The Apprentice has wrapped for another year. Once again, we’ve watched as eighteen candidates were whittled down to just one winner.
In the end, it was Alana Spencer and her cake business that won the £250,000 business investment from Lord Sugar, beating Courtney Wood. Over the course of this series, we’ve been asking you who you thought would win; here, we’ll look at Alana’s journey and who the most popular candidates were by week.
The Apprentice Candidates: Popularity by Week
32 year old senior sales executive Sofiane Khelfa was the first stand out candidate, achieving the most votes when we asked you who would win this series.
Sales prowess is always important on The Apprentice and we know that many of the tasks require good sales skills. Sofiane’s background in negotiating technology sales with high profile clients certainly showed through in terms of his sales ability on the show.
Week fired: 9
At the age of 25, Frances is the owner of a children’s clothing boutique called Pud, with stores in Nottingham and Doncaster. She previously started a beauty pageant business called Bella, and was a competitor in the sport of karate.
Her feisty personality and clear business prowess helped her to stand out early on. She held on through some challenging times on The Apprentice, including being in the losing team seven times in a row. Entrepreneurial spirit has got to be recognised on The Apprentice and this no doubt helped her to stick it out until week 11.
Week fired: 11
Week 3: No clear winner
By week 3, we’d become a little less sure on where our alliances lay as an audience. Votes for the expected winner were split between Jessica, Karthik and Trishna, and to a lesser extent, Paul, Courtney and Alana (the latter of whom went on to be the final two).
Having been the most popular candidate in our poll in week one, Sofiane was back on top by week 4 – in spite of his now notoriously aggressive approach when trying to upsell the football club on his sweets the previous week.
He led his team Titans on the department store task, eventually coming out as the winner. Titans beat Nebula by £861.39 in sales, proving again his sales ability.
Week fired: 9
Week 5: No clear winner
Once again, confusion reigned in week 5 with no clear expected winners. Votes were split amongst Jessica and Grainne, the latter of whom led her team to a loss in the department store task the week before and the former being part of the losing team in week 5.
Grainne was critical of her project manager Samuel in week 5, suggesting he had refused to let others voice their ideas. Her strength in this task and the fact she was on the winning team no doubt instilled some confidence in her, with some suggesting this was the week Grainne started to come into her own.
38 year old Paul is a marketing agency owner from Essex, specialising in finance, technology, construction and property. Throughout the series, he was known as the man who wasn’t afraid to voice his opinions, even if they conflicted with others – though there were weeks where his apparently lacklustre approach to the tasks put him in poor stead with his fellow candidates.
Paul was part of the losing team in week 6, the discount buying task. He was brought back into the boardroom in week 5 by JD – a choice which was suggested to be incorrect by Lord Sugar. This support from Lord Sugar himself was enough to help our polled audience forget about Paul’s blunder in the crowdfunding task in forgetting to include reward information, and he was voted most likely to win this week.
Week fired: 8
Week 7: No clear winner
Again, our poll suggested no clear winner in week 7, with Paul, Grainne and Frances all most popular.
31 year old Grainne lives in Northern Ireland and is the owner of a make up studio. She was strong throughout the series, and in week 5, she took on her team’s PM to highlight his shortcomings when he was trying to push blame onto others.
Week 8 was the London Landmark task, in which Grainne and her team set up a fantasy themed party at the aquarium. In the end, the Titans beat Nebula by £1273.02.
Week fired: 11
28 year old Trishna is a recruitment agent from London, who used to play football semi-professionally. From the start, she exhibited a confidence in her own abilities and was at the forefront of most tasks.
Trishna was the project manager in week 9, where the candidates were tasked with a virtual reality game. Despite their win, both Trishna and Frances openly criticised the branding created by their team mates.
Week fired: 10
24 year old Alana went on to be the winner of The Apprentice 2016 – and our audience agreed with the decision from this week onwards! As the owner of a cake company in Wales, Alana stood out throughout the competition as someone who knew what she was doing, despite being quite quiet in the larger groups and earlier weeks.
As part of team Nebula, Alana won the gin task of week 10 by a whopping £66,120 margin. She was praised by the interviewers in week 11, who suggested she had a good personality and demonstrated great determination. Her business was already turning over attractive profits and this stood her in good stead to get to the final two.
In the end, she was awarded Lord Sugar’s investment. He spoke of her well-received presentation, her improvement throughout the process, her high profit margins and the heartfelt nature of her brand. She beat Courtney to the win and will now work on her business Ridiculously Rich with Lord Sugar’s money behind her.
Where are they now?
Find out where the Apprentice winners of previous years are now, and what Alana can expect for the future, here: