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The Apprentice Sugar-Style (UK)


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#2131

NotPatrick

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Posted Jun 21, 2013 @ 5:33 AM

On a lot of tasks, instead of brainstorming, the teams have to pick from a list of pre-selected concepts. They used to be more transparent about that in the old days, when it was less (like...2% less) about making all the candidates look as stupid as possible. Hence both teams considering "young professionals" this week, and both teams considering "back to school" for the Away Day task. Presumably they do this so that the resources they give the teams (like the focus groups and the types of activity they can offer) can be sourced by the production team before the show starts, so they can be readily on hand. 

 

Of course then candidates like Francesca pick the wine tasting activity (which should have gone with the luxury theme they considered) with a school themed day because...that's just Francesca. I don't dislike her, but for all the Luisa/Jason froo-fraw I wouldn't have minded seeing her go on this task, because she seems the next most pointless after people like Natalie or Uzma. I was kind of confused when Lordalan said that Nick & Karren had told him that she had "done well up til now". Would that be the sort of "done well" where you can't count, or the sort of "done well" where you entirely mismanage a task?


Edited by NotPatrick, Jun 21, 2013 @ 5:33 AM.


#2132

HauntedBathroom

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Posted Jun 28, 2013 @ 1:39 AM

Farewell, Alex. Like Jason in the previous week, once you lost control of your team, your fate was sealed. I am a bit surprised that he gave up on Popty Ping after being so committed - I know Myles was part of the target market, but I would have liked it if Alex had asked him "How many ready meals do you buy for your kid in Monaco?" All things considered, Myles got off lucky, as I would have expected a parent to be hesitant about putting skulls on kids food.



#2133

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Posted Jun 28, 2013 @ 5:52 AM

I'm sorry to see Alex go, because he was one of the more interesting characters, and he was really stitched up by Myles (who at least looked a little guilty about it in the end). Although I don't think Alex helped himself with his awful, random business plan. At this point in the process it becomes more about their business plans than their actual performance on the task.

 

I thought it was a little ridiculous how Neil's team's pitches basically became "Yeah, we know the food's really bland and shit, but we can change that if you make an order." It was like Jim's promises a few series ago of a huge advertising campaign with movie tie-ins for their star-shaped biscuits. Alex's team could have even more easily said they could change the packaging of their food, which apparently tasted good.

 

Francesca's days are surely numbered. I think she's been one of the least impressive candidates all along, and although she was thrown under the bus by Luisa by being confined to the kitchen when she said she couldn't cook, not even tasting the food was ridiculous.



#2134

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Posted Jun 28, 2013 @ 4:56 PM

I thought it was a little ridiculous how Neil's team's pitches basically became "Yeah, we know the food's really bland and shit, but we can change that if you make an order." It was like Jim's promises a few series ago of a huge advertising campaign with movie tie-ins for their star-shaped biscuits. Alex's team could have even more easily said they could change the packaging of their food, which apparently tasted good.

 

I think both teams were hamstrung by problems they made for themselves, but at least Neil's lot had the initiative to try to spin their mistakes. Alex's team kept hearing the same complaints from the people who they wanted to buy the product, but their response was to try to sweep the responses under the carpet. If they'd had the initiative to say the packaging was a demo, and they'd be willing to amend it after consumer feedback, they might have got some more sales.

 

 

 

Francesca's days are surely numbered. I think she's been one of the least impressive candidates all along, and although she was thrown under the bus by Luisa by being confined to the kitchen when she said she couldn't cook, not even tasting the food was ridiculous.

The sense I got from that was that Francesca was so angry about being shafted that her response was "I told you I'd be no good at this, I'll show you have bad I can be!" Which is completely stupid, but I could understand it if her frustration boiled up to the point where she'd cut her nose off to spite her face.



#2135

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Posted Jun 29, 2013 @ 9:06 PM

Personally, I would have gone with a double firing:  Myles, for coming up with that idiotic concept (seriously -- your kid might find "Deadly Dinners" cool, but I don't know of a parent in the world who'd buy it, especially with the skull right on the label!), and Alex for not putting his foot down and sticking with his original concept.  And I hate the fact that I would have been compelled to fire Myles, because he's the only remaining eye candy for me this time around (he's exactly my type, in fact!).

