‘The first rule of business… don’t talk about business’.
You’ll be glad to know that that isn’t in fact the first rule of business. Generally, it’s ‘don’t do something rubbish.’ It’s the cornerstone of any company; and the rules haven’t changed for our now 15 candidates in the running for the grand prize of an investment from Lord Sugar.
This rule, however; went out the window this week with the two teams (Sterling & Phoenix) or as they’ll be referred to until such times as there is a ‘mix up’, the girls and the boys.
It began in the London museum of modern things, and I was glad to see the common moulded plastic school chair and a shoe on display as the teams timidly walked toward a balcony to look up and see Lord Sugar pop out a door and address them in his usual ‘I’m angry at you’ demeanour.
In this episode, the task was to make a gadget for in and around the house. They could have made anything. Their limitations were limitless; if that makes sense.
First, the girls, and their appointed team leader, Jane McEvoy from Dublin.
They knocked about a massive two ideas. One, which I loved, was the tap cosy. Essentially, the purpose this served was to cover the taps of your bath. A hat for your taps. A tap hat. However agreeing on, and making this proved to be impossible, down to the fact that no-one on earth would want a tap hat. To be fair to the girls though, it had a cushion built into it… a soft tap hat.
The second idea was a splash guard for when babies are having a bath. I counted 4 descriptions of this product; we had a Splash Guard, Splash Screen, Splash Back Screen and Splash Back Guard. The focus group explained how this could prove to be a terrible idea, and none of the parents there would ever want to buy one. However Glaswegian candidate Laura Hogg exclaimed ‘Why has this not been made before?’… Well, Laura Hogg; because it’s woeful, and no-one likes it.
And now, to the boys, and leading them, Azhar Siddique. Again, the creative juices were flowing within this group, matching the girls in relation to ideas. Two.
I actually liked the couple of the things that they conjured up. Initially the gloves with sponges ‘built in’. A scouring pad, and a soft spongy bit. I wanted them to go one step further and suggest injecting their hands with Fairy Liquid.
Candidate, Adam Corbally described the gloves as being ‘handheld cleaning devices’. I liked the idea, because I find cleaning my dishes using my chin a major inconvenience.
The boys, though decided on a bin/compressor for excess foodstuffs. I can’t think of anything negative to say about the concept. It was a brilliant idea, in my opinion; especially for those living in smaller households. Then I saw the concept come to life.
A spoutless cafetiere.
The pitches were great fun for both teams. The girls mathematics worked along the lines of ‘If you buy a million, considering 47% margin on manufacturing cost minus 20% tax, then include the 200% increase on deductible costs included therein at £7.14 per unit and add £3 to assist in mass production, the outcome is 100,000% profit and a puppy’.
Amazon, (or as they were referred to quite a bit, ‘A massive online shopping outlet’) saw through the crafty girls’ maths, and paid no heed to the puppy. They picked and poked until a reasonable number was given. Not enough, it seems.
The boys had their numbers pretty much intact. But the same couldn’t be said about the team itself. Arguments were beginning to form, and tensions beginning to become apparent. Early days yet, but we all watch The Apprentice for normally one reason… (ok, maybe more reasons) but the bitching is always good for a few yucks.
To be honest, this episode was pretty black and white. Not really too many controversies this episode; it was all rather… well, dull to be honest.
The girls ‘see through stick on the bath, let a baby doodle on it and make themselves dirty whilst attempting to give the child a bath blackboard’ failed to impress; leaving the boys’ ‘put all your waste food into this thing and squeeze it to the bottom then empty it into a plastic bag, completely defeating the purpose of having one’ bin led them into success for the second week running.
The boardroom was awash with finger pointing; and it really boiled down to “But you fell asleep…” being the main reason for firing someone, who this week happened to be Maria O’Connor.
Quite simply; the wrong people were brought into the boardroom.
But I did enjoy seeing Helen practice her screwed up face which has taken Nick 7 years to master.
The overall winner of this episode in my opinion?
The moulded plastic school chair.