The Apprentice 9 – Final Summary

So, we’ve got a final task again! Each of the final two have to launch their buisnesses! Hooray! After 10 solid weeks of flogging Lucky Cats, cooking noodles, the Tidy Sidey, and running around the UAE looking for a falcon hood, we’re going to get a real insight into how business works in the real world, as we see the genesis of two actual solid viable busi…oh, no wait, it’s just your usual “film a dodgy video, then do a ‘launch event’ ” final task bollocks of yore. Carry on. At least this time Francesca MacDuff-Varley-Hilton-Wilding-Todd-Fisher-Burton-Burton-Warner-Fortenksy is there to give a human and relatable face to that random dancer who always wafts around the launches doing contemporary jigging. This time, to Enya.

But this is getting ahead of ourselves. First…the TEAM PICK! Sadly the eyeball-to-eyeball, survival of the fittest, social warfare of old has been replaced by the final two jabbing at their phones like Hungry Hungry Hippos, desperately trying to hoover up the best possible balls on the table. Unfortunately for Luisa, she’s a little bit less adept with her dialling fingers than Dr Leah (maybe it’s the acrylic nails babes?) so she ends up hoovering up Zeeshaan and Jason’s…erm…hippo balls despite not particularly wanting them. In addition she gets Neil (barely in the episode because he’s over it) and Natalie (barely in the episode because…it’s Natalie).

From here, once she’s explained her business-plan to a bunch of people who don’t really get it, the whole of Team Evolve (Luisa invented the name, she can have it) very quickly devolves into some sort of Victorian melodrama, where Jason hovers in the background the whole time, grinning sweetly and unnervingly at everything Luisa does, like he’s going to enact bloody revenge for Apprenticup 2012 any second now. He never does, but he does seem to distract a nervous Luisa with his natural charm so much that she completely forgets to rehearse her launch speech, and as a result takes far too long to get into it. It’s revenge of a sort I guess. When it’s done, Luisa collapses crying on Neil who could not give less of a shit.

Team Endeavour on the other hand (Alex, Francesca, Myles and Uzma) sees Dr Leah launch her epic quest to prove that jabbing botulism in someone’s face can be a totally ethical career path. The entire episode pretty much amounts to her bringing her Boardroom Queen persona to the real world, running around yelling at Alex, industry experts and Lordalan alike that THEY’RE TALKING BOLLOCKS AND SHE KNOWS BETTER. Depending on your position on Dr Leah’s Take-No-Shit-Call-Everyone-A-Boring-Sexist Boardroom antics, your mileage on her approach may vary. I know where I stand. She launches her clinic, called NIKS (rejected names : STAB CLINICS), and dares anyone to have a problem with it. Everyone kind of does, but Dr Leah just says that she believes in clinical excellence a whole damn lot and it’s all fine.

The end, as ever, is absolutely nothing to do with the previous 40 minutes whatsoever, apart from how Dr Leah’s terrifying rampage has left Nick a little terrified of her, and Lordalan a little turned on. Still, we got to see Myles do overdressed market research one last time, that’s the main thing. In the end the decision comes down to Lordalan not trusting Luisa not to run back to her three other businesses (Appearing on I’m A Celebrity/Dating a Made In Chelsea Cast-Member/Barracking the BBC over the phone to replace Mary Berry with her on the Great British Bake-Off because like Mary Berry is well old and SHET) but also not trusting the Botox business in general. After much hemming and hawing and meaningful face-pulling, Lordalan decides that, what with previous winners Ricky Martin and Susan Ma (WHAT, IT’S MY BLOG, LEAVE ME ALONE) doing so well with their companies, he’s got enough cred in the bank to take a punt.

A punt on botox.

Dr Leah is your Apprentice, and Luisa joins the ranks of sassy Second-Place divas Saira Khan, Ruth Badger, Kristina Grimes and Chris Bates. Both of them have retweeted this blog at some point so I don’t give a shit either way, I’m officially winner-endorsed. That’s your takehome message here people. Uncut narcissism.

