The show has already garnered international acclaim by winning two Asian Academy Creative Awards in 2021 in the Best Non-Scripted Entertainment and Best Adaptation of an Existing Format categories.
The real-life Squid Game features 16 candidates vying for a $250,000 job offer with ONE through a series of business and physical challenges. One of the guest appearances on the show is mixed martial arts legend and ONE Vice President, Rich Franklin.
"I liked the fact that they ran these physical challenges – some that were MMA-related, but nonetheless physical challenges – in parallel with boardroom challenges. Not that, for example, you being able to climb a rope ladder or net will make you good at making business decisions. But there is something to be said about the kind of person who, even if they are afraid of a particular challenge, is willing to go through with it. It says something about the mentality they have to accomplish a given task," said Franklin.
The Ohio native helped lead one of the most engaging challenges of the season to test the candidate's ability to remain calm under pressure.
"My challenge was a simulated helicopter crash in the water. Obviously, much like being in a plane, I love listening to those speeches before you take off. Like, 'In the case of a loss of cabin pressure, the masks will drop.' The people in the video always look cool, calm, and collected, and so I'm sure even in a simulated helicopter crash in the water – particularly the way they did it on the show – it would be hard to maintain that attitude," said Franklin.
"This helicopter is submerged in the water and then the mechanics of it makes the fuselage of the helicopter roll, and the candidates had to break their way out of the fuselage as it was sinking and swim to a raft."
"When they told me that was my challenge, I was excited. My only disappointment about the show was that I didn't get to participate in the challenge."
But that doesn't mean the former World Champion didn't think about how he would have tackled the task.
Franklin has thought about the world-class athletes on the ONE roster he would bring along to help complete the challenge.
"I would choose two women and two men, and I would choose them all for different reasons," said Franklin.
"I would select Janet Todd for obvious reasons. I have not spent a lot of time with Janet, but she seems to have a somewhat laid-back personality and she is wicked smart. She's an aerospace engineer with a master's degree, so that's an obvious choice there."
"I would choose Demetrious Johnson because he and I came from the same camp. If you can go through an entire career with Matt Hume, then I know what kind of grit you're made of. Also, DJ is a very smart businessman, so he would be a great, obvious choice."
"On the female side, I would also choose Stamp Fairtex. I would do this because in one of the episodes of "ONE Warrior Series," when I traveled to Thailand, Stamp and I played this mathematical tic-tac-toe game. Keep in mind I have a math degree, and that's part of the reason why I selected Janet Todd. I believe our thinking would be similar."
"But going back to Stamp and this mathematical tic-tac-toe game, she beat me, and I would like to say I let her win just because she was one of my competitors, but I did not. I was really trying to win that game, but I could not. So given the fact that Stamp is pretty smart when it comes to that and then also, her ability to quickly adapt across sports in ONE Championship, it makes her a candidate I would select for this."
"I think the other person would be Brandon Vera. I've known Brandon for years, and he's a pretty smart business guy. He is very levelheaded, he doesn't let things bother him or get to him very often. He's even-keeled and cool, calm, and collected in the face of pressure."
Do you think Franklin's team would be successful in this challenge?
Fans can watch the challenge from The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition now on Netflix in more than 150 countries.
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