The Apprentice 6 – Final Summary

After Chris denies Stella victory in Phone Answering Wars, the candidates are called to a hotel to be told the final task (do last year’s final task, but with booze instead of chocolates), and, more importantly, pick teams. It’s unfortunately a bit of an uneventful team-pick this year. The cream (as designated by finishing position) are skimmed off first : Jamie, Joanna, Liz, Christopher. When scrabbling over scrapes, Chris plumps for bros over hos, taking Alex as his first pick, and Shibby as his second, leaving Stella to pick Melissa first (!), making Paloma officially the metaphorical fat kid with glasses. It’s a mercy anybody came out alive after that quite frankly.

Stella as always focuses on swift, efficient, merciless decision making. Her aim? To come up with a spirit based drink that appeals to both men AND women. Or at least…most men. She settles on bourbon (blokey), but with honey and herbs (girly). A slender bottle, with sexy curves (girly!) with the name Urbon, which references contemporary rap-culture (MALE), but also involves clever wordplay and cunning use of language (JUST LIKE A WOMAN!) but DEFINITELY NO BLUE (TOO GAY!). Other than a few sticky moments involving Paloma, Melissa and Joanna all having pointless Paloma, Melissa and Joanna-y arguments, which Stella resolves by just staring disbelievingly at them until they blow themselves out, and an advert that involves the cast repeatedly rolling their eyes and looking disbelievingly at the product, the management of the task goes smoothly.

Chris meanwhile, having settled on pomegranate and rum (rum-based cocktails being the wave of the future where Chris is from – 2003) has insubordination problems from a rather unexpected source…Liz. Completely ignoring Chris’ instructions with regards to flavour creation, she decides she’s going pink, with the approval of Shibby, who confirms that it doesn’t look gay, by standing on front of a mirror with the drink and doing “lip wrist”. Still convinced of his own obvious hetro status, he’s on board. Creative juices left to run riot, Chris goes for a pyramid shaped bottle, the brand name of Prism, three different ingredients, a poster campaign straight out of Blade Runner and an advert where three very different (white, young, urban, professional) people trip up stairs and disappear out of shot into the top left hand corner. This creative explosion isn’t tempered any by most of Chris’ time being taken up with the Standards in Advertising Board who tell him in no uncertain terms that he needs to be less sex…that his advert needs to be less sexy.

In the end, both pitches go well, with both contestants getting in a nice round of Bloke Jokes to shed their respective crap pitcher/too corporate reputations. Final Team Reports back feature an impassioned speech for Chris from Shibby, Joanna trying to butt in and then winding up saying more or less “Stella is, like, really nice and good and you should hire her *giggle*” and Alex performing the ultimate backstab on Chris by saying that he’d hire both candidates. Well at least it was more high-drama than the team pick anyway. The final discussion goes about as badly as it could possibly go for Stella. She doesn’t mention learning or growth. Chris does. Chris plays the “I’m just like you Lordalan” card. She doesn’t. What she does do is come off as an unhinged loon, yelling that whether Lordalan hires her or not she’s got the job, because SHE NEVER LOSES. She even gets pulled into the Paloma Trap of criticising her opponent, albeit in the mildest and most meaningless terms possible. And so in the end the job goes to

Stella. Still. Cause she’s just that awesome.


22 thoughts on “The Apprentice 6 – Final Summary

  1. Tim

    I had been fearing increasingly over the last week or two that Chris was going to win. Nothing against the guy, but Sugar stated up front that he wanted someone who could deliver quickly in these tough times, and not someone who would learn the ropes for a year or two and then bugger off.

    Basically, Stella was a deserving winner – and the first time in four attempts that a girl has won a boy/girl final.

    Best line of the night has to go to the king of the inappropriate one-liners, Dr Shibby Robati:

    “So, you spit rather than swallow?”

    I think he was referring to what Liz should do with her sample drink, and not anything more untoward …

  2. Neio

    Yay! So glad Stella won.

    Surely she wins Phone Answering Wars anyway too after the dressing gown round the other week? And when Sralun came round unexpectedly she was apparently fully dressed in smart casualwear and waiting in the hallway.

  3. David

    I do think Stella was the most able candidate but I thought she may have blown it when she did a Paloma. Different rules for different people I guess, but it wasn’t a nice moment. I also thought she came across as quite hard on You’re Hired.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I think what may have saved Stella to a certain extent (if we go with the line that what happens on the show is important, not the five years they’ve just spent working for Lordalan in Veggie Lynn or wherever) is that Stella hadn’t really ever got aggressive before, or even been really very critical of anybody else in the Boardroom. So she was showing she had an aggressive streak, she just didn’t use it unless things were right down to the wire. Paloma had already bulldozed Shibby and ridden over half the rest of the cast by the point her speech came. It was just a bridge too far.

    2. Tim

      Also in the case of Paloma, Sugar identified that she had set Alex up as a scapegoat, and she didn’t recognise any of the signals that she should (a) shut up and (b) focus on outing her mate Sandeesh instead. Although we only see a small portion of the boardroom, I also got the impression that it was something she had done at great length on the two(?) occasions we had seen her in the boardroom, as opposed to it being a one-off.

  4. Dee

    I’m so happy Stella won. I really thought she may have talked herself out of it in the boardroom at the end, but I think the fact that she has been not awful pretty much all of the way through saved her in the end. Good for her.

