The Apprentice has returned to our screens once again and in true apprentice style we begin with the introduction of the 5 candidates with the biggest egos, each claiming they are the new wolf of Wall Street.
The ever discerning Lord Sugar will inevitably see right through the bravado of his latest line up but yet again I’m left with the feeling that these candidates haven’t been picked for their business acumen and CV’s but on whether they’re going to provide great entertainment.
Following the winning format of past years the candidates have been split into two teams, male and female and team leaders were chosen. The first task is set ‘Ten years of selling’ where each product of the last 10 series is brought back and the teams are tasked with selling them in any way they wish. Sarah Dales, a 32 year old PA and Hypnotherapist is chosen to manage the girls’ team, as a team name they decide to play around with the word ‘decade’, fair! But they end up with ‘Decadence,’ which by definition means ‘moral or cultural decline as characterized by excessive indulgence in pleasure or luxury.’ Not exactly the best way to represent yourself!
Sarah starts off by suggesting that the girls wear short skirts and nice makeup as people are more likely to buy from females as they’re more attractive. Unsurprisingly, the rest of the team do not approve of this and their frustrations are further fuelled when Sarah adopts a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ attitude leaving her team to all the donkey work. Furthermore she decides that she wants to sell basic cleaning products at the astonishing price of £250 to London Zoo. Maybe the team should have just left her there, wandering around like the headless chicken she was proving to be.
The boys on the other hand got off to a good start, 33 year old Filepe Alvier-Baquero is chosen to manage the boy’s team. He is not a strong salesman but with a background in law has strong managerial skills, which is proven right from the on-set. A name is decided ‘Summit’ and the boys are split in a logical way according to their strengths, or so we think. Filepe quickly put his trust in Robert Goodwin who suggests it would be a good idea to dress up their hotdogs so they were more ‘Shoreditchy.’ This coincidently led them to miss the lunchtime rush and subsequently they didn’t make as much money as they could have done. To be fair, their efforts were much better than the sub-team led by Chiles, a company director from London, who had trouble controlling Steven, a social worker from Canada, who disagreed with every decision Chiles made and rightly so, especially when Chiles chose to leave the t-shirts at the printers rather than sell them which eventually cost them the challenge.
It is fair to say that from the loud, egotistical and some-what ditzy characters we have been shown, mainly from team Summit, this series is without doubt going to provide great entertainment. However, let’s not forget the point of this show, to find a business worth investing in. We’ll see how far these big characters make it in the competition, my guess is that they won’t get past the half way mark!
Posted by Saskia Benjamin