The Apprentice: Week 2

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There’s no Spring Break for this lot!


Setting the Scene

It’s week two in the Apprentice House and the gang are awakened by a 5.30am phone call. It’s The Sug, or rather, the voice of his faceless nameless secretary announcing the cars will be ready in fifteen minutes to take everyone to the V&A. It’s a good job she called so early because it gives Maria plenty of time to apply that eye shadow. Stephen doesn’t look impressed as he lolls around in the luxury bunk bed. In fact neither do a lot of them. There are a number of shots of the boys getting out of bed, a section I’d rather gloss over. Let’s pick up at the V&A where Lord Sugar, doing his best Eva Peron impression announces the task from a conveniently placed balcony. The teams have to come up with a new homeware gadget. It can be for any part of the home, he “doesn’t particularly care”. Whoever sells the most wins. 

The Task 
Azhar steps up for Project Manager on the boys’ team. He’s particularly suited for this task as he is ‘the killer whale’ of the seaworld: on one side intelligent and polite but on the other aggressive and committed. They focus on the kitchen, although I would’ve thought the bathroom was a more obvious choice for Captain Shamu? Duane ‘Jagermeister’ Bryan suggests a compressing compost recycling bin because how annoying is it when you’re in the kitchen cooking and you can’t compress the juice out of your waste veg? Over at the girls team, (we’re not using team names this week, apparently the narrator decided they’re too rubbish) bossy boots Jane volunteers against mousy Katie who’s decided to participate this week. Bossy boots wins and decides she would like a product to solve her problems in the bathroom. However, it appears the rest of the ladies don’t have any problems they want to solve. The silence during their brainstorm is ominous. But, you can’t blame them. None of them have been described as the ‘killer whale’ of the seaworld. Eventually, they come up with two ideas; a bath cushion and a kids splash shield. 
Both teams split in two for the market research. This is where it begins to fall apart. Mwah ha ha ha. In the boys sub-team, Latino legend Ricky Martin is not impressed by their product. He’s probably spotted that kitchen compost bins are already in wide circulation. East Fife Recycling Programme, perhaps? They pitch another idea at the focus group, one Adam has come up with; marigolds with little bits of sponges and scourers on to make it easier to clean pots. They lap it up. Great! Only Captain Shamu doesn’t like it one bit. Team Gloves are wounded and feel unappreciated. Could this be the end of the great bromance?
Similarly with the girls, the tap cosy does much better than the splash shield in the market research. But, naturally Jane knows best ignoring the research opting for the splash shield and then forgetting to tell the sub-team. Oops. Things don’t go much better in the pitches. In fact, Karen said they left her “cringing”. They went bold, asking for a million unit order from Amazon. Katie points out this is a NINE MILLION POUND ORDER. Really girls? Jenna who’s responsible for the figures does not appreciate the criticism. It’s not her fault she’s not good at it. 
The boys pitches go slightly better. Mainly because Stephen, not wanting to let an opportunity to take charge slip away, and Captain Shamu, ban the rest of the team from speaking. Even “inventor” Duane is sworn to silence, although he quickly breaks ranks. “What a nonsense” says Nick. Hear hear!
The girls should have listened to the market research. They only managed 7,500 orders while the boys once again stormed ahead with 13,000.
The Boardroom
Lord Sugar asks the girls what went wrong on the task. Big mistake. They descend on each other like a flock of harpies. Unfortunately, subtitles were not available on my tele last night so I have no idea what was going on during this rabble. Eventually the dramatic music signalled something was happening. Jane chose Jenna and Maria to come back with her.
Lord Sugar was disappointed with all of them. They all own businesses, how can they not deal with the figures? It’s such a disappointment. Ignoring the market research? Disappointing. Did he mention he was disappointed? 
Who’s Fired?
In what was a genuinely difficult decision because they’d all behaved disappointingly, the eye shadow swung it in the end. Maria got the chop. 
The girls definitely made a mess of things but, despite that eye shadow, I’m not sure if Maria should have been fired. At the end of the day the product was the let down and it was Jane who was responsible for that. Half-right this week Alan.
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