Posted by: Paul | November 18, 2010

The Apprentice – Week 7

‘I have to rein in my extreme masculinity on this task.’ Stuart Baggs. Yes that’s right Stuart, that’s exactly what you are. Extremely Masculine.

Into the second half now, and it’s time for the remaining candidates’ half-series appraisals. This consists of one word per person. Ready? Go!

Stella – detached. Liz – breezy. Laura – sulky. Chris – arrogant. Christopher – cheeky. Jamie – self-righteous. Joanna – confident. Sandeesh – ignoramus. Stuart nightmare.

This week, the teams were tasked with selling a ‘blue screen experience’ to the public. This consisted of standing in front of a screen in Westfield while racetracks and ski slopes were projected behind them – i.e. only suitable for doting parents to plonk a child into a plastic car for three minutes and gleefully watch them gawp at the screen, unable to grasp what was happening. An experience to treasure! To you, sir, £10. No, wait – £15! I said £15. Where did you get £10 from? What do you mean you’ve got a receipt? Where are you going? OK OK, £12!

Ahem. With Sandeesh and Stuart duly selected as project managers, they set about making a catalogue of disastrous errors on the way to a close finish. Stuart, more concerned with driving a BMW round the track for the filming of the bespoke scene than leading his team, managed to wind everyone up with his misplaced bravado and bolshiness. Note to Mr Baggs – merely shouting at people until they agree with you does not make you a good leader. Meanwhile, Sandeesh proceeded to misallocate tasks and people all over the shop, resulting in the stall opening an hour late – an hour which could have made all the difference, for the task was won and lost by a margin of just £40.

This was really The Stuart Show though. Having had a quiet few weeks, ‘The Brand’ finally had the chance to stamp his authority on something, and BOY did he stamp. All over everyone, at every opportunity, but especially Stella. Stuart vs Stella is shaping up to be this series biggest conflict – where other people shrugged off Stuart’s remarks for the childish spitefulness they are, Stella took him on at his own game and won, beautifully demonstrated by an imaginary tennis match during ‘You’re Fired’ on BBC2 afterwards. The final glance between them in the post-firing dissection back at the house was priceless – is this a dagger I see before me?

Sadly though, the little toad dodged a bullet, and Sandeesh was left hanging by a thread. Bringing in Liz and Chris to the boardroom, for mistakes in cost control and underperformance in sales respectively, she was undone by her poor performance in previous tasks – having been on the losing side five times and making her fourth appearance in the bottom three, there was only one realistic candidate for firing and Sandeesh at last made the long weary walk to the black cab of doom.

I know I said a few weeks ago that I was trying not to be too mean about the candidates, but I find that genuinely hard with Stuart. I know he’s young, and my goodness does he have a lot to learn about working with other people, but I find him a despicably unpleasant little toerag. But that, after all, is what keeps us coming back to the show. I only hope he makes it to the dreaded ‘Interview’ stage, I dream of seeing him ripped to shreds by Claude and co!



  1. This was definitely a case of Stuart not losing rather than winning.

    As you say, Sandeesh deserved to go for having shown nothing positive at all during the entire series. Other than being there – and even that was arguable on occasions.

    As a team, Apollo over-bought on DVDs, started 50 minutes late, got their pricing strategy wrong and then Liz panicked and bought the car late in the day without ever considering whether they would recoup that investment. Other than that, they were excellent(!)

    It says a lot about how badly Stuart managed that Synergy won by such a small margin. Although, to be fair, the one decision he did get right was the big one: putting the price up rather than down.

    Still, it’s only a matter of time before he self-destructs in a blaze of ego.

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