The Apprentice – Episode 1

He’s back!!  Lord Sugar is going to spend another few weeks walking out of the glass door (that looks like a toilet door) to sit down at his boardroom table and judge the bunch of self obsessed candidates that sit in front of him.

Start the programme with a gratuitous show of Sir Alan’s wealth before little clips of the candidates telling the viewers how they are the most amazing person in the world.  I enjoy the day that the person who has boasted that they are the best salesman doesn’t sell a thing.

The candidates all hand in their business plans to Lord Sugar’s secretary before they go into the boardroom.

I don’t know what the producers of the programme do but they make the candidate’s have crazy blue eyes and radiant white teeth.

Jessica is the first candidate to stick out for being rather bonkers.  Karren tells her to take a breath.  Sorry Jessica, you’ve been regulated already!

There are 18 people and 12 weeks so Alan tells them immediately that some weeks more than one will go and he doesn’t care how many people go.

Their first task is to go to a lock up and sell the contents.  They are warned that there is some rubbish and some gems and carefully sort them before starting to sell.

The girls say that the boys will all fight and try and be top male but the women will work well together – that never seems to pan out!

Karthik is already coming across as massively unpleasant – he’s a bit like the UK’s version of Donald Trump.

The house that the candidates are living in is beautiful.  I’m not sure where they find these houses.

The boys team is called Team Titans being led by Paul.  The girls team is called Team Nebula being led by Michelle – it was rather pushed upon her!  Claude will not be pleased that none of the girls wanted to volunteer for PM.

The alarm clocks go off at 3am and everyone tarts themselves up before piling into the minibuses and heading off to the lock ups.

Both teams load up vans.  Each team has a market stall until midday.

Excuse me, I was momentarily distracted by a man wearing mustard coloured socks.

Claude is already getting cross as the girls are not thinking about anything that might be valuable and they are just selling things willy-nilly.  There is no pricing strategy and they are just selling for prices that are offered.

The boys are being told that they should ask £300 for a manky old armchair, meanwhile the girls sell theirs for £17.50 and are really pleased.

The boys are all pushing a drinks trolley around Chelsea trying to sell it to high end antique shops.  I don’t know why they send so many into the shop at once, I imagine that the shop owners would feel a bit bullied.

The girls waste hours getting loads of things evaluated by an expert.  He tells them to go and sell in Portobello.  The girls decide though that they won’t go to Portobello, they will go to Camden.

The boys do a deal to sell the chair and drinks trolley for £300 but he doesn’t have the authority to buy any items so that was a big old waste of time!

The girls van goes to Camden – as instructed – the girls go elsewhere but have forgotten to tell the van driver…

Rebecca isn’t a good sales person at all.  She just wants to get rid of things as cheap as possible seemingly.  Meanwhile the boys are holding their higher prices but Karren comments that unless they start selling to actual people it’s irrelevant what the items are worth.

Michelle and her sub team of girls have yet to make a single sale.  Claude comments that you wouldn’t know from her performance that Michelle is the project manager.  He concludes that Lord Sugar will take a very dim view of her performance.

Trishna is trying to negotiate with a dealer while Jessica keeps jumping in and accepting his low-ball offers.  This is girls working together in action!!

The candidates file into the boardroom before Lord Sugar pushes his hand against that glass door to exit his toilet.  He sits down and starts by talking to the girls.  He doesn’t like their team name and says that they might as well have called themselves smog.  Lord Sugar says that Claude had reported that they started selling at the market as soon as they opened the van doors.  The girls all start chiming in that yes they did and how clever they are until Lord Sugar tells them that it’s not a great thing as they never discussed prices and were just selling whatever item for whatever price.  The cheery little faces start to turn sour as the penny drops.  Lord Sugar then turns to Michelle’s sub team, he’s unhappy that the expert told them that they should sell in Portobello but they went to Camden.

Now it’s the boys turn.  Lord Sugar tries to makes a joke about Oliver being Porkos, Greek God of sausages, they all politely laugh but move on quickly.  The boys made a great deal on the garden item that they sold for £170 as his team bought it for £7!!  The boys do get told off for their abortive sale with the man who had no authority to buy goods.

Now, onto the money:-

The boys trade team took £371, the market tem took £1,057.10 making total sales of £1,428.10.

The girls trade team took £540, the market team took £419 making total sales of £959.

Clearly the boys team completely knocked it out of the park.  Their ‘reward’ is a dance lesson to learn the Lindy Hop…  That’s the treat that every man longs for…  Actually it does look like a lot of fun!

Cut to the girls sitting in the café sipping out of Styrofoam cups and shouting at each other.  Michelle tells the market sub team that they sold too much too cheap and it sounds about right as the girls trade team did do better than the boys.

The girls try and heap the blame of there being no pricing structure on the project manager.  The girls try and do the big-eyed, ‘it wasn’t me, look but Lord Sugar sees right through that.

Michelle elects to bring back Alana and Rebecca into the boardroom.  Rebecca immediately pipes up asking how she’s responsible for the loss of the task.  The girls leave the room so Lord Sugar can have a chat with Claude and Karren.

The girls are then brought back into the room so, at least one of them, can be fired.  They all turn on one another and blame each other for the failure of the task.  I zone out a bit as all of the women bitch at each other.  Lord Sugar brings them back to order and tells them all why they are terrible before firing Michelle.  She does the vile, ‘thank you very much for the opportunity’ speech.  As the remainding two walk into the waiting room Rebecca snubs Michelle but Michelle jumps up and hugs Alana.

1 down 16 to go until the winner is revealed.

Next time the teams have to come up with an advertising campaign for jeans.  There are actual tears and more tantrums from the candidates and Lord Sugar.

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