The Apprentice Episode 11: The Fab Five Become The Final Four!

So the fab 5 became the final 4 in last night’s penultimate episode of The Apprentice.  There was no shortage of the usual catty remarks between the contestants or ego-fuelled fighting in the boardroom.  This week’s task required the remaining contestants to create their own fast food chain restaurant and serve not just to the […]

So the fab 5 became the final 4 in last night’s penultimate episode of The Apprentice.  There was no shortage of the usual catty remarks between the contestants or ego-fuelled fighting in the boardroom.  This week’s task required the remaining contestants to create their own fast food chain restaurant and serve not just to the public but to Lord Sugar himself and a group of industry experts.

The teams were the same as last week, with Jim leading the gruesome twosome Natasha and Susie for team Venture whilst Helen took the lead for team Logic over Tom.  The teams quickly chose the theme of their restaurants with Venture deciding to go for a Mexican theme and team Logic going for authentic British.  They only had 48 hours to create everything for the restaurant including the menu, the décor, the brand and importantly seeing as it is a business focused show a business plan for the restaurant.

It would appear that Jim and his team were so focused on the décor for their restaurant “Caracas” that they forgot about everything else.  The two girls had struggled to work together the week before yet Jim paired them up to work together again. In the end Jim designed the menu and dishes, as well as cooking the food too.  Mind you the word cooking should be used loosely as customers complained that their food was cold.

The worst part for poor old Jim’s team though was there lack of planning for not just service but a basic business plan.  So when the time came to pitch to the industry experts and ultimately the judges for the task, it was clear that there was a huge gaping hole in Venture’s strategy.  Oh dear.  Jim’s terrible maths only highlighted this at which point they probably should have just gone and sat in boardroom and spared Helen and Tom the hassle of packing up their teeny tiny cases.

Helen and Tom worked together almost flawlessly.  The calmness in their team was a huge contrast to the bickering and disorganisation of team Venture.  Tom was left to do the branding and created the strongly British “My Py” brand.  Unlike the other team they had created good food that was delivered quickly and was actually hot, but most importantly they had a business plan to present to the industry experts which surely was one of the main points of the task!

It was no surprise when Venture found themselves sat in the boardroom wondering if they were all for the chop as Tom and Helen were given a direct pass to the final!  It turns out that this year there will be four in the final though so it was only Natasha who we had to bid farewell too.  I struggle to remember what contributions she has made in the tasks so it is definitely no great loss to the show.

Believe me when I say I can’t wait for the last and final episode, even if it’s just to hear Jim blabber on and try and charm his way through the interview which may be the only thing that stands between him and the £250,000 investment!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2K0wBnFBYM

The Apprentice Episode 10: Mouthy Melody Out And Nasty Natasha Emerges!

Well for starters it must be said that both teams seemed to be an absolute mess throughout the whole task last night.  The point of the task was just to replicate the simple principle of business – churning your money over and increasing your assets.  Starting off with £250 worth of wholesale goods, all they […]

Well for starters it must be said that both teams seemed to be an absolute mess throughout the whole task last night.  The point of the task was just to replicate the simple principle of business – churning your money over and increasing your assets.  Starting off with £250 worth of wholesale goods, all they had to do was build up the value of their businesses by reinvesting their takings in their most profitable products and continuing to sell them.  They just had to “smell what sells.”  Yeah, whatever you say Lord Sugar…!

This week team Venture was headed up by Natasha and Logic was being led by Melody.  Melody and Helen seemed to have completely lost the plot trying to get a pound shop to buy £50 watches and flogging bed linens and towels in what looked like a hardware shop.  First they made the mistake of targeting retailers rather than the public and then Melody didn’t take any notice of the products that had sold well throughout the first day (the nodding dogs) and chose random electronic items instead.  Do these people have no sense???

