The Apprentice Episode Nine : Lord Sugar clashes with Felipe Alviar-Baquero in this frustrating instalment (Spoilers)

by Matt D
Daniel Felipe

Daniel Felipe

Although I’ve enjoyed this series of The Apprentice on the whole; one thing that has frustrated me is the way in which Lord Sugar has made the rules up as he’s gone along. Obviously, as he knows what the businesses of the candidates will be, it appears as if he is keeping the candidates who he’d most like to work with.

However, as a viewer, I’m fairly frustrated that some strong candidates have left and the reasons for their expulsion have been incredibly vague. This frustration boiled over tonight when one team essentially won a task, only for Lord Sugar to invoke his authority and fire someone from that team. This action really put me off The Apprentice and I feel like I’m not the only who thinks this way.

The ending of the episode marred what was, for the most part, an entertaining instalment which featured the ever-popular buying and selling task. To celebrate the fact that this is the tenth series of the show; the items that the teams had to locate were all ones that had previously been featured in this task over the last decade.

Famous items such as the kosher chicken and nigella seeds were just two of nine things that the candidates had to haggle over and get the best price for before returning to the boardroom by 6:30pm. It was a case of too many cooks on Team Tenacity as Katie, Mark and Daniel all put themselves forward as potential project managers. Finding himself as the king maker, Felipe chose Daniel who was once again desperate to prove that he had what it took to be Lord Sugar’s business partner.

Over on Team Summit, with last week’s warning ringing in his ears, Sanjay took the reins of the team without very much argument from his colleagues. However, throughout the day, I feel that Sanjay proved that he wasn’t much of a leader or even that decisive a candidate.

Solomon skeleton

Decisiveness is one quality that Daniel certainly doesn’t lack and, unlike the opposing team, Tenacity decided to head on the trail almost immediately. The kosher chicken was particularly easy to find as Daniel shalomed his way around most of the capital’s Jewish supermarkets until he’d got a great deal.

Meanwhile, Katie and Mark hunted down some of the smaller items, including a second-hand sink and some old rope, although the latter item didn’t quite meet the specifications set out in Lord Sugar’s manual. What I will say about Team Tenacity was that they worked together and listened to each other; a vast improvement on last week’s fiasco.

Sanjay’s strategy, of trying to source the products before they headed out on the road, appeared to be a lot less successful. One of the primary problems was that Roisin didn’t listen to Bianca in regards to where the best place in London was to buy a diamond. Eventually, Sanjay and Summit ventured out of the house, but the Project Manager soon threw caution to the wind by just stopping at random shops and trying to nab random items at a knock down price.

The majority of the episode focused on the importance of two items – the first of which was the rough-cut diamond that both teams tried to buy at the same time and in the same location namely Hatton Gardens. Daniel and Felipe’s strategy involved the former trying to convince the jeweller that he was buying a diamond to propose to his girlfriend but he only had a limited budget. I’m not quite sure the jeweller brought Daniel’s story and I’m guessing he was wondering just why this purchase was being filmed.

While his shaggy dog story ended up netting him the diamond for £172, Roisin’s bargaining skills were just magnificent. To this moment I’m not quite sure how she did it but she managed to get the diamond for £50 with Karren Brady noting that her haggling was akin to daylight robbery. Meanwhile the skeleton became a bone of contention, pun intended, after Felipe decided to buy a paper model of a fully anatomical skeleton that had yet to be constructed. The fact that it met the specifications set out in the guide book meant that Felipe felt that he could get away with this loophole, but it turned out it couldn’t be further from the truth.

Lord Sugar Nick Karren

As half past six struck; all four members of Tenacity had made it back to the Boardroom whilst everyone from Summit sauntered in a lot later. The fact that Summit hadn’t sourced all nine items or arrived in time should have meant that they’d lost the task and would’ve seen inferior project manager Sanjay face the chop. But for some reason, Lord Sugar really took against Felipe’s attempts to be smart in his purchase of the skeleton and therefore awarded a whopping fine to Summit which saw them lose by £65.

It does feel as if Lord Sugar has something against lawyers, he took against Lauren a couple of week’s ago, and his displeasure at the tactics employed by Felipe was evident to say the least. But I do feel that the team didn’t deserve to lose this task as they had played by the rules that Lord Sugar then broke in order to have Tenacity in the boardroom. Surprisingly, Daniel chose Katie over Mark to join him and Felipe in the final three which to me was an open and shut case. From the moment he’d bought that skeleton it appeared as if Felipe’s fate was sealed and indeed he was the latest casualty of the boardroom.

Whilst Felipe was never going to win the process, I feel that firing him for what was a genuinely good idea at the time was a little harsh. At the end of the day, even if it was the skeleton that Lord Sugar was envisioning, Felipe had stuck to the requirements laid out to him and therefore Tenacity should have won the task. I think that Lord Sugar’s decision almost makes a mockery of The Apprentice and rendered this whole task pointless. On the plus side Roisin once again signalled herself out as a contender and Solomon’s inability to say the word anatomical had me constantly laughing. But I feel that The Apprentice needs to do something major to ease my discomfort with the way that Lord Sugar is bending the rules, and I’m hoping next week’s food-related challenge will see his Lordship change the way he conducts his boardroom business.

What did you think of the whole skeleton debacle? Do you feel that Lord Sugar should have fired Felipe?

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1 Comment

  1. Kevin on December 4, 2014 at 10:19 am

    I agree with your comments about the skeleton fiasco. Both teams’ skeletons adhered to the specifications (though, actually one could say that neither did, as the word ‘model’ didn’t appear – only real bone should have sufficed!). Either way, the wrong team won.
    This is what happens if specifications are not carefully defined. It does seem to suggest that Lord Sugar ruled out a few candidates early on – based on their business plans.
    Perhaps candidates with plans that didn’t suit Lord Sugar should have been filtered out at the very beginning.

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