Monkseal out.


40 thoughts on “The Apprentice 9 – Final Summary

  1. Frivolous Monsters

    Luisa was my favourite all the way through. She was the obvious choice… I always back the wrong one in the final.

    1. monkseal Post author

      Given Kate’s Shopping Channel…performance, it’ll be the least comfortable on camera getting a presenting gig. Although…so hard to work out who that is in this bunch…

  2. Tim

    Well, the final task has never had much to do with the actual outcome, has it? This was basically the advertising task all over again, wasn’t it? Brand name? Check. Corporate launch video that isn’t a TV ad, honest? Check. Website (because we’re so 21st century, dahhling)? Check. Pitch to a room full of 10 experts and 90 random hangers-on? Check.

    Whatever. Leah’s numbers added up better than Luisa’s, to the point where Sugar was willing to take a punt on her. And how ironic that, after all these weeks you’ve been calling her Dr Leah, her new business brand is … Dr Leah. Heh.

    My ramblings, for the last time this year:

    1. monkseal Post author

      I will be tribunalling her for my share of the royalties as soon as I can get hold of my lawyer.

  3. Lougarry

    As well as the Dr Leah thing, I loved how Luisa cracked out your ‘no offence, but I’m the Apprentice’ line.

  4. FuTeffla

    Aw, Myles is back! Alex is also back (on the same team!) JASON IS BACK! I don’t care that it hasn’t been that long, I still got terribly excited. My babies. No Tim, alas, but he lives forever in our hearts.

    I have disliked Luisa all series and then I found myself weirdly warming to her over the last couple of weeks. I hate to admit that her cheerfully trolling Francesca during interviews was a part of that, but it was. Add in Dr Leah turning into a terrifying dead-eyed business dreadnaught and I was actually rooting for Luisa tonight. I mean, Dr Leah performed better but Luisa was less entirely frightening.

    Thanks so much for these recaps – they are my favourite part of the whole Apprentice experience. I love them like I love Jason. Which is a lot.

    1. Neio

      I was sorry not to see Tim come back either. And it was a shame Jordan got so airbrushed out of history that he couldn’t come back. For all that he tried to ignore the rules in his business plan, he was usually pretty good on tasks.

      I had to laugh over who Leah picked for her team – of course she chose the woman made completely of make-up and the man whose eyebrows are more plucked than an oven-ready chicken to help launch her cosmetic procedures business.

      And Leah rampaging around like an out-of-control Fembot was hilarious! Whoever would have thought in the beginning that Luisa would seem like the more reasonable one in the final? Apart from her Katie Price-style pink fixation of course. Those guests watching her presentation must have felt like they were sitting in Barbie’s Dream Vagina.

    1. Alex B

      Once they changed it to N.I.K.S. I kept wondering what that might stand for. Northern Irish Knives & Syringes?

      1. constantmotion

        National Image & (something) Studio is as far as I got. I was willing her to make it a backronym right from the top – all they needed to do was pop some full stops in and job’s a good’un! Bit late by the time they’d done the market research (what is it with after-the-fact research this series?) but still, not a million miles off.

    2. monkseal Post author

      It also sounds like the brand of Cosmetics that sponsored the earlier series of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Only appropriate.

  5. Elaine

    Well, Dr Leah managed a complete inverse redemption arc. She was more deluded than Neil by the end (no, LordAlan, I don’t like your suggestion for MY CLINIC) and somehow still won. Gawd ‘elp The Lord, there’s trouble ahead!

  6. Bashful82

    I thought the guy sitting next to Lord Sugar when Luisa was doing her presentation looked fit (he was in a light grey suit?). Also yay for RobotDrBarbie. She reminds me of the tank that James Bond drove in Moscow in “Goldeneye”.

    1. monkseal Post author

      Someone somewhere was fit. I lost track. Once I start having to desperately hunt the episodes for ICBs, that part of my brain turns off.

