Luke Owen reviews the third episode of The Apprentice….
If anything, this week’s episode of The Apprentice should have showcased who was going to do well in this process and who would fail miserably. After all, this was a designing task where they had to create and market a new product – something that Lord Sugar Daddy is quite keen on. But for a certain group of individuals, it really showed off just how clueless they really are.
As we’re still in early days, it’s still ‘Girls vs. Boys’ as Natalie lead Team Evolve while Hipster Jordon took leadership of Team ‘We’ll Give it a Go’ (I will run out of these soon). Jordon’s Buddy Holly Hipster glasses seemed excited to delegate amongst his team as they all started to spit out their ideas. And despite Zee’s idea to have a chair that also doubled up as a recycling box (you know, for when you’re peeling potatoes), it was Eyebrows Alex who came up with a chair that also doubled up as a table. Some might call it ‘multi-functional’.
Not to be outdone in the multi-functional states, the girls and their “shout over each other” methods came up with the most multi-functional idea ever known to man. A cube that was a storage device, a chair, a bedside table, a wine cooler, a laptop holder, a regular table, a fridge, a back scratcher, a BBQ, a dishwasher and much more besides. They were either trying to re-create Felix The Cat‘s Magic Bag of Tricks or they were playing that bit from The Generation Game with the cuddly toy. Suffice to say; too many cooks spoil the broth and too many ideas makes for a crap product.
To make matters worse, the girls then argued about the complexities of this box as no one really had any idea of what it actually was for. The market research team told them that they needed leg space for it to be a table, but that negated the storage aspect. They were asked to buy some upholstery for it to be a chair, but then that negated the table aspect. This went on and on and on and on with Uzma finally taking control to create a storage box that a friend of mine tweeted, “looks just like the one I had as a kid to hold my Barbies” Despite Cruella Deville Rebecca’s timid disapproval of the concept, not one of them realised that what they were making was pure rubbish.
It all seemed to be in the bag for the boys as the rolled along with this one sided episode. They had a fairly decent product with one tiny fault (it was made for giants) and the girls were trying to sell a box on wheels called the Tidy Sidey. What could go wrong for them?
As the selling portion of the task kicked into gear, the boys seemed to be doing well even though The Old Looking One (still don’t know his name) tried to market the chair to 16 year old students and Eyebrows Alex made an arse of himself by giving the high end retailers a good look at … well… his arse. Hipster Jordon managed to sell 200 units of his chair while the girls managed to sell 4 of their box on wheels in a frankly embarrassing moment of the show as I can’t believe someone would buy 4 of them.
Did they ever say what the purpose of the wheels was? Can you also drive the Tidy Sidey?
Towards the end of the selling portion, it did seem like some people were buying into the Tidy Sidey – even if the girls didn’t themselves. Some of the smaller retailers were quite interested in this cheap tacky crap which just shows you that the majority of the swanky shops in London is a real life version of the “I saw you coming” character from Harry and Paul.
But, let’s face it, this was a one sided show all the way to the bitter end. Lord Sugar Daddy tried to mock the chair for being a touch too high but even he knew it was a good product and that it was far better than the box on wheels. Even with the lack of drama in the boardroom showdown, the show was saved by my new hero: Karen Brady.
The boys had their total figures; they had sold 2,000 of their chair to a high end retailer. The girls were losing, and their glum faces knew they were heading for the Sad Face Café. They needed a big order, so Karen (with a big smile on her face) starts:
“They loved the pitch”
What’s this? The girl’s faces pick up. Could it be? Karen continued:
“They loved you”
It’s a Christmas Miracle! The girls have somehow pulled this out the bag! What happened next Karen?
“But they hated the product and made no orders”
I could watch Natalie’s face drop like a broken lift over and over again.
So, they boys win. Again. It’s not even like they’re really good, it’s just the girls are really naff. Instead of hanging round DIY shops they should have been buying themselves a clue.
The boys got to do some extreme sports stuff for winning the task on a miraculous sunny day in London while the girls blamed each other (surprise, surprise) in the Sad Face Café. Back in the boardroom, blame was shifted to Uzma because she came up with the design (or lack thereof) and Quiet Sophie for being a bit quiet and not speaking up when she was meant to be good at market research. Unsurprisingly, Natalie brought those two back in for another week of them shouting over each other in an annoying manner as possible.
Uzma was to blame really. As someone who is apparently at the top of her game in terms of design and fashion, she’d crafted a pretty shoddy looking grey box on wheels that wouldn’t appeal to anyone. Sophie was quiet and Natalie could have led better, but Uzma was at fault in the task. So it should come as no surprise that Sophie got the Fingerpoint of Doom.
Yes, Sophie was fired by Lord Sugar Daddy for reasons of being quiet and showing no initiative. On one hand, it should have come as no surprise as she said in her own words, “I don’t design, I don’t manufacture, I don’t sell and I don’t pitch” – four key things one looks for in a business investment. But Uzma was at fault here. I really don’t know how she’s still in this process and I can’t see her making to the end – unless her business pitch is a money printing machine which requires no cash investment or questions from the law. Because I think Lord Sugar Daddy might be interested in that.
Next week, the teams get switched up as they open a farm shop.
Apprentice Advice of the Week: If you’re in a task that requires you to make a product, don’t make a box on wheels.
Apprentice Quote of the Week: “It’s called the sales orgasm – you get them to say yes three times” – Neil Clough. Even when he’s having a quiet week, he’s still a gem.
Apprentice Tweet of the Week: “Pretty sure Homer’s been at The Apprentice girls with his makeup gun. #TheApprentice” @HelenVonPeas
Luke Owen is one of Flickering Myth’s co-editors and the host of the Month in Review show for Flickering Myth’s Podcast Network. You can follow him on Twitter @LukeWritesStuff.