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The Apprentice Final Review: Tom The Real Winner? An After Thought

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‘Once again Tom…he’s in a losing team, however he has brilliant ideas, he’s an inventor, that’s what I need’

‘Tom, I don’t want to see you in the boardroom again’

‘Tom, I feel every time your in this boardroom, you always know when a task is going wrong but you never fix it, am I right?’

Just a few memorized quotes there about Tom Pellereau from this series of The Apprentice. And what strikes me more is that I heard these kind of comments 9 out of the 12 weeks. Tom, the record holder for losing tasks, ultimately became Sir Alan Sugar’s business partner. No-one has ever lost that many tasks and then got to here the famous words ‘your hired’. Because on the ‘old format’ or whatever they like to call it, it was about selling and the ability to lead a team. On the ‘NEW’ format it was about showing the ability of creating a business. If that is the case then, why did they give the candidates tasks that required to sell more than creating a business model. Creating an idea, branding, marketing were a few key themes in the series that matched the new format. Tom however never really excelled on any task, don’t get me wrong, his inventing abilities is next to none but when it came to bring the idea to existence, he was terrible.

And that brings me to the semi-final, where Helen Milligan and Tom were on a team. Now if it wasn’t for Helen then Tom would of never made it to the final. And before we even discuss creativity, Helen thought of the pies, created the business model, got everything organised and made sure the brand was ‘fast food’. Tom on the other hand created the brand name by simply misreading a word on a advert after recently admitting he’s dyslexic. The brand MyPy, got them straight through to the final.

Now onto the final, apart from Jim Eastwood I liked the other three candidates, I thought Susan Maa was abit full on at times, and I don’t think she had a chance of winning tonight, in which she didn’t however she will be successful with out Lord Sugar. Going into the final Helen was my favourite candidate out of the whole show, because she showed consistency. I do feel however she was harshly done to in the ‘Interviews from hell’ which took her out of her comfort zone. After the interviews it was concluded in the boardroom (which sounded like a bunch of friends having a laugh) that Helen didn’t have the kind of entrepreneurial flair..Really? Are we forgetting when she broke the board room record in week 8 when she sealed a deal with a company for €214, 000 worth of car seats. And then a week later managed the team in securing 800 thousand units of Star biscuits? And then the board room tried making out like Susan had better business skills than her. Jim was ripped apart from the start, deservedly and was also the first to be booted from the final, his interview moments where Margaret made him look like a fool about cliches was absolutely comedy. Never have I felt so happy about a candidate getting fired, he was so close in become the next ‘Baggs brand’.

Tom also got criticized from the interviews and in the board room but the usual comments kept coming up. ‘He’s an inventor’. And it’s that comment that has silently irritated  me from the start of the show because I was led to believe it was about been able to start a business, not just inventing things. Anyone with the right amount of money and expertise can invent and create a business. Sir Alan made out like he was the next Albert Einstein, however Tom did do that dodgy eye shift movement like he was calculating space and time around him.

So my theory is, I believe Sir Alan wanted Tom to be the winner right from the early stages as soon as he realised he’s can invent random things from the top of his head. And in a way I feel robbed, because I absolutely loved this series from start to finish and I had a hunch that Lord Sugar was trying his hardest not to sack him from the middle of the show. Even when he declared that he didn’t want to see ‘Tom in the boardroom again’. Tom returned to the boardroom and still survived. It felt like losing a task on the show had no damaging effect if you got far or not which surely defeats the whole point.

It’s only a theory though, maybe Tom was a rightful winner but something doesn’t add up. The mention ‘he’s an inventor’ every week eventually got drilled into my head, it was like the show was trying to sell you the idea that this guy is the worthy winner. It didn’t work though because in the after show even the panel agreed that Helen would of won hands down in different circumstances.

So that’s the end of a very successful series 7, and I cannot wait for the next series already.

‘Stop guys, were not making any money here’ – Helen Milligan. —A quote that would of made more sense, if Tom said it.

By Daniel Hart.

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