The Apprentice 2012 Final Results: Who won? Ricky Martin, Tom Gearing, Nick Holzherr or Jade Nash?
After twelve intensive weeks in competition alongside some of Britain’s top entrepreneurs, 26-year-old recruitment manager Ricky Martin has beaten fifteen other candidates to land the prestigious prize of a business partnership with Lord Sugar, along with an investment of up to £250,000.
In last night’s episode, Ricky battled it out in a four-way final against 23-year-old wine investor Tom Gearing, 29-year-old business development manager Jade Nash and 25-year-old technology entrepreneur Nick Holzherr. With Jade and Nick fired first, Ricky went up against Tom in the last two.
Ricky was declared Lord Sugar’s business partner at the end of a twelve-week process, which saw Ricky divulge the business plan in which he was hoping to secure Lord Sugar’s investment – a recruitment agency specialising in science and technology.
Ricky’s road to success wasn’t without its hurdles – in the candidates’ most relentless task yet, the finalists went head to head with Lord Sugar’s most unforgiving business associates for a grueling round of interviews; ruthless troubleshooter Claude Littner, pioneer of Britain’s free magazine business Mike Soutar, chief executive with a business worth over £300m and former Young Entrepreneur of the Year Matthew Riley as well as patron of the Bright Ideas Trust and eyebrow raising confidant Margaret Mountford.
Throughout the interviews, Ricky endured some rigorous questioning, during which Mike Soutar challenged his reasons for going by the name ‘Ricky Martin’ and Claude Littner labeled his personal statement ‘crass, obnoxious, and infantile.’ However, on Ricky’s business plan, Claude commented “I read your business plan and I was quite impressed. It was interesting, well written and you’ve done very well in your career.”
Ricky’s journey on The Apprentice saw the self proclaimed ‘reflection of perfection’ and former professional wrestler project manage three of the tasks and survive four separate spells in the boardroom.
Ricky now follows in the footsteps of last year’s winner, Tom Pellereau, who launched his own business venture with Lord Sugar earlier this year.
As Lord Sugar debated his final decision, Karren Brady advised: “ Ricky has got great credibility in the field. He’s the one that has changed the most over the process.”
Claude Littner also said “I’ve got to say, I’m mesmerized by the guy.”
In the nail-biting final boardroom scene, faced with a tough decision, Lord Sugar concluded “It’s a very very difficult moment for me right now. You’re both credible people to invest money in so is it the devil or is it the safety. And I should keep to my ethos of keeping it simple, keeping it straightforward. So Ricky you’re going to be my business partner. Ricky, you’re hired.”
Ricky said “Lord Sugar and I are going to be a powerful force to reckon with. I can’t say I’ve digested it yet. I’m ecstatic. Genuine shock, I’m so so pleased. Tom is incredible at what he does, great competition but I believed in myself, I thought I always I had it in me and I proved it.”
Runner up Tom Gearing said “If I was going to lose to anyone I was happy it was Ricky. He was such a strong and credible candidate. We had some amazing experiences, I met some really good people, it was fantastic, and I have no regrets about it at all.”
One opportunity. 16 candidates. Lord Sugar’s search for his business partner has come to an end.
Lord Sugar and Ricky will now be taking a well-deserved break before meeting to discuss their chosen venture.
Did you agree with tonight’s result? Leave your comments below….