The Apprentice – Week 5

So many good programmes on my box this morning but I decided that The Apprentice was the one that my sister would ask me about so that’s the first one I’m going to watch.

We are reminded of the Liberty task last week and Mukai’s departure.  There are now 13 of them left.

The phone rings at 5am and Paul answers it and listens to the caller without saying a word when he picks the phone up or before he puts it down.  They don’t dwell on people getting dressed this week and the candidates are straight in the vans and off to the velodrome used in the London 2012 Olympics.

The task is to bring a new cycling product to market.  They need to use a crowd funding site to raise funds and they will pitch their product to cycling retailers.

The teams are mixed up a bit and they have to have a quick chat and elect a project manager.

Samuel is project manager of Titan and JD is project leader of Nebula.  Both tell their teams that they have experience in crowd funding…  Isn’t that always fatal to boast about your previous experience?

The teams have to pick a product and get to see a number of products.  They see a gilet with lights in it, bike and scooter animal dress up products and bone conductor open ear headphones.

Samuel and team Titan decide to represent the light up gilet.  JD and Nebula go for the headphones – I think the headphones is the product with a high chance of success.

Team Titan meet with the gilet lady to discuss the rewards that can be given to the crowd funders.  These range from baseball caps to a pre-order of the gilet.

Jessica, Sofiane and Paul speak to the headphone man about his rewards.  They are incredibly unorganised and spend ages flicking through bits of paper not really sure what they’re doing and to end it they let the headphone man leave without asking what rewards can be offered to the funders.  Karren is mightily unimpressed and sub-team leader Paul has made his first mistake.  When Paul comments that he thinks they have all the information they need Karren gives him a death-ray stare!

JD and his sub-team go and see a gospel choir they want to work with as part of their crowd funding campaign.  They stand and listen to them sing and start to dance in the most awkward and ridiculous manner.  They want the choir to sing Joyful, Joyful but change some of the lyrics to make them about cycling.  The two ladies read the lyrics to the choir and the choir look less than impressed but Frances thinks she’s done a fantastic job and has a talent for writing songs!  I disagree (and I’m sure the choir do too!)

Samuel thinks that a mime artist is the way to go…  Erm, when was the last time anyone wanted to see a mime artist?

JD, Rebecca and Frances back at the gospel choir and they are starting to sing.  Karren asks who came up with the lyrics for the song.  Frances looks smug as the other two say that she had the most to do with the lyrics.  To camera Karren says that Frances has come up with ridiculous song lyrics and JD is standing back and just letting this mess happen because he has no idea what it means to be a project manager.

Karthik is the sub-team leader of Titan (Samuel, what were you thinking?  Or were you looking for a sub-team leader scapegoat??)  They are coming up with a video – it doesn’t seem to be going well.

Paul and his sub-team are discussing their video ideas.  Paul is quite a strong sub-team leader but they still don’t seem to be doing very well.

Samuel seems to be having way too much fun casting people for his advert with his mime artists.  Claude doesn’t understand what’s going on and says he’ll ‘eat his shorts if that gets traction on social media’ he’s #concerned – who doesn’t loved Claude?!

Karren thinks Paul and his sub-team are unlikely to have a finished video for the earphones as there is so much going nonsense going on and not a lot of filming.  Paul is trying to tell Jessica how to direct and Sofiane how to act so not a lot is actually happening.  I did think Paul would be a much better leader than he’s being.  I thought he just needed a bit of an opportunity to shine and he’s be the firm favourite to win the show but that’s not really coming across here.

Back to Karthik and his sub-team making their video.  Allana looks very worried about the whole thing.  They go for a pitch black studio with the lights flashing and the gilet lady telling the story of how her husband was knocked off of his bike.

While Paul’s sub-team are editing their video Sofiane doesn’t stop talking and Paul has to keep asking him to be quiet.

After a full team meeting Paul, Sofiane and Rebecca realise that they haven’t sorted out any rewards…  Rebecca wants a minutes silence to think – I think she wants a minutes silence to mourn the loss of the task.