 

So, Alex's business plan was to start some sort of law business when he's never had any legal training or experience and doesn't know the first thing about how law offices operate?  Good luck with that, Alex!

 

I also thought that this week's You're Fired was one of the funniest I've seen in a while.  Alex's eyebrows really got the treatment, didn't they?  And I loved seeing Alex Jones on the panel -- wasn't she on Strictly Come Dancing a few years ago as a celebrity dancer?



#2136

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Posted Jun 30, 2013 @ 11:16 AM

 

And I hate the fact that I would have been compelled to fire Myles, because he's the only remaining eye candy for me this time around (he's exactly my type, in fact!).

I had this exact opinion when talking about this episode with one of my friends. Basically, as long as we keep getting gratuitous shots of Myles half naked after they get their morning phone call, he can do no wrong in my eyes. 

 

 

I also thought that this week's You're Fired was one of the funniest I've seen in a while.  Alex's eyebrows really got the treatment, didn't they?

This was one of my favourite You're Fireds, I especially loved the bit where Alex started talking and Dara sat there stabbing a ready meal really loudly! I don't know if it was intentional, but Alex even seemed to be dressed more like a vampire then usual. Fantastic!



#2137

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Posted Jun 30, 2013 @ 11:24 AM

It's a bit silly that Neal was allowed to win with a product that didn't actually exist. "Give us a big order and we'll make it taste nice, honest!"

Why even bother with the food then? Why not just walk in and say, "Name a food you like... Okay! We'll make that!"

#2138

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Posted Jun 30, 2013 @ 6:47 PM

I think it's understandable. It's not a cooking competition. All orders are hypothetical. It's primarily a concept/design task and if the concept/design is something they'd buy but the flavour needs tweaking, is it that hard to fix? Not really. You can fix the recipe rather easily but if the branding is off you effectively have to start from scratch. Presumably if the branding had not been so woeful on 'Deadly Dinners' (seriously... calling your food product horrible in the strap line?), given their food was apparently edible, I'm sure they would've gotten more orders.

I don't rate Francesca much as a contestant (the best thing we've seen her do is shift some of those god-awful box-on-wheels in week 3) but I'm starting to kind of feel bad by this sad, sad picture the edit is painting of her - ready meals every day of the week, online dating, constantly ganged up on, inarticulate. Poor thing.

Based off the fact that despite his 'blistering' pitch we saw absolutely zero of it, any bets Jordan doesn't make the final? It seems pretty clear from the edit that Leah, Myles, Neil and Luisa are the four big characters of the season. Neil is all but a lock at this point and I doubt they'd have shown us Karren's 'Luisa's shown she might actually be a business woman' speech this week if they weren't trying to 'redeem' her.

 


Edited by boewyr, Jun 30, 2013 @ 6:48 PM.


#2139

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Posted Jul 3, 2013 @ 11:14 PM

Well, that sure was uncomfortable. Stress-puking in the boardroom now? Heck.

I was actually going to write an admiring post about how I think it is pretty neat that Sugar actually picks The Apprentice not entirely on the performance throughout the season but based on the actual business plan. It was pretty obvious to me last series that the best overall performer was beaten strictly because Sugar did not entirely buy his business plan.

But the massive problem with that is ... what is the point of making some of those people go through this whole process if their business plan is *never* going to be to Sugar's liking ? If it is in a business he doesn't want to be in, then everyone is having their time wasted. It is admirable for the credibility of the show but it feels a bit cruel that someone can perform magnificently through the show only to realize Sugar would never invest because he just does not want to be in that line of business. Shouldn't they be given some level of framing before they sign on? Jenna last season should have guessed the cold calling thing wasn't going to be in line with his "image". But how are the others supposed to know Sugar does not want a tech start-up or a hedge fund (last series)?  And didn't he say at the beginning of the season that he read the business plans so he didn't pick them randomly? Then what was that thing about not liking Miles' line of business or not understanding Jordan's?

