What I like about The Apprentice is the way in which characters who were initially portrayed as the programme’s strongest fade into the background as the series progresses. The best example of this has to be Steven who was initially presented as a hot-headed irritant who was set to cause chaos for his teammates. But, to my surprise, Steven and former project manager Felipe hardly featured in an episode in which Team Summit struggled to find a leader.
Episode two’s task involved wearable technology and featured two elements that Apprentice candidates often struggle with; creating a product and pitching it to retailers. After describing him as arty farty in last night’s episode, Lord Sugar suggested that this task would be up Shoreditch-loving Robert’s alley. However Robert quickly passed the buck that had been given to him by Lord Sugar as he felt that the wearable technology that the group had to create didn’t fit in with his high-end fashion business plans. Solomon, who I didn’t recognise at all after episode one, was next under the spotlight due to his background in social media. But it was Scott, who was accused of hiding in the first task, who took on the Project Manager’s role citing his attendance at a wearable technology conference as his reason for applying for the job. However, after his idea was rejected, Scott threw his toys out of the pram and handed responsibility of the task over to the rest of his team. Solomon’s feasible plan was similarly thrown aside in favour of a sweatshirt that people could take photos with.
Although he rejected Lord Sugar’s proposition of project managing the task, Robert took on the role of backseat driver in the task and it was he who answered most of the calls intended for Scott. Just like he did in the last episode with the hot dogs, Robert took on the role of stylist and wasted a lot of time picking the fabrics for their garments. With Scott deciding to tag along with Robert, he left it up to his subteam to discover that the technology they wanted for their item of clothing would take too long to create. Thinking on his feet, wheeler dealer James came up with the idea of a sweatshirt with a camera inside that had the wording ‘on air’ printed on it. I’ve personally warmed to James over the past two episodes as I don’t feel he faffs around too much but at the same time hasn’t yet put himself forward for either task. Also admirable was the way in which Daniel didn’t join in the rest of the lads as they bitched about their project manager behind his back.
I have to say that the girls didn’t do too well either as their day started in a similar way to the boys namely with an argument about who should be project manager. The two ladies with fashion experience; Bianca and Nurun, wee batting the role around like it was a tennis ball. Eventually Nurun took on the role but it was soon obvious that she wanted to please everyone and it was evident that decision making wasn’t her priority. Although the newly christened Team Tenacity were clear that they wanted to market a jacket there was plenty of arguments about what their garment should actually do. It was clear that the best idea came during a focus group meeting as the professionals the girls talked to seemed excited about a jacket that contained a mobile-phone charger. But due to Nurun’s decision to listen to every bit of advice the jacket eventually contained LED lights and solar panels as well. Throughout the task sensible solicitor Lauren was voicing her concerns but was talked over by several of her teammates who believed the multi-purpose jacket would sell. However, the majority of the team soon came round to her way of thinking when the jacket’s delivery to the house was delayed due to the number of accessories that it contained.
Eventually armed with their product the girls headed off to pitch to the three retailers that Lord Sugar had laid on. The pitching tasks are among some of my favourites on The Apprentice as the cocky candidates regularly come a cropper up against some of the industry experts. The girls’ main problem was the fact that the solar panels on their multi-purpose jacket were on the outside making it look quite untidy. However they did pique the interest of the guys from online retailers Firebox who were particularly interested in the phone charging facility. Why either team pitched to JD Sports was beyond me as I couldn’t see either garment being placed between the football shirts and rugby boots. Meanwhile, at the Firebox pitch, Daniel made a fatal faux pas when he admitted that he wouldn’t wear their product out in public. With James stepping into save the day, a feud between he and Daniel slowly built up until the end of the episode. Nurun also struggled during her final pitch as she fluffed her lines several times and looked completely out of her depth.
Back in the boardroom both teams got an ear-bashing from his lordship who criticised several candidates for not stepping up to manage their respective squads. In a similar manner to last week, the girls’ team won by a whisker when Firebox placed 250 orders for their product whilst Summit failed to get an order from any of the three retailers. As I mentioned in my last review, the increased number of candidates means that Lord Sugar can fire more than one member of the losing team at any one time and that’s just what he did here. The unlucky victim was Robert who Lord Sugar singled out due to his failure to step up after he’d been given specific instructions from the boss man himself. This move was also to stop Scott from picking the fashionista as a scapegoat and instead to select another two rivals who didn’t pull their weight. Whilst Daniel’s fluffed pitch put him in the firing line, I didn’t think it was fair to single out Solomon just because he didn’t put himself forward as project manager. But, after being a passenger for most of the task, Scott came into his own in the boardroom and made me question my initial assertion that he’d definitely be the one going home.
I have to say that I was completely shocked when Lord Sugar fired Robert out of the blue as it was totally unexpected. When he announced that he was going to fire more than one candidate at a time, I presumed that it would be somebody from the final three and not any member of the losing team. Robert’s firing really put the cat amongst the pigeons and made this feel like the most unpredictable series of The Apprentice in quite some time. Whilst I still don’t feel like I know all the candidates, if having twenty contestants means we get more surprises such as Robert’s dismissal then I’m definitely coming round to the idea.
What did you think to Robert’s firing? Do you think the right people left tonight?
Leave Your Comments Below.