Television: The Apprentice – week two

28 Mar

“I am 100% behind it. Would I buy it? No.”
Adam Corbally

This weeks episode opened with the gang getting a 5.30am phone call from Lord Sugar’s “office”. It was nice to see how many of the boys sleep in skin-tight pants. Do I mean that? No, I do not. For some reason I have a very vivid image of Ricky Martin (I can’t just call him Ricky) flicking them all with wet towels.

Anyway, over at the V&A the teams were given their task: to invent and design a new household gadget. The winning team would be the one with the most orders. Talking to them from a balcony like a bearded Pope, Al let them in on a business secret: “The success of this task is going to be in that product concept. Everything after that is going to be a waste of time if the product sucks.” Blown. Away.

Jane volunteered to be team manager for the girls only to look like she’d swallowed some cold sick when Katie also put herself forward. As the two pitched their cases Jane’s face made it clear she was not a happy camper. It came down to a vote and the luck of the Irish got Jane the job. A few minutes later I wanted to eat my own hair as she SHUSHED her team during a brainstorming session.

It was a lot simpler for the boys who all voted in ‘the master puppeteer’ Azhar. But, it turns out, not only do people call him that they ALSO describe him as “the killer whale of the sea world.” Wait, what? “On one hand I’m intelligent and polite,” debatable and also not something I have ever associated with orcas.

“What problems are we going to solve in the bathroom?” is a question many of us have asked, but one that Sterling actually had to answer. Laura Hogg, a woman who really makes me think Scotland should break away from Britain, came up with a plastic screen to stop children splashing a tiled room while in the bath. And they can draw on it rather than washing! Yaaay! Not ones to keep it simple they also came up with the tap cosy. It’s funky and colourful and I have absolutely no idea what the point of it is.

If you often find that you have stinking, rotten food cluttering up your kitchen fear not, the boys have come up with… THE BIN! Their mini composter not only stores your waste, it compresses it too! I know, right? The council gave us a green bin for free but fuck that, I’m burning it and buying an Eco Press.
But wait, Adam Corbally has an idea! Mittens! For your oven! That are actually washing up gloves! Who cares about getting terms right? These have a scourer on one hand and a sponge on the other.

The teams headed off to talk to focus groups. Mothers seemed to prefer the tap cosy to watching their child drown through a plastic screen, but who gives a shit? Jane decided to scrap that idea, ignore half her team and go ahead with the Splish Splash. Would the boys listen to their group? Of course not! While they, weirdly, liked the sponge-glove, Duane Bryan’s cafetiere for food won out.

At one point it all got a bit too much for Maria, who had a little sleepy in the cab. It’s fine though, apparently she was just thinking thinking thinking. To be fair to her it must be tiring wearing all that eyeshadow.

Pitching their product to Amazon, the girls seemed to be doing quite well. That is until Jane suggested them ordering A MILLION units. Uh? Karren Brady’s expression was possibly the highlight of the episode. When challenged about the profit margins Jane seemed to have randomly plucked from the sky the whole thing just fell apart. It was genuinely embarrassing to watch.

Azhar and Nick decided that, as the inventor, Duane was definitely not allowed to speak during their Amazon pitch. But Duane don’t play by the rules. BOOM, there he is, answering questions! And totally saving Stephen’s utterly dreadful presentation.

“72% of people in the UK actually cook at home.”
Stephen Brady leaves us wondering if the other 28% are eating out of bins

Maria was definitely awake after the Amazon disaster. Screaming down a phone in a cab I started to wonder if she actually needed the mobile. It turns out that it is very easy to absolutely hate someone you have never met. I would put money on her having glassed someone before.

In the boardroom Sir Al was not impressed with the girls. Having ignored their market research, fumbled their figures and tried to sell a million (let’s do it again: A MILLION) units to Amazon they were definitely in the doghouse. The boys didn’t come out much better, having a little bicker while explaining themselves to the Boss.

But what about numbers? Amazon ordered 3,000 Eco Presses, and, even after the mess Jane made, 7,500 Splish Splashes (that’ll be 992,500 less than she suggested). Now it all comes down to Lakeland, where the teams made their second pitch. 10,000 Eco Presses and, nail biting stuff… Zero Splish Splashes. None. Nada. Once again the boys leave the boardroom to go and congratulate themselves on being bad winners.

Who did Jane decide to drag in front of the firing squad with her? Jenna and snoozy Maria! It was incredibly hard to pick who I wanted to sod off more. They were all so awful even Alan threatened to fire more than one of them.

Finally though, the finger went up.

Maria – you are TIRED! Sorry, fired.


In her cab ride of shame Maria told us she would still own five restaurants by the time she’s 25. Next week the teams are coming up with new condiments, maybe they can pitch them to her?

Seriously. Every week.

Pictures © BBC Picture Publicity
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