The Apprentice Episode Eleven: Last Orders at the Chocolate Bar for Adam Corbally, Tom Gearing, Ricky Martin, Jade Nash & Nick Holzherr

by Matt D

My second day in a row writing about The Apprentice after last night’s final five programme sees us try and whittle down that fivesome into a quartet for the final. Last week’s task saw the teams try and source luxury items to add to a daily deals website this time the assignment seemed very similar as Sterling and Phoenix were asked to create a luxury product albeit one that had to be affordable. Though it would’ve been more amusing if Ricky had been in a one on four situation Lord Sugar was in a kind mood adding Tom to Team Sterling so it was a little bit more fair personally I would’ve like to have seen Nick crossing over also leaving the unholy alliance of Adam and Jade left on Phoenix.

Ricky was determined to win his first task as project manager describing he and Tom as a Lethal Combination which I’m sure is probably a name of a tag team that he has been in during his wrestling days. On the other team Adam was appointed as project manager once again as Lord Sugar wanted to see more from him although from the first moment he struggled to come up with an idea eventually his team suggested confectionary products which he agreed with. Again failing to grasp the concept so instead of focusing one particular chocolaty item despite Nick suggesting honing in on the hot chocolate market due to his experience flogging coffee to uni students though once again he didn’t speak up loud enough and was predictably ignored by his project manager.

Meanwhile on Team Sterling Ricky and Tom didn’t mess around deciding almost instantly on male grooming products based on the fact that the majority of this year’s male contestants had been raving metrosexuals. Nick Hewer put it best when he described the two lads as having a personal interest in that particular sector with their hair gelled quiffs while Ricky mentioned using fake tan on a regular basis obviously again due to his nightly appearances in the wrestling ring. Though there was a lot of talk of hair products, after a visit to a barber shop it was decided instead to go for three shaving products – a cream, a moisturiser and an aftershave balm it seemed that all three products fit in with the theme that the pair wanted to create. The problem seemed to be with the branding and with Project Manager Ricky busy creating the products in the factory it was up to Tom to be the creative one but as we’ve seen in the past he’s much better analysing a situation than he is coming up with a design. He and Ricky struggled to come up with a name eventually deciding on the very catchy Modern Gentleman which thankfully saw them drift away from awful names such as Men’s Choice rightly deciding that it sounded like a porn magazine. Tom was worried that the product looked far too boring but that didn’t stop him choosing a very uninspiring grey backing for their grooming range.

While Tom and Ricky at least had a clear idea it seemed that Adam’s brain was working overtime as every minute he added another product to their overall range. The only clear idea Adam had was not to work with Jade sending her off to decide on the product range while he and Nick finalised the business model which meant that they went off to a confectioners to eat a lot of sweets. In fact this confectioner made Willy Wonka seem positively normal as he sang the praises of the jelly market which saw Adam go off on a tangent in which he became obsessed with jellies seeing them as the new in thing despite Nick briefly voicing his reservations once again. Like with Sterling, Phoenix struggled to name their brand with Adam’s best idea being ‘Chocolate Bar’ as in a drinking establishment that would sell hot chocolate rather than alcohol thankfully this was one idea that his team successfully dissuaded him from implementing in the end going with Jade’s idea of Sweet Thing. Sweet Thing though seemed to encompass a whole host of confectionary items including alcoholic jellies, chocolate discs and a chocolate spoon which would melt when you stirred it into your hot chocolate.

Both teams were given a retail space to design and for the Sweet Thing team this was their time to shine filling it as much as possible with Jade adding a cocktail bar to entice more custom. In comparison the Modern Gentleman retail space was incredibly sparse its only feature being a chair where you could receive a wet shave, not from a professional barber, but rather from a professional wrestler. This was the first time where I thought that Sweet Thing might have a chance as there was criticism of Modern Gentleman’s branding and identity while the other team were praised for the warm nature of their product space. After receiving feedback from sample customers Tom and Ricky realised that they had to step their game up so worked hard on their pitch making sure that they had every base covered. Nick meanwhile worried that Phoenix’s pitch wasn’t polished enough as we saw him fretting while eating his breakfast on his own in an orb randomly placed in the garden, I’m guessing that this piece of footage was presumably used as there was a lot of time to fill in this penultimate episode. Adam thought a run-through of the pitch would be a good idea however his team were less responsive and overall their pitch seemed very unprofessional with only Jade’s enthusiasm shining through. The Modern Gentlemen were on form bouncing off each other, giving projected figures and answering questions confidently while even the grey design was combatted by the idea of putting the items in a more eye-catching box.

Again this task was mostly based on opinion, both from Lord Sugar and a group of industry experts, who I agreed with when they thought that Tom and Ricky’s ideas were better overall because at the end of the day the only area where they went wrong was in their drab design as opposed to the catalogue of errors that Phoenix made. The winning team weren’t given a treat while the losing team were sent home for the night as it was too late to do a firing that night but the trio still had to stop at the Bridge Cafe before making it back to the house. Adam seemed like the one to go based on his inability to make decisions though Nick’s inability to speak up and Jade’s track record up to this point were also bought up as possible reasons why they shouldn’t make it to the final. With only two final places left it remains to see who goes but it will definitely be last orders at the chocolate bar for one of the three but who?

For my money I think that Nick is staying, sure he could’ve over-talked Adam one more than one occasion but a lot of the decent ideas were suggested by him. In terms of the process as a whole he also has the best record with eight wins out of eleven, winning both tasks he project managed and up to this point never being in the final three. Adam would seem like the likeliest to go here as this was his second loss as project manager plus the majority of the fatal errors could be attributed to his failure not to listen to other people’s good ideas and his inability to respect all of his team members. Though Jade was the most valuable player in this particular task she still struggles from time-to-time especially when she’s under pressure which coupled with a lack of managerial experience means that she could well be fired. It just depends whether Lord Sugar give Adam yet another reprieve, as we all know that he has a soft spot for the self-made businessman, or he keeps Jade on so at least there’s one woman in the final four. As always you’ll have to come back here after the episode has aired in order to find out who didn’t make the cut and lost out on a place in Sunday’s final.

Who do you want to see go through to the final? Who do you think should win the show overall? Leave Your Comments Below.