Samuel and Grainne have a big bust up in the station as they are briefing the people who will be performing the publicity stunt.  Grainne asks if the people know what crowd funding is – none of them do but Samuel doesn’t think that’s important.

Meanwhile JD’s team’s website isn’t even live so no funding can start.

At Waterloo station Samuel’s dancers are miming a bike crash (everyone watching seems very confused!)  Claude then delights in telling them that gilet is now spelt wrong (gillet) after someone made such a fuss about it being spelt wrong when it was, in fact, spelt right…

To be quite honest, I’d be stunned if either team have any pledges on either of their sites.  I’m stunned when the pledges do actually start to come in…

Samuel asks about the pitch to professionals.  It had been decided that Karthik was going to open the pitch, he starts quite well and gets a laugh but then hands over to Courtney and it takes a turn, I think someone even snoozes off standing listening to him.  Samuel tells the audience about the mime stunt at the station and there are a lot of raised eyebrows.

Pitching the bone conducting headphones is JD (during his pitch he says, I know you think this is just waffle – erm, yes, get on with it.  People look very bored).  Sofiane gives details of the product before passing to Frances who speaks to the crowd like they are children.  Frances says that you can buy a box of 12 with a 40% discount or a box of 180 with a 40% discount.  An audience member asks where the incentive is to buy the larger amount and Frances just laughs and says that usually only multinational retails get the biggest discounts but this way the small independents are getting them too.  The man says that as a multinational he’s really pleased to hear that…  More laughing from Frances.

It’s the morning after the day before and time for the candidates to file into the boardroom before being joined by Sugar.

Samuel and the Titans first.  Allana is singled out as coming up with the concept for the video and is told that Claude thought it was a great idea.  Allana looks bowled over to be told that.  Lord Sugar watches the Waterloo Station stunt and says that he has no idea what was going on.  Grainne and Samuel have a fight while Trishna stays very quite after the whole spelling disaster…  They have a bit more of a chat before Samuel and Grainne have another shouting match.

Moving across to JD and his team.  They start by listening to the re-written gospel song.  Paul is questioned by Sugar about the website being poor and lacking information.  He says that he holds his hands up and that’s correct, it is poor and lacks information – can’t argue with that.  Frances is trying to say to Sugar what an amazing job she did at the pitch when pricing was thrust upon her.  Sugar asks her how she thought on her feet when questioned about the 40% discount being across the board no matter how many you order – no answer.

Nebula have raised pitches of £681 while Titan have raised £788 so Samuel and his team are off the hook and going for a cooking lesson.

Sugar says that he’s disappointed because they got the best product of the batch and they still failed.  They go off for a cup of overly-milky tea in the café while they blame each other for the failure of the task.

Sugar points out to Rebecca and Frances that they have a regular seat in the boardroom on the losing team.  I’m sure JD’s ears prick up at that and he has an idea of who to take back into the boardroom.  JD happily points out that Paul and Sofiane didn’t work well together.  They then talk about the pitch and Karren reminds Sofiane that he was the person who was going to present pricing in the pitch but failed to mention pricing at all.  He skirts around the issue and says that he doesn’t think the crowd didn’t buy into them over pricing; Karren disagrees and tells him that’s exactly why they didn’t buy into them and they really liked the product.  Sorry for you Sofiane.

JD decides to bring back in Paul and Rebecca.  Even Sofiane knows he was lucky to get away with that!  The candidates file out so Sugar can chat to Karren and Claude.  They then file back in looking miserable and moody.  JD is asked what he actually did after he delegated everything, he tells Lord Sugar that he kept calm.  JD is asked why he didn’t bring Sofiane back – Karren points out that Sofiane was tasked with imparting pricing information at the pitch and failed to do so.  JD admits that not bringing Sofiane back was another mistake in this task.

Rebecca is told that she put herself forward as the marketing expert and failed to use those skills.  In the end Sugar tells JD that all he did today was admit that he was responsible for the failure of the task so he is fired.

Next weeks task is to buy 9 items in one night – that one is always good for a laugh so I’ll see you next week!

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