I’m having a real on-off relationship with The Apprentice this year. I fear I’m getting a little tired of formulaic TV in general, and while it’s an interesting enough show, it feels a little manufactured/heavily edited.
Tonight’s task was quite excruciating – the aspiring apprentices had to design their own tours of London, then go out and pitch them to the public.
The Teams: Apollo this week was headed by Stuart assisted by Stella and Liz. Synergy was led by Joanna with help from Jamie Lester and Christopher.
Apollo quickly decided on a tour of all things Cockney, and the viewers gnawed their knuckles to stop from making cock-based quips. Synergy chose a ghouls and ghosts theme for their tour. And now that I come to think about it, I don’t remember any ghoulish locations in the show tonight.
Shockingly, Joanna and Jamie Lester clash in a very real, very scary way. Admittedly, there are times when Joanna is so opinionated and gobby that she drives me mad, and I only have to put up with her once a week for an hour. Jamie is wound up by her nagging and starts air-punching. It’s all very disturbing, I have to say.
It’s not the only altercation in tonight’s episode – when Stuart Baggs The Brand tries to muscle in on Joanna and Christopher’s turf in Trafalgar Square, he and Christopher trade swears. It’s all a bit undignified, and Lord Sugar has some harsh words to say about Stuart’s childish behaviour in the boardroom.
Early attempts at playing tour guide are disappointing for the teams. Among the many gems are “The face of Big Ben is 20 diameters in width” and “Westminster Abbey…well, it’s a church.” It’s like when you tried to bluff a history homework back in school. Stella’s attempts to entertain her tour group with Knees Up Mother Brown were embarrassingly bad, as was her trying to pass off a piece of graffiti as a genuine Banksy.
Christopher makes a pitch to a Trafalgar Square travel agency in which he promises 20% of their earnings, regardless of whether the agency sourced the customers or not. It seems like such a naive move, Joanna freaks out and tries to renegotiate their deal.
Rather hilariously, the deal pays off, and Synergy win by a substantial margin, even after paying their commission out. Sugar praises it as a stroke of genius and the nation boggles. He tells Joanna he’s not happy with her trying to renege on the original deal and gives her a lesson in proper business standing by their deals regardless of whether they made a mistake.
But the highlight of the evening was Stuart Baggs’ ‘save me’ speech to Lord Sugar. Insisting that he’s not a one trick pony, he’s a whole field of ponies, he promises to make Sugar a fortune all over again. Sugar gives Stuart a harsh wake-up call, calling him childish and remarking: “He’s going to make me millions and millions of pounds in a business he doesn’t know what we’re gonna be in yet.”
In the end though, it’s Liz Locke who got fired. And here’s why – Stuart Baggs is the singularly most entertaining candidate on this year’s show. And Stella English is by far the most competent person on the show. Therefore, Liz – hard worker though she may have been – was the only likely candidate for firing.
If the other team had lost, there was scope for any of them to leave – Joanna for being a bossy mare, and Jamie and Christopher were both quite aggressive at points tonight. As it was, they ended up getting flown to Jersey for a luxury meal. Lucky buggers.