The Apprentice 2010 – The Tour Guide Task (and who got Fired!)

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.

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1 Comment

  1. TimL

     

    You’re spot on about Stuart and Stella. Stu is comedy gold, and Stella has been extremely consistent throughout.

    I’ve been saying for several weeks that Liz was not as strong a contender as most people seemed to think. But I also wonder if Sugar already knew that Liz was a football WAG – he had previously made comments about Bond Street and her knowing the price of Versace – and didn’t want the embarrassment of having a winner who promptly quit to front yet another WAG-related reality show.

    Although Stuart (not for the first time) yet again stole the show, Jamie enjoyed his best week of the series. I’ll give him credit – learning to be a tour guide in a day is seriously difficult, but he did come out with a series of unintentional gems.

    “The river Thames is literally drenched in history. It’s the second largest river in London.”

    “Straight ahead of you we’ve got Big Ben. The face of the clock is 20 diameters in width.”

     “I think it’s only fair we start talking about Westminster Abbey because once again this is an incredibly important part of England’s history. So you can go there and, well, it’s a church.”

     “You see the building which looks like a gherkin? It’s called the ‘Gherkin’ because it looks like a gherkin.”

    All in all, it was a magical episode for candidate soundbites. I’ve captured the best of them and more in my episode recap at http://slouchingtowardsthatcham.com/2010/12/09/tourists-taken-for-a-ride-as-the-apprentice-does-on-the-buses/

     

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