The Apprentice Final 2017
|Air Date||December 17, 2017|
After 11 gruelling weeks and a shaky start to a poor season, The Apprentice final 2017 has come and gone. We could have been forgiven if we gave up after the fourth week where for four episodes in a row no candidate impressed. Luckily, our loyalty was rewarded, and we managed to get a strong end of the season. I am still fuming about week 11 but to avoid putting a downer on the event, I will not mention it in this recap.
What was the task for The Apprentice final 2017?
As always, both candidates have to develop their business plan, create the initial product and present it to Lord Sugar and industry experts.
James’ business case is to build a recruitment company for IT specialists.
Sarah’s business case is to set up a confectionary gift packaging website – the Moonpig of sweets!
How did James do?
The team James assembled from the previous candidate showed enthusiasm and did a very good job. He project managed it well apart from… Elizabeth. Why on earth did he pick her for his team when he has failed to manage her in the past.
In the end, despite my annoyances with Elizabeth, she did provide some neat ideas to James. “First Tier Talent” was a brilliantly suggested name despite Karen Brady’s objection. As for the finalist himself, he kept it cool and calm throughout with his salesman nature. The fact is his business case is extremely risky. Recruitment companies pop up and go all the time and to convince Lord Sugar to trust him is a fine feat.
As for his pitch, he delivered it. He was understandably nervous but he smiled through his shakes and laughed when he needed to. His idea is very common but it is him as a person that is the business case, which is very key.
How did Sarah do?
Sarah’s team let her down badly in The Apprentice Final 2017. In fact, it was probably the most unmotivated team I have seen in a final. I actually felt sorry for her as you could see how angry and upset she was when the team delivered a terrible logo that did not sell the brand well at all.
What made Sarah stand out is that she did something about her team’s failures. Changing the logo and brand name was a significant move.
As for the pitch, Sarah delivered way better than James. Great opening. Great delivery. Excellent and well-measured responses to the awkward industry expert questions. Sarah surprised me in this final. I did not see her coming throughout the entire season but compliments are due. She outshone against James, who has been strong from the start.
Who did better on the task overall in The Apprentice final 2017?
Overall, it was neck and neck. I am not just saying that because of the unprecedented outcome. It really was. You could argue the pitches were not equal but in the grand scheme of the task, it did not make a difference. I really thought Sarah was going to lose because of her team. She took on the challenge and nailed it. As for James, he did his usual smooth operator ways to take it to the finishing line.
How was the boardroom?
The shock factor of The Apprentice final 2017 was positive and negative. Let’s start with the positive.
Lord Sugar was clearly conflicted and for him to make both finalists winners provided a jaw-dropping moment. I could not believe it. Is he getting soft with old age? It seems so but it gave us great TV.
As for the negative – making both James and Sarah winners diluted the concept. I have seen Lord Sugar in previous finals with a harder choice to make. His decision made The Apprentice feel like an undeserved process. The point is for one winner. I know the argument is, “well it is business” – is this show really about business now?
Did they both deserve to win the £250k investment?
Taking away the point of the show and the concept – yes. James was a gamble. Sarah sold a niche idea. It was not their business cases that necessarily won it for them. It was their performance on the final task.
Congratulations to James White and Sarah Lynn for being the first series double winners.
Back for next year…?
It is tempting for me to leave this show for good. My love for it wavered this year.
I will see how I feel next year.
Thank you for reading my recaps. Despite the pain I’ve gone through some weeks it has been a blast!
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Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.