The Apprentice began with Lord Sugar delivering a brilliant example of his classic opening gambit: inexplicably instructing the candidates to assemble at a location whose connection with the actual task is tenuous at best.
One aficionado recently tweeted the parody: ‘Meet me at the bottom of a well in 20 minutes. (Half an hour later) I’ve brought you here today because a well is dark and damp – perfect for developing film. Start a photography business…’
So it proved this week at the venue that the narrator called ‘the world-renowned Royal Albert Hall.’
Time for another round: The Apprentice began with Lord Sugar delivering a brilliant example of his classic opening gambit: inexplicably instructing the candidates to assemble at a location whose connection with the actual task is tenuous at best
Not for Kayode, who hesitantly suggested: ‘I’m sure the Royal Albert Hall is like a music place!’
‘This wonderful building has been hosting prestigious live events for over 150 years!’ Lord Sugar told them. ‘And in 1901 the world’s first ever bodybuilding competition was held here. So for this task I want you to sell at one of the world’s largest bodybuilding expos – in Birmingham.’
They might as well have met him at the bottom of that well after all.
It proved an episode that raised some interesting questions:
And they’re off! This week’s task saw the candidates selling at one of the world’s largest bodybuilding expos in Birmingham
* what sort of person would buy a £1000 sauna from a candidate from The Apprentice?
* what sort of person would let someone from The Apprentice spray-tan them?
* were any of the candidates ever going to do anything impressive enough for Lord Sugar to invest two hundred and fifty thousand pounds in them and who the hell would it be? (Jackie?)
* how did Sarah-Anne end up as the triumphant Project Manager when she was – somehow – even worse than her opponent Sabrina? (She put Kurran on the massage team for instance – when he had his arm in a sling!)
Bad luck: Kurran was still being mercilessly taunted by Lord Sugar after breaking his arm
* has there ever been a more unlucky candidate on The Apprentice than Kurran? Besides having a broken arm he was still being mercilessly taunted by Lord Sugar (‘you didn’t challenge anyone to an arm-wrestling match then?’). He then missed out on the victors’ reward: sparring with David Haye!
* was the most inept candidate of the night (the one who deserved to be eliminated) actually a member of the winning side: Kurran – even worse than the hapless Alex Sinn?
* did Alex believe everything he said and think he didn’t deserve to be fired?
It seemed hard to imagine.
‘I had nothing to do with the loss of this task,’ he told the camera, despite his failure to make any serious sales (or contribution at all). ‘It’s entirely Sabrina’s fault. I will not go without a fight here and I will win this process!’
Eye on the prize: He then missed out on the victors’ reward: sparring with David Haye
No you won’t.
He might have stayed in though if he hadn’t been unable to keep his mouth shut in the boardroom (another classic facet of the show aficionados always relish).
He had already vehemently insisted that he was ‘being used as a scapegoat’ and persisted to claim that if Sabrina had not replaced him having finally despaired of any prospect of a deal that he ‘would have made a lot of sales at the end of the day!’
‘I made none because I was moved across!’ he argued, almost ingeniously given that he had in fact been moved across because he had made none!
Blunder: Alex might have stayed in though if he hadn’t been unable to keep his mouth shut in the boardroom (another classic facet of the show aficionados always relish)
‘Lord Sugar I am a very enthusiastic individual!’ he blustered passionately. ‘I’ve got a millionaire mindset!’
‘A what?!’ Sugar interrupted not unreasonably.
‘A millionaire mindset! And I will prove in due course I am a great salesman! This is what I do! I am a natural salesman and I know I will make you the most money!’
Unsurprisingly, this pushed Lord Sugar over the brink – not least as an IT Analyst ‘this’ wasn’t what Alex did at all.
‘How can you look me in the eye and say that you’re a natural salesman?!’ Sugar cried, exasperated.
‘I was put in the wrong place and the wrong time!’ the youngest argued, still digging.
This really was the final straw.
