Once again, The Apprentice didn’t fail to entertain us with the incompetence of the latest candidates. This week the theme of the task was beauty – but most of the scenes were far from pretty. Lord sugar set the rival teams the task of picking and mastering two beauty treatments, then selling them on to shoppers in Birmingham.
Sounds simple enough right? Wrong! After having demonstrations from a range of weird and wonderful products the teams had to pick the treatments that they thought they could sell effectively. Team Venture chose the spray tan and foot massage using cold pebbles (I know sounds lovely and relaxing!) While Team Logic chose a hot shell massage and after being pipped to the post over the spray tan option, they went with hair extensions.
Team Venture started out quite well but the boys looked incredibly uncomfortable throughout the task. This episode did provide one of my favourite quotes of the series - Glenn Ward trying to convince a shopper in the Birmingham shopping centre to buy some nail varnish with the genius line;
“I can’t tell you much about these, (pause) except they are pretty. (awkward pause) you're pretty. (even longer awkward pause) erm you should buy some!”
Leon however looked the most embarrassed throughout the challenge especially during the man make-up presentation – “I have a girlfriend so I can’t wear make-up”. However he did start using a trick to get the female shoppers talking to him – linking his little finger with theirs he was able to lead them over to the sales stand and complete the deal – completely random and as strange as it may seem it worked a treat! I wonder how many guys will try this new technique when trying to pull on a night out?
It wasn’t all plain sailing for Team Venture though. With monotone Zoe as team leader, she thought all her Christmases had come at once with Susan Ma on her team. If you're not aware of the fact by now - Susan has experience in skincare. She started her own skincare business. She's been doing it for three years. She does it every day. It's what she does! However the skincare expert did a fantastic job of exfoliating the other candidates and customers – rubbing them up the wrong way. At the beginning of the task and once again claiming to be an expert (the number 1 rule in The Apprentice - never say you’re an expert in anything, it will only lead to bad things) she claimed that they should buy more products to sell - she could easily get rid of them. Nearing the end of the day and with tonnes of stock left, there was a lotion commotion when Zoe told Susan to pull her finger out - she had made her bed and she needed to lie in it! Susan’s triumphing moment of the show came however when she claimed that all the shoppers in the out of town shopping centre were poor – really? It could be that or more simply, they were far too intelligent to buy the overpriced rubbish she was trying to sell?
Team Logic confirmed their place as losers when once again; they completely missed the point of the challenge. The team focused on selling the strange hair products including the winge (it’s a wig fringe for any of you who didn’t know) rather than selling the beauty treatments that had the largest profit margins. Natasha’s selling technique really needed some work, she claimed the hairpiece looked like a hamster when talking to a customer – what a fantastic way to promote the product! The token ‘geek’ of the series – Tom – who constantly writes in his notebook – seemed to be the only one that had any business savvy at all on the team. He was constantly patronised, mocked and dismissed throughout the challenge when actually what he was saying about the profit margins were completely right!
When returning to the boardroom it was Team Logic who felt the full brunt of Lord Sugar’s wrath – “You’ve lost the plot on this on” – I beg to differ Lord Sugar – they never had the plot to start with. Team Venture won after making a meagre profit of £203 while Team Logic made a LOSS of £247! Oh dear!
Team leader, Felicity Jackson decided to bring Ellie and Natasha back into the board room. Both women turned on Felicity as soon as they got in there for her ‘nicey nicey’ approach on team management. These women continue to perpetuate the idea that you have to be bitchy in business to succeed. Ellie repeated at least 3 times that you can’t be friends in business – ouch! So in the end Lord Sugar fired Felicity for her lack of leadership skills and she became the first female casualty of the series.
Anyway – time for me to say goodbye – which is more that Ellie and Natasha did to poor Felicity. I’m looking forward to the next instalment where the 12 remaining candidates will be making and branding pet food. Let’s hope they don’t make a right dog's dinner out of it and actually show us glimpses of business knowhow.