Luke Owen on last night's episode of The Apprentice 2012...
If I’ve strategy learned anything from strategy this week’s Apprentice strategy, it’s that strategy having a strategy is a solid plan when strategy starting a business strategy, but strategy saying it over and over again can strategy become incredible annoying. Strategy.
Yes, this week’s Apprentice task will forever be set in stone as the week where Azah (and the rest of the candidates) said the word ‘strategy’ to the point where it trended on Twitter. They said it A LOT.
This week saw our teams doing the “smell what sells” task where they buy crap from a warehouse, sell it at a market, work out what tat people are willing to buy, go and get more from the warehouse and make a profit. It is a task that that Lord Sugar will always point out that he likes because it’s how he got his start in the business world. Will our teams match Lord Sugar’s success? In short, and unsurprisingly, no.
Lord Sugar made it quite clear at the start of this task that certain people hadn’t been Project Managers before so they’d be wise to put themselves forward. And by people he meant Jade as she is the only one who hasn’t been PM. She indeed did put herself forward while One Direction cast-off Nick was unanimously voted as Project Manager of the other team over Ricky Martin. Clearly, this team should have lost because they don’t see how great Ricky Martin is.
While Jade’s team argued over where to set up shop, Nick’s team swung into action making the assumption that, because they’d be selling in Essex, fake tan would be a good purchase along with fake nails and fake eyelashes. Where they could have gotten this atrocious stereotypical view of the town of Essex, I’ll never know...
From the warehouse, the teams also picked up extendable mops, beard trimmers and these little electronic bug toy things. All of it crap, and all of it can be sold to idiots in Essex apparently.
Aside from Jenna trying to sell a beard trimmer to a man who claimed he had a beard but clearly didn’t, the highlight of the day’s selling came from Ricky Martin and Stephen pulling out their best Del Boy comedy double act to sell some mops. It felt like The Chuckle Brothers had invaded the opening scene of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Incredibly cringe-worthy and not all that effective in terms of mops sales.
The other highlight for me actually was Jade’s selling tactic of putting price tags on things that just read, “really cheap”. If only all shops would adopt this method so clothes have tags with, “not too bad”, “not within your budget” or “stupidly expensive” (the last one can be saved exclusively for Harrods).
It was around this time that Azah started to bring up ‘strategy’ – which he did for a reason. You see, Jade didn’t have one. When the whole point of the task is to, “smell what sells”, she just told her team to go back and buy the same crap they’d bought before regardless of whether it was selling or not. Anyone with half a brain could see that the little bug toys which they could buy for 60p each and sold for £3 would think to buy a load of them if they were selling well – which they were. That boys and girls is called a ‘strategy’. Nick’s team on the other hand understood where this task worked and what a “strategy” is. They found a place that worked for them, found a product they could all sell and made a load of money.
So much money in fact that they won. Not by a massive amount in all fairness, but they won none the less. In fact, they won despite not selling anything for 2 hours after ballsing up getting more fake tan from the warehouse. It was a deserved win that won them a night in a fancy bar drinking cocktails from the UK Barman of the Year (that’s a real thing apparently) while Jade’s merry band of losers took a trip to that place where everyone knows you’re a loser.
Back in the boardroom, Jade fought her corner well and pointed the finger of blame at Captain Strategy Azah for having a bad attitude and interfering. When asked who she was bringing back into the final three, she predictably picked Azah but then spent what felt like an eternity picking Tom as her second choice for no reason other than, “I don’t know what else to do” – way to show leadership skills there Jade. I predicted that this would be her downfall, but two trips to the boardroom in two weeks for Azah meant that he was on the wrong end of the Finger Point of Doom to become the seventh casualty of the Boardroom.
I still feel that Jade should have been fired here. She was a bad Project Manager and she hasn’t shown much else in the other weeks. Plus, bringing back Tom when he had clearly done nothing wrong was an act of madness. Despite the fact it would have broken my heart to see my lovely Laura back in the boardroom again, she would have been a smarter choice than Tom. While Azah was very annoying in this episode, in the end, he was right. She didn’t have a strategy and the team suffered because of it. Lord Sugar made the wrong call.
With only a few weeks left to go, I still don’t see a clear winner for this series or even who will make it into the final five. Does this mean that it’s an exciting series of The Apprentice, or is it a series full of numbskulls and buffoons?
What do you think?
Apprentice Advice: STRATEGY
Quote of the Week: "They have gone for ghastly fake tan and things you stick on your nails" – Nick telling us exactly what he thinks of the cast of The Only Way is Essex.
Top Tweet of the Week: "I want the woman with the mans voice to get fired." - @thebeanboy23
SIDE NOTE: Sorry for missing last week’s episode. I was out with work friends and missed the episode entirely. It won’t happen again I promise!
Luke Owen is a freelance copywriter working for Europe’s biggest golf holiday provider as their web content executive.