up with a retro themed fitness programme that seemed innovative, but when it came to the programme's moves as well as the promotion trailer it looked ridiculous although it inexplicably won the team the task. In the boardroom, Stephen knew how to summarise the task and say which team member did what, so he knew how to deflect blame, but in the tasks he was responsible for numerous mistakes and he was lucky to have lasted as long as he did. Stephen was assigned leadership role in the daily deals task and he negotiated deals with clients and managed to secure multiple deals with a few, but not all the deals were accepted by the daily deals Internet site both teams had to represent and Stephen attempted to shift blame, but it backfired and lead to his dismissal. His present in 'The Apprentice: You're Fired' was funny, a coat similar to cartoon character Inspector Gadget.
Thomas (Tom) Gearing.
Fine wine investor.
Tom is the most clued up, when it comes to numbers. He really knows his finances. As he runs a fine wine investment comapany, he had to brush up his numeracy knowledge. He showed his numeracy knowledge in the tasks. He is level headed with commendable leadership capability. He is also a decent nice guy. He was consistant for the most part. As with Nick, I also like Tom, they are both my favourites and I saw them both as finalists. Although Tom's business plan was somewhat too ambitious, I still think Tom would achieve significant success.
Richard (Ricky) Martin.
Science industry recruitment manager.
Ricky is this season's winner and he has had a real journey. At the start he was definitely a show man. By day he is a recruitment guru and by night, when not at work, he competes in professional wrestling, he is a big guy and that is probably the reason for his rather huge build, since he is a pro wrestler. In the fitness regime task, he tried his hand at Muay Thai kickboxing and that was a funny moment. Personality wise he is a strong character and he showed it throughout. Despite his show man like bravado, he soon revealed he has real business acumen and he improved himself. He is an accomplished presenter and could deliver an informative pitch that is straight to the point and he is also good at sales and deals negotiations. I haven't seen anybody that works as both a pro wrestler and entrepreneur and for that matter a boxer and entrepreneur. I did think it was between Nick and Tom for the win, as I like them both and thought they had the most to give, but I also came to like Ricky and his business plan was a real viable proposition and it is straight forward and I reckon that ultimately lead to his win and I think in the end he deserves it.
No doubt that Gabrielle works hard and with much passion, also to add to that she is pleasant and chatty and speaks honestly. She is also creative, she could design good logos, although admittedly her refurbishment skills aren't so special. In the tasks, as well as her creative streak, Gabrielle is a natural at sales. However her leadership is barely average, she is a bit slow about decisions and her grasp with numbers is lacklustre. Also in the daily deals task, Gabrielle misread the point and lost her way a bit, she negotiated some deals, but the daily deals site declined them. As likeable as Gabrielle is, her mistake and the fact that there were stronger candidates meant unfortunately her days were numbered, it is a shame, but her dismissal was right, that same week Stephen was also dismissed. I think Gabrielle is good and there is much in store for her.
Maria is undoubtedly the loudest female candidate, although not the highest pitched. Maria has done well to start a restaurant and has fire in her, it really showed in the first week the blank products task when she was an active player in product purchase, production and sales, but the week after that the household gadget task her fire desserted her and she hardly contributed and although her fire relit in the pitches and in the boardroom it was too little too late, so Maria inadvertantly set herself up for dismissal. Maria certainly has fire, but is unable to control it and that was her downfall, it didn't help that she was loud. I don't think Maria was right for the partnership deal, but I think she could do well at her restaurant and that's where she should direct her concentration, after all it is where she's most at home.
Blonde haired Katie holds pride in her non confrontational approach and says she wouldn't raise her voice just to be heard. She seems like a nice person and she knows how to research and she knows what she has to do, but her performance was rather average at most, she didn't always put her points across clearly and she was lucky to have lasted 6 weeks. When the kitchen trailer task came, the teams had trailers with kitchens in them to sell meals to customers in Scotland, Katie's team lost due to numerous mistakes, amongst them is the costs are too high at their chosen location, a sports stadium, that was down to Katie and also Adam's cheap dish choice and bad leadership, although Adam was more culpable, it was the last chance for Katie and she was dismissed. I think Katie still could do well for herself.