On the other hand, what is up with those people not putting any thought in their business plan idea? Set aside professionalism and common sense, didn't they watch the past few series? How did Jordan not thought of the simple questions Sugar was asking him about the "third person"? I know smart businessmen acting like morons is the bread and butter of this show but just like Jenna and her "zero cost on the first month" business plan, I wonder what the hell is up with these people sometimes.

 

On the other hand, it looks like they changed the format this year and the business plans are going to be analyzed next week and there will be a final two task (which looks more like how Trump did it). I wonder why that is.

 

Surprised Miles went over Jordan in the scheme of things and Francesca should go but otherwise I am OK with the final candidates ... I don't know if the shade thrown at Neil and the obvious sudden fluffing of Luisa is to hurt his front-runner image and make it look less predictable but at least the editing (and it has been known to be misleading) makes it sound as these two will be the final two.
I personally like Leah for some reason but Luisa/Neil does seem like the fitting finals - barring any surprise in the quality of the business plans.

 

PS: Oh and after watching Series 8 and 9 in a row over the course of a week, let me rant a little bit: dear candidates, you have watched the show, been in the boardroom before. You know the f***ing format. After the final back-and-forth is over, Sugar gives his thoughts leading to who is going to be fired. YOU NEVER GET ONE LAST CHANCE TO ADD SOMETHING once he has started giving his closing SO STOP ASKING. Every damn week. Every. Damn. Week. STOP INTERRUPTING TO BEG. You always get turned down, you look pathetic and desperate and piss Sugar off. And yet. Every. Damn. Week.



#2140

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Posted Jul 4, 2013 @ 4:17 PM

That vase. Seriously, you're sent to get one piece that could turn your teams fate around, and you pick a tiny vase that looks like a cross section of a lung? I know Jordan was told to think striking, but it was too much.

 

It was clear from the get-go that the girls were going to win, despite the edit playing coy with whether Jordan would sell his lung, and I really couldn't see Myles surviving...right up until Jordan started trying to explain his business plan. A 50/50 partnership, with a third person? The issue here isn't 'Is Jordan's idea bad?', it's 'Does Jordan understand percentages?' So I think he got lucky, but Myles' poor performance as PM, tied with his culpability in the ready meal task was really too much for Shug's to avoid. Plus, I can't really see Mr Monaco being a good fit with Lord Sugar.

 

Interviews coming up - bring on Margaret!



#2141

legaleagle44

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Posted Jul 4, 2013 @ 4:51 PM

And Claude!  He's even better than Margaret when it comes to destroying the wannabe candidates in the interviews.

 

I'm sorry to see my eye candy Myles go (I know he's actually straight and happily married with kids, but I can't help myself -- I'd be hard-pressed to kick him out of bed for eating Oreos!), but given the fact that I reluctantly would have fired him over the "Deadly Dinners" fiasco last week, I really can't say that Lord Sugar got it wrong, or that Myles actually stood a realistic shot at winning, especially given his business proposal -- even though Jordan's plan sounded like a hot mess, especially the way he described it to Lord Sugar.

 

I will say, though, that I loved Myles' business casual look for You're Fired (I just wish that I could look that hot in business casual attire!), and that I will always be grateful to that show for the "I'm Too Sexy" montage of gratuitous shots of a half-naked Myles.  Myles, if that "straight and happily married with kids" thing ever fails to work out, call me!  ;-)


Edited by legaleagle44, Jul 4, 2013 @ 4:53 PM.


#2142

boewyr

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Posted Jul 5, 2013 @ 9:02 AM

Sorry to see Myles go but Luisa steamrolled him on this task, . You knew immediately who was going to win.

Glad the interviews/business plan analysis is back where it should be! They can edit it to make it look like the tasks might actually matter now. Always felt odd to have the contestants made a joke of the same episode they crown a winner. It was a silly format change and I'm surprised they didn't fix it after the massive anti-climax that was Tom winning over Helen when they both had shitty business plans.
 

