It does seem that we’re rattling through the classic Apprentice tasks early this year as we’ve come to another of my favourites in which the candidates have to barter with vendors and sell their wares at a trade show. This was the first time in which I felt the teams were evenly matched thanks in part to Project Managers Scott and David both employing a rather fair approach. This was also the first episode in which there were very few arguments however it did end on a downer for yours truly after one of my favourite candidates left the process.
1. (9) David
David’s enthusiasm as this week’s Project Manger helped his team net in the lucrative balloons which ultimately won them the task. The fact that he has a good relationship with Richard also meant that he was able to keep the David Brent wannabe under control. The only issues he seemed to have where in organising his troops during the balloon sales and in shifting those nifty T-Shirts which seemed to stay in their boxes for most of the day.
2. (1) Joseph
After pretty much succeeding as Project Manager last week, Joseph had another strong showing proving that he could be a vital cog in any wheel. His work on the balloon stall was superb and he was the only person to sell any T-shirts.
3. (4) Richard
Although he is proving to be the most irritating of this year’s candidates Richard hasn’t been on a losing team yet and has made sure that he’s been front and centre every week. This time he was in charge of the dog sofas, yes they are a thing, and did quite well flogging an item that I didn’t think was particularly necessary. However at the same time his manipulative side still came out when he was able to manipulate David into buying the item he wanted to sell.
4. (8) Scott
Despite being the losing Project Manager this week Scott still demonstrated some vital skills and this was the first week that he did anything of note. He was really the only member of the team to properly sell any of the Cat Towers and he stuck up for his colleagues in the boardroom. Additionally I thought the way he encouraged Ruth throughout the day was admirable as was the way that he didn’t turn on her when they were both in the firing line. However I do think that Scott needs to be more effective in his decision making and I’m hoping he’ll learn from his first stint in front of Lord Sugar.
5. (13) Charlene
We are now starting the mid-table chasm of candidates who didn’t offer a lot starting with Charlene who was on the winning team and gets bonus points for calling Richard out on some of his underhanded tactics in the boardroom.
6. (6) Vana
Vana was in the background for the first time in this episode but I still admire her sparky personality and thought she lit up during the small fashion show that she and Mergim put on.
7. (7) Mergim
This year’s token idiot is a non-mover in the chart as all he really did was wear a T-shirt.
8. (14) April
I’ve still not seen much of April since her disaster in week one however she apparently sold a Dog Sofa so she must be doing something right.
9. (5) Sam
Sam was the only member of his team not to sell anything and I feel his intelligence will only get him so far in the process.
10. (2) Brett
Brett’s back down at the bottom this week as he was part of the losing team and made several mistakes. The way in which he approached some of the vendors was a little intimidating and he didn’t massage their ego like David did. It was Brett’s approach that lost his team the balloons which proved to be a crowd-pleaser at the pet show. At the same time I think he’s a team player and isn’t quick to criticise his fellow candidates like some of the others are.
11. (3) Gary
For the brief moments Gary is on screen he comes across as a likeable guy but so far he’s yet to show me very much. The fact that he did nothing after being moved to the Cat Tower team in the afternoon also proves that he’s not the best salesman in the world.
12. (11) Natalie
I did like Natalie to begin with however she’s been down at the bottom of this list for a couple of weeks thanks to several comments she’s made to her fellow contestants. This week’s example is having a go at Brett for his attitude towards the vendors despite her not doing a lot herself.
13 (12) Elle
After actually stepping into the spotlight last week, Elle was back to hiding for this task and it was a tactic that paid off. But sooner or later I think she’ll fall foul of Lord Sugar and I can’t see her making it to the end of the show. Also she’s the only candidate left in the competition who is yet to be on a winning team.
14. (14) Selina
I can’t have been the only person who wanted Selina to be fired this week as she showcased nothing that made me think she could be Lord Sugar’s business partner. Despite her one sale, Selina seemed rather vacant throughout the day at the pet fair and couldn’t even grasp basic pricing. Her caustic nature and the way she flies off the handle whenever someone criticises her makes her a rather unlikeable presence. We’ve also found out that Selina has broken her contract with the show and therefore won’t be appearing on You’re Fired after she’s dismissed which I think will be sooner rather than later.
Ruth was such a colourful character that I thought she may have been kept around for at least a few more weeks. From the clown-jackets to the upbeat attitude, Ruth was different from her younger and more caustic colleagues. Whilst she was never going to win, she brightened up the screen every week and I do feel that Lord Sugar should have fired Selina over Ruth.
One of the highlights of this week’s episode had to be the small disagreement between Karren and Claude in the boardroom when the former told the latter that she wouldn’t hire either Ruth or Selina. This was the first time that I saw a chink in Claude’s armour and it made me appreciate Karren a little bit more.
Talking of Claude I feel that he’s improved his Nick Hewer-esque facial expressions as he demonstrated during the sequence where Selina struggled to price her customers’ Cat Tower.
High-vis jackets for chickens, that is all.
Next Time: The candidates have to write and publish a children’s book but who’ll be advancing to the next chapter of the competition and whose story will come to an end? There’s only one way to find out and that’s to join me again next week.