The Apprentice 2012 Episode Two Review – Maria O’Connor falls asleep and Azhar Siddique is the least visible project manager ever!
Episode two of The Apprentice kicked off with the obligatory early morning phone-call but I was still surprised to learn that the cars were to pick up the final fifteen at quarter past five in the morning. To be honest if I was a candidate I may just have left then and there, as I do prefer a bit of a lie-in in the mornings. It was off to the Victoria and Albert Museum, which obviously opened especially early to accommodate Lord Sugar, where from on high his lordship make the connection between the displays in the museum to the fact that he wanted them to design a new invention. This invention had to be for the household but that was the only rule after that he didn’t really care but apparently the product was key unlike last week when cash was everything.
Last week Team Sterling, still an all-female outfit, were bursting with creativity however this week they were sat in a backroom in the V&A for absolutely ages with no ideas about what their bathroom gadget could be. After a while Scottish Laura Hogg, who must be new because I didn’t notice her at all last week, came up with the idea of some sort of plastic shield that would stop water going all over the floor when children were in the bath which sounded like the best idea in the world compared to absolutely nothing. On the boys’ Team Phoenix, Azhar Siddique was chosen to project manage, however he seemed to hide in the background for the majority of the episode with him being possibly the least visible Apprentice PM in the show’s history. Part of the reason for this was due to Duane Bryan being the ideas man. His concept was a portable composter that crushed all your food waste, as apparently he struggles to know what recycling to put in what bin. Thankfully I don’t have that many recycling woes, so Duane’s idea didn’t appeal to me as much as Adam Corbally’s washing-up gloves, which had a scourer on one hand and a normal sponge on the other. The girls also came up with a second idea a sort of tea cosy to fit on a tap so you wouldn’t keep hitting it when you were to relax in the bath.
The teams split up into two focus groups, with the girls going to a mother and baby group as well as harassing random people on the street. After both of these meetings, the tap cosy was a definite winner but then Jenna, who was the one who came up with the awful Team Sterling name, out of nowhere told project manager Jane to ditch the cosy and go back to the original plastic bath shield thing which she surprisingly she did. This riled up some of the girls – notably Katie Wright and Maria O’Connor – the former of whom decided to bitch and moan about it for the duration of the task, while the latter protested by simply falling asleep in the car.
The boys team focus group meetings both had unanimous praise for Duane’s composter while Adam’s rubber gloves had a mixed response with one foodie claiming that he’d rather buy a sponge. Adam though was still completely convinced that everybody loved his gloves but unluckily for him, Azhar seemed to favour everything Duane said, so they decided to go ahead with the composter. Ricky was quick to spring to the defence of Adam’s team asking Azhar whether he could at least empathise with their feelings and in saying this he marked himself out as one of the most emotional pro wrestlers of all time.
The second day saw the arrival of the products, with the girls’ Splish Splash essentially being a bit of plastic with some funky felt-tip pens and the boys’ Eco-Press looking like an espresso machine or as Lord Sugar described it a bin for veggie dwarfs. It seems that Sugar is losing his touch getting retailers to participate in the programme as this time there were only two, Amazon and Lakeland, instead of the usual three. Steven, he of the ‘do you want something no-one else has got’ sales approach, started the initial pitch to Lakeland but it became evident that this was Duane’s baby and once he started to talk about it his enthusiasm sold the product to both buyers. On the other hand the girls started to struggle once again mainly due to the fact that beauty salon owner Jenna Whittingham and architect Gabrielle Omar were in charge of the figures, so much so that Jane McEvoy offered a million units for Amazon’s initial order. The money issue was sorted out by the time the second pitch came around but at the end of the day they were still flogging a piece of plastic.
In the boardroom there was a general criticism of Azhar’s management style from Adam’s sub-team, who were described by Nick Hewer as being like country cousin who hadn’t been invited to the party.
Despite the lack of unity, the boys sailed through the task thanks to Duane’s love of his own product but what surprised me the most was that Amazon actually placed more orders for the Splish Splash than the Eco Press, meaning that the numbers mix-up really didn’t matter all that much. After the usual Bridge Café bitch-fest, Jane’s firing line picks were Maria for falling asleep and Jenna for messing up the numbers, in what was essentially a game of let’s pick who has the most annoying voice out of these three.
Despite her claims that she never shies away from anything, in my opinion it should be Jenna that goes because as well as messing up the numbers she decided to go against the market research to champion the splash screen and because she came up with the name Team Sterling plus did I mention she has an annoying voice? However you will have to come back to this website after the show has finished to find out who was fired.
Two weeks in and I’m warming up to this year’s candidates a bit more with Steven and Ricky still being my stand-outs and Duane an early favourite to win. In comparison I haven’t really warmed to the girls much especially Katie who needs to go as soon as possible and I have to say I really miss Bilyana as she had a lot more potential than half of the women left. Still it is early days and it’s not till about week four that characters truly start to emerge so come back next week to see who my favourites are after episode three.
Check back with us tonight to find out who was fired in the boardroom. Who do you think it should be? Leave your comments below…
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