  7. TheBockingfordKid

    So do you think he had the Botox Business in mind before the cameras rolling? I can see him thinking
    a. ££££££££££££££££!!!!!!
    b. Bad press? I’m nearly dead, fuck em.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I like to think this was filmed when Lordalan first heard of the TRIBUNALLING, so a business where he might get to carve up women’s faces seemed appealing to him.

  8. Jack

    Yay! Go Dr. Leah!

    Quite a controversial opinion, but I still prefer interviews at the end. Whilst I thought this year the final would have a purpose, like the interviews, in the end, it just descended into the same as series 4-6. The final didn’t really show that either Luisa or Dr. Leah could succeed in their business and, tbh, the issues raised at the end were very similar to the ones raised in interviews. I appreciate the fact that we got to see Jason again, but the fired candidates didn’t really have much of a role, to be honest. Dr. Leah’s team might as well have watched the final from home for all the impact they had on the task. I enjoyed it, but I still prefer interviews at the end of the series.

    I don’t think Dr. Leah was as bad as you made out. Yes, she ignored her team, unlike Luisa, but at least she made decisions this time around (though that probably has more to do with the fact that it was in her area of expertise) and she listened to her market research changing “Niks” into “N.I.K.S” and I really did like her logo. The right winner for me.

    Cannot wait for the Countdown and the Monkees! I found it so hard to vote and I can’t wait to see who wins what!

    1. monkseal Post author

      I would just like a final task that had a bit more to it. This one really felt like going through the motions, although at least I now understand what Dr Leah’s business is more than I understood the workings of either Ricky Martin’s or Tom’s.

  9. constantmotion

    First off – whoo! I was convinced Luisa had won it right up to the second Lord Sugar didn’t say her.

    Second – I think this is the best the final’s worked, ever. In the early series, the final task felt inconsequential, a bit of an end-of-term party. Just the candidates playing with toys on the last day. In the later series, interviews were very underwhelming as a finale. Semi-final written all over them, and nothing to graduate to. This is the first time week twelve’s felt like a suitable final act, a proper conclusion – part of the story. It’s not a gamechanger, but you can see how it’d inform Lord Sugar’s decision. Luisa’s muddled concept was relevant to her loss. The showcase could, potentially, make a difference to which business he invests in.

    Also, while I do miss the team pick, I got more joy out of Luisa’s motley gang of misfits glowering back at her than I ever got out of any individual pick in the show’s history, so you know – swings and roundabouts. I think it feels more personal, and more character-driven, given that the former candidates have a little agency, and since I’ve spent twelve weeks with these people, that’s a little more satisfying. “What an exciting opportunity!” Swings and roundabouts, for me.

    Oh! Also, I feel like I “got” the new firing music for the first time. Well used. Dead tense.

    If you couldn’t tell, I’m full of love for this series at the moment. Good ep.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I’ll give them this – they always tilt it slightly so I have doubt. I was 90% settled on Dr Leah as the winner from task 9 onwards, but they made me blip for Luisa (so to speak) a few times over the last week.

      I didn’t really read it as agency – they had to go with whoever wanted them first, I would imagine. Obviously if they gave them the chance to choose who they worked with, that would be great. Can’t imagine the teams working out any differently (except maybe Alex) but still, great.

  10. PadsterMo

    I loved the phonecalls. ‘Hi there. So, remember that time you got fired and I didn’t (and may have directly contributed to/instigated you getting fired)? Well, do you fancy coming back and helping me win?’

    I agree with constantmotion that this semi-final interviews/ final task present your business worked quite well for the reasons already mentioned; that and the interviews as the final task meant that the crowning of the winner was a bit lost in the multiple firings.

    I’m sometimes wonder how they choose the returning contestants. I assume it’s a combination of availability and/or potential drama. Luisa (&Neil) and Leah (& Natalie) were pretty instrumental in the firing of Jason and Zee respectively, so I assume the producers were hoping for some drama to flare up.

