This week’s instalment of the Apprentice celebrated national stereotypes with the typical Brits abroad dodgy ‘Allo ‘Allo accents creating embarrassing viewing. Lord Sugar challenged the teams to introduce British products to the French market. So with baggage and egos checked in, the teams were off to Paris.
The first part of the task was to choose products to take over to France. Susan, as team captain for Venture ran through the product room in a whirlwind. She had no clue what she was doing, evident by her beyond stupid questions, “Do the French care about their kids?" and “do they drive?". Karen Brady couldn’t believe what she was hearing and neither could I!
As project manager for team Logic, Tom took a different approach, slowly analysing each product and their margins. As well as team Venture, Tom also had his eye on the star product, a booster seat that doubled as a backpack. However this idea was quickly poo poo’d by French speaking Melody who much preferred the idea of a teapot light! After being instructed to conduct some market research by Tom, irrelevant of her feelings of the products Melody claimed that the light was the better option regardless of the comments made by the French commuters.
As the second day began, both teams set off to sell their products to the French masses. Melody refused to share with the other children and threw her toys out of the pram in a tantrum when Tom tried to divide up the visits set up the previous day. Tom however couldn’t bear to deal with a sulking Melody and caved in, leaving himself and Natasha to go to the major pitch presentation and Melody and her lapdog for the day, Leon, going to all the meetings.
Team Venture, however worked as a team. At their presentation to the French retail giant, Helen nailed her pitch like a pro, whereas Susan simply demonstrated that she can fit in a child’s booster seat! After succeeding with the retailers, Susan and Helen utilised the time remaining by scouring the streets, stopping at a mobile phone shop on the off chance. This tactic paid off as they managed to sell 1500 mobile/ipod grips.
At the end of the final day in Paris, Melody happily proclaimed “I should move to Paris and do business here.” I’ll start the whip-round for the ferry ticket myself!
Back in Blighty and in the boardroom...
As the results came in Team Venture annihilated Team Logic as Helen’s amazing pitch scored a record-breaking 214,000 Euro order. Tom decided to bring back Melody to the boardroom for her bossy behaviour and Leon for his contribution to the task or lack thereof.
Melody pointed out that she made the sales on the day but failed to convince the judges that she didn't take over, "I let Leon sell the teapots..." Karen Brady raises an eyebrow, "You let him?"
It wasn’t looking good for Leon either as the boardroom bitchiness continued. Karen wasn’t impressed with his efforts and asked him what else he had done except for drawing a sketch of a teapot light during the market research stage of the task – it turns out he did nothing else! However the judges seemed equally appalled by Tom’s behaviour on the task. They were gobsmacked to hear that Tom refused to select a candidate for the pitch and instead played Rock, Paper Scissors to decide. Slick... Ha! And these are supposed to be the 'business elite'
Lord Sugar seemed impressed with Melody though, "She is a tiger! Take a leaf out of her book, she's fighting to win. She is ruthless; she'll eat them up and spit them out! She'll step on anyone and that's what I like about her really..." Personally I thought she should have gone. She lied through her teeth and she wasn't a team player at all! All good qualities for a future business partner I think Lord Sugar! However it was useless Leon that was made to get the black cab home and was fired.