The Apprentice Week Five Review: Lord Sugar's Birthday

The Apprentice Week Five Review: Lord Sugar's Birthday

2 November 2017

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Photo Credit: Jim Marks / BBC 

Oh, how I love the “search and recover” type tasks on The Apprentice. Armed with only a map of London and their alleged business savvy, our hopeful candidates must race across the capital to find a collection of obscure and unconnected items, bartering for every object along the way. They are penalised for being late or for not finding particular things on the list. It’s a truly brilliant bit of telly.

This week, it was all about the decision maker himself, as Lord Sugar tasked his candidates with procuring items that would celebrate his 70th birthday. After whimpering about not being allowed to realise her potential last week, Joanna was made Project Manager of Team Graphene whilst Sajan took control of Team Vitality. From the outset, both teams seemed determined to shoot themselves in the foot by electing two of the weakest candidates to lead them to victory.

Neither team was able to recognise several of the items on the list (scarlet doeskin and rugelach, anyone?), nor where they able to formulate a half decent strategy for securing the items. Bushra took on the girls’ sub-team, claiming that being a Londoner would ensure success in this task. This bold statement was quickly dispelled when she said, “Yeah but we’re headed East, I’m from the South”, as if she were a taxi driver refusing to cross the Thames.

Both teams were, quite literally, racing each other to secure an Amstrad computer, with some outrageously low bids on both sides doing nothing more than aggravating the seller. I’m almost certain that real, proper business transactions do not start or end with “Pleeeeeease!” nor do they haggle and argue over a 50 pence discount. Some of the ‘bartering’ was really embarrassing – none more so than Elizabeth, who affected a Cockney accent when attempting to purchase some bricks and mortar from a builder’s yard.

The teams were absolutely all over the place in their desperate quest for the list of items. No one seemed to think it was sensible to try and stick within a small radius or try and source out items of a similar theme in the one area. Sajan even called up a guy – who was indignant that he was “at his tea” – to try and secure the Amstrad, only to cancel on him five minutes before they were due to meet.

Graphene were an hour late to complete the task, but they did manage to secure all of the items for relatively reasonable prices, meaning that they ultimately won the task. This prompted pools of tears from Joanna – which seemed like an utterly immature, un-business-like response.

In a bid to save himself from the pointed finger of doom, Ross decided that telling Lord Sugar that he was – “statistically speaking” – the smartest person in every room he goes into probably wasn’t the best idea.

The boys really need to sort themselves out, or they risk losing even more candidates in the following weeks. Which is a shame, because the girls are definitely an equally shambolic, disorganised bunch.

The Apprentice is on BBC1 on Wednesdays at 9pm.




Written By Mary Palmer


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