Junior Apprentice 2010: The Final (liveblogged)

Tonight should see the nail-biting conclusion of Junior Apprentice. Four contestants remain, all in their teens, all hoping for a career in business. There’s obnoxious Zoe, brainiac Arjun, farmboy Tim and feisty Kirsty. Who will win?

With their former colleagues returning tonight, the four may find that winning isn’t that easy. Tim and Kirsty are the golden boy and girl following the sales pitch task. Arjun has a great track record, and only Zoe is really suspect by virtue of not being a team player.

Fed to the sharks

The apprentices get called to a shark tank – there’s an analogy coming, I’m sure – to meet Lord Sugar. Tim and Arjun are paired up for a change, and Zoe and Kirsty are put together. Tim and Arjun seem to be pally, but Zoe and Kirsty are due for a personality clash. Mark my words.

Oh! It’s the London Acquarium – I’ve been there. Tourist points!

The Task

The contestants are tasked with creating their own brand of bottled water…including:

  • come up with your own brand identity
  • make a television advert
  • launch the water to industry experts, including Lord Sugar

And all the old friends are back (stabbers). Even Jordan. This should be good for a laugh.

Let’s go

The teams try to identify the type of bottled water that they want and what sort of market they’re going to pitch it to. Tim’s raced ahead to having a naked man in the advert, but they still have some research to do yet.

Kirsty’s team go and stand in a fountain. That’s not research, is it? Kirsty then pitches the name Hydr8 to Zoe, who complains about trying to be down with the kids. Isn’t she a teenager, not a middle-aged marketing exec? Zoe and Hibah come up with Drip Drop as an alternative. It’s fair to say that 13 minutes in, Zoe i getting on everybody’s tits.

Zoe and Hibah break all the rules of impartial research, pitching the Drip Drop idea to some footballers and virtually forcing them to agree with their idea. Duh.

Tim hits a gym and pitches “A Bottle Of Water” to the yoga people. He’s expecting an award for this ingenuity, I can tell.

Drip Drop

We interrupt this liveblog to tell you about the jingle for Drip Drop. Zoe, after ramming her artistic heritage down our throats already, shows that she’s a keen singer songwriter. God, she’s game. Annoying, but game.

Grand Designs

Zoe commands the design team to “look up Jackson Pollock. P.O.L.L.O.C.K.” Kirsty is showing signs of going native on her ass. There’ll be a catfight before the design copy deadline.

Tim’s enjoying a fry-up while Arjun and the others are brainstorming their product label. In one of those moments that’ll come back to bite Tim, he shrugs off Arjun and leaves it to him to make the design decision. While bitching about having made all the creative decisions so far.

Drip Drop commercial

Nick points out that despite Kirsty’s clever video campaign, they can’t actually display the full product logo in one shot. Her solution? Squash the bottle to flatten out the text.

Elsewhere, Arjun is doing the video for their bottled water shoot. Except Tim booked one actor too many and they have no success turning away the extra guy. Still, Karren Brady has nothing but good things to say about Arjun’s creative talents.

Setting up shop

Zoe makes a mistake by engaging graffiti artists without bringing any branding material for them to work from. They’ve no idea about the logo, the font, or the colour they need. D’oh!

Nick’s not impressed. Zoe makes up for it by sticking a note to the wall. Luckily, the Graffiti Kings make a good job of the artwork.

Tim’s got an interior designer to help with a stripped-back layout for their shop space.

Pitching it

While the finishing touches are being made, both teams set about making their pitches. Nick grumbles that it’s very last-minute to be doing this kind of thing.

The rooms are filled out with retailers, bottled water manufacturers, advertising experts. And Alan Sugar.

Arjun and Tim take the stand first, blethering about Todd – a city worker who wants to go back to basic. They explain their rationale, price point and then roll the VT of Todd stripping. It’s a good advert actually, and it brings a smile to Lord Sugar’s stubbly face.

The pair take a Q&A session from some of the industry bigwigs. They handle themselves quite well, even the hard-nosed question about what brands they’d like their product to kill off.

Down the road, it’s Kirsty and Zoe’s turn. They kick things off with their target customer – a spotty teenager. They call the product bright, funky and dynamic. Then it’s straight into the advert. Another good advert, but Kirsty claims that teenagers will be queuing up to buy this new Ozonated type of water. Yeah, like teenagers will care.

