Location, location, location; That is usually the mantra of property sellers and estate agents but for the past two nights it has also been the deciding factor in the preliminary tasks for this years The Apprentice. On Tuesday, Jaz Ampaw Farr was fired when she decided to walk the streets, attempting to sell lucky cats to anyone who would give her the time of day, and on Wednesday, boyish Tim Stillwell failed to put the foot down and instead gave in to popular demand. Indeed, The Apprentice is back and this year’s bunch of hopefuls brought the crazy by the bucket load.
For once, however, it isn’t the females who are loud and backstabbing. It is the men who have proven to be the most derisive and haughty this time around. Truthfully, I was actually rather impressed that so many of the girls actively leapt to Tim’s defence when the failure of their beer brewing task was pinned on him. If that had been the men, they would have thrown him under the bus before he could apologise, no matter how rapidly he speaks. The award for arrogance definitely goes to Neil Clough, whose every other breath is him taking credit for something, no matter how small or trivial. I realise this is a competition and that you not only need to make yourself heard but also need to make Lord Sugar aware of your contributions, however, he doesn’t need to tell the group or the camera what he did or did not come up with. We already know. We saw it happen. And ‘A Bitter This’ is nothing to be proud of.
Coming in close second to Neil for arrogance though was Kurt Wilson. He was so narrow-minded that he refused to even listen to the side team on two separate occasions. First, he ignored complaints that the manufacturing team that none of them actually liked or drank beer and secondly, rather than listening to their suggestions, he dictated the ingredients to them. There wasn’t any consideration at all for what they were saying; he just completely shut them down. Also, he should have accepted some responsibility for not sending samples with the sub-team. They probably should have asked but as manager it was his role to make certain they had samples.
Honestly, I am completely surprised that the male dominated team as managed to win the first two tasks in a row. Miles Mordaunt, Welshman Alex Mills and Zeeshaan Shah are all extremely loud and aggressive. It is fair enough to assume that, in this kind of competitive business situation, one might need to speak up in order to be heard but these guys, along with Kurt and Neil, are rather two-faced. They will say one thing and then conspire with the others that such and such is a terrible candidate or a horrible leader. Usually, we have to wait until a team loses and heads into the boardroom to hear what they really think but the men are so vindictive that as soon as Lord Sugar asks a question they are already zeroing in on who to target.
It seems as though a lot of the men are playing a long game in this show but I have a feeling that will only last as long as they keep winning. When it comes to the boardroom, Lord Sugar, Karen Brady and Nick Hewer can usually sniff out when someone is playing a game and those kinds of people never win this show. In fact, if season seven’s Tom Pellereau is anything to go by, Jason Leech may be a dark horse. I’m kidding because I really won’t be surprised if he will be the first to go when the men finally lose a task. Partly because everyone will throw him under the bus but also because, as Ed Byrne stated on the after show The Apprentice: You’re Fired, he has good business ethics but no actual business skills.
Despite the Endeavour’s horrible team, they have managed to not really work together and still pull out two consecutive wins. It is easy to see where Evolve went wrong in the first task. They didn’t sell all of their stock and the main team, led by project manager Jaz Ampaw Farr, failed to pre-decide locations where they could sell their wares. The second task is less clear. Location was undoubtedly a major part of it, as Rebecca Slater certainly did press the idea of the Kent Beer Festival but no one really spoke out against her and not strongly enough. And the beer festival is an honest mistake. I would have chosen it over the fresh fruits festival and it was simply unfortunate that the festival was smaller than anticipated. However, Evolve was able to sell their kegs to bars and other such establishments for almost twenty pounds more than Endeavour did. One must wonder that, if Francesca Macduff hadn’t fluffed the numbers twice, would have had more kegs to sell? Of course, the blame can’t fall entirely on Francesca. There was an entire manufacturing team in the room and if Tim Stillwell assigned her to the figures then perhaps he should have checked that she was actually capable at maths beforehand.
One of the most impressive candidates so far has to be Leah Totton. Originally from Northern Ireland but now living in London and working as a Doctor, Leah was the sub-team leader for the first task and efficiently organised the team into different roles. Thanks to that strategy, Evolve’s failure in the first task wasn’t a complete disaster. She also impressed in sales during the beer task although she didn’t quite match Rebecca. Another candidate that I think could end up stealing the show is Luisa Zissman. Sure, she is the loudest and most catty of all the females but she’s also a real dark horse. A lot of people seem to underestimate her but she has proved on both tasks that she can sell. I’ll be interested to see if she can lead when she becomes project manager because that will tip the scales.
And with that The Apprentice is back with a bang. Reports are that this season’s premiere is down in ratings but these two episodes have actually been the most enjoyable within recent memory. Not since Susan Ma’s ‘Do the French love their children?’ has it been this much fun to watch people torpedo their careers on national television.
P.S. I was rather surprised that it was Angie who was eliminated from American Idol this week but I’m also glad Kree Harrison remained in the competition as I think, out of those two, she has the most potential for world wide success. Candice Glover is still the favourite to win. It was no surprise that Randy Jackson is leaving, though I hope rumours that the entire panel is to be replaced are false. Let Mariah Carey go and keep Nicki and Keith.