Posted by: Paul | November 25, 2010

The Apprentice – Week 8

“Stuart declared himself knackered” – Nick Hewer

It has to be him this week, doesn’t it? It just has to be.

This week the teams finally get their desired awayday. You can tell it’s almost the entire reason Stuart signed up. The task is to work with two British crisp manufacturers to come up with two new flavours to sell to the German market. There are real livelihoods on the line, real businesses this time – don’t balls this up, people!

With Stuart declaring himself out of the running and railroading his nemesis, Stella, into the fall guy position, he felt secure once more. On the opposing bench Chris stepped forward, fed up with consistently failing and seeing another opportunity to prove himself. The teams split into the now traditional sub-teams – one charged with coming up with the flavours back in Blighty, and the other pair despatched as an advance strike force to do some cold calling for appointments, and market research for the others to ignore. Stella’s team opted for British-influenced flavours (narrowly avoiding Laura’s suggestion of Paprika and Stilton along the way…!), while Chris’ team decided to sell ice to the eskimos. Sorry, bratwurst to the Germans.

Unusually this week, both teams gave off the illusion of actually working pretty hard. There were meetings to attend, pitches to deliver, cold calls to make, hard selling to be done – and in Stuart’s case, sausage to be eaten. Jo’s face was a picture as he stuffed wurst after wurst into his insidious, flatulent gob.

The show is always cleverly edited. I’m starting to pick the winner each week by thinking about who looks like they’re going to win, and then picking the opposing team. This week, as ever, was a close run thing and it came down to a couple of key decisions – key wrong decisions, of course. With the usual mixture of appointments with large organisations pre-arranged and what they could generate themselves, Chris thought his team was home and dry after securing the biggest order with an international distributor. But with Jamie switching an appointment with a prominent hotel chain to the afternoon (uh, hello? No, I won’t come and see you first thing on this time sensitive task, it can wait until after lunch. A long, boozy lunch), Stella’s team got in first and the impressive – if pushy – Jo secured the order which won the task. Damn you Jo, ‘The Brand’ lives to fight another day! We’ll get the slippery bugger yet, mark my words…

So Chris has yet another failure under his belt – hey, the guy’s nothing if not consistent – and brings Jamie and Christopher into the board room with him after they failed to get enough door to door sales to compensate for Jamie’s error of judgement. I ask, you, would you buy crisps from this man? ‘Hi, yah, would you, you know, like to buy some crisps? You’re not the manager? Well maybe, just, you know, not buy some?’

But Lord Shoogah is nothing if not his own man, so in his wisdom Chris’ now almost constant failure to win coupled with Jamie’s ineptitude somehow convinced him to fire steady, dependable Christopher, citing lack of business acumen. Be careful, your lordship, this man knows how to use a high velocity rifle!

Favourite moments this week – the bluff German cafe owner’s response to Jamie and Christopher’s flavours (crunch crunch crunch…’No!’), and Laura machine-gunning the food distributor with her pitch, despite being asked no less than three times to slow down! She’s next after Stuart. And Jamie.



  1. Agree that Laura, Jamie and Stuart (in that order) are the most vulnerable remaining contestants. Laura does nothing but whine, Jamie is fooling no one with his “I’m excellent, I am” schtick and Stuart is, well, Stuart – although he was a star this week in that he actually bothered to speak in basic German and had given some thought as to how to deal with potential customers in a foreign country. Unlike Machine-Gun Girl. (Or Sauerbraten as I have sunsequently labelled her.)

    Christopher was never going to win, but there are certainly weaker candidates. Jamie lost Synergy this task with his random decision to go for the 1pm slot with Marriott rather than 9am. (You’re in Germany, lads: get the towels down early!) And his constant habit of telling people how good he is while slagging everyone else off left, right and centre has not gone unnoticed by either his fellow candidates or Lord Sugar. He’s not untalented, but he’s nowhere near as good as he thinks he is either. And for that reason, he’s out. (Or is that a different show?!?)

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