    Decisive Leah is my favourite flavour of Leah, especially the ‘I don’t like it’ moment in the boardroom. For a moment or two I was worried she was going to Clough it up by refusing to compromise on her ‘vision’; funny how £250000 changed her mind on the name!

    I’m still confused as to what Luisa’s business plan was. If I’m right she was going to sell the same product to both domestic customers (as a retailer) and businesses (as a wholesaler)? Am I right?

    Did Francesca do anything other than dance? I don’t remember noticing her do anything else.

    Luisa said the line! I rewound and rewatched a few times if I’m honest. Then Ricky Martin tweeted me (which is the most exciting thing to happen to anyone I work with all week)!

    1. PadsterMo

      Having rewatched the phonecalls, I love Leah even more. Luisa is all ‘So hi babe, it’s Luisa, how are you? I’m like in the final and all (giggles, twirls hair). Aren’t I great? So, babe, do you, like, want to came and work for me? You do? Oh babe, that’s like well great (giggle). Okay babe. See you soon. Bye babe. Bye. Bye bye bye bye bye. Bye.’ (Hangs up delicately, sighs contentedly, twirls hair, and thinks about what to do next.

      Leah, meanwhile Hii Fran, it’s Leah. I’m in the final, will you come and work for me? Okay, great, see you soon, bye?’ (Hangs up abruptly and dials next number without pausing for breath).

    2. monkseal Post author

      I figure they try to keep things relatively even, male-female wise, and work from there in terms of drama. I know Tim said on twitter that he wasn’t available, and Jordan was CAST OUT OF SUGARLAND like StuBaggs was, so that just leaves Kurt of the men and yeah…not so much drama to be had there. As for the women, Rebecca is probably a bit too raw to potentially work with Luisa and not stab her to death (and I can’t really see Dr Leah wanting her and her pure sales ability on a task with no sales so…there was every chance), Sophie was the token week 2/3 invisigirl firing and Jaz was…probably off shouting at some muddy 14 year old girls in a field somewhere.

      Luisa’s plan was only to sell to businesses. Natalie asked if she ever envisioned selling as a retailer, and she said no. What I was left not knowing is if this meant she was a manufacturer or just a supplier. *shrug*

      Franny did market research and market feedback I think. Thankless tasks both. Also her face was all over the advertising and website, so I guess that happened at some point.

  11. Josh

    She’s young, beautiful, intelligent, has a sexy Irish accent, and can apparently succeed at absolutely anything she attempts, even with very little effort.

    Was she blessed at birth by an African witch doctor, or something?

  12. Rachel Main (@Batsdontdance)

    Hi Monkseal, never commented on your blog before but just wanted to say thanks for your great coverage this year, I check this place so much it’s in my top searched sites now…maybe you should be a tad worried concerned actually

    I have to say I think Luisa won my heart in the very last few episodes, what a hot mess! She actually reminded me a bit of a dramatic Drag Race contestant by that point, she was truly pulling out all the stops (ott sass, gleefully trolling fellow contestants, mugging4dayz, SOBBING MESS, ~journey~, comes second anyway) only her extensions might be a little too ratty for most queens on that show. Found myself rooting for both of the girls by the end but I think Dr Leah was the best (well, more interesting anyway) option. Now if only she’ll invest in some OUYYYYYYDS for the waiting room in her clinics…

    Anyway, loving your posts and I can’t wait for Strictly!

  13. Isolde

    They could both have done better on the names for the businesses. When Luisa was trying to explain the concept, she said Everything But the Cake, which would have been a great name.

    If Leah was determined to have an anagram of skin, she should have gone with Inks, and combined it with a tattoo parlour.

  14. Suzanne

    I don’t know why she didn’t just call it Skin. With the ‘k’ backwards if that was so important to her. Maybe it’s been done.

      1. monkseal Post author

        Weak as she is, no tears for you (because she’s had her tear ducts surgically closed).

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