I agree that the edit probably means Neil and Luisa are the finalists, though Leah is probably the other only viable candidate. Can't see Jordan getting through, a) because Sugar's minions are bound to be less keen on the idea of splitting his equity stake than he is, b) the show's made a point of glossing over his 'winning' moments so far, c) his business idea doesn't sound great and d) I personally can't stand the smug hipster. Likewise, while I've warmed to Francesca the edit has not been glowingly kind to her.

Do you think the final task might change from ye olde 'create and launch and pitch a product' to creating an event to pitch their business perhaps? That'd be interesting.

Can't get over how much more entertaining this season has been to last year's. The contestants aren't really of the same calibre as in the more recent seasons, but but having rewatched season three, where pretty much all the contestants except Kristina were pants in someway or another, the mix of personalities can be a lot more interesting than seeing them achieve great hypothetical business feats (though that also has its appeal).
 



#2143

HauntedBathroom

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Posted Jul 5, 2013 @ 3:51 PM

 

but having rewatched season three, where pretty much all the contestants except Kristina were pants in someway or another

 

Spooky coincidence! Katie Hopkins, who must surely still hold the title of 'Most poisonous potential Apprentice', has once again gained attention with her well thought out, non-judgemental opinions:

 

http://uk.lifestyle....-081959777.html

 

How in the world was this woman selected as a pundit? She's not famous in her own right, despite her best efforts, and no one who saw her comments on marathon training as an easy alternative to abortion would consider her a voice of mums.



#2144

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Posted Jul 5, 2013 @ 4:52 PM

How in the world was this woman selected as a pundit? She's not famous in her own right, despite her best efforts, and no one who saw her comments on marathon training as an easy alternative to abortion would consider her a voice of mums.

 

 

Because she is so desperate for fame that she is willing to say hideous things to get her name out.

You should watch the full sequence on YouTube. Look at her face when Holly Willoughby finally tells her "Oh stop. Just stop right there". Hilarious.
And then  she goes on and on and on about how trashy it is to name your kids after a place ("Brooklyn" "London") and then Philip Schofield deadpans "Isn't one of your kids actually named India?". Hilarious, "Yeah but it is not about the place" she goes. WTF?

Seriously, how obvious is it that she is just trying to push people's buttons to get her name out?

 

Whatever. She was a fun candidate to watch but she is a worthless human being. Shame on "This Morning" but using her for buzz.


Edited by doriangz, Jul 5, 2013 @ 4:52 PM.


#2145

boewyr

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Posted Jul 5, 2013 @ 11:57 PM

I think it's pretty clear she calculated her entire persona on the show to accumulate some kind of notoriety; I forgot about it, until I started rewatching it, as the show went ont other contestants on her team routinely discussed between themselves how they felt she was deliberately tanking tasks.  And it wasn't just Kristina but Naomi, who struck me as pretty level-headed. The logic makes sense, lose the task, get more screentime.   



#2146

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Posted Jul 6, 2013 @ 5:22 AM

That's a risky approach, as it puts you on the firing line, but it did become clear Katie wasn't in the process for the prize. I do think that Kristina was the only other contender that year who could cut through Katie's bullshit, hence their 'daggers drawn' attitude. From my memory of the buying task, when they were paired together, there was none of the usual manipulation and games, they just put their heads down and got on with it.



#2147

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Posted Jul 10, 2013 @ 6:28 PM

I had a sneaking feeling they didn't send Jordan home last week after he let the cat out of the bag, purely so they could eviscerate him this week.

 

Neil's business plan was ridiculous: how was he going to be anything but a rightmove copy?  So I guess he's this year's Helen.

 

Luisa seemed to have the best business plan; but she's such a poisonous, stab-em-in-the-back creature I suppose I have to support Leah "I'm so beautiful!  I'm so clever!" (she is pretty but qualifying as a doctor, while admirable, doesn't make someone quite as amazingly intellectual as the show seems to think, plus if she's only 24 she won't actually have completely qualified yet, and she's certainly not a qualified plastic surgeon). 



#2148

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Posted Jul 11, 2013 @ 12:55 AM

I can't imagine that no one on the production team noticed Jordan's creative interpretation of "ownership" until now, so it stands to reason that he was cast mainly as entertainment, fodder, or precisely for this moment in the finale. Either way, it made for some great (and awkward) TV.