They get compliments on their choice of target market, but one industry guy picks on the label design – it reminds him of petrol with the black text on yellow background.

The Final Boardroom

So, no-one really came across badly in that task, did they? Maybe a little bit of tension at the start, but the contestants worked together reasonably well. Especially considering they’re supposed to be competing against each other.

The atmosphere in the room is extremely cordial (pun intended), and Lord Sugar compliments everybody on a job well done. Arjun immediately gets aggressive, making sure his contribution to the task is recognised.

Zoe does much the same, and earns praise for her product name and strapline.

Zoe and Kirsty’s team get some stick for their video: “It looked like a bit of a mugging on a council estate”. Tim and Arjun claim to have a great working relationship, but Sugar sees Arjun as falling into the second fiddle trap. He criticised them for their 150% margin because of the television advertising budgets.

Despite his criticisms, Lord Sugar tells Tim and Arjun that the professionals in the room were impressed by their pitch and Q&A. Rounding on the girls, he tells them that their business model was flawed. They’re out.

It’s between Tim Ankers and Arjun Rajyagor for the title.

Talking it over in the boardroom, Sugar’s key flunkies note that Arjun has proven to be more resourceful than they first thought, and “Lazy Tim” ain’t so lazy any more. So, who will they award the £25,000 to?

To their credit, Lord Sugar calls their last task “exceptional”, which is practically a verbal orgasm for the man. He gives Arjun and Tim a chance to give a final pitch for themselves. Arjun gives a very comprehensive assessment of his achievements in the course of the show. Tim talks about how far he’s come, and that he didn’t expect to stay beyond the first week. Sugar quizzes him on his work before the show.

The Winner

After the usual chewing over the pros and cons of each candidate, Sugar calls his selection “an impossible decision”. Ultimately though, he selects Arjun, and I think that’s the right choice. Arjun says:

“I can’t believe I’m the first Junior Apprentice. It’s absolutely mind-blowing. It hasn’t even sunk in yet. Tim was the greatest opponent anybody could have ever wanted. I just can’t wait to go home and tell my parents. They’re going to be so proud, so ecstatic. And just to think the amount of opportunities this will open up for me. It’s just been so amazing.”

Congratulations to the final four though. I know we traditionally like to poke fun at the Apprentices, but those four showed a lot of determination and skill. It needs to be said, these young entrepreneurs deserve a pat on the back for their efforts. I really do wish them well in the future.

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4 Comments

  1. Indriel

    Good for a laugh?:) too right.. not what you expect from junior apprentice either, but I’m laughing and keep laughing everytime they say the name drip-drop! Laughter is the best medicine! too cool!..hmmm.. a bit like water.. and waters the best medicine also! Altho I thought hydr8 was a better brand name. Oh dear fed to the sharks indeed! 🙂 Now to get back to watching the telly! x

  2. slaneyvalley

    Arjun was a very deserving winner and Tim a very deserving runner up. Arjun was (throughout the series) a very polite young man and the way he articulated his final presentation was simply suberb. Red-lipsticked Zoe has a lot to learn about attitude but she is young and hopefully will look back and take on board her pitfalls. Kirsty surprised me with ther ability to really do well – hopey she will have a good future also. I really enjoyed this series of ‘Junior Apprentice’ almost more that the senior one. These young people show that there are many talented youths in Britain today, just a pity we don’t see more of them. Delighted for Arjun and Tim. I hope they go on to have fantastice futures, which I’m sure they will.

    1. Gerard McGarry

      I like your take on it David – “These young people show that there are many talented youths in Britain today, just a pity we don’t see more of them.” – Almost reminds us that there are other ways to be successful that going on BGT or X Factor!

      I’ve really enjoyed this series too. Wish I’d had the time to write more, because I’m a big fan of showing kids strong role models from their own peer group. Despite the odd bit of bickering and the boardroom backstabbing (which is almost expected), these kids did a fantastic job.

  3. slaneyvalley

    I’d second that Gerard. These kids (although I don’t really like to call them kids) were brilliant and, I’d imagine, Alan Sugar was very impressed with many of their strength of characters and enterprising skills. A wonderful series. Can’t wait for the next one (hopefully there will be one).

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