Tag Archives: Lord Sugar

The Apprentice – Series 7, Episode 7

19 Jun

See, cos it's replacing what's hip! Geddit?

The Apprentice is the gift that keeps on giving. The past couple of weeks have been gems, with enough hilarity and stupidity to last My Family (the sitcom, not to be confused with, you know, my actual relatives) a lifetime.

Now, I must admit to perhaps finding this week’s task – creating and pitching a ‘freemium’ magazine to advertisers – so excruciating because I have just come to the end of studying for a Masters degree in Magazine Journalism. Not only have I worked in the trade and studied the business, but also had to (for an assessment earlier in the year) create and pitch a magazine to a panel of professionals in the industry. It was so Apprentice-y, we used to commandeer ‘the boardroom’ in the journalism department and would put our phones on speaker to talk to each other. C’mon, we had to make the most of a potentially terrifying situation.

My point is, this is only the second time I have watched the show with any kind of insider knowledge that would help me on my task (the other was when they had to make skincare products – I used to work at smelly emporium Lush). Armed with this insight, I had even more reason to smirk and guffaw as the doofuses made error after error.

But never mind that. Is Natasha the most irritating woman in Britain? Yeah? Because, you know, yeah, she’s like, yeah, really annoying. Yeah? And the way she talks, yeah, she’s quite bullying, yeah, and a bit of an arse, yeah? It’s a shame her team won because she could do with taking down a peg or two – not least because she was an AWFUL PM who didn’t listen to her team.

Hip Replacement should have won with little effort. Apart from a hideous name and absurd execution, the basic concept was spot on. Brands would be able to target their market, who have lots of lovely disposable income, and help launch what could be a potentially goldmine in brand extensions such as events and book clubs, etc. But no. Creepy Jim got it all oh-so-wrong. There is absolutely no doubt that he should have got the chop – especially after his appalling behaviour in the boardroom. Not that Glenn would have been around much longer, but his firing did stink of unfair dismissal under the circumstances.

Next week is the annual Apprentices Abroad episode, and again I have a personal connection as I lived in Paris for 9 months as part of my (undergraduate) degree in French and English. I can’t WAIT to see how the assembled fools make a right bordel de merde out of the task.

 

The Apprentice – Series 7, Episode 6

12 Jun

What you gonna do with all that junk?

I had my misgivings about this week’s Apprentice, but it turned into a classic. Susan misunderstanding the task, Melody getting all uppity, Tom and Jim’s (useless) double act and a near-tie in the boardroom…. Excellent. Just a short post this week as I am dissertating for my MA but I will be back!

The Apprentice – Series 7, Episode 5

2 Jun

Image courtesy of Jasminejennyjen via Flickr

Oooh look at that light there. Up there. The light. Ahhhhhh. See the light? They’re light? THERE LIGHT?Yup, it made no sense: CatSIZE: See Their Light. Right you are then.

I knew I was in for a cracking episode when I accidentally stumbled across a headline mentioning the SURPRISE DOUBLE FIRING this morning (I missed the episode last night as I was busy indulging in my newest crush Bradley Cooper at the cinema. And if you don’t see the attraction, watch this. Seriously. Gird your loins and watch it). But I wasn’t to know quite how entertaining it would be. From the trained actor imitating a cat with a Margot complex to top totty Tom baring his chest in the name of advertising, it was full of classic moments.

Even if I hadn’t spoiled things for myself, it was pretty clear that Vincent was on the way out when he flagrantly ignored the vet’s advice and stormed though with the Everydog idea. There was a *bit* of  competition though. The flimsy teamwork on Glenn’s team seemed destined for a boardroom showdown – there but for the grace of ad execs, I say.

Both Ellie and Vincent deserved the chop: she, for the lack of chutzpah and, well, anything; he, for being a lily-livered PM. It seems Jim’s card is marked – too much of a smartarse for Lord Sugar. Tom and Melody are still two of my tips for the top at this point. Everyone else is showing their weaknesses – or nothing much at all.

Who do you reckon has made an impression? And who should get the finger next?

UPDATE: I just remembered the genius of the Boleg Bros, who upload Lego-type animations of The Apprentice. Check them out here.

The Apprentice – Series 7, Episodes Three and Four

26 May

Seriously?

A joint recap this week – I could claim I was too busy last week, but we all know that would be an exaggeration so let’s just get on with it, eh?

Last week’s sourcing task is always a goodie and this year was no exception. Cloches, physalises (physali?) and rich tea were all on the shopping list for teams Logic and Venture and provided some of the funniest moments of the series yet. That being said, Gavin’s Top Hat Cleaner’s clanger – and Karren’s reaction to it – will surely go down in Apprentice history as what not to do.

Despite the moments of doltish hilarity and memorable mistakes, it was a slightly flat episode. Partly because it came after the double-whammy the week before and partly because it was obvious who was heading for a finger-pointing from the get-go.

