Eight down and eight to go (or seven to go and one to land the dubious honour of becoming Lord Sugar’s business partner and having him breathing down their neck every day).
But what have we learnt so far about the remaining candidates, and which of them are looking like contenders?
I can’t quite put my finger on which one of the Muppets Stephen reminds me of but it can’t be one of the nice ones because I just don’t trust him. It’s hard to like someone who bangs on constantly about how they’re amazing at “banter” and who is rubbish in the tasks but vicious in the boardroom. Lord Sugar will see through him soon enough.
A green grocer by trade, Adam has a “pile ’em high, sell ’em cheap” attitude to business. Always ready with a foot and an open mouth to put it in, Adam’s turned himself into a decent outside bet by demonstrating enthusiasm, tenacity and – against all odds – a streak of disarming self-deprecation.
Hipster Tom is the yin to Adam’s yang. A lover of the finer things in life – such as vintage furniture and sushi – Tom’s already shown he can plan a strategy and organise a team. He’s also shown he can entirely lose sight of business principles when he gets too engrossed in the subject matter, as with the street art task.
Nick spent most of the first half of the series doing very little and sniggering at the mistakes the rest of the candidates were making (much like your average Apprentice viewer). But in the old “smell-and-sell” task he proved he’s very capable when in charge. He’s also a technology entrepreneur so when it comes to partnering Lord Sugar, there’s a good chance he’ll have an idea that will appeal – just like last year’s winner Tom “The Inventor” Pellereau.
Professional wrestler Ricky “The Fitness” Martin has a penchant for self-aggrandising rhymes – “Witness The Fitness” “I’m the reflection of perfection” – and a tendency to play the lad card, yet he could be a contender. Beneath the bravado, he’s organised, creative, a strong leader and not afraid of a boardroom smackdown.
A bit all over the place when she was in charge during the “smell and sell” task, which as Lord Sugar would tell you (probably with a tear in his eye) is the purest test of business nouse. Tenacious Jade is currently a business development manager rather than a business owner and that may well be where she stays.
She talks a good game in the boardroom but she’s yet to demonstrate any business acumen or leadership skills. Everything she’s done is about adding an unconvincing sheen to things – whether its being extremely pleasant to art buying clients while failing to ask any significant business questions, or painting Union Jacks onto old furniture. She’s very nice, but she’s an architect not a business woman, and Lord Sugar will work that out sooner or later.
She may not be able to speak “Scottish” but Jenna understood the gourmet street task in Edinburgh and seemed in control of her team. She’s dithered a bit when working under other people, though, and doesn’t strike me as an ideas person, so doesn’t look a good bet to end up as Lord Sugar’s business partner.