“The Apprentice”: a Gripping Finale That Was Genuinely Tough to Call

Last week, Sian Gabbidon went head to head with Camilla Ainsworth in a bid to win Lord Sugar’s £250,000 ($316,000) investment. After a tearful interview process, both candidates managed to keep their cool and deliver one of the smoothest and toughest-to call-finales of the show to date.

Sian’s business is an affordable luxury swimwear range. She does all the designs herself and plans to stand out from the market thanks to the “reversibility” feature of her designs. This means that you effectively get two swimsuits in one. Nonetheless, Lord Sugar was unsure about the strength of the USP and doubted whether the business would succeed in an already overcrowded market.

On the opposing team was Camilla’s Nut Milk brand. The dairy-free product contains 15% nut content and is currently produced in her own kitchen. Although Lord Sugar had faith that the product is right on trend, he had his doubts over whether the business is scalable, especially as Camilla has only been running the business for 3 months.

In an exciting finale, a selection of past candidates from the season were bought back and split into teams. Sian was bitterly disappointed with her sub-teams billboard design but was very pleased with Kurran’s advert, which she bit the bullet and put him in charge of, despite his crash and burn ad earlier in the season.

On the other team, Camilla loved Kayode’s cheeky and cheerful billboard but the panel was underwhelmed with the sub-teams advert. Still, they all loved Camilla’s nut milk and unanimously agreed that it was high quality and delicious.

When it came to presenting their products, both candidates managed to keep their cool. Presenting in front of a room of hundreds of people is daunting and it is not common for candidates to stumble. On the contrary, Sian stayed calm and collected and impressed the panel with her knowledge of the swimsuit market. Camilla also stayed cool in spite of a stumble when it came to talking about profit, which she recovered from quickly.

In the boardroom, all of the past candidates sung Camilla and Sian’s praises. Karen and Claude were also highly complimentary of both candidates and it looked like the decision could go either way.

In the end, Lord Sugar’s concerns over the scalability of Camilla’s nut milk proved to be too great a concern. Sian’s calm and collected nature along with her business acumen and impressive talent led Lord Sugar to invest in her swimwear line.

In terms of entertainment, it’s always more fun when things go wrong but the two deserving candidates admirably held it together exceptionally well. Sian was a worthy winner and her passion, drive, and talent have brought back some of the integrity and excitement that the show has been missing.