Last night’s episode was a little better. It wasn’t quite so obvious which team would lose, and even less so who would be fired. I would have bet on Tom being given the push, although I was glad he wasn’t – I’m fostering quite the crush on the gorgeous geek (it might be because I know he’d make sure I keep my finances in check; I have a crippling – sometimes quite literally- shoe addiction).

ANYWAY, moving on. I was surprised the hair ‘treatments’ didn’t earn more money. Anything that doesn’t involve stripping off in front of a stranger on what is meant to be a relaxing shopping trip would float my boat, although that being said, anything that doesn’t involve heated plastic shells being rubbed on me would float my boat if given those options.

There are still some quiet Quentins and silent Susans (thanks for inspiring me Lord Sugar) floating about, but we are getting to know some people a bit better. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Edna ‘The Gloves’ Agbarha and, after the boardroom last night, Ellie  seems like she’s a force to be reckoned with. Jim continues to stealthily sway me as well, but I have a feeling he is too solid and dependable – there’s a nasty person inside who’ll surely break out before long.

What did you think of this (and last) week’s Apprentice? Do you have any favourites yet?

The Apprentice – Week Six

11 Nov

Sing along with me: duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh.

The Apprentice was back on form this week. Despite another predictable exit, the advertising task (always a gem) ensured it didn’t feel like a totally wasted hour.

It was clear from the outset our favourite Retail Guru would get the finger. Why else would they show him spouting nonsense about apple pies if not? Oh that’s right. BECAUSE IT’S RIDICULOUS. I did wonder for a brief spell if sappy Laura (the polo neck is back!) might get the chop as all she seems to do is moan, whinge and generally behave like a 12 year old girl who isn’t used to not getting her own way. But no, much like Paloma, Alex got carried away in the boardroom and was rapidly hoisted by his petard (that shout is brilliantly lampooned here).

Alex deserved to go. He was the PM and should have been in charge for the major decisions of the task: choosing the name, bottle and directing the tv ad. Did he do any of those things? Err….. no. He went with the awful name (with weird connotations), hideous masculine bottle (with a woman on the front) and as for the ad… As Laura rightly pointed out, it’s not a good idea to have a child holding a bottle of chemicals which is explicitly warned against on the actual product.

Oh dear.

At least Apollo’s ad was mildly amusing. The only thing that raised a laugh for the OctoKleen was the ‘actress”s appalling acting. Sexist innuendo aside (I’m not the only one who found the 8 hands instead of 2 slogan inappropriate), just what was the point in the dodgy costume? Until the ad, Synergy were winning…well, I wouldn’t say tentacles down, but it was a clear lead. The sheer retrogressive cheek of Christopher soon turned that around.

As the ad agency looked on, variously bemused and insulted (or in the case of my friend, highly amused), it wasn’t entirely clear who would walk out of the boardroom and into the ever-present black cab.

Kudos to Nick for some of the best lines last night. My favourite has to be the one about Synergy jumping on the octopus idea:

“like a tramp on chips”

Brilliant, and a fine point to end proceedings here.

 

If you haven’t seen this though, do so now. It will change your life:

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:

 

The Apprentice – Week Three

21 Oct

Lord Sugar was on form this week wasn’t he?

“This is turning flour into serious dough” managed a weak smile and ‘hmph’ of mirth from the candidates, the other pithy puns didn’t do much better. But that’s what we love about the curmudegonly old sod: he doesn’t care if other people like it, he does it anyway.

This week’s episode is a classic for two reasons. One, the awful arithmetic that meant 16 bread rolls were made out of an order for 1,000. Two, the funny hairnet and hat combos sported by the teams in their bakeries. I’m still laughing at Stuart Baggs, The Brand spouting off while looking remarkably like a Lego version of a baker.

On team Synergy, we had Melissa and Jamie fighting for their chance to shine as project manager. Jamie seemed a bit bullish about it, which is probably why he lost out, but it appears he would have made a better job of it than mouthy Melissa. It is fairly obvious that you sort out your figures and costings before entering a pitch. It should never take more than a minute to recalculate and offer a sum. 15 minutes is taking the piss. Thank goodness for Alex and his A* in GCSE maths (I only managed an A so probably wouldn’t have been up to the task of USING A CALCULATOR).

Another boon to Synergy was Christopher and his military precision. I think he could be a big player as the majority of tasks call for someone who can keep a level head and keep a team organised. It’s always the quiet ones who sneak up at the end too.

Shibby took the reins at Apollo for no reason that I can see other than nobody else wanted to do it.  I agreed wholeheartedly with Paloma that his pitching style (if it can even be called that) was shameful. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever tutted so much in my life as I did in that 4 minute segment.

He was the right person to leave, without a doubt. As soon as he handed over that compensation to the hotel chef I knew he was a goner. Sandeesh really needs to pull her socks up though – those beautiful eyes of hers will only get her so far. Her selling tactics were non-existent and she clearly hasn’t impressed the boss whatsoever.

Next week looks set to be another goodie, setting up this series as one of the best to go along with last year (Pantsman anyone?) and, still my favourite, Series 4:

Check out the Week 2 Boleg Bros video here.