What a genius task! This week, the two finalists were asked to create a new box of chocolates from scratch and pitch it to industry bigwigs. Suspense and chocolate in the same Apprentice episode? Diamond.
All the fired candidates from previous episodes were brought back to help. And Kate and Yasmina got to pick their teams, which was interesting. Kate resolutely refused to pick loverboy Philip so Yasmina nabbed him. And bless him, Rocky (we’d forgotten he was even in this series) was like that speccy, mal-coordinated kid at sports day, left standing on the sideline as everyone else got picked.
Off they shot to start work on the task. Both Kate and Yasmina were raring to go: you could tell it was going to be a tight finish. Both led their teams effortlessly. Kate selected Debra to put her big mouth to good use and select the flavours. Yasmina gave Lorraine a free rein with the team’s poster. Two chocolate brands were spawned in record time: Cocoa Electric for Yasmina and Choc D’Amour for Kate.
Kate’s brand was aimed at the couples market. The tagline read: For him. For her. To share. The advert was damn good too – once Kate had wrestled the project back from Kim, who seemed dead set on filming a tacky, eighties, pre-watershed commercial. The end result had a lot more oomph and sex appeal. Sir Alan’s face when he watched the ad was a picture: a chocolate besmeared model sitting astride her trussed up boyfriend, tantalising him with the last choc – the grizzled old entrepreneur nearly had a heart attack!
Cocoa Electric was also a success. The packaging and branding were great, Yasmina’s pitch was spot on (despite her paralysing nerves) – it was just a pity the chocolates were disgusting. Basil and strawberry flavour? Like, ew.
Both teams had a few shaky moments though. Yasmina originally opted to aim for a purely male demographic; then her market research informed her that guys don’t buy boxes of chocolates. Oops. Unfazed, she made the brave decision to throw that plan out of the window and concentrate on the "shock" element. Chilli and popping candy, anyone? Meanwhile, Kate decided on the name "Intimate" for her offering. Nick summed that up nicely, "It sounds like something to do with feminine freshness!" With ten minutes to go until the box designs were sent to the printers, Kate pulled the French alternative out of the bag and saved the day.
But in the end there could only be one winner. Sir Alan was taken with her entrepreneurial flair, cracking leadership and fat margins. Yep, you got it. Yasmina was HIRED. That £100,000 a year for the restaurateur-turned-apprentice. Kate looked gutted and, to his credit, Sir Alan really struggled with the choice. "You’re the best I’ve ever had," he told them. "This is the most difficult decision I’ve ever made in this boardroom."
So, it’s with a sigh and a wry smile that Real Business says goodbye to another series of The Apprentice. Good luck, Yasmina! Roll on next year.
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