ONE representing Asia through The Apprentice

THE APPRENTICE: ONE CHAMPIONSHIP EDITION expands the sports media property’s roster of offerings and its push to represent the Asian region in more ways than one. — ONE CHAMPIONSHIP

By Michael Angelo S. Murillo, Senior Reporter

THE Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition had its Asian television premiere last week, expanding the sports media property’s roster of offerings and ONE’s push to represent the region in more ways than one.

A 13-episode fare, the show chronicles ONE’s search for a new member of its front office, working under the group’s chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong in their Singapore headquarters.

Sixteen candidates from different parts of the world, including the Philippines, and various backgrounds are vying for the $250,000 job offer.

Makers of the show, which was filmed entirely in the city-state amid the pandemic, touts this latest iteration of the popular TV program as the hardest to date as it not only tests the participants’ skills in the boardroom, but it also measures them up physically through challenges done with top athletes of the promotion.

ONE said making the show was very challenging given the existing conditions in these trying times, but it made the group all the more determined to see the project completed.

It added that the program goes beyond just providing reality television entertainment and filling up a position in its group.

The show, ONE said, is also geared towards celebrating Asia, what it is about and what it offers in various aspects vis-a-vis the rest of the world.

“If you look historically in terms of content, Hollywood has been exporting content, the West has been exporting content into the East… But yet there are four and a half billion [people] in Asia, 60 percent of the World’s population is here. There is massive underrepresentation of Asia, of Asian heroes, of Asian business leaders, of Asian sports heroes, of content of any kind,” said Mr. Sityodtong in a recent panel discussion with global media.

“It’s generally about celebrating the best of humanity. This is what ONE Championship is about. That’s why our hashtag is #WeAreONE because we want to unite humanity through our values, heroes and stories but at the same time as an Asian leader. I do take it very seriously as I want to show the world the greatness of Asia, that we have the power and the ability to create incredible content that inspires the world and genuinely unites humanity,” he added.

To see their vision for the show through, ONE made sure it tapped like-minded global broadcast partners.

The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition will be the most watched Apprentice in history full stop because of our global distribution, because of our Asian distribution, because of our incredible broadcast partners. The US will have its version, UK will have its version, Australia will have its version,” he said.

Adding, “This is a seminal moment for the media industry for Asia and I am so proud to be part of the Singapore media industry representing the little red dot on the global stage of business on the global stage of the entertainment business. This will change history.”

Meanwhile, on the premiere of the show, Philippine representative Lara Pearl Alvarez escaped elimination.

Ms. Alvarez, who hails from Baguio, was one of the first three candidates to be sent to The Boardroom, alongside fellow Team Conquest members Alvin Ang (Singapore) and Nazee Sajedi (United States).

The Filipino candidate admitted that she could have done better in their first business challenge — building a “ONE at Home” essentials kit, a marketing plan, and a product prototype to be pitched to the hosts.

Ms. Alvarez said her decision to shy away from the background may have been her undoing, something she promised to change moving forward.

Luckily, the challenge was a non-elimination one.

Apart from Ms. Alvarez, also representing the Philippines in the show, is former mixed martial arts champion and corporate executive Louie Sangalang.

The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition is broadcast every Thursdays at 8:40 p.m. on AXN Asia and every Mondays at 9 p.m. over One Sports.