The inaugural season of The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition comes to a conclusion this week, with its finale episode airing on Thursday, 10 June on AXN.
The competition comes down to two finalists — Singapore-based Sales Director Jessica Ramella from Venezuela, and retired mixed martial artist from the Philippines, Louie Sangalang.
Looking back at what transpired through several weeks of filming The Apprentice, Jessica shared her thoughts on entering the competition, growing in confidence with each passing episode, and what she thinks about her opponent, Sangalang, in the finale.
“A part of me, when I entered, I was like, I 100% will win this thing. But of course, another part of me had those little voices and doubts in my mind telling me, yeah, why would they pick a girl from Venezuela? It’s a complicated question,” Jessica said about competing against 15 other global candidates.
“I look at the other candidates, and there’s this dude that is huge. There’s this girl that’s in corporate finance, and does amazing things. Of course, you start comparing yourself. At no point in the competition did I think that I didn’t have what it takes. There was never a doubt in me. I just had concerns in different areas.”
However, it didn’t take long for Jessica to grow confident in her abilities. By the middle of the season, she had already established herself as a legitimate threat to enter the final stages of the competition, and perhaps even win the whole thing.
“When I realized that I was the only person who had never been in the bottom three, that’s when I thought there was a chance I would make it far,” Jessica said.
In addition to her strong individual game, Jessica said she also forged a strong relationship with the other finalist, Louie. The two advanced through physical tasks and business challenges, rarely if ever, getting sent to the chopping block in the bottom three.
“Louie and I had a real relationship throughout the entire show. We clicked immediately. Even off-camera, we talked a lot and we spent a lot of time sharing a bit of our backstories with each other. I got to share with him about the experiences in my life and his life that were very similar, which we bonded through. So we did form a very strong bond from day one,” Jessica said.
Both Jessica and Louie played effective strategic games and really showcased their skills every chance they could get. Despite competing against each other in what is touted as the “toughest” Apprentice in the history of the franchise, Jessica and Louie shared a mutual respect.
“I feel that Louie and I had an immense amount of respect for each other as competitors. As you can see he never really came for me, and I never really came for him because I knew that he was incredibly capable,” Jessica said.
“I knew that he was there to get to the finish line, and I could never criticize someone for having a strategy in a competition. As long as you’re playing fair, I respect that.”
It all comes down to the finale. Episode 13 of The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition will crown the winner of a US $250,000 job offer to work directly under Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong as ONE’s new Chief of Staff.
Jessica views Louie as a worthy opponent in the finale.
“He’s very good at rationalizing things like getting his thoughts and putting them into bullet points. He’s also like a silent killer, like he’s very good at making sure he gets his point across and that it would be incredibly impactful,” Jessica said.
“I admire him and I think that he is a fighter. He’s a wonderful man, a great husband, a great father, and he’s just a great friend. I couldn’t ask for anyone better to be in the finale with.”