Valente Won The Apprentice, But What About Social Media?
BBC’s ‘The Apprentice’ just concluded its 11th season, with Joseph Valente winning the right to partner with British Business Magnate Lord Alan Sugar, and have him invest £250,000 in Valente’s new business, Prime Time Plumbing. Joseph Valente was even dubbed “Valentio” by Lord Sugar, due to his mysterious mustache and his self-proclaimed ‘sex appeal.’ Lord Sugar made it clear that he believes in Valente as an entrepreneur, and in the business model that was proposed, however this new model is quite different than the current plumbing business that Valente owns and built from scratch a few years ago.
I decided to use Synthesio’s social intelligence platform to see how this year’s show was received online, and specifically whether the long-running reality show was in turmoil, much like ‘The X Factor’, which this year’s season received its worst ratings to date.
The Apprentice may be on its eleventh series, but the viewing figures showed no sign of plummeting. Around 6.4 million viewers tuned in to see Lord Sugar’s new batch of candidates during the launch show, down only 3% from the previous year’s figure. However, the amount of social media activity seemed to tell a different story, with this being the most talked about series since the show’s first season back in 2005. Picking up data from a wide range of social media platforms, Synthesio’s tool brought in over 800,000 mentions for The Apprentice, with the largest number coming from Twitter.
With the rise in online popularity of this season, I decided below to highlight some of the brightest moments from this past series on social media:
Dan Callaghan’s Tweet
Despite only lasting on the show for one week, Dan Callaghan’s tweet to Lord Sugar will be remembered for many series to come. This highlights one of the biggest stories on social media, receiving over 4.6K retweets.
As Synthesio tracked The Apprentice on a week-to-week basis, we found that Dan Callaghan was the center of attention in one of most popular tweets. This resulted in retweets from Callaghan himself and even the Great British Bake Off star, Toby Waterworth.
Selina Waterman-Smith vs. Charleine Waine
Controversial candidate Selina Waterman-Smith drove the most social buzz in the competition from continuous spats with fellow candidate Charleine Waine. It was clear that the pair did not see eye to eye from the very start, which led to constant bickering and attacks on Twitter. As a part of this feud, while Waterman-Smith was leading in the number of online mentions, Waine was ranked third highest in the share of voice.
Candidate Scott Saunders was at the center of one of this season’s biggest controversies in week nine that sent shock waves through the entire competition with a dramatic exit from the show. It was deemed that Saunders was unhappy with Sugar’s treatment of both himself and his fellow candidates. In addition, Saunders was supported heavily by Twitter users who didn’t take kindly to Sugar’s sinister approach, which lead to tweets like these:
Valente vs. Koutsomitis
The series was hotly contested, with many contestants staking a claim for a place in the finale, however, the shortlist was reduced to the final pairing of Joseph Valente and Vana Koutsomitis, who pitched their business plans to Lord Sugar and other market professionals at London’s City Hall. While Koutsomitis’ dating app proposition was praised heavily, Sugar opted to “fix broken boilers, instead of broken hearts”.
However, it wasn’t always smooth sailing for Valente, despite claiming he knew he would win from day one. Leading up to the finale, I noticed more positive sentiment towards Vana Koutsomitis from Synthesio’s sentiment analysis. Before the final episode, she was showing nearly seven times more positive sentiment than Valente.
With this season being one of the closest competitions, the final decision was made by Lord Sugar. He decided to pick Joseph Valente as his new business partner, and in the end it was received with positive sentiment by Twitter users.