Natasha, Susan and Jim made up the other team and it must be said that Natasha was undoubtedly saved by her two team mates.  She was a terrible project manager and just didn’t seem to get the point of the task at all.  She continually put down her other team mates even though they were performing much better than she was and didn’t seem to want to reinvest.  Jim definitely redeemed himself last night as he turned on the charm which was a much needed improvement to the not so nice Jim we witnessed a few weeks ago!

Natasha was downright condescending to Susan.  In fact she was a right horrible witch!  So whilst she was ignoring the task set out by Lord Sugar and the concerns voiced by her team mates I was hoping that this was signalling an impending failure for her so Lord Sugar could kindly get her off my TV screen!

Alas, I was wrong!  (Sad face!)  Team Venture managed to win even though they were fined £100 for not sticking to the brief and as a result had their winners’ treat taken away from them.  Their win also signalled the end to Helen’s winning streak and ultimately the end to Melody’s hope of winning.  The fighting is getting fiercer every week so bring on next weeks task and let’s hope to be saying goodbye to nasty Natasha!!!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEZ6uIsoRC4

The Apprentice Episode 7: Glenn Sent To The Taxi Of Doom!

I have to say, I absolutely loved The Apprentice this week!  The task set to them was to create and publish a ‘Freemium’ (free magazine) and then sell advertising slots to three top agencies!  The team with the highest advertising revenue earned would then win.  Team leader this week for team Venture was Jim and […]

I have to say, I absolutely loved The Apprentice this week!  The task set to them was to create and publish a ‘Freemium’ (free magazine) and then sell advertising slots to three top agencies!  The team with the highest advertising revenue earned would then win.  Team leader this week for team Venture was Jim and on team Logic it was Natasha, both of which were decided by Lord Sugar himself.

Team Logic decided to go for a lad’s mag called Covered, basing this decision on the concept that “sex sells”.  Helen and Tom seemed to completely grasp the concept that they should go a bit more upmarket as they spoke to a focus group who explained their dislike towards the stereotypical lad’s mags.  They pinpointed the ideals of a fun but more serious magazine than the current typical lad’s mag which you would have assumed that team leader Natasha would have embraced!  Don’t be silly, of course she didn’t! The front cover featured a half-naked girl and a finance feature called “How to Blow Your Load.”  Lovely.

Going completely in the other direction, team Venture decided to focus on people aged over 60 for their Freemium.  Some of the names they came up with were truly awful and sounded like bad perfumes and eventually they ended up with the name Hip Replacement.  The whole point of the Freemium was to be saying that 60 is the new 30 and for it to be an uplifting magazine for people of that age range.  Something which they seemed to quickly forget!  It turned into the exact opposite and was patronising with so called Technology Features explaining how to make a phone call.  Oh how uplifting.

With their Freemium published, they had to pitch their shiny new magazines to 3 of the biggest buyers of advertising space.  For Logic, their magazine ‘Covered’ received very mixed reactions, with one of the buyers calling it out-dated and another saying that it needed toned down.  For Team Venture the name was rightly branded “terrible” by all of the buyers and the mismatched tone and loss of irony in the name of the magazine was also picked up on.  One buyer however, did think that it was an ideal niche market and that the contents of the magazine looked good.  Jim’s lack of negotiation and resistance to offering discount was not well received which ‘Bambi’ aka Susan clearly pointed out.

Next step – the boardroom.  It really did seem like team Venture had it in the bag with their mag for the “oldies” however, team Logic swooped in at the last moment and were saved by the last agency who offered to take all the advertising pages which equalled a grand (winning) total of £60,000 to their revenue.  This of course meant that Jim and his team were headed for a grilling from the Sugar monster himself.  How Jim managed to stay I have no idea!  He came across terribly by alienating his entire team and being ridiculously arrogant.  Karen even described him as “passive aggressive.”   However, somehow he escaped from the taxi of doom and it was Glen that we said farewell to.  Not a great loss to the show, but it is safe to say that a lot of people now eagerly await Jim’s firing!  Bring on next week as they jet of to Paris.  Let’s hope we will be saying au revoir to Jim!!!