I spoke to someone recently; a business person, who, until this year, had never seen The Apprentice. When I asked what they thought, the answer was… “Well I’m a little disappointed. I thought that it featured good and interesting business people.”
Kind of says a lot about this series.
I’m not quite sure what it is; but it seems that a lot of the show has become a bit strained. Of course, every series has had it’s comical value and cringeworthy decisions being made (Baggs the brand, and so on); but there were always one or two that stood out from the bunch.
Now, it seems like the auditions for the X Factor.
My… that was all frightfully serious. On with the overview of this week’s episode.
We’re greeted once again with the housemates lounging about in their socks, *yawn* (in front of the cameras) having a down day *yawn*. But when the camera is rolling, it’s never a down day. They should know this by now.
The phone rings, Slippery Stephen answers. Unbelievable! It’s a task. Who’d’ve thought? *yawn*
They’re told that they have to get down to a wholesalers in Essex, for a bit of buying and selling.
They arrive to see Nick and Karen, dutifully waiting for Lord Sugar to arrive. And arrive he does. Laying out the task, and we’ve all seen it before; buy stuff, sell the stuff, make money on the stuff, try not to get fired. “Smell what sells” was the objective. Pretty simple, I would almost bet that a group of 7 year olds could manage it.
So the teams were given £150 (or ‘ahanrdadanfifty paands’, according to Lord Sugar), and told to go into the warehouse full of old tat and sort themselves out. Referring to the teams as their ridiculous names is becoming somewhat tiresome, and frankly, impossible due to the ‘mixing around’ Sugar seems to do every two weeks… so it’s ‘Team whoever the leader is’ from here on in. The choice of team leaders was a straightforward enough one – Jade hadn’t been team leader yet and Nick because of his floppy hair. There we have it. Team Jade and Team Nick. Much more simple.
Team Nick got off to a flyer, with locations set and deeming that fake nails and fake tan were the way to go; along with some other stuff that ‘would probably do’.
Sadly (or not), Team Jade were still sitting around a cardboard box pointing at a map. After last week, with being pulled over the coals for being too quiet, Azhar felt the need to say strategy quite often. Tom seemed to be the only person with his head screwed on… taking notes and doing sums, bless him.
Both teams liked the idea of selling fake tan to the good folk of Essex, so stocked up on it, and a mixture of beard trimmers, hot water bottles, and ipod docks. I’ve never been to Essex; but it seems that there is a massive market there for products suiting cold hairy pale people in need of a dance.
When we got to the locations, both teams set up a stall each in a local shopping centre and a street market. Team Nick were shifting the 99p fake tan for a tenner each, with Jenna wearing a magic tanning glove and saying that since it’s laced with Aloe Vera, it’s really good for the skin. The Essex ladies were loving it, and arrived in their droves. At the market, Ricky and Slippery Stephen created a cunning plan. Pretending to all the passersby that Stephen had a backache, while Ricky explained how this revolutionary mop with a handle is just what he needed. It really was truly amazing – a mop with a handle.
Meanwhile, on team Jade, Azhar asked what the strategy was… a lot. Jade started getting a bit cross about the whole thing, whilst Adam was there, squinting his eyes, and shaking his head. Doesn’t Azhar know that the strategy is to sell stuff, get down to the warehouse, buy some more stuff, (even if no-one in Essex in their right minds wants it), bring it back, and sell it? The vibrating bugs seemed to be doing well, though….
Over on team Nick, the stock had run out, so Nick sent Stephen and Ricky off to the warehouse to get more, but traffic wasn’t going to make this an easy errand. The suspense waskilling me. *yawn*
Nick started panicking, fixing his hair more often than usual, whilst promising the Essex locals that the fake tan would be there in a jiffy. There could be pandemonium at the centre if the tans didn’t arrive sharpish.
Look, it’s like this… the teams bought some tripe, they sold it. That’s the task.
To the boardroom.
Nick’s team got a bit of an earful because they took too long to restock, and there were a lot of pale people running around Essex.
Jades had a pop at Azhar for saying strategy too much, but was regarded as a good team leader…(?)
The results came in. Jade’s team lost and Nick’s won.
Lord Sugar stated that they were an inspiration; ‘Look at wot ya can do wif ahandradandfifty paands’… yes, Alan; but that’s not including transporting the goods, paying the market fees for the stalls, paying rent to set up a stand in a shopping centre and paying to listen to Jade not really knowing what she’s doing.
Nick’s team were whisked away to drink cocktails, and team Jade were left sitting in the grotty coffee shop, to see where it all went wrong.
I think it was a lack of strategy. Wish someone had spoken up.
Jade brought Tom back in, (who I’m now convinced is going to win,) and of course Azhar. Jade saved herself by saying that her business idea will become a multi-million company if she wins. Azhar got the boot, with Jade dodging a massive bullet.
Lord Sugar summed it up, asking ‘Who wants to go into business with someone that no-one will listen to?
I wish Jade had gone, and I could have summed it up with ‘Who wants to go into business with someone no-one wants to listen to?’
Next week… week 8.