Vana’s View: The Apprentice finalist on week 3 – ‘Sofiane rubs me up the wrong way, but Paul is one to watch’

Favourites are starting to emerge after three weeks in front of Lord Sugar says the former Apprentice candidate

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The Apprentice Episode 3. AKA, Sweet Surrender! Last week, the product design task was excruciatingly exciting to watch. As per usual, it was a fiasco with neither team “winning” the task. This week, it gets even sweeter.

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The teams have to make a “tasty profit” from “tempting sweets”. This is one of my favourite types of episode because Lord Sugar decides who will be Project Manager. Nobody can skirt the responsibility.

Oliver is a weaker project manager than Alanna. But she’s super nervous. I can’t wait to see how this pans out… and I hope she can pull together her nerves.

Also, I hope both teams don’t forget the goal of the task: P-R-O-F-I-T. 

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From the beginning, I could see that there was much more structure to Alanna’s team. Oliver made a rookie mistake early on when he put Mukai in charge of managing the corporate client pitch in Brighton. After his disastrous pitch last week?!

Then, on Alanna’s team, I heard the most ridiculous comment yet from Sofiane, and I must say it really turned me off him. He exclaimed that he didn’t want to be in the kitchen side of things because, “I’ve got a wife who cooks for me”. Sofiane, please.

I like the way Alanna’s team went about picking their two products because they were considering profit margins. Pillows, bigger profit margin. And toffee.

Oliver’s team went more on the taste and neglected the way things are made or the costs. They liked fudge and the rock, so they followed their tastebuds.

Ice cream rock and salt and vinegar fudge? Why salt and vinegar?! That sounds SO gross! 

Alanna keeps a close eye on her chefs throughout the task, which is spot on. She knows that the second you take the eye of the ball in this process, you fail. This is something I realised after task three – if you don’t keep a careful eye on everything going on, things fall apart. I was actually Project Manager in week 3 as well, so I remember how stressful that was. Managing a group of so many big personalities is tough. Especially when you have a sub team because you need to trust that your sub team leader can get things done properly!

In my opinion, Mukai is in the bottom half of contestants at the moment, due to his performance last week on the Jeans pitch. I was shocked that Mukai immediately said he wanted to sell 50 bags of candy at £1.50 because that’s only £75. Karren was spot on: why travel all that way to just get 75 quid? 

Back on Alanna’s team, things were going down the drain when she started having a meltdown over the time constraints and pillow issues. What I loved was that JD was able to come in with his upbeat optimism and perk up the situation. As usual, he’s smiling and keeping this positive.

I was also proud to see Jessica’s performance this episode. It’s Jessica who comes up with a solution to fix the pillow issue! Jessica to the rescue.

Sofiane rubbed me the wrong way (again) towards the end of the episode; I think he’s in my bad books at the moment. I didn’t like how he lied to the football club and told them that they purposely made different shaped candies. In my opinion, honesty is the best policy. 

Overall, I just sensed impending doom in Oliver’s team. Firstly, Oliver didn’t know his own pricing strategy.  Nobody knew the prices on Oliver’s team! Oliver’s sub-team was also dysfunctional. They had no idea what they were doing and they were flustered and confused. Personally, I think that Paul should have been in charge of the negotiating because Mukai gets too nervous, 

Karthik never ceases to amaze me. I’m not sure about his technique of screaming “suck it” loudly to generate sales… Doesn’t seem like the best way to get people to buy candies. I have to give it to him though – he does have a big, bold personality.

Now – for the boardroom! The best part. 

It started off light and funny. Karthik dropped the rock but he accepted full responsibility. He said, “I’ve changed now.” HAHA – not sure I believe that, Big K.

Paul impressed me again when he spoke in the boardroom because he was very succinct. Mukai should have closed the first deal of 1.50 for 50 bags before trying to sell 50 more bags. Instead, Mukai talked himself down in the negotiation and ended up getting 1.07 for 100 bags. This is only a difference of £32… but should have been 75! Anyway… 

The final rookie error came from Oliver: he brought the wrong person into the boardroom. Paul and Mukai. I think Oliver would have had a much better chance at sticking around if he hadn’t brought Paul back in. Paul had been making solid points throughout the episode and shouldn’t have been punished for not making sales. 

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I wish Oliver all the best; I think he’s a solid guy with a strong work ethic and he can make it in business. I only hope he doesn’t resort to scratch and wins for the 250,000! 

The Apprentice 2016: meet the candidates

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Trishna
Thakrar

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Sofiane
Khelfa

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Samuel
Boateng

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Rebecca
Jefferey

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Paul
Sullivan

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Oliver
Nohl-Oser

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Natalie
Hughes

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Mukai
Noiri

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Michelle
Niziol

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Karthik
Nagesan

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Jessica
Cunningham

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JD
O’Brien

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Grainne
McCoy

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Frances
Bishop

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Dillon
St. Paul

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Courtney
Wood

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Aleksandra
King

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Alana
Spencer