The Apprentice – Week Four

28 Oct

It was the classic ‘sell crap to real shops’ task this week – always a good ‘un.  This week was one of the best though, thanks to the blinding manoeuvrements of Melissa Cohen.

Like all reality tv shows, The Apprentice is great for creating villains the audience love to hate. Stuart Baggs – The Brand – was the obvious contender for this crown at the beginning of the series (and looks set to continue after his dead baby questions this week) but Melissa will forever be remembered for her graceless behaviour after the boardroom.

Even when the candidates have been at each other’s throats in front of Lord Sugar, they act with decorum and give the newly-unemployed a consoling handshake at the very least. Melissa’s petulant sulking – “I’ve got nothing to say to either of you. Save your own skin and get out of my face” – and accusations of bullying fairly ensured that The Boss was comfortable with his decision. Let’s look at how he reached it.

Despite her haranguing, Melissa was overlooked for the PM post (unsurprisingly as she was a disaster last week) and Jamie was put in charge for Synergy. The ‘charisma vacuum‘ (Copyright Tim from Slouching Towards Thatcham, a brilliant blog) Chris elected himself for Apollo. To be fair to him, he delegated well and came down, quite rightly, on the sub-group after their ‘Battle for Old Compton Street’.

That particular episode was the only real problem for Apollo. Yet again it was bickering women that caused the kerfuffle – a theme that is beginning to grate. This lot really need to buck their ideas up and try being professional. The ever imperious Paloma is quickly losing her authority as she shouts loudest to assert herself, rather than actually being able to prove she is in the right. Sappy Sandeesh and Loopy Laura (I still hold that poloneck against her) are sure to get fired soon, as they rarely do anything productive or positive for their team.

The Lovely Liz Locke was the star of the show thanks to selling a whopping £99k+ of  Babyglows to Kiddicare. Her pitching style is the complete opposite to Melissa’s. She listens, doesn’t feel the need to repeat herself ad nauseum and – most importantly – is affable and eager, rather than bullish and arrogant.

Back to Synergy. Joanna has managed to redeem herself somewhat after bully-gate and this week scored an impressive meeting with a plumbing company, perfect for pitching their eco shower-head. They should have walked away from that with a decent order, but Melissa’s abrasive pitching and Stuart’s inept demonstration ensured they left with nothing. Jamie should have come down harder on them after that, because they could have got a big enough order to win the task.

They didn’t though, and despite raking in over £75k worth of orders, it was not enough to defeat the mighty Apollo. The right three were left in the boardroom – if he could have excluded himself, no doubt Jamie would have shoved Stella in there. Like Paloma, she seems pretty on the ball, but let the disallowed deal on the shower heads pass when she DID know that wasn’t what the manufacturer had stated.

Lord Sugar’s line to Melissa about being  “like knock-off DVDS. At first glance you’re quite convincing, but then you’re impossible to follow” and Karren’s revelation that she is “quite annoying” were perfectly apt – and seemed to hit home if the transformation on You’re Fired is anything to go by. The woman was completely lacking in self-awareness and was an expert in chatting rubbish. She failed to play to her supposed strengths and was useless at managing herself and others. I don’t mean to assassinate her character, as there are still candidates there who I believe are pretty awful, but she really showed herself up this week and if Lord Sugar hadn’t fired her, it would have been a huge mistake.

Next week the teams head to my old home of Manchester to sell ‘high fashion’ to unsuspecting shoppers. It looks promising.

The Boleg Bros’ vision of how they saw last week’s show is here:



3 Responses to “The Apprentice – Week Four”

  1. Tim October 28, 2010 at 12:57 pm #

    This is all your fault … every time I see Laura, the first word that pops into my head is ‘polo-neck’!

    I thought the You’re Fired panel were surprisingly kind to Melissa, but she really did set herself up for a fall throughout her four episodes. As Dara said, she set the bar so high she simply walked underneath it.

    Having said all that, I really thought it was Stuart who lost the task, rather than Melissa. Why he decided to play a cross between 20 Questions and the Spanish Inquisition at product selection is beyond me – and it was his attitude that blew Synergy’s chance at the Baby Glow, which was so obviously THE product which would practically sell itself …

    As ever, here are my thoughts:

    • Telly Helly October 28, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

      I agree they were too nice to her, but it seems she’s realised how awful she was and gone into witness protection or some similar scheme to avoid public harrassment!

  2. Tim October 28, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    Love the Witness Protection analogy! I can understand Melissa changing her appearance, but having appeared on You’re Fired and then BBC Breakfast this morning, surely she now needs another makeover?

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