By Michael Sophocles
November 10, 2010
Occasionally and with great subtlety Lord Sugar will display his conditional liking for a candidate. This happens so infrequently that if you blinked you would miss this rare showing of humility from the great man.
Alex Epstein was a man not unlike me who I believe Lord Sugar had a fundamental liking for. However, unlike myself, what Mr Epstein did not realise quickly enough was that he could have used this brief rapport to his advantage.
Alex was a nice guy. Nice guys rarely do very well in this process especially if this is coupled by the nice guy being somewhat incompetent.
The general public out there who are avid Apprentice fans always relish the prospect of the advertising task. Each task of this nature should come with a pre episode warning that you may want to hide behind the couch due to high amounts of flinching throughout. It also allows the candidates to slightly play against type by attempting a go at being creative and open minded rather then just focusing on the hard sell!
Both teams were set the task of creating a brand for a new cleaning product. Inclusive in this were the challenges of directing an advert for television and also a radio commercial to support this product and it is in these two elements where these sorts of tasks become highly comical.
In truth, nobody particularly shone on this one. Alex was leader of team Apollo and despite attempting to be brave and garish with his vision he just did not pay heed to the basic principles of how one establishes and conveys a new product to market.
Raef and I made the same sort of mistake when the former got fired. The product becomes subservient to the advertising campaign and as you get carried away with directing and editing you suddenly think you’re the next Martin Scorsese!
Alex and Chris were guilty of creating a campaign which lacked a central brand to hold it all together.
On the other team we had the world’s most appalling advert. Synergy was this week fronted by Christopher who has been exceedingly quite from the off and despite his team winning I was not very impressed by the anything they managed to produce.
The project managers’ input was inconsequential and Jewish Boy Jamie was the only candidate on the winning team with any sort of oooomph!
Alex and Apollo were destined to fall short in this one and Alex made the cardinal sin of bringing in the wrong people to face him in the showdown.
When will people learn the way you conduct yourself in the boardroom is integral to your Apprentice life expectancy. Laura Moore would have been fired this week I have no doubt in my mind of that were me in there I would have picked up on that early on and used it to my advantage.
Alex cocked up on the task and then was not even aware enough to pick up on the hints Lord Sugar so rarely gives if he likes some one to enough to steer them in the right direction.
Sandeesh is as useless as non sticky glue but there was no just cause to bring her back in to the boardroom. The game of politics was not played well by Alex and he had to go.
He needs to be a bit more self aware in the future if he is to be as successful and as there is no doubt in my mind that as he is a fundamentally good person, he just needs to acquire a Machiavellian edge to go progress in the future.