After Lucinda decided she was kinda sorta maybe still interested in being the next apprentice, Sir Alan decided he was not kinda sorta maybe still interested in her any more and decided to fire her in The Apprentice UK Series 4 Episode 11. That brought us down to the final four of Alex, Claire, Helene, and Lee, and that’s where Sir Alan wanted things to remain for the finale.
The final four are divided into two teams: Claire and Lee against Alex and Helene. Six of the castoffs return to work with them.
Claire selects Jenny C. Alex selects Raef. Lee selects Michael. Helene selects Kevin. Lee selects Simon. That leaves the other Jen on Helene and Alex’s team.
The teams are standing in a blank room, which is a canvas for their promotion of a new fragrance for the modern man, retailing at Â£29.95. Sir Alan informs them that whichever team loses, both will be fired, a twist I’m not particularly fond of.
Helene tells Alex she’s glad she’s working with him because Claire takes over and Lee is a nightmare.
Alex suggests he is the modern man. Lee is thinking metrosexual. Claire visits plumbers, which leads her to overthrow the metrosexual theme.
Helene is in charge of branding. After two hours brainstorming, she’s still stuck. Alex and Kevin have decided on the name Connect. Helene and her team hate it. Alex wants to know what she suggests. Silence. Kevin and Alex discuss how, despite it being a joint project management, Alex should be managing Helene. When they arrive to discuss bottle design, they still don’t have a brand name. Kevin makes a pitch to create a bottle made of a stress ball material. The designer says that’s a silly idea, but he runs with the concept of the regular large container and then a smaller one to go with it to carry with you. They’ve got a design ready, despite the lack of a brand.
Following 5 hours of brainstorming, Helene still has nothing. She’s also late for her focus group. Alex describes the bottle and once again brings up the name Connect. His other idea is Dual. She doesn’t want to hear it and has to go. Jen’s not any more impressed with her than Alex and Kevin are.
Lee’s concerned about the presentation, whereas his partner is the best presenter on the show.
Alex’s team finally has a brand name, Dual, which they’re using to promote the inner self that occasionally wants to come out. Nick is impressed by Alex, despite thinking Helene is useless.
Unlike Claire and Lee, who realize they’re competitors but also realize they need to work together or face being fired, Alex and Helene are approaching this task as competitors.
Helene hopes to have an unusual scent. She begins looking at things like chocolate and curry.
For their fragrance, Roulette, Lee wants to revive the old fashioned gambling gentleman. Their location is a night club that looks like a casino.
During a discussion of when they’re going to wake up, Raef, Jen, and Kevin walk out on Helene after getting tired of her. They leave Alex behind so she can yell at him.
Lee struggles to even practice the presentation and tells Claire he can’t do it.
Alex smells his fragrance. Probably not the wisest idea. Jen comments: it is quite… chocolatey.
Lucky for Lee, Alex and Helene’s team finds them boring, so it may not matter whether he can pull it together or not.
Lee tries to tell the audience that the metrosexual trends are dead and that there’s a new modern man. Granted, their actor in the commercial is apparently himself a metrosexual. Their fragrance is a spicy oriental blend. The audience has concerns about the gambling aspects of the campaign, but Claire does a good job of covering this. One comment they receive is that the product may not be particularly special, but it could sell reasonably well immediately without much work.
Alex and Helene receive a comment that they’ve done an extraordinary job considering the time frame they had to make the product. The concern raised about their product is the potential cost of the bottle, which they say will be slightly higher but should be manageable. The buyers suggest even the few percentage points higher is too much to leave room for advertising.
Claire and Lee’s team supports them fully. Nick’s not too thrilled with the gambling aspect. He says that Roulette = gambling = debt = misery. Harsh. The experts felt the fragrance was not distinctive. One said it was retro 1970s, which was what I thought the market they were going for was.
Kevin’s not quite so supportive of his project managers as the other team. Well, at least he’s not quite so supportive of one of them. He says the decisions were made by Alex. Their fragrance was definitely distinctive, although Sir Alan says it’s a copy of the perfume Helene wears. Sir Alan wants to know who came up with the idea of the dual bottle. Alex doesn’t really have an answer.
Sir Alan tells Lee his presentation was improved 100%, and Claire’s Q&A handling was brilliant. More importantly, though, is the cost of the dual bottle the other team had. While it may have been a great idea, it just doesn’t work at this price. Alex and Helene are fired.
So that brings us down to the final two: Lee and Claire.
Helene, who proved useless on the task, blames the loss on Alex because she didn’t design the bottle (or do anything else), which, therefore, must mean it’s not her fault. As skeptical as I was about whether Alex was more than just a pretty boy, Helene is someone who shouldn’t have been allowed in the final task to begin with.
Michael tells Sir Alan that Claire’s shown a lot of tenacity and has had the tougher route. Simon says he can’t choose between the two. Jenny is impressed by Lee’s chivalry, for whatever that’s worth.
Sir Alan calls Lee’s presentation improved but lacking, whereas Claire’s was superb.
Claire says that she’s learned throughout the process and has improved as time has gone by. She believes she’s the tougher person and won’t crumble.
Lee speaks to his record, which was the best of the final four.
Sir Alan is concerned about Lee being a one trick pony (sales), but he also raises concern about Claire’s general demeanor. Ultimately, he has decided that Lee is very, very convincing, and with that, he’s reached a decision. Lee is the winner of The Apprentice UK Series 4.
I’m less convinced than Sir Alan is. I’ve been a lot more impressed with Claire.
The Apprentice UK Series 5 will air next year, presumably around the end of March. In the US, The Celebrity Apprentice 2 starts in January. Stay tuned to dingoRUE for coverage of both.