On last week’s episode of The Apprentice, Lauren’s firing led me to believe that the producers wanted to keep both Mark and Daniel around in order to continue their feud. This week’s episode more than demonstrated that those involved in The Apprentice wanted to concentrate on the infighting between the teams rather than the task themselves. I wonder if this what those behind the show feel that we want to see but, in my opinion, I would rather watch supposed business professionals try their hand at a number of different challenges.
The infighting on Team Summit started almost immediately after the cocksure James basically inserted himself into the project manager role without any real vote. James’s reasoning behind him become the leader was to do with the task, which involved buying products to sell at the Rural Bath and West Show. Whilst one of these products was to be a proven seller, the other two were debut products that had never been on display at the show before. Sanjay, Solomon and Bianca were dispatched to look at these debut products and I felt they did a good job at weighing up the pros and cons of each. After securing discounts for the items they wanted; in this case a bike trailer and a pet tracker, they called James who completely undid all their hours of hard work by deciding to go with foldable wellies and a garden chair instead. Not intent with just alienating the majority of his team, James seem irritated with Roisin’s very presence in the car and accused her of undermining him even when she hadn’t even opened her mouth. James initially wanted to go with the hot tubs as their big ticket item but made a mistake at the pitch when he called the vendor the wrong name. As a result James failed to secure the hot tubs and opted to sell lawnmowers; however he failed to tell his subteam of the real reason why they wouldn’t be flogging spas.
Tenacity’s first day was more of a success primarily as project manager Felipe rightly decided to keep Mark and Daniel apart. Felipe and Mark went to look at the debut products, eventually selecting the bike trailer and flat cap handbags, but were later chastised by Katie for not securing a discount for the latter. I personally felt that Katie, who had put herself forward as team leader, was the star of the day as she also had a quiet word with Daniel about his hard sell to the first two vendors. Katie’s more mannered approach when they went to meet the hot tub seller meant that they were able to snag their first choice of product and it did help that they got the vendor’s name right.
The problems for Tenacity really started on day two when Mark, who had spent time with Felipe on the way to the show, convinced him that he was the best person to sell the hot tubs. After feeling that he was the one who’d secured the hot tub contract, Daniel was more than outrage to learn that Mark and Katie would be selling spas instead of him. Even though this fact infuriated Daniel throughout the rest of the day, I was with Felipe as I felt hunky Australian Mark was a better fit for the hot tub stall than the slightly smarmy pub quiz entrepreneur. Daniel’s dogged attitude meant that he and Felipe spent their day arguing and sold very little of the debut products that the lawyer had spent the first day selecting. However Felipe’s instincts about the selling prowess of Mark and Katie were more than backed up by the fact that they offloaded a whole hell of a lot of hot tubs.
I did feel that James missed a trick not switching up the teams on day two as I believe that he would’ve been better selling the debut items rather than the lawnmowers. As it was he struggled to remember the facts about the lawnmowers and again snapped at Roisin for supposedly jumping down his throat. Meanwhile Nick Hewer, who was sporting a brilliant hat throughout the day, noted that Roisin’s calm and measured approach was a lot more appealing to the rural folk. Over on the other stall, Bianca and Solomon tried their best to sell their debut items despite the fact that they weren’t the ones they originally selected. I thought they did a good job at getting their stall promoted over the loud speaker and both tried their best to sell as many units as possible. The only weak link in the team was Sanjay, who stood about most of the day and employed an unsuccessful softly softly approach.
There was no surprise that, in the boardroom, Tenacity romped home primarily thanks to Katie and Mark selling over £30,000 worth of hot tubs. One element of this year’s series that I wanted to pick up was how rubbish the treats have been from this week’s boxing masterclass to shooting balls at David Seaman. It does appear as if the treat budget was blown the week one of the teams got flown to Iceland to frolic in a spa. Back in the boardroom, Roisin finally found her voice as she criticised James for his fall of his tantrums throughout the task. I really admired Roisin’s approach which didn’t involve her shouting over anyone but instead her arguments were concise and valid.
As a result of Roisin’s appraisal of his leadership, James brought her back into the boardroom alongside Sanjay; who had sold the least items on the day. Sanjay got quite a hard time from Nick Hewer who described him as nameless due to the fact that he hadn’t once written down his name whilst he was making his task notes. However, Karren spoke up for Roisin even though Lord Sugar wrongly asserted that he hadn’t seen much from her. After James gave an impassioned plea about why he should stay in the contest, I felt that Sanjay would be the one walking out the door. But I believe that Lord Sugar did the write thing in regrettably firing James, primarily as the wheeler dealer would probably have had a heart attack if he’d kept operating at the same speed he did during this task.
I’m in two minds over James’ dismissal, on the one hand it lessens the entertainment value of the show but on the other it leaves us with candidates that you believe could win the show. Overall, even if I felt that some of the arguments were a little contrived, this was a good well-paced episode of The Apprentice. Katie, Roisin and Mark all signalled themselves out as serious contenders whilst even Bianca and Solomon showed promise. Next week’s show looks to be even better as its the classic haggling task which I will be covering in great detail in my upcoming review.
What did you think of tonight’s episode of The Apprentice? Did you think James should have been fired?
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