Well that was a disappointment. And I’m not just talking about this episode, the series and the extra-long boardroom, but I’m talking about Lewis. I expected more from him this episode!
It was the final of Young Apprentice. Twelve candidates have been wittled down to two and it’s the final task. Design an online game and produce a viral online advert to go with the game, and then pitch them to a group of industry insiders.
Zara, the “articulate” film-maker vs James, the “risk-taker” economist.
Lord Alan chose the teams for them. James got Harry H, Lizzie, Lewis, Hannah and Hayley. Zara got Haya, Gbemi, Mahamed, Ben and Harry M. So, on paper, James had the better team around him. But really this was all about Lewis vs Mahamed for me.
Brainstorming: Lewis’ idea? An action game with seagulls – stop them from eating your food at the seaside or ‘excreting’ on it. Mahamed’s idea? Zombies!
Actual ideas taken forward? James goes for ‘Crazy Cabinet’, a time-management click game where you are the Prime Minister and have to complete certain tasks within a time limit. Zara goes for ‘Piggy Panic’, an action level game where you have to help Porky Pete escape the butcher and other hazards.
So during the task we hardly saw anything of Lewis. He was involved in the market research which consisted of accosting people in the street and asking them about various ideas for games. Mahamed, on the other hand, was shown a lot this episode. Haya, Harry M and Mahamed auditioned people for their viral ad and found a big guy with a weightlifter build to play the evil butcher. The three were in hysterics when they saw the guy in his costume at the audition and then when they asked him to chase Mahamed around the room to see the effect. It was seeing those three then that I was actively reminded that they’re just kids.
Yeah, so Zara’s viral ad, which she directed (of course) consisted of a big evil butcher guy chasing after a pig (a woman in a pig costume) in a park, and then being wrestled to the ground by an ‘ordinary guy’ i.e. a player. The ad included an ominous repeat of a chant of ‘Piggy Panic’ over and over on it too. James’ viral ad was a spoof party political broadcast with a ‘Keith’ who was campaigning for the rights of pigeons and a posh guy (can’t remember the name they gave him but he was someone the 4th) who said that they could solve the budget crisis by selling Scotland. James obviously found himself to be very witty with this.
And then onto seeing the demo games and doing the pitches. Personally, I think Crazy Cabinet would be more addictive to play and was more unique. We had more shots of Mahamed as he tested out Piggy Panic and is obviously a good gamer. Both pitches seemed quite slick, the audiences laughed at both viral ads and Lord Sugar did a lot of smiling. Nick Hewer continued to show his love for Zara, finding every opportunity he could to tell the camera that Zara was amazing – this continued into the boardroom when he suddenly made a statement where he said that he was totally ‘dispassionate’ but Zara was the bestest person he had met in the world evah!
Into the boardroom and more Mahamed action. Lord Sugar asked him about his Zombie idea and Mahamed went on a run talking about how it could be that you’re visiting your dead parents in a cemetery and then you have to fight the Zombies. Yeah. A bit macabre, but there’s a big market for zombies at the moment so not as stupid as they all made out. As Lord Sugar dissected the teams’ performances he evaluated both viral ads and obviously favoured Zara’s. He told James’ team that their ad didn’t have enough correlation to the game and wasn’t sure that viewers would realise it was advertising Crazy Cabinet. (Whereas Piggy Panic’s viral ad had ‘Piggy Panic’ on a loop). Lizzie rightly pointed out that a viral ad doesn’t have to have close-ups of a product all the time, which is Lord Sugar’s preferred method of advertising as we all know, but Sugar just shot Lizzie down. If it was on the task then, you could see that Zara would win. And Harry M would have got his first win.
Into the final boardroom piece now as the other fired candidates left James and Zara to it. And down to their final pleas. This all went on for an excessive amount of time. The upshot being that James is a risk-taker and Zara is articulate. But what would they do with the £25k that the winner would get (note though that they wouldn’t get a £25k lum sum but Lord Sugar would drip-feed them money as and when he saw fit- boo!)? Zara would use the money to buy more film equipment and expand her film-making enterprises. James would spend it on getting an Economics degree. And it was with that statement that James sealed his fate (although he was never going to win anyway). Spend Lord Sugar’s money on a university education? Are you having a laugh? Lord Sugar is never going to give his money to someone to just get some blahdy letters after their name. He left school at 16 don’t you know and it never harmed him.
Yeah, so after more discussion about their qualities, their experiences in the tasks and the rest of it, Lord Sugar made his final decision. Zara Brownless, you are the winner of Young Apprentice. Goodbye!