Vana’s View: The Apprentice finalist on Week 4 – Sofiane needs to watch the way he treats women

Last year's runner-up shares her verdict on the Liberty department store task, and picks her favourite candidates from the week

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I’m only one minute into The Apprentice and the complexity of this week’s task is already stressing me out!

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I don’t know how they’re going to possibly do all these tasks in so little time. Liberty is one of my favourite department stores in the world, so I’m excited. As many of you know, I am an avid scarf lover because my sister is Alexa Sofia, the NYC designer.

So, as usual, there is a dramatic start to the task. Poor Aleksandra had too much of the intense process. I get it. It’s tough. And she misses her babies.

Grainne made a ridiculous comment that Aleksandra didn’t think she was “strong enough” to stay in this. That’s absurd. It has nothing to do with her qualifications or self confidence. Maybe it was just too stressful for her. Everyone is entitled to their own decision.

Three out of the four people who have left so far are women, and that’s what I’m worried about here. I want a female winner this year!

Now, on to the fun part. I would have 100 per cent chosen scarves if I had to choose a product. The handbags would be so much harder to sell because they are high ticket items. Also, side note: as a scarf lover, I have to say that I’m SO into those feline-themed scarves.

Sofiane and Grainne both seemed switched on and capable at the start, both good project managers. Sofianne is a bit overly confident, however, and Grainne questions herself too much – she seems flustered.

In terms of sales, Jessica was smashing it today. Sofiane was totally overshadowed by her. And the fact that he sent Jessica back into the windows whenever she made big sales was insane. I think Sofiane is a bit discriminatory when it comes to the way he treats women, and it’s starting to come out more and more.

I have my eye on you Sofi.

Sofianne took a bad management approach when he thought of swapping Jessica for Alanna, but their team was tearing it up when it came to sales, so I don’t think he really needed to worry.

Francis and Karthik did great with the teenage girls. I loved Karthik’s analogy of fish climbing trees because clearly he knows that this personal shopping thing isn’t his strength. He’s really starting to grow on me. And Frances was very impressive on this task: personable, trustworthy and sweet. A true saleswoman! 

Dillon is also in my good books at the moment – I liked his attitude in this task and it was funny when he got annoyed with Alanna.

So, now for the juicy part! The BOARDROOM.

When he analysed Mukai’s expertise, Lord Sugar said, “So you know your Helmut Langs from your Vera Wangs” – love this Lord Sugar. Great line.

For the first time this series, it was a landslide win – almost £1,000 more for Sofianne’s team! I think that Grainne took the right people into the boardroom but she should NOT have wavered so much. Lord Sugar hates wavering. She needs to stick to her guns.

I think Karthik did a good job and he shouldn’t have gone. For me, it was clearly between Grainne and Mukai in the bottom two.

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Mukai is a goner – and I’m not surprised. He was weak throughout the episodes and seemed to always be in the firing line. I think Mukai’s issue was that he was aloof. I think he is stylish and fashionable though, so I think he has potential to be big in the fashion world! Wishing Mukai all the absolute best.

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