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Thursday, 27 November 2014

The Apprentice Heads to the Country

Technical problems of the not-having-any-internet-kind prevented me from seeing pouty Lauren from getting the boot, but there was no way I was going to miss week 8 - not with James in charge of Team Summit. He and Felipe, leading Tenacity, were heading to the Royal Bath and West Show, a mahooooooosive agricultural gathering, and the perfect place to make some money selling stuff.



Both teams sent scouts to paw over a bunch of items and choose two they thought would go like hot cakes; Felipe and his gang went with flat-cap handbags and a kiddie bike trailer thing, while Katie and Denial - more of him later - managed to land a spot selling hot tubs.

James, meanwhile, completely ignored everyone’s advice and opted for pricy fold-down wellies and a posh garden chair. However, he was forced to sell high-end lawn mowers instead of his preferred option hot tubs, but getting the latter’s owner’s name wrong TWICE meant he lost out. Conveniently, James neglected to let his team in on that little nugget, much to Roisin’s disgust, and ploughed on regardless.

That just about summed up his performance in week eight - ploughing headlong into the abyss, clapping his hands over his ears and mouthing off at poor Roisin. Not that she did too much to steer him, other than rolling her zombie eyes and filing each miserable moment spent selling with James away in her memory.

Things weren’t much better for floppy PM Felipe and team Tenacity. Mark “got into Felipe’s head” according to Denial. He was right, and thank goodness for it. While Denial and Katie met with business owners at the show and tried to persuade them to let the pair sell their stuff, it was obvious Denial’s blend of arrogance and desperation wasn’t just scaring them off, it was making me feel ill.

Luckily, Katie - or Mum, as Felipe calls her - stepped in and counselled a softer approach for their third and final rendezvous - the hot tubs guy. Her safe pair of hands won them the chance to sell the watery products, but then Felipe dropped his M-bomb.

Mark at least had the grace to admit he’d been a bit sneaky persuading Felipe to let him pair up with Katie to sell the hot tubs, but my god did we never hear the end of it from sour-faced Denial.

The legend in his own lunchtime was utterly convinced he’d have done a better job of selling hot tubs than Mark, but instead of being a team player, taking the hit and getting on with flogging the lower-priced items, he scowled, sulked and bitched to Felipe ALL DAY about it. The onlookers at the show must have had a ball, watching those two ripping lumps out of each other.

Denial even had the balls to try to barge into Katie’s place, offering to step in for three returning appointments. What he didn’t know was Mark and Katie were making a winning team. Quite rightly, she hung up on the bestubbled toddler, before her colleague was faced with clinching the deal of the day - someone wanted seven hot tubs, but only if the price was right.

The scene was set for a beautiful showdown in the boardroom and, sure enough, Denial sniped and bitched to Felipe and Mark, while James sat in front of Surallan, wearing that smug, “I’m me, so what?” expression I’ve come to despise.

When the numbers were revealed, James and his wheeler-dealing ways netted Summit almost 5k. Meanwhile, Denial and Felipe’s disastrous day was laid bare for all to see - a measly 500 quid. So, how did Mark and Katie fare..? Well, Tenacity’s total came in at a whopping 30 grand! Woohoo! Mark nailed his big sale, and - making me beam from ear to ear - Karren Brady gave her vote of confidence to Katie.

With Tenacity enjoying a boxing reward, James and his sour-faced crew sloped back into the boardroom, where the line of fire included Roisin and Sanjay.


Surallan listened as Roisin FINALLY managed to get a word in edgeways about just how shit James was, is and probably always would be, while Sanjay went white as Nick pronounced that among his reams of notes, Sanjay’s name didn’t crop up once. Yikes.

The banker babbled and begged, but this time the digit of doom was pointed squarely at James and I have to say I cheered. The show has reached the point where it makes me feel physically sick to see the more unsavoury aspects of the business world revealed, watching liars, hoodwinkers and those who will happily tread on others to get where they want to be is never appealing.

Felipe might not be the strongest PM, but he won Surallan’s respect when he said he would “never stop being a nice man”. I don’t think he nor Sanjay are long for this competition, but I can’t wait for next week to see Denial going into meltdown once again as he fails to live up to his own ridiculous hype.

Tenacity
Felipe - Nice guys don’t always finish last, but he’s no PM - Tool
Denial - OMG, he makes me sooooo angry… Tool
Mark - Sneaky trick to play on Denial, but it worked! - Talent
Katie - Total star. Mine and Karren’s joining line - Talent

Summit
James - FIRED
Bianca - Did well, kept her mouth shut - Talent
Solomon - sold reasonably well, got into the spirit - Talent
Sanjay - Why IS he here? - Tool
Roisin - FINALLY stood up for herself, but needs to show more - Talent

The Apprentice Continues Wednesdays at 9pm on BBC One.
Contributed by Scheenagh Harrington

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