The Apprentice fired candidate Jemelin Artigas interview: ‘Ryan-Mark wouldn’t last one second in the business world’

Jacob Stolworthy

The latest Apprentice candidate to be fired by Lord Sugar has been revealed, and she has plenty to say about it.

For the show’s seventh challenge, the candidates were tasked with creating an advertisement that positioned Finland as a summer destination.

Things didn’t work out too well for the 34-year-old network marketing consultant Jemelin Artigas, who was sent home after being brought back to the boardroom by project manager Marianne Rawlins.

Following Artigas’s firing, we spoke with the Venezuala-born candidate about ”game-player” Ryan-Mark Parsons, why she’s fed up of talking about the Lottie Lion controversy and her desire to inspire Latinas across the world.

Why do you think Lord Sugar fired you?

I think he failed to see how good I was and how much I put myself on the line. It’s hard for him because there are so many loud candidates. I think he’ll regret it one day, don’t you worry.

So, you wouldn’t say his decision was fair?

No, I don’t think it was! Over seven weeks, I was sub-team leader three times and project manager once. I was constantly putting myself out there, but not in an attention-seeking way. I felt like a lot of the other people were not doing much. Getting sent home is what happens when you put yourself in the firing line – it’s a big risk.

When you were in the boardroom, who did you think was going to get fired?

Marianne was the project manager, but what did she do? I felt, from a professional point of view, I would have fired her. You can’t really tell when you’re in the boardroom, though. You just don’t know.

You clashed with Ryan-Mark – why did you find him so difficult to work with?

I have an eight-year-old boy and I can work better with him. I think he’s a great character, don’t get me wrong, but I found him really difficult because he kept ducking down when it came to taking the lead. But, when it came to doing the task, he wanted to take control and I don’t appreciate that. If he wanted to be the sub-team leader for this one, he could have put himself forward; he could have been the actor and the director, and he would have put his neck on the firing line. I’d have given him respect for that. I felt I had to take control in the Finland task, otherwise he would have done what Ryan-Mark does: thrown a little “look at me” tantrum and started playing up. I just said ‘No, this is enough.'

Would you say he’s playing a game?

Well, when I was project manager, I’d never even been to Cambridge or Oxford [on the sales task] – and he actually voted for me after putting himself forward! That was the moment I lost quite a bit of respect, because I felt like he was definitely playing a game.

Was there anyone else you struggled to work with?

To be honest with you, I was stuck with the same people. I was usually paired with Ryan-Mark and Lewis. I enjoyed working with Ryan-Mark at some points. When he was in a good mood, he’d make me laugh because he’s so funny, but, at other points, he was way too much – he wouldn’t last a second in the business world. You can’t have that kind of attitude and think you’re going to be a successful businessman. It’s just not possible.

Who do you think is going to make it to the end?

It’s really hard to tell at this point because you see people staying when they’ve done nothing, and then you see people going when they’ve done everything. It’s difficult to tell. I was quite surprised by Lewis because I felt at the beginning he was a bit immature, but then I actually worked with him and found he had a lot of business acumen and is quite clever. I think he’ll go quite far.

How do you think Lord Sugar is judging it this year? He seems to be keeping in some of the less professional personalities.

When I got fired, I was obviously gutted to go, but I also felt that I couldn’t see myself as Lord Sugar’s business partner. I feel like you have to have that sort of chemistry with somebody because you’re going to work together a lot, so you want to get on with them.

What prompted you to apply to the series?

I wanted to inspire Latinas around the world. I think when we come to a different country, we feel it’s not our place to be successful, but if you’re proud of this culture and country, then you are within your own right to work your backside off and make it work. I’ve also always been a fan of the series. I felt what a lot of people probably do – that I can do it better. I soon found out it wasn’t that easy.

What’s your views on the recent controversies surrounding Lottie?

I don’t really have views on that situation. I’m tired of talking about it. It’s really unfair to take the shine away from all of these incredible candidates, who have sacrificed so much to be on the show, to talk about something that’s pretty irrelevant. I don’t want to have any say in it, to be honest with you. I just think it’s not fair on the other candidates. I’d rather speak about them.

What advice would you give anyone who’s thinking of applying for the show?

Look, it’s not easy. It’s not for the fainthearted. You give up a lot of your life and pretty much do a 360. But it’s worth it. You learn so much about yourself and about other people, and the outcome is always positive. I always say to people, everything that’s worth having is not easy. If you’re kind, confident and have a big ambition, then go for it. Everything that’s worth having is not easy. And we need more kind people in this show!

What’s next for you?

Keep doing what I do: help other people to find success. I love empowering others. I’m doing quite a few talks. I came here when I was 16 and I didn’t speak any English, so I’m trying to spread the word that I’m grateful I was picked and that they gave me a chance.

The Apprentice continues every Wednesday on BBC One at 9pm

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