Interview with Jenna Whittingham, fired from The Apprentice 2012
Apprentice candidate Jenna Whittingham. Image.BBC
Interview with Jenna Whittingham
MSN had a chat with Jenna about video shoots, boardroom tacticss and Ricky Martin.
Was your Apprentice experience everything you thought it would be?
Apart from being fired; I didn't expect to get fired in this task. In the first two weeks, I did actually think I was out of my depth. There were times when I thought, omigod - what am I doing here? But after I settled in and had a few good weeks, I started focusing on getting in the final so it was a bit of a shock when I got fired.
What was your highlight and lowlight on The Apprentice?
The highlight was definitely when Lord Sugar made me project manager on the street food task. I was the first girl to bring Team Sterling to victory. I won as project manager; and it was a great week for me because that was the boost and the confidence I needed.
I then went on to sell the fake tan the week after. They're my big highlights, week six and seven. I'm kicking myself on this episode - it's one I'd like to forget because of the major mistake I made taking a risk.
Sum up how you think you were managed by Ricky Martin?
I think Ricky is a good manager. I'd won as project manager, but Ricky hasn't. He kept going on about quality, quality, quality and the video being cheesy. Really, he should've probably been there on the video shoot because he had an image in mind, and he cared what he wanted it to be like.
Whereas I thought everyone had an idea what we were going with - and Stephen was there as well. I'm taking on too much blame really so I think Ricky should've been there.
What was it like working with Stephen Brady?
We actually got on quite well when we did the video together. With Stephen, for me, he didn't like it if you didn't go with his ideas; he had a way of talking you around to try and get you on his side, but it's a very different thing in the boardroom. He knew how to have the talk in the boardroom.
Did you get on with everyone?
I think I've made some friends for life to be honest with you. I can't really say there's anyone I can't stand and I'm not going to see. The only hard decision on that is the people that went earlier on; they went so early, you don't really get time to know them. It's a shame really.
Do you think you were fairly edited?
What everyone's seen is me. You've got my highlights and they've shown what I've said, even when I've been wrong. I was shocked when I went in the boardroom, I do think Stephen should've gone. I would still be there now, if he hadn't said to Lord Sugar: "I'm going to win the next task".
I think that's what clinched it for him really. Throwing in the "I'll be project manager next week and I'll win," line. He did think quick on his feet.
Looking back, what would you have done differently on this task if you were project manager?
I don't know if I would have gone with the video; I probably would've gone more on the IT side of things. Not that I've got great knowledge of IT, I suppose. But creating stuff - I'm quite good at that.
On the actual task, I would've looked more into how we create awareness of this video. When you're under a lot of time pressure, you have to be more understanding and highlight people's qualities.
Your advert was a cheesy disaster; why do you think you missed that at the time?
There's an element of going for comedy, and there's cheese and I think I got over-excited being a director. The route we were going with it was taking something to the extreme and creating something for the younger age category that might not be aware of English sparkling wine.
So you know, disgusted bride, it's the biggest day of her life and she wants the best, which is English sparkling wine. She wasn't happy she got Champagne and that's the humour of it. But after watching and watching it again, and seeing how disappointed Lord Sugar was, it made me realise that it probably wasn't the best way to approach the video.
What did you think of the other team's video?
It was a bit boring, I do agree with Lord Sugar on that. When he watched that first I thought: well, he's going to think ours is totally different! He had two extremes - he had a boring video and one that was way off the scale.
Team Sterling, Ricky Martin, Stephen Brady, Jenna Whittingham and Gabrielle Omar. Image. BBC
Looking back do you kick yourself for not being a bit more forceful in the boardroom?
Yeah, I do. Definitely. But you're exhausted and you're tired. When I realised I was going to be in the firing line, I psyched myself up to make sure I had a good pitch. Out of the two, I think I had the best one; Stephen hadn't really done much and he hadn't been highlighted in a main task, whereas I had. Ricky had never won a task as project manager, but I had.
I think I relaxed a bit too much. I said my piece and switched off thinking I was safe. If it had happened earlier on in the process, I might've got away with it. But it was so close to the end, and Lord Sugar thinks you shouldn't be making silly mistakes like this so late on. I think that's what got me fired.
Who's your tip to win?
It's hard to say because I like a few of them. Probably Gabrielle Omar and Nick Holzherr; they're very creative, great business people and great to work with. Also Tom Gearing; he's a bit of a quiet one, but he's extremely clever for his age. He comes across with some great qualities. They're my top three.
What would you have done with Lord Sugar if you'd won?
If I'd won Lord Sugar's investment, it would've been a bit of a twist on what I do now. I have a company called Beauty and the Boutique, which is hair, beauty and clothing under one roof.
With Lord Sugar, it would've been a bit of a twist; I have a new idea that's come into that and I also hoped to branch out the name Beauty and the Boutique because Lord Sugar has always said he wants to invest in the beauty industry.
What's next for you? More in the line of business, or are you looking at TV work?
I'm keeping my options open; I'd like to be a really good businesswoman after doing The Apprentice - it's an amazing experience. You only live once so I'll try anything.
Episode nine: recap
This week, Lord Sugar challenged the teams to come up with a new marketing campaign for English sparkling wines. Team Sterling, led by amateur wrestler Ricky Martin, devised a horrendous video for their Grandeur wine. Jenna and Stephen did not heed Ricky's instruction to ensure the video wasn't cheesy.
Team Phoenix was headed by Tom Gearing who runs a wine company. To a certain degree, Tom's team played it safe. He even grew concerned that his advert was, "a bit boring". However, at least Tom and Adam Corbally enjoyed their time wine-tasting.
In the boardroom, Lord Sugar revealed the industry experts' feedback on the brief and pitches:
Team Sterling, had started off their pitch reasonably well and had been on track. Phoenix, they felt, had a boring website which was geared more to sales than raising awareness of English sparkling wines.
Eventually, between the industry experts and Lord Sugar, they concluded that although Phoenix's campaign didn't do what was asked, Sterling had messed up too badly.
Ricky took Jenna and Stephen back into the boardroom. The 25-year-old beauty salon owner was fired by Lord Sugar after he decided that the failure of the task lay with her awful advert.