The Apprentice: Nick Hewer on the final five

Lord Sugar's aide analyses the remaining candidates, with commentary from Stuart Baggs

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NICK SAYS: “Little Miss Susan is 21 years old and left Shanghai not speaking a word of English not that long ago. She has educated herself and paid off her mum’s mortgage, which I think makes her an exceptional young woman. We have yet to see whether, setting aside her youth, enthusiasm, education and drive, there is a real flaw in her character. We saw a glimpse of one during the beauty task where she miscalculated what she could sell – a cleverer person would have made their estimates conditional and covered their backs. I’m also not sure that she is always entirely frank with her fellow candidates – she doesn’t necessarily always tell the truth, and on this show you can’t get away with that for long.”


BAGGS SAYS: “Whingeing and whiny. Predictably, in every episode she’s having a go at someone. There’s no place in the process for her.”

NICK SAYS: “Mr Notebook-Calculator has impeccable manners and a very gentlemanly quality. He has really captured the affection of the house, which always helps contestants. The girls love his vulnerability and the fact that he isn’t a lad like a lot of the rest of the male contestants. From the start he has been thoughtful and made good suggestions, but because he’s not a scrapper he has been ignored. They are starting to listen to him now though as he has, on the whole, been proved right and earned their respect. He is a details man, he is imaginative but capable of slipping on any banana skin that’s within 100 metres of him. If there is a rake in the garden he will step on it; if there is an open door he will walk into it.”

BAGGS SAYS: “He’s cool and calm, but I wouldn’t go for a drink with him down the pub – he’d probably try to bore me with the insides of his watch.”

NICK SAYS: “Prim Helen with her hair in a bun is a bit of an enigma. She seems to be keeping both her talent and her beauty under wraps. Seven wins in a row don’t just come through luck, though. Her talent is starting to shine through and it seems to lie in organising and delegating. She is driven and cool under pressure and is certainly one of the stronger women at the moment, but she could easily get swept aside. I don’t think she is popular in the house – she needs to watch out for the rest of the girls because there are some feisty ones and I wouldn’t put my money on her if she comes up against them. A corporate cat that purrs rather than roars – she needs to show some Apprentice passion otherwise her luck could soon run out.”

BAGGS SAYS: “She’s managed to fly under the radar so far. But let’s just see if Lord Sugar spots her and shoots her down…”

NICK SAYS: “What a handful! I do not find him as charming as he thinks he is and I wish he would stop talking about his Irish charm because I’m finding it a bit spooky. I was in Belfast the other day and everyone is convinced he is going to win it – apparently he and his wife are the Posh and Becks of Cookstown, County Tyrone, where they live. The incident with Leon in the boardroom showed me that he is a pretty manipulative character. I personally find him a bit creepy, but he has some tremendous qualities and is definitely a contender. He is bright, articulate, quick on his feet and very self-confident – Ulster breeds a particularly strong type of chap – but I would say that accidents happen…”

BAGGS SAYS: “He’s the public’s favourite, but Sugar has marked his card and so have I. There’s no place in this competition for a Steady Eddie.”

NICK SAYS: “The Birmingham scrapper – she doesn’t pull her punches and talks a lot, but we are yet to see whether there is any substance behind it. She has the childlike quality of assuming the personality that the role she gets in each task demands – as the director she ran around shouting “action” a lot and she revelled in her role as editor in the magazine challenge, but I don’t really know who she is yet. She says “yeah” after each sentence, which is very annoying, and could she please stop tensing her thighs? She always stands with her legs apart like she is about to pounce, which I find extremely disconcerting. If she worked her brain as hard as her thigh muscles she might get somewhere.”


BAGGS SAYS: “She’s quite fit. I’ll say something nice so she’ll like me. She’s calm under pressure, but she isn’t afraid to be a pit bull when she needs to be.”