Friday, 10 May 2013

Beer today gone tomorrow

"Alcohol, the cause of and solution to all of life's problems"

A great philosopher once said that (Homer Simpson)but he had obviously never seen The Apprentice, especially this weeks episode.  The thing is, the alcohol had very little to do with the problems this week, that was firmly in the hands of the classic Apprentice combination...ego and strategy (or lack of it).

You'd think after 8 previous series the candidates would sense the warning signs around the challenges like this "produce and sell" task.  The real key to both areas isn't in the speed and aggression of selling, it's in the planning.

Tim "thank you for the opportunity even though we've just won and I should just shut up and do the huggy-jumpy thing outside the room" Stillwell was transferred onto the girls team to begin the mixing of the teams and fared no better in the spot vacated by the fired Jaz.

Immediately taking the project manager role, he gave a rather convincing impression of a weedy stripper at a demanding hen night, more concerned with not being eaten alive than concentrating on the job in hand.

Still at least he didn't send a non-alcohol drinking team member to the manufacturing plant, key requirement being the ability to taste the product.  And at least he also made sure his sales team had enough samples to keep the buyers happy.  Who'd have thought that a set of buyers would want to taste a product before they agreed to spend their money on buying it.

"Stella English" look-a-likee Francesca, placed in charge of that toughest of task on Apprentice tasks...sums...almost came a cropper as the girls manufacturing team produced the most lethal brew since Oliver Reed and George Best decided to empty their cupboards to make a punch, which led to gallons of product being washed away and a big loss of cash.

Yet, it was the sales strategy that once again cost the project manager his place.  "Nice but Dim" Tim was wobbling like a student on a 50p a shot night as his sales teams struggled with locations, pricing and selling - not the greatest of combinations.

If nothing else, this episode showed how important it is to get people into the right roles and balance personalities in teams.  The clashes between Zee, Alex and Jason, and Uzma and Rebecca were Apprentice staples, but some better decision making on both parts by each of the project managers would've headed off any problems before they started.

Not for the first time the serene Karren Brady was left exasperated by the conduct of the girls as the claws came out in the boardroom.  Yet, it was the intriguing prospect of just how Zee will conduct himself when left in the steely grip of Lord Sugars pointing finger that has me looking forward to the next few episodes.  His conduct with Jason was bordering on bullying at times, even if some of his gripes had some validity.

As for "The Count" his eyebrows were sadly more absent this episode, though the magnificent black turtleneck, aviator shades and brown coat on the shoulder look was stunningly "Boycie", and yet menacingly Kray twin.  A show stopper all of it's own...maybe he'd spent just a little too long sniffing the empty sample bottles.

Did Lord Sugar get it right?  Simon Says....Yes! Tim was floating in a vat of mis-management by the end of the task.

Star of the Week: Alex Mills - Not just the "Eyebrows", the Belgium "Look".

Got Lucky: Francesca Macduff-Varley - How often the "counter" takes the rap on the manufacturing task.

Heading for a Fall: Zeeshaan Shah - He's making enemies, will he be able to control his short fuse in the pressure of a boardroom dressing down?

What do you think, did Lord Sugar get the firing correct?  Who should've gone? Who's your favourite to win?

For Twitter updates on The Apprentice don't forget to follow me @simonbrooke

1 comment:

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