 

Coming into the finale, I thought the Neil and Luisa had F2 locked - never thought Leah would be the one coming up smelling roses after the interviews. I ended up being really impressed with her - the plan was solid, I thought her coldness worked in her favour for once given the grilling nature of the interviews, and it was cool to see the photographic memory thing manifest itself during her interview with Claude. Even he was stupefied into silence as she systematically ticked off the entire budget line by line from memory when he questioned her. Also loved her impromptu assessment of the other interviewer's botox needs! I'm sure they edited up her best bits to make it fit the result, but she definitely gave them some good material. Of course, it doesn't hurt that she's drop dead gorgeous when she's pitching to be the face of an aesthetics company.

 

Neil was the biggest shock to me. Wow, was that plan horrible. It seemed like they gave him every opportunity to back out of it - every single interviewer and even Lord Sugar gave him a chance to backtrack and say he'd be flexible and change something, and dude could not. take. the. hint! I am almost certain that had Neil simply conceded some ground... ANY ground on any part of the plan... Sugar would've found a way to justify keeping Neil, since his performance in the series has been so stellar. But alas, Neil stayed true to his "my way or the high way" attitude to the bitter end and refused to budge, and torpedoed his chances.

 

And Francesca... certainly seems competent and nice, but I don't think she had a shot in the F5 because she wasn't nearly flashy enough to be a finale on a reality TV show.



#2149

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Posted Jul 11, 2013 @ 11:41 PM

I had a sneaking feeling they didn't send Jordan home last week after he let the cat out of the bag, purely so they could eviscerate him this week.

Claude didn't just eviscerate Jordan; he also castrated him and drew and quartered him -- all with the verbal equivalent of a dull butterknife, and it was glorious to watch.

 

If Nick ever decides to take a break from being Lord Sugar's advisor, I nominate Claude as Nick's replacement.



#2150

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Posted Jul 12, 2013 @ 1:24 AM

If Nick ever decides to take a break from being Lord Sugar's advisor, I nominate Claude as Nick's replacement.

 

 

Heck, I'd watch a show where Claude interviews a candidate every week. It would not only be fun to watch, but I could learn a few things from him.  



#2151

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Posted Jul 13, 2013 @ 12:58 AM

You know what bothers me the most about Neil? It is not that his business plan was bad. It is not even that he defended it with his own brilliance as his only argument. It is that he had all these people literally and transparently BEGGING him to just throw them *some kind of bone*, *anything* to acknowledge he heard their concerns so that they could use that as an excuse to waive him through in spite of it. He wasn't smart enough to pick up on it. Heck, he didn't even change his tack after sleeping on it for the boardroom even though he had to know the four advisers would tell Sugar the same thing.

From my experience at prestigious schools, I learned something valuable about the different types of intelligence. Neil seems like a smart man with a good business sense. But if you are not smart enough to see the wide opening they were giving him and taking advantage of it ... then he just wasn't as brilliant as the process made him out to be. Intelligence is a lot of different things and being able to read other people is a key component of success in life. 

 

I get Jordan's business plan was ... a mess but wow was this evisceration cold. I don't even mean just Claude throwing him out but the show not even showing a cab interview of him after he was cast off? Just cold.

I am thrilled Leah made it to the Top 2 even though I am shocked. She was my fave since the beginning but I didn't think she'd make it. I still think Luisa has it in the bag in the end but I like Leah.



#2152

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Posted Jul 18, 2013 @ 5:38 PM

I'm not surprised that Leah won, as her concept seemed a better fit for Lord Sugar than baking supplies, especially as she'd factored in an exit strategy, so this wouldn't be an albatross around his neck. And I was pleasantly surprised at how well both teams seemed to gel, and do their best to help.

 

But I still wish that Luisa had tried to pitch Master Bake to Lord Shug.I can only imagine the faces Nick and Karren would pull.



