So, the evening we were all waiting for got off to a flying start (well, sort of, five minutes later after the Sports Personality of the Year finished late) with Stella English and Chris Bates who I recently found out comes from just down the road from me in Epsom.
The task Lord Sugar came up with was for the two teams to create a spirt based drink for the over 25s and to retail at £20 with just three days to do it. The strange thing that we immediately noticed was that Stuart Baggs aka “The Brand” (did you know he’s only 21?!) (Just found out he wasn’t invited back) who left the show in rather spectacular fashion wasn’t present for the final when the previous contestants were brought back to form the teams.
Stella’s team decided to create a Blue Burban which was pretty quickly culled by the experts while Chris was looking to do a rum with a flavour with the name, Cube Rum to tie in three different flavours. That name quickly got ditched along with Stella’s Blue bourbon which then changed to Urbon. Both teams went off to drinks makers and design company, Diageo with Christopher and Melissa making the actual drinks for Stella with Liz and Shibby doing the drinks design for Chris’ team.
After having trouble deciding on the name, Chris decides on the name Prism with the idea of the drink being clear. The only issue was, Shibby and Liz made the drink that was coloured pink obviusly forgetting the fact that the drink was designed for both men and women even though Chris had given them the brief for the drink to be clear. Problem number one for Chris!
After the drinks been made with the marketing decided, the teams have to go along to the Drinks Commission where they have to clear what they’re going to shoot in their adverts to make sure that it complies with various laws. Even the way in which people look in the adverts and even what the people in the advert will be wearing! It’s rather anal if you ask me but i guess the laws are there for a reason!
Day 2 – The drinks which Stella and Chris have designed are couriered to the house where they are unveiled with great expectation. Stella’s Urbon looked pretty cool and although the colour of Chris’ drink wasn’t quite what he wanted, the bottle design was pretty darn cool! Now, TV commercial time!
TV crew and actors ready, Chris goes with a theme where people come from different background where the drink brings people together. The commercial has to be 30 seconds long and Chris immediately struggled to get the basic idea for the advert together. Stella on the other hand had a clear idea of ow the advert would come together and led her team with relative ease…. at least that’s the way it was edited! In the end, Chris got his advert completed in the knick of time and then both Chris and Stella began to focus on their pitch to Lord Sugar and various drink experts.
Day 3 – Day for the pitch at The Hurlingham where 100 drinks professionals will be to watch the presentations along with the big boss himself, Lord Sugar. Stella hasn’t even written hers when arriving at the venue and got to work on writing it with Paloma where Chris on the other hand had written his presentation but had to focus more on improving his ‘drone bomber’ approach in which he’d been accused previously with the help of Jamie.
Stella has Joanna, Paloma and Melissa on her team, three people who like to make themselves heard – this is where the tension started to get to them and the volume of everything said started to rise. First up, Chris and Prism who had his three girls dancing to Safre Duo and did his best to give his presentation with as much gusto and as little ‘bomber’ technique as possible and he did a pretty good job other than the ‘breathtaking’ advert which he describe with laughter in the room with the tagline – ‘Prism does reflect every side of you’. Chris did a good job answering the questions that were thrown at him boasting the price of pomegranates would drop because of the amount they were going to sell!
Now, onto Stella’s presentation for Urbon. Again, introducing the drink with dancers, she proceeded to present with clear and concise factual information. Then advert which she produced looked pretty good and you could imagine seeing it on TV, probably not so much Chris’. Following both presentations, the experts spoke to Lord Sugar who all had different opinions but as always, it’s down to the boss himself! Presentations done – now, onto the boardroom.
Ahh, 45 minutes in and cue the Transformers score which I think they’ve used in every week of The Apprentice so far along with National Treasure and even Crimson Tide popped up in the ‘Why I Fired Them’ programme that was on this Friday.
With nervous looks on their faces, both Stella and Chris looked nervously across the table to Lord Sugar but in my opinion, both the finalists deserved to be there. Stella did a good job talking the talk but Lord Sugar picked her up on the taste of the drink which he considered to be a bit pungent and ended up calling Christopher and Melissa alcoholics!
Moving onto Chris, Lord Sugar picked Chris up on the colour of his drink and fortunately for Chris, Shibby took the limelight off Chris by saying a few stupid things but all of Chris’ team bigged him up followed quickly by Stella’s team who again, were extremely graceful in their teams – in fact Alex stuck up for both of them. All the old contestants then left leaving just the two finalists in the room for Lord Sugar to decide their fate.
The experts thought that the advert Chris made was pretty poor but that the bottle design was excellent and the 3 sided concept of bottle and ingredients was also very good. They didn’t especially like Stella’s bottle describing it as vinegar but liked the concept and thought it was very clever.
Sugar did his usual removing the finalists from the room and had a chat with Nick and Karen about their performance over the past 12 weeks. All agreed that they both had ther right people in the room and commended Chris on his improvement in public speaking.
Invited back, we waited to see who was going to the lucky winner of the 2010 series of The Apprentice. Dont read on if you don’t want to know wh0 won…….
Sugar said that both contestants had impressed him ‘at the highest possible level’. Stella was given the opportunity to sell herself claiming she’s constantly driving things, having the best record in this series while Chris claimed that throughout the process, he has outperformed his rivals, a top performer, and claimed a massive amount of potential.
Lord Sugar looked to the two finalists as completely different. Stella has experience while Chris is new and can be moulded into someone who can fit into his organisation. After a bit of banter between Stella and Chris, Sugar did his usual slow talking sum up to reveal…….
They were both very passionate about the job. That Stella was a great organiser of people and that she is a great leader, well liked and determined to get on with what she’s asked to do. That she had come from a very underprivileged background and that she’s dragged herself up to where she is today. Chris was described as young but that was a good thing, a great thinker and someone who can come up with great ideas. He claimed not to worry about the runner up and eventually the famous finger was raised and pointed to Stella with the words, ‘Stella You are Hired!’
Neither Stella nor Chris were Steady Eddie’s or Cautious Carols! This series of The Apprentice has been just as fantastic as all the previous and I’ve loved every single week of it. Congratulations to Stella and bring on the 2011 series which will no doubt be just as good as the rest!