Herald on Sunday
THE CLAWS COME OUT ON THE APPRENTICE
This week saw the first real showdown between contestants on The Apprentice Aotearoa and we hear that it’s just the start. Social media entrepreneur Tony Collins and social change engineer Stephen McDowell traded jibes at the house after the Boardroom, with neither relenting. After the cameras stopped rolling, the tension continued with McDowell telling Spy they eventually hugged it out and moved on to work together to win the next task.
McDowell says most of the fireworks from the cast have not made the telly and if a “behind the scenes” of the show was made, it would definitely outperform the normal show.
“Tony genuinely cracks me up and I actually love the spice his character brings to the show,” he says. Collins is diplomatic, but still pointed at McDowell. “Stephen’s unwavering approach when it comes to conveying something he’s passionate about is commendable. In saying that, I often felt patronised by his delivery; a feeling shared by others,” says Collins.
He says the pair have moved on and have had a good laugh about it and that a friendship they had prior to the show has only strengthened because of it.
So who are their besties from the show? Collins says he and Olivia Rogers, who was eliminated this week, are close, share a respect and are already working together.
“Olivia and I met in the house and discovered that our circles overlapped so much that it would’ve only been a matter of time before we would’ve organically bumped into each other. We get on like a house on fire and have continued our friendship post-filming. We are currently combining forces on a few projects within the digital space, so keep your eyes peeled,” he says.
McDowell became famous on social media as one of the main faces of the “Yes” campaign for cannabis legalisation last year. His Instagram handle is the Buzzy Kiwi. He says he took more than four months to recover from the referendum defeat and plot his return, which has now come through The Apprentice.
Fellow contestant and room-mate Kennedy Anderson has become a good friend for McDowell.
“Kennedy is a young man who is years ahead of his time. We are teaming up and creating a new business venture, so watch out,” says McDowell who forms an alliance with Anderson in the show.
“It was simple — ‘I will watch your back and you watch mine’. Sticking to that one promise is what made us such a power couple. Add in sharing a room, which became our safe space among the chaos, and we cultivated a recipe for success. It was difficult to truly trust people in the house, but I genuinely trusted Kennedy. Hats off to his integrity,” McDowell says.