#2153

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Posted Jul 20, 2013 @ 12:43 AM

I can't believe my instincts drove me to betting on a dark horse .. who ended up winning! Still a bit surprised Leah won though considering his rationale last series was that he preferred to choose the safest business plan but the edit was very very clearly in Leah's favor in that last episode. 



#2154

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Posted Jul 20, 2013 @ 1:13 PM

I'm not surprised that Leah won, as her concept seemed a better fit for Lord Sugar than baking supplies, especially as she'd factored in an exit strategy, so this wouldn't be an albatross around his neck.

My instinct is that she won because Sugar and the producers miscalculated and mouse-trapped themselves.

 

I think he really wanted one of the two guys who made the final 5 to win, but one of them got revealed at that stage as a scam-artist, and the other as a hard headed git.  With that disaster, and I bet a true ignorance of the good marketability of dance-exercise stuff, knocking out one more contender, the two ladies he was left with were not a great choice.   One crazy baking lady who Sugar still suspected might be a wild card in terms of how to conduct herself as Sugar's brand ambassador-the "Apprentice brand" I mean not her own (and I've since also read was likely exaggerating her business successes by quite a large factor), and one with an idea that.. lets face it.  Leah's idea, if they do anything at all, will likely never be more than ONE initial location run just to give the illusion of them giving her the prize.  Both bullshit ultimately. 

 

The moment it even began to look like Leah might win I said to myself "the press is going to eat her alive, as smooth as she is".  And so it has.  The UK Press are inherently viscous.  They love printing anything to cut people on TV down to size.  So there's already tons of "articles" talking about how Leah is "too inexperienced" to run a clinic of this kind.  Fair enough.  Its probably even a valid point.  And it mystified me why Sugar wouldn't KNOW this would happen, until I thought about how mousetrapped he probably felt by his final choices, and also how unlikely it is that this business will ever happen in any real form.  I also have read tons of "articles" going on about how "cold" Leah is, how "fake she looks", and similar stuff.  Because you know... the British press.  The fact that she's poised, openly vain, and yet also analytical?  I wondered even beforehand if that was a perfect storm for a winner that would get slammed.


Edited by Kromm, Jul 20, 2013 @ 1:14 PM.


#2155

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Posted Jul 20, 2013 @ 1:41 PM

I think it was a little too neat that every single guy on the show was either there for comedy or turned out to have an awful business plan, other than maybe Kurt. I think they definitely wanted a female winner this year - Francesca probably would have been the best option PR wise, but unfortunately she was so hopeless on the tasks that it was impossible to place her as a winner.

 

But yeah, the press on Leah has been foul. It's like they cast a Final Two specifically to piss off the Daily Mail.



#2156

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Posted Jul 20, 2013 @ 4:32 PM

IIRC Lord Sugar ended up investing in Susan Ma's skincare business after her season, so he does have an interest in the beauty field, especially the healthy profit margins in that field. So having received a taste of the money he could make in that area, it seems natural for him to invest in Leah's idea. Given that Leah is sticking to a narrow set of the safest skincare treatments, it really minimizes the risk of something going horribly haywire, not that the Daily Mail and the ilk won't jump on every little thing.



#2157

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Posted Jul 20, 2013 @ 11:08 PM

As a counter to the conspiracy theory, you really have to watch the post-final special and see Sugar go on and on and on about Neil. He very very very clearly wanted and expected Neil to win and was stunned to see the business plan suck as bad as it did and Neil be so pig-headed that Sugar couldn't find a way around it. I was half-expecting him to offer him a job on the spot,



#2158

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Posted Jul 21, 2013 @ 12:30 AM

That's close to what I observed above, doriangz.  As I said there, I believe he was for both Neil AND Jordan--that for a change what we saw on screen was pretty close to accurate--and that the earlier due diligence had simply missed the fact that one was an stubborn lunkhead and the other a con-man.  The girls were what was LEFT for Sugar to work with, not his aim.

 

In terms of what NotPatrick noted?  I don't agree that every guy played as a fool and most of the girls not.  Or that the business plans were deliberately misweighed.  Frankly all of these people's businesses sound like bad ideas.  And Neil got a real winner's edit up until the time that he was shown being totally inflexible.