Baffled: ‘How can you look me in the eye and say that you’re a natural salesman?!’ Sugar cried, exasperated
‘You were smack bang in the right place!’ Sugar pointed out. ‘You were in the exhibition that specialises in body building selling body building equipment ! I couldn’t have set it up any better for you!’
Well if you looked at it that way, yes.
There was nothing left to say except: ‘Alex, you’re fired!’
15 Best/Worst Moments from this week’s task:
1. ‘We lost the last task so we have to put 150 million% into this one’
– Sarah-Anne raises the bar on The Apprentice’s traditional ‘110%’
2. ‘I’d be super-happy to put myself forward for. I know a lot about exhibitions…Bodybuilding though, I don’t know anything about’
– Jackie does it again: appearing to volunteer for PM but then persuading someone else (Sarah-Anne, a solicitor) into doing it after she suggested ‘I think it does have to be somebody who understands that industry. I train in the gym quite regularly.’ Not really the same…
Trademark: ‘I’d be super-happy to put myself forward for. I know a lot about exhibitions…Bodybuilding though, I don’t know anything about’ – Jackie does it again: appearing to volunteer for PM but then persuading someone else
3. ‘I don’t know whether it was you Rick, or Tom…I know somebody said: ‘is that the lowest you can go?’
– Sarah-Anne acts the innocent as she tries to throw two of her teammates under the bus for the fatal mistake of alienating a retailer by haggling. Even though, as Lord Sugar bluntly reminded her: ‘it was you!’
4. ‘You have done this before haven’t you?’
– Expo visitor, stripped to his pants, as he was liberally sprayed orange by Camilla who merrily assured him: ‘I’m a tanning enthusiast.’ That’s not a ‘yes’…
5. ‘It’s a lot more complicated than we first thought!’
– Camilla struggles to implement what she was taught during her ‘tanning tuition’, as she showed by asking: ‘how do you turn it on?’ Answer? ‘You press the button.’
Having a go: ‘You have done this before haven’t you?’ – expo visitors were liberally sprayed orange by Camilla who merrily assured them: ‘I’m a tanning enthusiast’
6. ‘We could sell it in body parts: full body tan, leg tan, arms…’
– Khadija’s idea to revolutionise to spray tan industry
7. ‘I love the product. I love the brand. I love what you stand for’
– Daniel shaking hands with the retailer of the personal saunas, then walking round the corner and telling PM Sabrina: ‘personally I didn’t really like the product. I don’t think that’s for us!’
8. ‘I think even Ray Charles could see I was infuriated by the decision to put me on the service side. If they don’t sell everything, I hate to say it but it’s going to be a very joyful: ‘I told you so!’
– Kayode shows that he’s a true team player
Cringe: . ‘Hello girls! Are you looking for something to get warm in?!’ – Rick’s dubious sales pitch for the £1000 sauna
9. ‘I’m sat in Frank’s seat and sleeping in his bed. I feel like I’m really betraying him’
– Rick, fails to consider the idea of not sitting in Frank’s seat or sleeping in his (fired) friend’s bed
10. ‘You know when you tear your muscles training? This heals them quicker. It’s like the healthy version of steroids!’
– Tom’s dubious sales pitch for the £1000 sauna
Really trying: ‘You could actually sell that as an office and just work in there’ – Another of Rick’s dubious sales pitch for the £1000 sauna. A very hot office maybe
11. ‘You can bring your bird in here! Get the wine on the go!’
– Another of Tom’s dubious sales pitch for the £1000 sauna
12. ‘Hello girls! Are you looking for something to get warm in?!’
– Rick’s dubious sales pitch for the £1000 sauna
13. ‘You could actually sell that as an office and just work in there’
– Another of Rick’s dubious sales pitch for the £1000 sauna. A very hot office maybe
14. ‘When you’re at the gym having a sauna you just end up talking crap. This is where you talk crap’
– The third of Rick’s dubious sales pitch for the £1000 sauna
15. ‘Rick, you sound like you couldn’t give away a Prosecco on a hen night!’
– Lord Sugar suggests he won’t be investing £250,000 in Rick
Drama ahead: Lord Sugar teased there could be a double elimination next week