Viewers tracking the progress of Letterkenny businesswoman Joanne Sweeney-Burke on The Apprentice will be able to watch the nail-biting final of the reality television competition on Monday night at An Grianán Theatre in Letterkenny.
The theatre is screening the last episode, in which Joanne and the other finalists, all three of them men, will learn whose business will win a substantial cash investment from Dublin businessman Bill Cullen.
The An Grianán doors will open to the public at 8 pm on Monday, with the screening starting at 9 pm. Joanne’s family, friends and colleagues will be among the audience, but Joanne will be in Dublin, where all the candidates from the series, along with sponsors and task participants, will be watching together from Dublin City Centre.
None of the candidates have ever seen an episode in advance of broadcast, though the series was completed before it aired on TV3.
“When it airs on Monday night I’m watching it for the first time,” Joanne said. She said it’s been nerve-wracking to watch: About 100 hours of action were recorded for each 80-minute programme. She said it appeared as though the programme team observed the candidates to determine their strongest characteristics, before editing the programme. Joanne said she believes she has been portrayed as “the straight-talking Donegal woman who likes to get things done,” and added that she also came across as “very assertive, and probably a bit bossy”.
She added, “It’s weird to watch yourself and your own personality. The cameras were with us 12 to 15 hours a day, so you have no choice but to be yourself.”
Joanne said that when she began on the programme, her immediate goal was more modest.
“My aim was not to get fired in the first couple of weeks,” she said. But she said, “Once I got into the tasks, I went, ‘I really can take these people on’.”
She has. Over the 11 weeks of the programme, Joanne project managed twice and won both. She topped the leader board in terms of winning tasks, finishing ahead in eight of the 11 she undertook.
Her teams have set sales records.
She has also been the last woman on the show for the past two weeks.