The lass with long black hair from Bulgaria, tall bank worker Bilyana has achieved much from her humble background. She works in a bank as a risk analyst so she knows her numbers, but she didn't field her knowledge. She also has decent communication skills and shown that she is good at sales, although her approach to sales at London Zoo in the blank products caused her team mates to moan about her. After her team lost, her approach was brought up in the boardroom and although she was the strongest in her sub-team, her inability to remain silent and not talk incessantly resulted in her dismissal, it was unfortunate, since she was good. I think Bilyana has learned a lot and she could succeed.
Wedding store manager.
Blonde haired wedding store manager Laura says she could communicate well with customers and sell to them since it is a requirement for her job. She hails from Scotland. She seems nice and communicative and she could sell stuff that she believes in and she could motivate and inspire people, but she does get high pitched, noticeably if things don't go as planned and she was lucky to have lasted 8 weeks. Laura did well in sales for most tasks but in the art gallery task, she was too relaxed in her approach and sold less than her colleagues and since it was also her last chance, she was dismissed. I think Laura still could find herself success.
Business development manager.
Brunette Jade is an astute lady and I had her down as the most credible girl this season. Jade could certainly motivate and inspire people and she could communicate well, despite her high pitch. She was leader in 2 tasks. Her first attempt was in the reinvestment task, she motivated her team, but her strategy knowledge needed work, she chose the simplest strategy, which may work in some but not all situations and it didn't in that task and Jade secured herself another chance due to her defensive speech in the boardroom. Her second attempt in the daily deals task showed improvement. She decided that the appeal her deals have was more important than how many deals her team could secure. That really showed she understood the task and her decision won the task for her and showed she was the strongest female candidate this season. She could draw as well so she knows how to design and she has good sales skill and boundless enthusiasm. I really found her likeable, she and the girls got along well and with her talent and enthusiasm, I think she deserved her place in the final.
The lass with long black hair from Ireland, unpretentious supermarket stockist Jane works in a family business that sells to supermarkets and started small, before it developed and grew. Jane really does try, in the blank products task, when nobody did the numbers she took it upon herself to do the calculations, but was unable to claim a win for her team. She could also present clearly, although her pitch in the household gadget task was let down by inaccurate numbers, that her colleagues did, still it secured some interest while team mate Laura did the next pitch and had no such luck there. In the condiment task Jane again took up the numbers, determined not to let the numbers lose her team the task again, however she really shone in production since it was similar to her job and she also did well in sales. In the second hand items task she was assigned to sell at the store front rather than inside the store and she struggled, although she helped give leaflets to potential customers and that boosted interest in her team's store and although she wasn't responsible for any mistakes in that task, it unfortunately didn't spare her from dismissal . I initially thought Jane was an icy character among the candidates, but that was totally inaccurate, when her facial reactions to many situations were shown, all the more so when she cried, it seems to me that Jane is the most sensitive candidate in the show's history. I think Jane does genuinely try and she is talented. She really could motivate and inspire people and bring them together, she could also present well and she is clear in what she says and she is comfortable with production and could sell stuff she believes in. She has found friends in Gabrielle, Jade and Jenna. I think Jane has what it takes, she has the drive to find success.
Long haired, petite statured Jenna has had a journey to say the least. In the first and second weeks, she was hardly noticeable, but after that she started to show her sales skill. She was then assigned to manage her team for the kitchen trailer task and she did well. She then showed her sales skills more and although I didn't see her as a winner, I think she was responsible for no mistakes apart from the promotion trailer in the wine task. I thought she showed promise and was responsible for less mistakes than her colleagues and deserved another chance to prove what she could do. Admittedly like Gabrielle, Jenna has a substandard grasp with numbers. However there is no doubt Jenna is talented, she works hard and she has real passion and as a bonus, she is polite and has a way with customers and she has shown it. She is also a natural at sales. She is honest and could sell stuff she really believes in for decent figures. She also looks cute when she smiles, it does suit her tiny stature and before her meeting with Dara O'Briain, the makeover team did wonders for Jenna, she looked cuter than she already was in the main show. Jenna's personality saw her form friendships with her female colleagues, namely Gabrielle, Jade and Jane. Jenna is a likeable young lady, an all round nice girl. She has sheer enthusiasm. Ithink she has the focus for success.
All in all, a remarkable season and impressive final.
From Edward Eoifsch.