    Chris probably would have won just about any other series, and as it is Siralan kind of offered him a job anyway, so good for him too.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I don’t know – he might have beaten Tim and possibly Lee, but Michelle had Lordalan under her thumb, Simon had all of Chris’ upsides plus a real entrepreneurial streak over an imaginary one, and Yasmina’s efficiency grind probably could have taken him out. I think Lordalan liked him, but was never OVER-stuck on him, and he was probably lucky that all of his rivals crumbled like wafer at interview.

  5. missfrankiecat

    I like Stella but perhaps it’s time to stop calling this The Apprentice when 31 year olds (now!) with a lengthy business career win over someone fresh in the job market. “Can I be arsed to train you?” seemed to be LordAlan’s objection to Chris which tends to suggest he’s got as little understanding of the programme’s whole premise as Chris had of the Germinator’s advertising message. God only knows what Chris did to screw up his chances during the trial employment period (since he well outgunned Stella in the boardroom and the final task) – maybe steppingout with Laura?

    1. monkseal Post author

      They’re changing the prize next year to Lordalan investing a lump sum in somebody’s future rather than a job, similar to how it works on Apprentice Babies, which I’m guessing solves the problem. The whole “I don’t want to train somebody up” speech is just a excuse he turns off and on to fire someone with little experience. He turned it on Jadine, but had no problem hiring Simon in the same series on the grounds that Lordalan could train him up into something special in the property field.

      I disagree that Chris beat Stella on the task (although he did in the final boardroom, given that she came off as borderline-unhinged) but I suspect that, given that they were both offered jobs, Stella won because a) she’s more likely to stick with the job than Chris, which is a stick that’s been used to beat the show with a lot recently, b) she had a better record overall, making it easier to justify (I notice that the “whoever was brought back into the BR least out of all the people at Interviews” rule still stands) c) it made a better ending what with all the tragic backstory stuff and d) the whole even-gender-split of winners thing probably buys Lordalan a bit of good publicity to balance out all the times he runs his mouth off about maternity leave/WIMMINS ISHOOS IN THE WERKPLACE etc…

    2. Tim

      I saw it as honours even in the boardroom, and Stella easily beat Chris in the task. Chris had the better concept, but his execution was appalling – style honours substance. And, let’s face it, the final task has little bearing on the overall result – it’s really just for show to give us viewers a sense of closure.

      I think Sugar’s comments about maternity leave were a bit of a response to the fact that both previous female winners – Michelle and Yasmina – fell pregnant under his employment. You can understand his frustration, even though the way he expressed it publicly was 100% wrong.

  6. Verns

    I’m glad Stella won – she was by far the better people manager, but I found her obsessive desire to succeed more than a bit scarey. As it was said in You’re Hired, Chris lost the task when he allowed Liz to override his instructions and produce a girly pink drink. I’m sure Chris won the boardroom battle, but by then it was too late. Both were good finalists, which is nice to see.

    1. missfrankiecat

      I gather from people who were actually at the launch that the programme editing doesn’t actually reflect much of what went down (big surprise!) Apparently Urban verged on the undrinkable, with or without mixers and there was some debate re the catchy name, which is already a drink brand elsewhere. On the other hand, the pinkness of Prism was not viewed as a particular problem since most alcohol is targeted at one or other gender and the bottle was a genuine hit. So, I think the reality is that the job was won or lost on considerations we are not privy to.

      1. min

        I kept waiting for cost to be mentioned – bottle cost was a big thing in one final … was it the perfume one? because the cost to make and transport the Prism bottle would be quite a hefty chunk out of the profit margin surely?

      2. monkseal Post author

        I think it’s instructive to compare with when they did this exact same task last year – an entirely different set of things were presented as “important” this time compared to last time. This I guess is why they’ve settled on a final task with so much scope : they can basically pick out the bits that correspond best with their chosen outcome.

  7. Tim

    Min, we’ve discussed this very point over on my blog (there’s a link further up if you’re interested). Remember that we only see a tiny portion of the candidates’ Q&A sessions. I’m told there was quite a lot of questioning of both candidates. Stella’s product, for instance, came under a lot of scrutiny for both its taste (apparently, it was disgusting) and for whether it truly did have unisex appeal. I am sure someone would have raised the question about manufacturing cost on Chris’s bottle, just as they did about the somewhat dangerous shape.

    But – as with any aspect of any other task – we are only ever shown what is important to the final “story”. It is not necessarily a case of showing a full or balanced picture! I remember reading somewhere once that they shoot as much as 90 hours of footage on an average task (and the final is bigger than average), and we only ever get to see about 30 minutes of it, so you can imagine how much gets left on the cutting room floor!

    Ultimately, the story of the final needs to justify Sugar’s decision – and it is a decision he will have made based on the whole process, with the final itself only being a small factor.

  8. Clara

    arghh. I change my email and thus forget to check this site! I finally get into Apprentice after years of not watching, at the same time am sad there are no more Dorothy recaps to read and I do not solve these problems by reading these recaps! =[
    I guess I’ll read them now its over!

      1. durnovarian

        Speaking of which, does anyone know when the next series is scheduled? Normally they’d be well into, if not finished, filming by now for the usual Spring slot, or are they going to stick with this slot?

      2. monkseal Post author

        I’ve generally heard the same as below – usual slot for the adults, and autumn for the kidsies.

  9. Tim

    I don’t think it’s officially been announced yet, but bear in mind that the 2011 series has already been filming over the past couple of months, while theu have only just been asking for Junior applicants over the last few weeks. My guess would be the Seniors will revert to their usual spring/summer slot, while the Juniors will occupy the autumn schedule. It’s only a guess, though!


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