It’s that time of year again where a new set of candidates are rivalling it out for a space in the boardroom, all oozing with confidence and building themselves up only to show that they actually have a huge lack of business sense and get fired by Lord Sugar. But who got the boot, and who is safe for one more week? Did Lord Sugar make the right choice?
The episode is kicked off with a few egotistical statements from candidates and then shows a preview clip of some challenging moments during this season. From the first 5 minutes I could already tell who’s going to be in the running for ‘most irritating candidate’. It’s no secret that the following 11 weeks are going to push them to their limits, test them and for some, maybe even break them. Lord Sugar clarified, “if you want to moan, you can send me an e-mail at ‘LordSugar@idontcare.com’” making everyone in the boardroom feeling a little more nervous with every word he says.
While going through CVs, Lord Sugar knocked them all down like pins in a bowling alley. Apparently Karthik’s nickname ‘Special K’ wasn’t working for Lord Sugar as he claims he’ll be calling him something else… I wander what he was referring to there?
Alana’s CV stated that she reacts badly to being shouted at… so she comes on The Apprentice? With Lord Sugar? I think she should have watched previous episodes of this before deciding to take the plunge. Oliver, however, was praised on his Cumberland sausage business while JD lists “gumption and balls” on his CV, to which Lord Sugar replied, “sounds like some of the contents of Ollie’s sausages.” Not a bad one – right?
The over excitable Jessica was then told she needs to ‘take a breath’ I don’t think that’s a bad idea to be honest, probably the best advice I’ve heard being given in the boardroom. Courtney models himself on Leonardo DiCaprio… come on though. Really?
Lord Sugar appeared to be on cracking form for this series, already throwing out one liners and making the new Apprentices fear their lives, “you can compare this to being on a life support machine and one of your colleagues here pulling the plug out just to charge their mobile phone up,” he quipped. “That’s how competitive it will get.”
Their first task given to them was to rout through some garages and try to pick out the best valued items to sell on at car boots and to antique dealers. Before even starting the task, Lord Sugar reminds them to “suss out what’s valuable, and what’s not valuable. Don’t rush out like lunatics selling it too quickly; think about where your value is.” But did they listen? Of course not.
The candidates are divided in to two teams – boys and girls. The boys picked the thrilling name of ‘Titans’ while the girls chose ‘Nebular’… not sure what they were trying to achieve with that one? Both teams have a very different strategy to sell; the boys going in with a high pricing structure to avoid selling anything off too cheap, while the girls aim to maximise sales without giving the items a second look as to what their value really is.
NEBULAR VS. TITANS
As soon as the girls unload the truck, they have no strategy, no pricing range… just no idea really. The market teams performance was shocking, they had no concern for value or appreciation for antiques. I think they were looking at the task all wrong; trying to sell as much as they could rather than trying to make profit. For the most part, Nebular managed to sell a load of stuff but sold it way below the going rate. At one point, Frances Bishop sells a chair valued at £300 for just £17.50. In all fairness… it did look like it belonged in a hipster’s back garden with a bunch of other junk. Guess you should never judge a book by its cover. The trade team spent too much time getting valuations, and not enough time selling. I think this really set them back in terms of what their potential profit could have been. Once in Camden, no one thought to even call the van with the antiques in… wow. What an impressive lineup for this year…
The boys team seemed to have a clear strategy, it seemed like they went in knowing what they were doing. Although, it did crumble slightly. Nerves kicked in, pressure was felt, tension raised… everyone got a little touchy. However, overall the boys team did well, managing to maximise profits for the most part and evidentially had a structure to their game plan. They stuck to their prices, but it cost them a lot of sales. There was a definitive divide in which of the boys were doing well, showing their leadership and which were hiding behind the rest.
But which team did the most with what they had?
Trade Sales: £371
Market Sales: £1,057.10
Total Sales: £1,428.10
Trade Sales: £540
Market Sales: £419
Total Sales: £959
Who was put in front of the gun in the firing line?
Alana Spencer, Michelle Nizol and Rebecca Jeffery. All worthy candidates of being at the bottom. If I was Lord Sugar, I would have fired all three. I don’t believe any of them showed real business sense or possessed good qualities that would be useful in these tasks. But, everyone knows it’s always the project manager of the losing team who gets fired during week one. She just set herself up for failure as soon as she stepped in to the room. Although, maybe it would have been more useful for Rebecca to go, after all, it was only week one, task one, and she crumbled like a house of cards. You could tell she felt so pressured, she lacked the emotional stability to take the level of criticism Lord Sugar hands out. In business, you need balls and intuition which she clearly lacked. In my opinion, it won’t be long before she’s fired too.