Finger tricks, backstabbing and in-fighting. It’s time for… The Apprentice!
After a ridiculously long flashback of the series so far, tonight’s episode starts with the traditional phone call from Lord Sugar’s secretary. (Seriously, does that woman never sleep?) This week, the candidates are sent to meet Lord Sugar at the British Museum. Why? Well, we’ll let Lord Sugar himself explain.
“Behind me is the statue of Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, and beauty is a massive business. And your next task is to get a piece of that action.”
It’s a link, we grant you Lord Sugar, although a rather tenuous one. Essentially, the teams have to pick beauty treatments and sell them to the public. Leading team Venture is Zoe, appointed by Lord Sugar in response to her boardroom appearance last week, while team Logic’s leader is Felicity.
Product choice is a battle, as both teams want the instant spray tan, so the supplier plumps for Venture, as they were more ‘enthusiastic’, leaving Logic with self-heating massage shells. Both teams also have a hair treatment each, although as a man, I’m not sure of what the specifics of those were.
Bags packed and products picked, the teams head off to Birmingham the next morning. Logic have taken a sales pitch in the city centre, with their single treatment room three floors away, whereas Venture are in a busy out-of-town shopping centre, with a spacious treatment centre comprising three rooms.
Inevitably, it all quickly descends into idiocy. Logic appear to have gone doolally, with everyone attempting to sell haircare products instead of treatments, leaving Ellie and Melody upstairs in a tiny room with no customers.
Meanwhile, over on Venture, Susan – who, as the episode deigns to remind us approximately fourteen thousand times, has a skincare business and has therefore been seen as an expert throughout the task – is undone when Enid casually remarks to Felicity that Susan has sold maybe three items all day. This leads to an argument that resembles a teenage girl rowing with her mother, with Susan repeatedly stating “It’s so unfair”. Honestly, we half expected her to yell “I hate you!” and storm off.
In the afternoon, while Logic manage to drum up a few bits of business, partially due to offering free massages, Susan continues to not sell over on Venture.
“You’ve done your beauty stuff, now you’ve got to deal with the beast side of it: me.”
Back in the boardroom, we learn that Logic lost, primarily due to not actually performing any treatments for the first few hours of the day, which saves Susan any recrimination over her lack of sales. Defending his sales record, Jedi Jim (so-called due to his remarkable escape from the final three two weeks ago) is given an entertaining dressing down by the ever-amusing Nick, and soon afterwards Felicity and Ellie go head to head, resulting in an almost-predictable final three.
All in all? A solid Apprentice episode, but not outstanding.
Airs at 9pm on Wednesday 25th May 2011 on BBC One.