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The Apprentice: Week 7
|Culture||Sat, 05 May 2012||Tweet|
Setting the Scene
In tonight’s episode, the gang are sent to Essex. This was good timing on the part of the Beeb because TOWIE wasn’t on tonight and I know people were looking for a replacement fix. Adam got quickly into character by suggesting they all get spray tans because that’s what everyone does in Essex, proving once again that the boy certainly knows his stereotypes. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to the Sugar Hut they were headed but to a “wholesale warehouse”. In Dundee we call that a cash and carry. Lord Sugar announced the task this week was all about smelling what’s selling, looking reem and being reem. He doshed out £150 to both teams and told them to buy whatever they wanted. Once they had sold the first lot, they had to reinvest in the items which were doing the best. At the end of the task, whoever had the most assets (the combined total of any cash left plus the wholesale value of remaining products) won, just to confuse things.
Before they started, The Sug got up to his meddling again sending Stephen to Sterling and Laura to Phoenix. He ominously advised that people who hadn’t been PM yet should really nominate themselves this week and by “people” he meant “Laura” the only one who hadn’t. Loser. She took the hint and became PM of Phoenix. In Team Sterling, Ricky Martin, the natural choice, nominated himself even though it wasn’t his field because this task was the kind of thing that Lord Sugar started out doing and he wanted to be just like him. Awwww. However, in the end, it was Nick who got the cap.
Despite the fact that Ricky Martin was robbed of PM just like at the 2001 Grammys when he lost to Sting for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance with the modern-day classic She Bangs, Sterling get off to a good start. Playing on the strengths of the team, they pick items which they think they can easily sell. Jenna, being in the beauty industry, is a natural for the “ghastly fake tan” as Nick Hewitt calls it. Phoenix however, spend so long deciding on locations that they only leave themselves ten minutes to search the entire warehouse for stock. On the plus side, it really opened the case for a revival of Supermarket Sweep. While Sterling focus on two distinct markets; beauty and home ware, Phoenix end up with a completely random selection of products. Azhar is quick to point out that this lack of strategy is not a good idea. This is the first of approximately 72 times that he says this throughout the programme.
Both teams decide to send half of their numbers to a market and the other half to a shopping centre. Ricky and Stephen do a sales routine about bad backs and extendable mops so well that I’m afraid the Cillit Bang man’s job is at stake. Phoenix also does well, probably because of their really cheap prices. Literally; their price tags do not have numbers, they actually say “really cheap”. Adam, as a market salesman by trade is in his element. He says this task really shows how he can sell at markets, shopping centres and beaches. Err, right.
At the shopping centre, Sterling’s fake tan is selling like, well, fake tan in Essex. So much so that it runs out. Their beard trimmers don’t do as well. An elderly gentleman points out that perhaps it’s because no one has beards. Luckily, Gabrielle has an idea and the beard trimmers soon become bikini trimmers and are much more sellable. For Phoenix, the biggest seller is toy bugs. Money man Tom can’t believe it because of the incredible margin. He suggests they put all their eggs in one basket with them when they re-stock and just bring back as many as they can. But, PM Jade really thinks variety of stock is better. Dale Winton would agree but Azhar certainly doesn’t. Strategy, he cries, strategy.
At the end of the day, Jade drops her prices to rock bottom in a bid to sell as much as possible. Nick is a bit cooler and keeps his prices high. It pays off because they win with £955.20 ahead of Phoenix’s £838.21
Jade, who still hasn’t really caught up with what’s going on, is flabbergasted that they’ve lost. She thought they did really well. Laura agrees. So does Adam. Azhar is still banging on about strategy. This makes him an obvious choice to bring back with her. However, she really struggles with her other choice. The pressure is too much for her; she didn’t prepare to lose, she prepared to win. Yeah yeah, save the cheesy lines for the application process. She eventually settles on Tom. Now it is Lord Sugar’s turn to look flabbergasted. He doesn’t understand why he’s there. Nor does anyone else, including Jade it seems. Lord Sugar identifies the failures of the task as being the choice of products (Jade’s insistence on variety) and the low profit margins (really cheap). And strategy, pipes in Azhar.
Azhar is sent home. Now it is my turn to look flabbergasted.
OK, Azhar is a bit annoying, but ultimately he was right. Jade was a hot mess in this task. Everything that went wrong was her fault. Bet Azhar is well jel.
Photo: © guardian.co.uk
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