Certainly, The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition lived up to its billing as the toughest iteration of the show yet.
Sixteen global candidates were subjected to taxing physical tasks and high-stakes business competitions for the better part of the past three months that truly, the best of the best came through and ended with Jessica Ramella being named as ‘the one’ – winning the $250,000 job offer to be the protégé and chief of staff of ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong at the ONE Championship Global Headquarters in Singapore.
But the victory for the 31-year-old sales director from Venezuela is just the start.
Sityodtong shared that the tense finale between Ramella and Louie Sangalang is just the tip of the iceberg as a second season of The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition is on its way.
“When we do season two of ‘The Apprentice,’ it will have an entirely different twist and a different flavor from season one,” he said.
The success of the inaugural season brings much confidence on the part of Chatri that he could unearth more warriors who could join Asia’s largest global sports media property.
Season one definitely set the standard. And that puts more challenge for the production crew to level up the competition whenever season two comes.
“Our ethos at ONE Championship is that we are always looking for ways to learn, grow, evolve, and improve. With that spirit, the show will be bigger, better, and badder than season one,” he said.
It may be the toughest job interview ever taken by the 16 global candidates, but Sityodtong said that the stringent process they went through doesn’t really differ that much from the hiring process at ONE Championship.
After all, if you’re one of the leaders in mixed martial arts, you only want nothing but the best.
“The whole ‘Apprentice’ process was very much like the interview process at ONE Championship – or even the way we work at ONE Championship. We only give out one job for every 200 applicants, but that’s also why only the very best of superstars can not only survive but thrive in ONE Championship. Because we have a high standard of excellence, passion, and a real sense of purpose,” he said.
And Chatri wasn’t alone in digging those gems, with 12 of his CEO friends lending a hand in the tedious process.
Some of those industry leaders who lent a hand were Zoom CEO Eric Yuan, Grab CEO Anthony Tan, Zilingo CEO Ankiti Bose, Catcha Group CEO Patrick Grove, Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson, and Everise CEO Sudhir Agarwal.
Of course, by Sityodtong’s side was his ‘right hand woman’, ONE Senior Vice President Niharika Singh.
Also among the most notable names in the world of mixed martial arts also paid a visit to the candidates, namely Georges “Rush” St-Pierre and Renzo Gracie, former ONE Welterweight World Champion Ben “Funky” Askren, former ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera, ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee, ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Champion Demetrious Johnson, Indian Wrestling Champion Ritu Phogat, Karate World Champion Sage Northcutt, and ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion Xiong Jing Nan.
“From that perspective, I applied the exact same lens I use to find the best superstars in the world every day for ONE Championship in ‘The Apprentice’. Of course, I was able to see a different light because of the physical challenges and the pressures of being on a TV show. I could see how candidates could break with no sleep and relentless pressure. But the truth is, if you want to do anything extraordinary in life, you have to be prepared to go above and beyond your limits, you have to be prepared to suffer for your greatness,” Chatri said.
Sityodtong, however, isn’t limiting his doors to only ‘The Apprentice’.
One of the world’s most powerful men in mixed martial arts said that he’s open to expanding these kinds of programs, especially with the ever growing assets the ONE Group has under its umbrella.
“We have looked at other content stacks,” he said. “We definitely have explored different content stacks from around the world where we could marry the ONE Championship IP or ONE Esports IP into the show.”
Until then, everyone’s got to wait for Chatri’s next move.