Today I ran (quite literally, as I got lost) across London to interview this year’s Apprentice finalists Mark Wright and Bianca Miller.
I was ready to turn all Lord Sugar as they had a slanging match across the desk, arguing about who was the most worthy winner, who had the strongest business plan and all that jazz. I was going to throw up my hands and tell everyone to “shut it”, that I’d “heard enough”, that it was “my time to talk”. Maybe even roll my eyes with Nick Hewer-like disdain.
But they both really like each other. And this is before they know who’s won. Yes, they’re (at this point anyway) still waiting to find out whether Lord Sugar will invest £250,000 in Bianca’s hosiery business or Mark’s online sales proposition. The competition is still on, people.
Yet when you ask them why they deserve their places in the final, all they do is say nice things about each other…
“I think we were the best two business people in the process, without a shadow of a doubt,” says Mark.
“I think we’ve got great business plans, that’s why we’re here,” Bianca concurs.
Where’s the he-said-she-said? The “I’m the reflection of perfection” chat we’ve come to know and love from The Apprentice?
Not here, not today.
Maybe I need the theme music playing.
I try to fire things up, pointing at them individually (any pointing should strike fear into an Apprentice candidate’s heart, right?) asking if they each thought their business plan was better than the other’s.
“I don’t think my business plan is better than Bianca’s. I think that I’m more suited to my business plan because of my experience,” Mark diplomatically replies.
“I think our business plans are both very strong for different reasons,” adds Bianca. “It’s hard to compare them, it’s an apples and pears kind of situation… I think both of us respect that we both have very good business plans.”
But they are at least both backing themselves for the final, right? Probably thought Lord Sugar would just fire everyone else and choose them to win, yeah? That no other candidates were coming close to that final task…
Nope. They were both pretty sure the other would be in the final, too. Sigh…
“I thought the final three would be Mark, Roisin and I. With Katie in fourth,” says Bianca.
“From the inside, and correct me if I’m wrong, I felt like myself, Bianca and Roisin were far stronger than the other candidates from a business perspective. Looking at it from running a business, we are stronger, and it felt like that from a long time coming into the final. We often said it would be the three of us there.”
Right. Never mind. Where’s Daniel? Let’s talk about those hot tubs again…
See The Apprentice final Sunday at 9:00pm on BBC1